Few weeks ago Shahaar was asked by his Cub Leaders to give a talk on Bangladesh to his fellow cubs of the 3rd Killamarsh Scout Group. He chose images from his 6 trips to Bangladesh(of which he does not remember the first 3 as he was 4 months, 16 months and 2 years of age!) The last trip August 2013 was especially informative as he spent 5 weeks and knew that he was moving there the following year. He gave the presentation really well, told everyone how he swam in rivers and took mud baths in mangrove forests with crocodiles swimming about!
Looking at all the amazed curious faces around that room, it struck me how lucky we are to have enjoyed Bangladesh time and time again, while living in London and Yorkshire(few places here) the past 10 years. We look forward to exploring even more once we move back next year. In the meantime, here is a glimpse of what we have experienced and wish to share with other people who might be interested in travelling to Bangladesh. This list is by no means exhaustive, more like just a tiny inkling of what we manage to squeeze in besides spending time with all our family and friends(and there are tons of them there!)
Until we are actually living there and have explored/ travelled more, I don’t want to talk about logistics, costs or best ways to plan a holiday there (I will do that once we are there if anyone is interested in planning a family holiday). Here all I want to do is share some of the highlights from what the children picked and remembers most vividly!
Lawachara National Forest, Srimangal, different Tea gardens in Sylhet
This last picture of the two kids in the Jeep is courtesy of our so talented Yameen Hossain, and we have also been to Rajbari and Jessore a few times.
The Sunderbans is one of our all time favourite places to visit. We have been there three times now with children and have travelled there via boat, train, bus and the last two times have flown one way as well. 4-5 days trip is minimum for really enjoying time there, we saw abundance of wildlife – crocodiles, monkeys, deer, wild boar, snakes, mud skippers, different types of crabs, the birdlife there is amazing! Still waiting to see a Royal Bengal Tiger!
The kids thoroughly enjoy their time in Rajbari where they got to milk cows, chase chicken, swim in the ponds, catch fish and run around and play with the local village children.
Up north we have been to several tea gardens in Sylhet and Srimangal; these trips have been the most relaxing with children. We stayed in lovely bungalows and guesthouses, the tea estates are very safe for the children to run around and once again the natural beauty and wildlife is so diverse!
We have seen elephants on the roads several times. We have seen gibbons , monkeys, wide variety of birds and insects in Lawachara National Park.
Besides the wildlife and scenery, the children really enjoyed the friendliness and warm welcome that they received from adults and children alike everywhere they went. Their lack of Bangla(they speak bare minimum) and their strong Yorkshire accent English made no difference when making friends with the local kids in all the places they have been to. There are several things that they enjoyed in the city as well, playing cricket with friends, riding around in their Dad’s old motorcycle, spending time with their cousins, the list is never ending!
We look forward to driving to Bangladesh next year and discovering and exploring our native home land as we have done here in England and other parts of Europe over the past 10 years!
UPDATE 3 September 2015 We were unable to do the epic road journey to Bangladesh due to health reasons, but have instead moved to New Zealand for a year and moving to Bangladesh May 2016. Just bought our one way ticket to Dhaka today!!