Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Bangladesh is a country in South Asia, bordered by Burma and India. Its climate is tropical with mild winters from October to March, with hot and humid summers from March to June and the humid monsoon season from June to October. The rainy season should be avoided as much of the country is impassible at this time and water borne diseases are rife. The country boasts over 200 species of mammals, including the Bengal Tiger, elephants, mongoose, clouded leopard, jackal and rhesus monkey. Crocodiles, sea turtles, pythons and cobras are also common. Many of the population are landless and are forced to live on the flood plains, with limited access to potable water. There are environmental problems in Bangladesh such as water shortages, river pollution and deforestation, but nevertheless the country is untouched by tourism, with beautiful landscapes and cities to explore. There are many festivals throughout the year. Pahela Baishakh is the Bengali New Year, around mid April, held at Ramna Park in the capital city, Dhaka, with boat races and tournaments, but is also celebrated in a colourful display in most towns and villages. Durga Puja is the biggest Hindu festival, lasting 10 days with a fair at Dhakeswari Temple in Dhaka. Chittagong is the second largest city and an ideal holiday location, with rolling green hills, long sandy beaches and a cool climate. It has an active seaport as well as several museums which display tribal artefacts. In the nearby Hill Tracts the occupants are mostly tribal people, some of whom still hunt with bow and arrow. Sitakunda is 37 km from Chittagong and here the tourist can visit the Buddhist temple with a preserved footprint of the Lord Buddha. Patenga Beach is 22 km from the city and accessible by bus. Secluded and unspoilt, this location is wonderful for a quiet day out. Bangladesh is rich in archaeological sites. Mahasthangarh is the oldest known site in the country and is situated 18 km north of Bogra town along side the River Karatoa. Here, a 5 mile radius is covered with fortifications, ancient ruins and mounds. The local people pay tribute to its 3rd century temples each year with a ceremony of bathing in the river. Dhaka was predominantly a city of Mughals and is rich in a fascinating heritage, with Lalbagh Fort being a popular site to visit. Located in the south west of the city, it overlooks the Buriganga and consists of some grand gateways, monuments and an attractive garden. Shopping in Bangladesh is a joy, with handicrafts, pink pearls, gold and silver products, brass and copper ware, as well as cotton clothing, silk, leather, cane and conch shell decorations at bargain prices, once the visitor has mastered the art of haggling. Dhaka has its own international airport, with car hire facilities. There are many hotels ranging in price in all the major cities and several package tours of the country available. If planning a camping holiday in the country, it is recommended that you seek advice on which tent to purchase.