We were going to Dhaka for a meeting and decided to go a week earlier to see a very small bit of the country. After a lot of searching on the internet, we came to Bangladesh Unbound for the 6 days Rocket and Sundarbans Tour.
The first contact via email with Farjana was immediately good, and all the contact was. Also, the information on the website is extensive and informative. Before you go you must realize that Bangladesh is a country in development and the standards are somewhat different than in Europe.
We never felt unsafe anywhere and we’ve met only nice and friendly people. Although I would not travel as a woman alone, as a couple or a group of friends you can visit Bangladesh. But don’t expect the same standards as in the Western World. The roads are a real challenge and hygiene is also a concern, but common sense gets you far.
Our tour started with our wonderful guide Naeem picking us up in our hotel for the first day: a tour of Dhaka. We saw and heard of so many beautiful things, even though there is not much. We rode on a rickshaw and crossed the river on a small boat. Many people took pictures of us, which we thought was funny. We did not see any other tourists, maybe that says a lot. We most of all experienced the hustle and bustle of the city: all the noise and the chaotic traffic.
In the evening we went on the 91-year-old Rocket. It looks like it can fall apart but it doesn’t. The cabin in first class is very ok (no shower on board) and you get a nice dinner. The next day you go to the area of Bagharat which is a very interesting Unesco World Heritage Aera, with lots of mosques, before ending in Khulna in the hotel. The next day we went to Mongla to board our boat for the three day trip in the Sundarbans.
We had an excellent crew on board who tried their best to make us feel at home. The boat is not that big, but we were the only passengers, and that made it excellent. Our cabin was small and there was no shower but we knew that beforehand and it did not bother us. Every morning and every evening you go on a small boat into the side canals in the Sundarbans to look for the wildlife. This is such a serene experience! But do not expect to see the zoo in front of you. Also, the tigers are rarely seen. When the guide remembers the date when he saw one, that says enough.
The food on board was the best we had in Bangladesh! Big shoutout to the cook, especially when you see the tiny kitchen he cooks in. During the day you go on several walks and on the way back we also visited a crocodile and turtle place. Then back in Mongla, you drive back for one more night in Khulna where you can visit the night market. The next day we flew back to Dhaka and that was the end of a great experience.
Our guide Naeem was so kind and friendly and told us a lot about Bangladesh, which we very much enjoyed. We very much enjoyed his company too.
We wished we had more time than would have visited more places in this beautiful country.