Like nothing you’ve seen before

Frank Harrington
California, USA
December 19, 2022

My wife and I joined a two-week, seven-person Nijhoom tour centered around the Raas festival in Sreemangal but covering much of the rest of the country as well.

I have done a lot of adventure travel over the years but have never experienced anything quite like this. Bangladesh is a fairly large country with very little tourist infrastructure or traffic (maybe 5,000 tourists a year in a nation of 160 million). Set your expectations accordingly; accommodations are going to be basic. That said, Hasan does an excellent job of finding the best available rooms, food, etc. Aside from one remarkably firm mattress one night, I was quite comfy everywhere we went.

Your willingness to forego the Airport Marriott Generic Tourist Experience buys you immersion in a near-completely tourist-free country and sights you’ve never seen outside an episode of National Geographic. From various hidden corners of the 22-million-resident megapolis of Dhaka, to silent canoeing through passages of the world’s largest delta (the Sundarbans, where the Brahmaputra meets the sea), to serene tea plantations, to the teeming Raas festival itself, we were surrounded by completely new sights, sounds and smells.

Hasan took us to many places I had never thought to visit but which were fascinating nonetheless: a brick factory, weaving and textile plants, a floating rice market, and an industrial ship-breaking-and-repair yard, among many others.

Throughout, a major high point of the trip was the Bangladeshi people themselves. I have never felt so welcomed by an entire country as I was here. Be prepared to be stared at, photographed (with polite requests for permission), and just followed around by people who rarely see foreigners and are just fascinated to see what you’re going to do next.

Seriously, I cannot recommend this tour strongly enough. Book it already!

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