Getting Around Bangladesh
Internal flights in Bangladesh are operated by Biman Bangladesh Airlines (www.biman-airlines.com) and UBD (www.uabdl.com). Regular flights are run between Dhaka and several other main towns. These are cheap, and most routes are served at least two or three times a week.
Domestic airports include Barisal, Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Jessore, Rajshahi and Sylhet.
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Traffic is chaotic in urban areas and road safety is poor. There are frequent crashes caused by speeding and dangerous driving. Frequent river crossings make cross-country journeys lengthy.
Not recommended, although you can hire cars at Dhaka Airport or from major hotels. It's better to hire a car with driver.
Available at airports and major hotels. Fares should always be agreed upon first.
International Driving Permit required. The minimum driving age is 18.
There are bus services, which are usually very crowded and unreliable, in Dhaka, provided by the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation. The Central Bus Station, known as Fulbaria or Gulistan, is on Station Road in the city centre; there are several other terminals for long-distance services. Buses and bus stations do not generally have signs in English.
There are also an estimated 10,000 independent 'auto-rickshaw' 3-wheeler taxis (avoid night-time use) and cycle rickshaws are ubiquitous. Conventional taxis are also available.
A slow but efficient network, operated by Bangladesh Railway (www.railway.gov.bd), is divided into two halves, eastern and western by the great rivers that themselves divide the country. River ferries provide through links. Services are being upgraded. However, trains still occasionally derail and passengers have been injured.
The main line is Dhaka-Chittagong (Bangladesh’s second city), which offers a good train service with several daily trains, some of which have air-conditioned cars. An intercity express service is available between main towns. There is no train service to Cox’s Bazar (Bangladesh’s prime beach resort).
Major river ports: Barisal, Chandpur, Dhaka, Khulna, Mongla and Narayanganj.
The country has more than 8,000km (5,000 miles) of navigable waterways and water transport, if a little slow, is the least expensive method of getting around Bangladesh. Passages should be booked well in advance; for details, contact local port authorities.
River services are operated by the Bangladesh Inland Waterway Transport Authority (www.biwtc.gov.bd), which runs 'Rocket' ferries and launches on a number of routes. A ferry operates from Dhaka to Khulna six times a week (journey time - 28 hours). Ferries can often be dangerously overcrowded.
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