2 independent reviews for Bangladesh vacation

Reviews for Bangladesh vacation

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review 31 Jan 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

We found the Bangladeshi people one of the friendliest who wanted their photos taken and for us to be included in the photos they took. They were curious about us and wanted to chat, but obviously sometimes impossible because of the language. The horrendous traffic, traffic jams and horn honking has made a lasting impression along with the terrible litter everywhere. How difficult life is and hard working the Bangladeshi people are was reflected so much in what we saw, the stone collecting people near Jaflong in particular.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

This cannot be categorised as a vacation but rather an adventure or experience. Because the country is so poor and undeveloped, one has to be prepared to travel on dusty, rough roads, tolerate the pollution and stay in very basic hotels with very few tourist sights set up (see below). The 'cruise' in the Sundarbans on the boat we went on was more suitable for the backpacker generation with less than basic accommodation and facilities.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Our vacation benefited the local people only in so far as interacting with them. We related our concern to several people about the litter and pollution problem that needs addressing now.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

We did enjoy the Bangladeshi experience. We felt, however, that we could have seen different aspects of their lives other than walking through yet another bazar. Because of the lack of historical sights available, we would have been interested in visiting other things like a garment or a brick factory. We felt that even the local guides thought that the wildlife walks were pointless as they joked repeatedly about maybe seeing a tiger or a gibbon or particular bird. We enjoyed the walks for what they were in the Sundarbans , but one would probably have been enough, not 3, The Lawachara National Park had a major busy road running through the middle and many, large noisy tourist groups. Our guide diverted our walk when he saw a group from the hotel arriving but really what hope was there of seeing any wildllife. Again they joked about seeing the Gibbon. We enjoyed seeing the different parts of the country, the countryside with rice paddies, the Sundarbans and wouldn't have wanted to miss seeing it. However, the roads and distances were painful. The long drive to Bogra then back to Rajshahi and to Sylhet were tedious. The long drives should have been well organised with stops of interest planned in as well as comfort stops which was lacking on our tour. Our guide was a lovely chap with a good sense of humour, helpful, always had water and snacks for us, but he didn't seem prepared with information about the places we were being taken to. We visited these places but often we didn't know what we were looking at, eg tribal villages, pottery village people. We always had to ask. The comfort stops were never pre-planned. The driver sometimes stopped for himself, but we were never thought of. Coffee/tea breaks were sometimes taken by the guide and driver and we were told to stretch our legs. Accommodation varied. The usual breakfast discussions about what worked in the rooms and what didn't, took place. We have to report that The Nice Hotel, Rajshahi, was really sub standard. The room really tiny, no hot water, the wardrobe was only part of a wardrobe - no front or back- and the sheets questionable. Luckily we took your advice and took a sleeping sheet, which we used on several other occasions when the duvet had no cover. The Sundarbans boat was lovely in concept but quite small and dirty. There was nowhere to sit other than at the table, or on your bunk in your tiny cabin, and actually the crew stood watching us eat before they could sit down and eat themselves. The crew and cook were great. Coffee/tea always available. The quiet cruises on the smaller boat in the Mangrove Forest were magical. The walk on the beach was lovely. The Nishorgo EcoLodge was very tired and has lost its charm. The mats are curling up, gaps widening between the floorboards and didn't feel very clean. We are well travelled and don't mind basic accommodation so we hope you don't think we are being over critical, but we do feel cleanliness should have been better. Train journey was good. It was a welcome relief from another car journey. We are afraid that we wouldn't recommend this vacation to anyone as it is currently structured but Bangladesh is a Photographer's paradise and we did take some great photos. Perhaps it should be marketed as that!!

review 5 Apr 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The most memorable part is the amount of curiosity we aroused wherever we went - people were interested to see us and wanted to talk to us - and have their photos taken with us. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming. I enjoyed the peacefulness of the waterways (a contrast to the roads!) and visiting the small villages.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

You need stamina - there are some very long days of traveling. Also not advised if you're nervous in traffic - the roads can be very busy and driving somewhat hair-raising.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Very interesting and enjoyable.

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