Traditional geometric painted boat, Dhaka, Bangladesh
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Traditional geometric painted boat, Dhaka, Bangladesh

© Creative Commons / Wonderlane's

Bangladesh Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

143,998 sq km (55,598 sq miles).

Population

163.7 million (2013).

Population density

1136 per sq km.

Capital

Dhaka.

Government

Republic. Gained independence from Pakistan in 1971.

Head of state

President Abdul Hamid since 2013.

Head of government

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina since 2009.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Sockets accept a mixture of British-style three-prong plugs, standard European rounded two-pin plugs, rounded three-pin plugs and American-style two-pin plugs.

Little explored, Bangladesh offers visitors a wealth of opportunity to discover temples, wildlife, infinite beaches, forests and tea plantations.

Bangladesh’s river journeys make for an excellent way to see the sights, as do voyages along the sprawling stretches of beach, which overlook the Bay of Bengal. With almost no mountains, the Chittagong Hill Tracts and Sylhet are popular with trekkers and explorers, whilst the capital city, Dhaka, allows for visits to museums and countless dining options.

Shoppers need not be disappointed; Bangladeshi handicrafts on offer range from brass work and pottery, to pink pearls and finely woven cotton muslin – all long treasured since Roman times. The newspaper headlines may have dismissed Bangladesh as a land beset with problems, but it is a remarkably optimistic country with great diversity, both within it’s population and it’s landscape. As one of the world’s youngest nations Bangladesh has a survivor spirit, a curious and highly hospitable people and genuine potential for adventure.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 15 April 2014

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to the Chittagong Hill Tracts. This does not include the city of Chittagong or other parts of Chittagong Division. If you propose to visit the Chittagong Hill Tracts you must give the Bangladeshi authorities ten days’ notice of your travel plans.

The T20 cricket world cup will take place in Bangladesh until 6 April 2014. for travelling fans.

Political tensions between the Awami League-led Government and opposition parties led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Parties (BNP) led to 500 deaths in politically related violence in 2013. A general election, in which opposition parties did not participate, took place on Sunday 5 January. Although tensions have lessened, political differences are unresolved and the potential exists for the security situation to deteriorate again. In particular protests and demonstrations can quickly turn violent and lead to clashes with the law enforcement agencies. If you are currently in Bangladesh or intend to travel to Bangladesh, even if you are a regular visitor with family or business links, you should monitor news media and regularly consult this Travel Advice.

There is a general threat from terrorism. 

Tropical cyclones and flooding can affect parts of the country. You should monitor the progress of approaching weather systems.

Up to 75,000 British nationals visit Bangladesh every year. Most visits are trouble free.

Edited by Jane Duru
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