Day 1: Dhaka arrival and a slow orientation to the city
Upon arrival at Dhaka airport, meet and greet your guide and transfer to a hotel in the Gulshan area (diplomatic zone). Depending on your available time, your guide will propose some activities around
. Night stay at a hotel in Gulshan/ Banani.
Day 2: Excursion to first capital; Sonargaon Cruise on Meghna River & primitive life of rural Char Village
Pick up at 8:30 AM from your place and leave Dhaka for Sonargaon. On the way, visit Nawapara Jamdani saree weaving village
. Here, the magic fingers are weaving traditional Jamdani sari, an incredible artwork recognized by UNESCO, but unfortunately disappearing! Drive towards the old capital of Bengal - Sonargaon for another 20 minutes.
Sonargaon was the country's first capital
, about 30km southeastern direction beside the Dhaka Chittagong highway. The 'Golden City' was also an important river port and the trading centre for the world-famous muslin cloth in its prime time. The remains of many mosques, tombs, stupas and a bridge in Panam Nagar
, the Shiv Mandir (Hindu temple) and the well-maintained Folk-Art Museum are well worth visiting. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant in the Sonargaon area and continue drive to Buiddyer Bazar. Here we take a country boat for a couple of hours' cruise on the Meghna (One of the major rivers in Bangladesh, which came from India) River. I am sure that you will be very interested in exploring the primitive Char village life. Char is a temporary sandy island formed by river erosion and sedimentation. There are thousands of chars in Bangladesh from the northern part to the south. This char can be disappeared by flood, high tide or by any natural disaster or so. Lives in the char are minimal; access to medical and education is tough and impossible in some areas. Return home late in the afternoon. Overnight at the same hotel in Dhaka.
Day 3: Exciting Old Dhaka walk, meeting people; experience life and culture
This is an elaborate trip to Old Dhaka; Old Dhaka is a place where you can spend a couple of days walking on the streets
. Be ready to take pictures, meeting friendly people, walk through heritage sites, and learn their culture. We will come to pick you up with a reserved vehicle from your place at 8 AM. This tour takes you to the heart of Dhaka. Sadarghat (Riverfront), shipbuilding yard, Armenian Church, Pink Palace, Star Mosque, Dhakeswari Temple, Lalbagh Fort
, Curzon Hall, a local garments factory, few Hindu streets (Shankharia & Tanti Bazar), carpenter street, bicycle Street and Bongshal residential area would be our excursion route. A rickshaw ride is an option instead of walking. We would offer you a short cruise on the Burigonga River by country boat, an incredible experience. We will invite you for typical lunch at a local restaurant (simple but nice and clean). We shall get back to your hotel by late in the afternoon.
Day 4: Morning flight to Sylhet and afternoon City sightseeing
According to your flight time, you will pick up from your place and transfer to the domestic airport for a flight to Sylhet. Welcome to Sylhet
– the holly city. After the check-in formalities and a bit of rest, we would invite you on a city sightseeing. Today's excursion will include a visit to the holly Mausoleum of Hazrat Shah Zalal- who has brought Islam to this part of Bangladesh. Walking along with the Keane's Bridge neighbourhood and the old marketplace is interesting. In such a little place, so many things are happening simultaneously, which is fascinating to observe. Enjoy the sunset from the Keane's bridge over the Shurma River. It is nice to walk around the worker's residential colony, just on the other side of the Shurma River. Meeting friendly people is always lovely, learning their life stories can be a lesson for a lifetime. (These are just ideas of what we think you will be interested in! Please discuss with your guide what exactly you are interested to see. He has the right to make necessary adjustments on the itinerary to make the trip nicer). Overnight at the hotel (Shuktara/ Rose view/ Metro/ Nazimgarh resort) in Sylhet.
Day 5: Enchanting hilly area and a beautiful cruise on Lalakhal
After breakfast, start for a full day excursion around Jaflong and Tamabil. Located amidst a splendid panorama, Tamabil is a border outpost on the Sylhet – Shillong Road (55 km from Sylhet City centre). Sights of the waterfalls over the hilly zone across the border add to the charming views. Jaflong is a picturesque spot nearby amidst tea estates and the beauty of rolling stones from hills. The hardship of primitive stone collector's is a darkness behind the beauty. We should probably meet these people and listen to their daily life struggles before complaining about our lives.
After lunch at a local restaurant in Jaflong, drive to Lalakhal to enjoy a scenic and refreshing country boat cruise. Dinner and overnight stay at the same hotel/ resort.
Day 6: Sylhet to Sreemangal
Check out from your hotel and drive (2.5 hours) to Sreemangal
by reserved car. Upon arrival, check-in at hotel Grand Sultan. Enjoy the natural surroundings and hotel amenities till late noon. Your guide will offer you some activities; visiting tribal villages, Bazar or hiking through the tea estates and fruit plantations. Overnight stay at hotel Grand Sultan Tea Resort. (you can also skip activities for this afternoon and just relax in the resort and enjoy nature)
Day 7: Lawacharra National Park, Khashia Tribal village, bird watching trip to Baikka Beel
Your local guide will offer you a rewarding wildlife trek through the nearby Lawacharra National Park. Early morning is a good time to explore the abundant and diverse wildlife. The Lawacharra forest is one of the last remaining tropical rainforests of the country and home to many endangered and rare species; Hollock Gibbons are one of the most prominent. A few hours tract through the dense forests is heaven for birdwatchers, naturalists and adventure seekers alike. After lunch, drive to Baikka Beel – a permanent wetland and bird sanctuary. Depending on the seasons, we offer either a boat trip (Summertime: April to September) on this marshland or birdwatching (winter time: October to March) and a nature enjoying trip.
It is a beautiful marshland where thousands of lilies and lotus bloom. Birdwatchers and nature lovers have begun frequenting it. An observation tower promises the visitors a good view of the beel, its residents and winter visitors. During the winter season, many migratory birds find their nesting ground at this place. Among many migratory birds, some species have found their home here for living & nesting permanently.
Please note that around 3km road just before the wetland is in lousy condition, difficult to access by sedan cars but no problem for 4X4 driven vehicle (Jeep) or even minivans. Either we have to walk three kilometres or drive by a 4 X 4 vehicle (rainy season).
Drive back to the resort for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 8: Sreemangal Dhaka
You will be transferred to the train station according to your train ETD. Have a pleasant train journey to Dhaka. Upon arrival at Dhaka Train Station, you will be transferred to your hotel in the Diplomatic Zone.
Train Schedule from Sreemangal to Dhaka
Train ETD ETA (in DAC) Day Off
Kalni Express 8:23 13:00 Friday
Joyenteeka Express 13:33 18:25 Thursday
Parabat Express 15:45 22:40 Tuesday
Upaban Express 02:15 06:45 Tuesday
Usually, we use the Kalni and Joyenteeka Expresses for our journey to Dhaka on this trip.
Day 9: Flight to Rajshahi, explore Kusumba Mosque, famous Silk Industry and cruise on Ganges River
Your chauffeur and guide will pick you up from your place and transfer you to Dhaka domestic airport to avail of the morning flight to Rajshahi
. Upon arrival at Rajshahi airport, meet your driver and drive to the Kusumba mosque. This mosque is one of the last examples of the finest stone works in Bengal. Sulaiman built it in 966 A. H. (1558 A.D) during the reign of Ghiyasud-din Bahadur Shah (Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal; Vol. LXX, pt. I, 1904. P. 117. J.N. Sarkar, History of Bengal, Vol. II, p.180). The mosque is built of brick faced with stone both inside and outside, except the arches, domes and roof. The interior of this mosque is divided into two aisles and three bays by stone pillars, which support six hemispherical domes on the roof. Octagonal corner towers, triple curved cornice and bands of horizontal mouldings on the façade, a well-designed ladies gallery at the north-west corner, three ornamented mihrabs on the western wall makes this mosque worth visiting. Drive back to Rajshahi for lunch at a local restaurant. Rajshahi is also very well known as the 'silk capital' of Bangladesh. Now we will invite you to visit a local silk factory and watch the entire process of how a silk threat turns into beautiful fabrics through; harvesting silk in a natural way, spinning, weaving, sewing, dyeing, waxing, painting this exclusive natural fibre. This will be a guided trip through the entire process of silk fibre turning into a nice piece of cloth. You may get some souvenirs from their showroom, and they have lovely collections of local style silk clothes and plain silk fabrics in different colours, which you can custom-tailor according to your wish.
A country boat trip will be offered to enjoy the sunset over the Padma (Ganges) River and explore the char village life by Bangladesh – India border. Overnight stay in Parjatan Motel Rajshahi.
Day 10: Trip to the capital of the Sena dynasty in Bengal
Gaur or Gaud or Gauda or Gour
was the ancient capital established by Hindu Senas and called it Lakhnauti, which has turned into a site of great historical importance. Gaur has more mosques than any area of the country after Dhaka and Bagerhaat. It is located about 100km west of Rajshahi City, on Bangladesh - India border at Chapainawabgonj town. Archaeological heritage and artefacts of this area are Chhota Sona Mosque, Darashbari Mosque and Madrasa (1479), Dhanichak Mosque, Dakhil Darwaza, Khanjan Dighi Mosque, Kachari Bari of Shah Suja (Tahakhana), Tohakhana Mosque, Tomb of Shah Niamatullah, but none of the structures from the earlier Hindu Kingdoms remains.
We, Will, leave the hotel after breakfast for the Choto Shona mosque area, and it's about 3/4 hours of excursion through the sites and monuments. We will drive back to Chapai Nawabgonj town for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, we will visit Alpona Gram and brass artisan villages. Rajshahi region is famous for its unique style of (several stories) mud houses, and Alpana Gram is a village with (a special indigenous tradition of auspicious paint on the floor, walls, etc., liquid pigment of rice-powder) beautifully painted mud houses by the local tribal community. The brass metal craftsmanship of Chapai Nawabgonj is also very famous in the country for its quality, and we will have an interesting walk through the artisan village. Drive back to Rajshahi town for an overnight stay at Parjatan motel.
Day 11: Bazar, flea markets, oldest Museum, Temple city Puthia, and drive to Bogra
Maybe we can take the morning walk through the daily Bazar area before breakfast and take a late breakfast around 8 AM at Parjatan Motel and check out. A quick visit to the Varendra Research Museum would be an exciting discovery of archaeology and the ancient history of Bengal. Continue driving (45 Munities) towards Puthia
, a charming town renowned for Bangladesh's many historically significant Hindu structures. Eye-catching Charming Shiva Temple at the temple complex entrance, the Govinda Temple, decorated with intricate terracotta designs, is in one of the country's finest old Rajbari's courtyards.
Continue driving towards Natore for lunch at a local restaurant, and you may also visit Natore Rajbari and Uttara Gana Bhavan after lunch and continue to drive towards Bogra town. Upon arrival, check-in at hotel Naz Garden for an overnight stay. We may not be allowed by daylight for any sightseeing around Bogra this afternoon.
Day 12: First Hindu Capital and Highest Buddhist Stupa south of Himalaya
occupies a significant position in the legends and early historical annals of Bengal and holds an antique city called Pundranagara or Paundravardhanapura
in the empire of Pundravardhana. By the third century BCE, complex urban centres were well established in the Bengal floodplains, such as Tamralipti (now Tamluk) in the southwest, Mahasthan in the north and Mainamati in the east. This city was an important urban centre when the Maurya empire dominated North India. So far, eighteen building levels have been discovered in this enormous site enclosed by 6-metre-high rampart walls. This fortified region was in use till the 18th century A.D.
Check out from your hotel after breakfast and drive towards Mahasthangarh. It would be very interesting to visit the vegetable hub at Mohasthan Bazar before visiting the archaeological site and museum. Vasu Bihar – Buddhist monastery is about 7km Northwest of Mahasthangarh, consisting of five impressive monasteries and a semi-cruciform shrine of considerable height. Continue driving towards Paharpur – the highest Buddhist stupa south of the Himalayas and a UNESCO world heritage site
. A local family around the Monument will serve a freshly prepared lunch. Continue to drive towards Rangpur for an overnight stay at RDRS Guest House. You may visit the https://rdrsbangladesh.org/ website if you are interested to learn about their contributions and development activities around the rural areas of Bangladesh.
Day 13: Kantaji – terracotta Kantaji Temple and some architecture for rural developments
Check out after breakfast and drive about an hour and a half to Kantaji temple
in Birgonj. Undoubtedly, this is the most beautiful temple and the finest example of terracotta bricks architecture in ancient style. Continue drive (1.5 hours) to Rudrapur to visit a local vocational school and training centre. The entire school is built from mud and bamboo. This school plays a very important role in social development in many ways. Anna Herringer is the Principal Architect of this education project. Two mud structures of this lively campus have earned the AGA Khan Architecture award for sustainable Architecture by using locally found elements (mud, bamboo and hays). We may arrange our lunch by the school, prepared and served by a local tribal family, otherwise continue drive to Dinajpur town for lunch at a local restaurant and visit the old abandoned Raj Bari (Landlords Palace). Drive (one and half hours) to Saidpur airport to avail an afternoon flight to Chittagong, and we may visit a local rice processing factory (CHATAL) on the way to the airport. Upon arrival at Chittagong airport, drive to your hotel for a night stay.
Day 14: Cruising around Shipbreaking Yard and Chittagong city sightseeing
Leave the hotel for shipbreaking yards
according to the local tide table for an exciting country boat cruise around the ship-breaking yard industry. Without seeing it, you can never believe how a giant ship dismantles here! It is also fascinating to explore some antique markets by the shipyards, and you may find a nice souvenir. Continue Chittagong city sightseeing, cruise on Karnaphuli River. You should not miss visiting an early evening downtown flea market, and it is charming. Night stay at a hotel in Chittagong town.
Day 15: Explore the chaotic fish market in Chittagong and drive to Rangamati
A morning visit to The largest sea fish market and manual wooden shipbuilding industry would be exciting. Driver to Rangamati
, enjoy the Tribal Cultural Museum and local tribal Marketplace. Walking around the old Bazar and the tribal residential area would be interesting. Overnight at the Hotel Parjatan Motel in the town.
Day 16: Beautiful Kaptai lake cruise, Tribal villages and Buddhist monastery visit
Beautiful Kaptai lake cruise in the morning for few hours, tribal market, villages and Raj Bon Vihara visit in the afternoon. Overnight at the Hotel Parjatan Motel in the town.
Day 17: Rangamati to Bandarban
We shall Leave Ranglamati after breakfast for Bandarban
by reserved transport. After 4 hours' drive, check-in at your hotel/ resort and spends the lazy afternoon at your hotel/ resort. Enjoy the views from your resort, reading in nature or two hours hiking to Hatibandha Tripura tribal
village. Overnight at Hillside Eco lodge.
Day 18: Cruise through Shangu River & riverside tribal village
Today we will offer you a beautiful cruise on the Shangu River by wooden country boat. This refreshing boat trip is combined with some trekking and local tribal village visits to explore their lifestyle and culture closely. After lunch, you'll visit the tribal cultural institute, Explore Buddhist hilltop Jadi and Stupas and tribal Local Market. Overnight at the Hillside Eco-lodge.
Day 19: Bandarban to Cox's Bazar – From remote communities in the hills to rapidly expanding developments along the coast
Your guide will take you on a half-day trek to a local indigenous community, where you can witness the local houses and lifestyles. After lunch at the resort, you will drive to Cox's Bazar
(approximately 4/5 hours) and check in at the Mermaid Beach Resort. Overnight at Beach Resort, Cox's Bazar.
Day 20: Cox's Bazar - Bangladesh's Favourite Holiday Destination
You have (at least) two choices for your activities today: Relax on the beautiful resort beach, or join a guided trek through the Himchari National Park. The Park, once famed as a passage for Asian Elephants, is one example of Bangladesh's efforts to improve the effectiveness of protected areas through co-managed with local community involvement. Overnight at Beach Resort, Cox's Bazar.
Day 21: - Dhaka – The Modern Side of the Ancient City
Return to Dhaka with the late morning flight from Cox's Bazar. You will visit the Aga Khan Architecture Prize-Winning 'Bait Ur Rouf Mosque' (Architect: Marina Tabassum) and Louis Kahn's intriguing National Assembly
Building. We will combine these site visits with stops at some of the nicest fair trade and women's cooperative stores that sell a beautiful array of locally and sustainably produced handicrafts.
Day 22: Dhaka to Barisal by day Launch; Crossing over the Ganges delta
Your chauffeur and guide will come to pick you up from your hotel at 6:15 AM, and then you will be transferred to Sadarghat River Port to avail a day launch to (ETD 8:00, ETA 14:30) Barisal. In a normal situation, it takes about 5/6 hours to get there in Barisal. It is a memorable journey through the Bengal River delta
. Hotel Grand Park is about 5 minutes driving distance by rickshaw from Barisal River Terminal. After having lunch at the hotel's restaurant (best in town), walk around the old Bazar and township area of Barisal, accompanied by a local guide. Overnight stay at Hotel Grand Park.
Day 23: Full day Back Water Trip by country boat- endless impression about the nature, riverine life and culture
Leave the hotel at 6 AM for Banaripara (40KM/ 1 hour) by reserved vehicle. Here we embark on a country boat for a whole day backwater trip. Exploring life, people and their daily activities watching from the boat is charming. We will get off in some interesting village marketplaces and Schools in the rural area. There are some weekly floating vegetables, fruits, and timber markets on our route. Spectacular to see how the manual labours load and unload all the giants' logs just by hand. The cruise is for 5/6 hours, but the impression is endless. There will be enough bottled water and tea on the boat, and lunch will be prepared and served by a local family in a nearby village. Walk around the village explore the local craftsmanship and rural life. Otherwise, you can also visit some modern and ancient architecture before driving back to your hotel in Barisal. We will have a short walk through an interesting fish market. Dinner and overnight stay in Barisal.
Day 24: Bagerhat – the city of past glory and magical mangrove forest Sundarbans
Leave Barisal after breakfast at your hotel for Bagerhat by reserved vehicle (5hours). The Historic Mosque City of Bagerhat is an ancient city, formerly known as Khalifatabad, founded by the Turkish general Ulugh Khan Jahan in the 15th century. This city contains some of the most significant Muslim architecture of the initial period. Welcome to the marvellous sixty-domed mosque – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the mausoleum of Khan Jahan Ali. Continue a scenic drive to Mongla by reserved vehicle and embarking the houseboat for the Sundarban trip
( or spend the night at the Pashur Motel, Mongla)
Pashur Is a very basic category hotel, owned and maintained by the government, with better security and the rooms are cleaned with air conditioning and attached bath facilities.
Houseboat -is not a luxury but has enough spaces, delicious local foods, rooms, a bathroom (dining area on the upper deck), some crew and guards' rooms on the backside of the boat. The boat is nice and clean for a couple of days.
Day 25 - Sundarbans – Forest between Land and Sea
The boat shall start its cruise towards the south for a couple of hours. The boat will anchor at a forest station to complete the necessary forest permission and pick up some forest armed guards to accompany us during our stay in Sundarban. Depending on the tides and weather, the ship will be cruising through the mangrove forest. Reach Kotka/ Kochikhali Forest Range station (southeast) late in the afternoon. If we are allowed by daylight, your guide will offer you some exploratory rowboat cruise through a narrow mangrove to catch a glimpse of the unique flora and fauna.
All meals and overnight stay on board.
Day 26 - Sundarbans – The Beautiful Forest
After an early morning excursion on the small boat, you are invited to join an easy hike along the sea-facing beach. With the mangrove forest on one side and the Bay of Bengal on the other, how seasonal and climate-induced changes shape this ever-changing forest becomes apparent. The boat will meet you on the other end of the walk near the Kotka Forest Station. This is the ranger station in the Eastern Sanctuary, one of the three Sundarbans sanctuaries with UNESCO World Heritage Site recognition. A silent evening boat ride will allow you to get a closer look at some of the wildlife inhabiting the biologically most diverse mangrove forest in the world.
All meals and overnight stay on board.
Day 27 - Living with Tides and Tigers – People of the Sundarbans Forest
After the early morning exploratory boat trip, the ship will start cruising north through the mangrove forest. You will have the opportunity to observe fisherfolk at work in the channels, using various fish, crab and shrimp catching gear. If we are allowed by time, you will have the opportunity to visit one of the communities along the forest fringes highly dependent on the Sundarbans resources. Having an early lunch on board, disembark in Mongla, avail the awaiting transport to Jessore (4 hours' drive) to avail flight to Dhaka. On the way to the airport, we may experience unique Otter fishing in Narail. Upon arrival at Dhaka airport, you will be received and transferred to your hotel by a reserved vehicle.
[Fishing with trained otters has been a heritage in Bangladesh for the last two hundred years. This traditional practice plays an essential role in the otter conservation of Bangladesh. Among the three otter species found in Bangladesh, only Lutra perspicillata is currently used for Fishing at night in and around the Sundarbans mangrove forest. Narail and Khulna districts near the Sundarbans are the only place where these species breed in captivity, tamed and used for Fishing. These fishermen are dependent on this method for their livelihood. These trained otters are used for Fishing in rivers in and around the Sundarbans during pre-monsoon and winter]
Day 28: Mingling and bargaining – the bustling New Market
On your last day, we suggest a visit to the busy New Market area, where everything from readymade garments to jewellery, saris, household items, books and art supplies are sold. Alternatively, we would be very happy to assist you in arranging meetings with organizations or institutions of interest. Overnight at the hotel, Dhaka.
Day 29: Transfer to Dhaka International Airport for Return Flight