Tour Duration: 11-Day, 10-Night
Location: Old Dhaka, Bagerhat, Mongla, Sundarbans, Khulna, Srimangal
Tour Attractions: Rocket, Sundarbans, Tea Plantations
Best time to go: October – March
Tour Available: Round the year starting with Sat, Mon, or Fri
Next Scheduled Tour: 21-31 Jan, 2-12 Feb, 16-25 Mar, 8-18 Apr, 16-26 Sep, 2019 | 27 Jan-6 Feb, 10-20 Feb, 30 Mar-9 Apr, 18-28 May, 2020
Visit the highlighted sites and attractions which you can not miss while traveling Bangladesh. Excursion to Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest on earth and home of Bengal tigers, with an overnight journey on century old Rocket steamer. Visit world heritage city Bagerhat, and live and vibrant city Dhaka. Walk inside the trails of tea plantations in Srimangal, visit tribal villages, taste 07 layers tea, and trek inside Lawachhara National Park to spot rare wildlife.
In this tour, you can experience the must visiting sites and attractions in Bangladesh on shortest possible time. It includes hotels suitable for foreigners having western style toilet, hot water, wi-fi, with breakfast and airport transfers. If you have an evening departure flight, price for last night’s accommodation will be deducted.
- Visit 2 UNESCO world Heritage sites in Bangladesh.
- Explore the largest mangrove forest on earth – Sundarbans, for full 3 day.
- Overnight journey on a century old paddle wheel steamer called Rocket.
- Visit historical sites at Bagerhat, a UNESCO world heritage city from 15th century, including 60 Dome Mosque.
- Spend three day at Srimangal, the tea capital of Bangladesh, in the middle of endless tea plantations.
- Trek inside Lawachhara National Park, and visit tribal villages.
- Walk through the trails inside tea gardens.
- Full day tour of Old Dhaka including rickshaw ride on narrow streets and boat ride on Dhaka’s busy Buriganga river.
- Ride 3 Bangladeshi train – a unique experience.
Itinerary of Highlights of Bangladesh
- A guide of us will meet you inside the airport upon arrival, and transfer you to your hotel.
- Overnight at Dhaka (Hotel Civic Inn)
- Check-out from hotel and start at 08.00 H. Visit key tourist attractions in New and Old Dhaka the whole day, including Dhakeshwari Temple, Lalbagh Fort, Khan Mohammad Mridha Mosque, Armenian Church, Star Mosque, Ahsan Manjil, and Sadarghat River Station.
- Ride rickshaw on the narrow streets of Old Dhaka where cars can’t reach. Pass through interesting Bazaars.
- Enjoy a short boat ride at river Buriganga in the evening on a wooden boat to feel the rhythm of the live and vibrant river and enjoy sunset.
- Embark Rocket Steamer at Sadarghat River Station at 18.00 H. A memorable overnight journey in Rocket Steamer to Hularhat.
- Overnight at Rocket (Sleeping Cabin)
- Enjoy the riverine beauty of Bangladesh from Rocket Steamer in the morning. Disembark from Rocket at Hularhat around 09.00 H.
- Drive towards Bagerhat (01 hr) in an air-conditioned car and visit the Mosque City of Bagerhat, a 15th century Muslim city once called Khalifatabad, which is the present day Bagerhat and is an UNESCO protected world heritage site.
- You’ll visit most of the remaining mosques from the 15th century city Khalifatabad the whole day, including the 60 Dome Mosque, 09 Dome Mosque, Rono Bijoypur Mosque, and Singair Mosque. Also we’ll take you to visit the shrine of Khan Jahan Ali, the saint general from the Turkish origin who came to spread Islam in this region and founded this great city; and Kodla Moth – a very beautiful Hindu temple from 17th century. Drive toward Mongla (01 hr).
- Overnight at Mongla (Parjatan Hotel Pasur)
- Transfer to our waiting boat at 7.00 H, and head toward Sundarbans immediately. Breakfast will be served on the boat. You’ll be inside the forest within 15 minutes of starting the journey. Stop on a forest station on the way to complete formalities, and continue toward Kochikhali.
- We’ll go through many small canals and rivers with our small boat where big boats can not go because of their size and the canals being shallow. Taking you through these rewarding narrow canals is the main point of this private tour on a small boat, where is your best chance to spot a tiger and many wildlife.
- Stop at Harbaria Eco Park and walk on it’s 30 mins trail for the first experience of Sundarbans. People on day tours at Sundarbans end up visiting up to this point, doing which we never recommend.
- Before sunset, explore a small canal on a noiseless wooden row boat in search of wildlife. They come to drink water in the evening and morning on the creeks and canals. You’ll seat on the boat quietly and float by on a breath-taking environment listening to many birds singing, and the calls of many animals. We’ll reach Kochikhali in the evening and stop for the night hold.
- Stay overnight on the boat in a sleeping cabin, anchoring in the middle of the river in front of Kochikhali forest station.
- Today is going to be your busiest day at Sundarbans.
- Ride a noiseless wooden row boat on a canal in the morning in search of wildlife.
- Back to the main boat, and have breakfast at 07.30 H. Start walking toward Jamtola beach, which is the quietest, nicest, and the cleanest beach in Bangladesh. Enjoy the beach for an hour, and walk toward Jamtola tourist spot. Total trail will be about 10 km. Transfer to our waiting boat which already arrived here from Kochikhali through an inside canal.
- Lunch on the boat and have an hour of rest.
- Visit Kotka Wildlife Sanctuary, and if high tide, have a rewarding boat ride on a canal near the sanctuary.
- Go to the watch tower at Kotka before the sunset and seat quietly for half an hour. This is a feeding ground of animals. Lots of deer and other wild animals come here in the evening to eat grass and drink water. You never know what surprises can be waiting for you here!
- After sunset, start the boat for our onward location to another suitable forest station for the night hold, based on the tide.
- Stay overnight on the boat in a sleeping cabin, anchoring in the middle of the river in front of the forest station.
- Go for a boat ride on the noiseless wooden row boat at 06.00 H and explore a canal near the forest station. Return to the main boat at 07.30 H and have breakfast. We’ll start our return journey toward Mongla from here through other small rivers and canals.
- Visit a fishing village and Koromjal Crocodile Breeding Center on the way, reach Mongla in the late afternoon, and drive to Khulna (1.5 hrs).
- Overnight at Khulna (Hotel City Inn)
- After breakfast, transfer to Khulna Railway Station. Depart for Dhaka at 08.40 H on 763 Chitra Express. Arrive Dhaka around 17.40 H, and transfer to hotel.
- Overnight at Dhaka (Hotel Civic Inn)
- Pick up from hotel at 06.30 H, transfer to Airport Railway Station. Depart for Srimangal at 07.00 H on 709 Parabat Express. Arrive Srimangal around 11.00 H, transfer to the resort.
- In the afternoon, walk through the trails inside tea gardens, visit some pineapple gardens and lemon orchards. Also show you the tea deposit activities on a tea garden before sunset (if available) when female workers gather to deposit their tea leaves which they collected during the whole day, which is photogenic.
- Visit a colony of tea workers if time permits.
- After dinner, we’ll take you to Nilkontho Tea cabin to taste the famous 7 layer tea of Srimangal.
- Overnight at Srimangal (Nisorgo Eco Resort)
- Early morning, go for a rewarding wildlife trekking through the Lawachara National Park. We’ll take the 03 hours trail for the maximum opportunity to see wildlife, specially the Hollock Gibbons for which this forest is famous for.
- In the afternoon visit Baikka Beal, an wetland sanctuary for the migratory birds and paradise for the bird lovers.
- Overnight at Srimangal (Nisorgo Eco Resort)
- Morning is free to do anything you like on your own.
- Transfer to railway station, and depart for Dhaka at 10.31 H on 718 Jayantika Express (Thu Off) / 09.10 H on 774 Kalani Express. Arrive Dhaka around 16.00 H / 13.55 H, transfer to hotel.
- Overnight at Dhaka (Hotel Civic Inn)
- Transfer to airport in the morning according to your flight, say good bye.
- End of the tour.
Price of Highlights of Bangladesh
|Group Size||Classic Package |
Inclusions and Exclusions
- All airport transfers in Dhaka.
- 10 Nights accommodation in hotels and boat cabins as mentioned in the itinerary with complementary breakfast on twin sharing basis.
- All meals, drinking water, tea, and coffee while on the boat at Sundarbans for three day on Day-04, 05, and 06.
- 1st class cabin on Rocket Paddle Steamer to Hularhat on twin sharing basis.
- All train and boat rides.
- All site entrance tickets.
- Air-conditioned car, driver, and English speaking guide.
- 5,500 BDT per person forest permission fee for Sundarbans.
- All tips except our guide, driver, and boat crew.
Does not include:
- Any food or drinks other than mentioned above.
- 1,200 BDT fee for video camera in Sundarbans (if any).
- Any personal item.
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Important Notes on Highlights of Bangladesh
- This tour is available to start on any Saturday, Monday, or Friday – round the year.
- Booking this tour at least 03 weeks in advance is advised.
- On Day-01 upon arriving at Dhaka airport, after finishing with the immigration and collecting luggage when you come outside using the Green Channel Exit, you’ll find hotel stuffs and visitors waiting. Look for your guide there. He will be waiting there with a sign in your name, or with a placard with Nijhoom Tours logo.
- Sometimes the authority restrict visitors inside the airport temporarily. On that case, the guide will be waiting outside on Terminal-2 (come using Exit-2).
- For the domestic flights, our guide/driver will be waiting at the domestic terminal exit.
- Hotels used on this tour are tourist standard hotels of mostly 2* and 3* standard, with standard facilities for the foreigners e.g. clean room, air-conditioning, hot water, western style toilet, and complementary breakfast.
- Govt. run Parjatan Hotels have all the standard facilities, but the hotels are poorly maintained. These are the best hotels on those areas, so we are sticking with them until better hotels develop there.
- Cottages at Nisorgo Eco Resort in Srimangal are very basic without air-conditioning. They have fans on the rooms. They also have 2 rooms on the brick cottages with air-conditioning. Let us know in advance if you want to stay on one of these rooms. We’ll book them for you if available. You can also book Grand Sultan Tea Resort at Srimangal on your own, which is 5* and close from Nisorgo. We’ll deduct the price for Nisorgo on that case. You need to confirm this with us in the time of booking.
- Bangladesh is full of mosquito. You may find some on your hotels too. Hotels will normally spray aerosol at your room to keep them away. But if they don’t, give a call to the reception instead of spending a sleepless night. They will come and spray as many times as you need. You can also bring a mosquito spray or buy one upon arrival on the beginning of your trip, which will cost less then $5 USD and will cover your whole trip.
- Hotels in Bangladesh try to provide their best possible service to the foreigners. If there is any issue with your room on any of the hotels, simply let them know while you are there. They will try their best to resolve the issue.
- You can book your hotels in Dhaka online to more upscale ones if you like. On that case you need to arrange the transfers to and from the airport and railway station with your hotel. We’ll deduct the price for Richmond on that case from the tour price. Please confirm during the time of booking, if you opt-in for this option.
- Nijhoom Tours reserves the rights to change any hotel listed in the itinerary to a similar standard one, if the actual hotel is not available to book.
- On Day-01, check-in time at Civic Inn is 14.00 H. If you have an early morning flight, we can arrange early check-in for an additional half-day charge depending on availability.
- We have set-aside Day-01 of the itinerary as an ‘arrival day’. For this reason and because tour participants are likely to be arriving at different times, and often from different countries, guided sightseeing or other activities are not included. If you are arriving early or before the start date of the tour and would like to organize some extra arrangements on a private basis, please contact us.
- Check-out time on the last day at Civic Inn is 12.00 H. If you have a late flight, we can arrange late check-out for an additional half day charge within 18.00 H, based on availability.
- 1st class tickets of Rocket depends on availability. You might have to travel on the 2nd class if 1st class is not available. Only difference between 1st and 2nd class on the Rocket is, 2nd class is located in the back side, and have no air-conditioning. Other facilities are same. Passengers of 2nd class can use all the facilities of 1st class, e.g. dining area, toilets, and the sitting area on the front side.
- On Monday and Thursday, a traditional ferry comes in service instead of the paddle steamers. If you book for these day, you have to travel on the traditional ferry instead of a paddle wheel steamer.
- If for some unexpected reason Rocket ticket is not available at all, we’ll take you up to Barisal by a traditional ferry (overnight part), and from Barisal to Hularhat on the Rocket (daytime journey part) or by car.
- Even on the first class cabins of Rocket, sometimes air-conditioning might be broken. We will try to move you in a cabin with working air-conditioning if available. If that is not possible, Nijhoom Tours will not have any responsibility regarding this, as this boat is not owned by us.
- There is no shower on the Rocket paddle steamers.
- First class train tickets depends on availability. Sometimes they mysteriously disappear even before coming to the counter. We will try our best to get first class for you. But if that is not possible, second class tickets will be provided, which is without air-conditioning. Killing the guide or blaming Nijhoom Tours taking all of your money and not providing first class tickets will not resolve the issue.
- In case of traveling on the 2nd class of train, you’ll have a reserved seat.
- The train from Srimangal to Dhaka is an old train with limited first class seats, and will almost always be without air-conditioning.
- While traveling from Dhaka to Srimangal on train, it will be very early for your hotel to provide breakfast that morning. We’ll buy breakfast for you on the train, which is a package of slices of bread and jam, a peace of fried chicken, couple of pieces of cutlet, a bottle of water, and tea.
- It is common for the trains in Bangladesh to be 01-02 hours late. But no matter when they arrive, our drivers will always be waiting for you at the station to take you to your hotel.
- We use car only while it is not possible to avoid, e.g. no train, boat, or flight. Roads in Bangladesh are broken and with heavy traffic. Be patient while traveling on car.
- Distance mentioned in the itinerary is taken from Google Maps.
- Travel time mentioned in the itinerary is our best judgement. It could be delayed or earlier depending on traffic and road conditions.
- Local transportation for Srimangal will be by Tuk-Tuk. However trips in Srimangal are short distance.
- Itinerary of Sundarbans Tour is just a general outline, and not fixed. It could be changed depending on the season, moon phase, tide, day light hours, and fog. But we’ll try to include all the activities mentioned in the itinerary as much as possible.
- The boat for Sundarbans is a very basic boat without air-conditioning, electricity, and running hot water (we will supply them on bucket). It has accommodation facilities for 08 people in max, and one western style toilet. But we have a larger boat too to arrange tour for bigger groups.
- The cabins in the boat at Sundarbans are lit by small lights running on battery. We’ll run the generator in the evening for couple of hours everyday to charge your devices.
- You’ll get mobile phone signal of GrameenPhone on the first half of day-04. In Kotka, a new mobile phone tower of Teletalk opened recently, so you’ll get full network coverage of only Teletalk in Kotka with 2G internet facilities which is very slow. No other SIM card will work inside other parts of the forest.
- For trekking in the forest on day-05, the land is flat and we will not go through very dense forest, so it will be easy for most of the people, as long as you can walk about 10 km. The trail is dry, not muddy. Bring covered shoes which is suitable for trekking and can protect you from small grass and trees with spikes.
- If you do not want to walk, you can remain on the boat which will be still enjoyable, as it will go from Kochikhali to Kotka through small canals, which will be a ride of about 03 hours.
- No binocular will be provided at Sundarbans. Bring your own.
- Single supplement is applicable for the hotels only. You might not be provided separate cabins on Rocket and on the boat at Sundarbans, even if you pay for the single supplement, based on the availability.
- Citizens of EU, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Russia, Japan, Singapore, and some other Asian countries can get Visa on Arrival in Bangladesh, which is a pretty straight-forward process. Although there is a rule to take visa beforehand if you have a Bangladesh mission on the country where you are coming from, this rule is completely overlooked. They never check where you are coming from. They only check if you are a national of a country which are eligible for VOA, and directly issue the visa.
- Unless there is a long Queue for VOA, it will take just 10 minutes of your time to get VOA. Fee for most of the countries is $51 USD. You’ll not require any previous application or anything else to get the visa. We will provide you a reservation confirmation letter for the hotel in Dhaka and a letter of invitation before your arrival. Present these on the immigration along with our trip document. They will be happy enough to provide you a VOA of maximum 30 days.
- Once you’ve collected your visa, DO NOT GO BACK TO THE QUE AGAIN, rather proceed to the exit directly.
- Check here for more information on visa on arrival for Bangladesh.
- ATM Availability: Although Bangladesh has many ATMs, some of these do not accept foreign cards – your guide can give advice on which ATM’s to use but we do not advise relying on ATM’s alone for money.
- Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Cards are generally only accepted in the more expensive shops and restaurants.
- Local Currency: Taka.
- Recommended Currency for Exchange: US Dollar.
- Where to Exchange: There are a number of exchange houses in larger towns and cities. You can also exchange at Dhaka airport upon arrival, who provide good rates.
- All the breakfasts, 03 lunches, and 02 dinners are included on the trip. You need to pay for rest of the lunches and dinners during your trip. A meal on a decent local restaurant will cost about $2-$5 USD.
- Options for vegetarian food on the local restaurants are very limited. You need to go to a more expensive Western restaurant to find good vegetarian food.
- Options for food on the trains are very limited. Vegetarian food are non-existent. Bring your own food for the train if you are vegetarian, specially for the long ride to Dhaka from Khulna.
- Vegetarian food will not be any issue on our boat at Sundarbans.
- Tea and soft drinks are very cheap. Mineral water is widely available.
- Bangladesh is a secular Muslim country, and whilst the people are very liberal and friendly, alcohol is not widely available. There are only a couple of hotels on the trip which have a bar, and even at these establishments you cannot usually drink in the restaurant. Local beer, when available, costs approx. $3 USD for a 300ml can, and a measure of spirits is similarly priced. Wine is not available. It may sometimes be possible to purchase alcohol outside the hotels, but it is prohibited to consume in public places.
- The easiest way to get alcohol in Bangladesh is purchasing from the duty free shop at the airport. You are allowed to buy 2 bottles per person from there.
- In Dhaka, there are some wire houses from where you can buy alcohol showing your foreign passport. But they only sell whole cartons of usually 24 bottles/cans.
- Your luggage should not exceed 20kgs (44lbs). One large suitcase/rucksack, and one small hand luggage/rucksack is acceptable.
- You should bear in mind that Bangladesh tends to have a conservative attitude towards dress. Women, and also to a certain extent men, will find that the way they dress will often determine the degree of respect they receive from both men and women.
- Mosques, temples, churches and synagogue are places of worship and visitors should be modestly dressed. Admission might be denied to men and women wearing short pants/skirts, sleeveless t-shirts/blouses. Bare shoulders and midriffs are not permitted and should be covered with shawls. You also need to remove shoes while entering one of these places.
- It will not be appropriate in Bangladesh for women to hide behind bushes for pee. Any time you need to use toilet, ask your guide. He will arrange a nearby toilet for you in someone’s house or in a public place.
- Generally electrical supply is 230V/50 Hz and plugs have two round prongs. Many places also have the English 3 pin sockets. Our advice is travel with an adapter and to check the voltage locally.
- Wi-Fi internet is widely available in Bangladesh. You’ll find free Wi-Fi on most of the hotels on this tour. Upscale restaurants will also have free Wi-Fi.
- Mobile phone operators have 3G coverage on most of the places in the country. 4G Service started in February, 2018 and is supposed to be available on all the big cities shortly. Mobile internet speed is not satisfactory however on any of them.
- ONLY place to buy local SIM card for the foreigners would be at the arrival lounge inside the airport (International Arrivals) where you’ll meet your guide. You’ll find booths of all the mobile phone operators there. From them you can buy SIM card with talk time and data. Grameen Phone has the widest network coverage in the country. If you need a local SIM card, remember to buy from there during your arrival. It will not be possible to buy local SIM card afterwards.
- Tipping is common practice in Asia. In Bangladesh, most workers will expect a small tip, anything from 50 Taka upwards depending on the service provided. At the end of the tour, if your principle guide, together with the driver and the boat crew have been helpful then you could think about tipping them. The amount can obviously be left to you.
- Bangladesh is a third world country with poor infrastructure. Nothing works here perfectly and as planned. Organizing a long tour in Bangladesh may bring some inconvenience occasionally. Be patient and flexible while traveling Bangladesh.
- While traveling on a group, be co-operative and tolerant with the interests and difficulties of your co-travelers.
- Your guide is not your enemy. He is with you to protect you and assist you on every way possible. In case of any issue with anything, simply let him know instead of trying to kill him. He will do his best in association with the whole Nijhoom team to resolve the issue.
- Bangladesh is not for every regular tourist. Do enough research about Bangladesh, the tour, hotels on the tour, and everything else possible before booking this tour, so that you do not have unrealistic expectations and end up disappointed after the tour.
Reviews of Highlights of Bangladesh
Reports from Western travelers who have taken the 11 day Highlights of Bangladesh Tour with Nijhoom Tours. Read now and be surprised!
Experience of Jackie and Mike Hulton from Surrey, England, of traveling Bangladesh for 3 weeks in November, 2016, including Chittagong Hill-Tracts area.