How to survive Bangladesh, an impression of Dhaka

bit hard to see, but people climbed on top and were running around to get ahold of transport back to their home.
local people earning money by taking on passengers. You can see how many are trying to get in.
average morning in Dhaka

First impression


The people

say hi to everyone
selfies before they noticed us
sometimes traffic is chill, other times you’re stuck


some explain with utmost patience. This man tried to help our driver for a long while. Others however…


The culture

Friday afternoon prayers
The beautiful mosque’s. The mosque was closed, but for us they opened it

Some must-do’s:

  • A rickshaw ride (beautiful bicycles)
  • A CNG ride
  • Food: fish is the local dish. Curries, chapatis & roti (bread), fruit, etc
  • The hustle n bustle in Old Dhaka
  • there’s so many beautiful mosques. Make sure to take off your shoes before you enter them. Otherwise ask someone to help you.
  • Liberation museum
  • The docks and boats
  • Talk with locals. You’ll feel their love and admiration and you’ll understand their culture bit by bit every time you talk with someone.
  • see the docks, take a boat-trip from north to south (we unfortunately had no more time)

Random tips:

  • If mosquito’s love you, spray yourself before leaving the airplane. We were greeted by a couple of 50 in the bus that took us too arrivals.
  • Don’t walk at night outside, but don’t be afraid of most people during the day. 99% are nice, but a couple of them spoil it. Basic understanding of this is important. We walked around the second night, but were sent back to our hotel by a concerned police officer. Tourists have been robbed and killed before.
  • People want your money, so always be wary. Restaurants try to overcharge and it’s next to impossible to get discounts. When they overcharge be very firm in what you belief is the right price. I felt that often 30–40 year olds tried to scam us the most. The younger and older people hardly ever overcharged us and were always happy to help us and connect with us.
  • Don’t be afraid to eat on the street or at local restaurants, but check if the food is fresh. We ate street food every day and had no problems.
  • charpaties cost 5 taka, sugarcane drinks 10, fruit is 20 or around a 100 for a KG. Local restaurants cost around 300 taka for 2 people, offering grilled chicken, naan bread and a drink.
  • ALWAYS ask for the price first, so you won’t be surprised by any scams.
  • Give your change away. Hotelboys will expect tips, but in local restaurants and taxi’s it’s unnecessary, but appreciated. Instead give it to the poor, the sick and the old. They’re in much higher need for money than any high-class restaurant (in which they do expect 10% tips). Never throw away leftover-food, instead ask to package it (you can say pàkket including some hand-signals) and give it away.
  • Call the elder ‘Uncle’ or ‘Aunty’, it’s a form of respect and they’ll love you for it. Learn how to say thank you (dan-ya-baad) or how to greet (salam alaikum), it will go a long way. Say ‘bujina’ if you don’t know/understand (thats what it means) and it will bring up some laughs.
  • So we didn’t go outside of Dhaka. But I can imagine that there’s hardly anyone that can speak English outside of the capital.
Because everybody loves food, nah?

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UI engineer • 📕 author • 💻code & 🎨design & 🛤travel are my thing

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