Dhaka - Post Report Question and Answers

What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

You make your own fun here. - Jul 2023

The usual tourist spots are interesting, as is the old river port in Sadarghat, and the surrounding neighborhood, filled with shops. - Jun 2019

Given the security restrictions, embassy staff are prohibited from doing pretty much anything that might qualify as fun or interesting. - Apr 2017

There are fewer things to do in Dhaka these days, but it's easy and relatively cheap to fly to Kolkata or Bangkok. - Jun 2016

We can't go anywhere in Bangladesh besides the diplomatic enclave, which has no "hidden gems," other than some shopping. - May 2016

Not really. - Jun 2015

international clubs - Mar 2015

We make our own fun by gathering with friends. Be selective where you eat out or it can mean diarrhea (dhaka belly). - Sep 2014

Fun, in Dhaka? Interesting? Zilch. Nada. There is nothing attractive about Bangladesh at all, and I've seen a lot of the country. - Aug 2014

American Club pool and bar; Nordic Club spa; lots of board games. Jamuna Future Park now has a movie theater and bowling alley, in addition to the world's shadiest roller coasters and the hilarious food court. Lots of foreign restaurants in the Dip Enclave. - Jul 2014

Expat clubs have pools, tennis, spas, restaurants, and bars (an important thing in a dry country). Lots of restaurants available. Active and fun Hash every weekend. Lots of socializing in people's houses. Domestic travel to the Sundarbans (mangrove forest) or Sylhet (the hilly, tea-growing area) and day trips to historic buildings. Cheap flights to Kolkata and Kathmandu (US$200). A trip to Bangkok will run you US$350-$400. - Aug 2013

Swimming and sitting by the pool at the ARA. Running the hash. Going sari shopping. - Apr 2013

Not a lot. You have to make your own fun through community events or get-togethers. There is an American Club where most people hang out, play tennis or swim. No malls, no movies, no fast food (hardly). Driving within the country is not really feasible. - Aug 2011

Leave. Nepal, Bhutan, India, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Dubai are all accessible via direct flights - generally $300-$500 round trip, which sounds expensive, but if you're an Embassy employee on differential, you'll quickly realize that the ability to pay to leave is the entire point of the differential. Other than that, people eat at a handful of restaurants, hang out at expat clubs, throw house parties, or occasionally (usually early on in a tour, before you're entirely jaded) take trips to see the identical villages in different corners of Bangladesh. - Feb 2011

You can have custom furniture made. They have tea plantations and river boat rides outside the city. In Dhaka, the American Club has swimming, gym, playground, tennis, and a good restaurant. - Jan 2011

Very little. There are very few restaurants, coffee shops, parks, or other public or open spaces where one can divert oneself. - Jan 2011

Shopping at Aarong, Kumudini, Sally Ann, and other stores. Hanging out at one of the clubs- American Club, Canadian Club, Australian Club, Nordic Club, etc. - Oct 2010

Going to Old Dhaka was fun. The Sundarbans jungle tour in a boat is a great experience. - Apr 2010

This is the big challenge. People spend a lot of time at the expat/diplomatic clubs, where alcohol is available and cheap. There are pools and tennis and squash courts (lessons are so cheap they're practically free).There are restaurants, though very few are good enough that they would be popular in the U.S. (there is very good Bengali/Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean food available).Some expats (but not most) get into the local cultural scene--art galleries and dance performances. People entertain at home. Balls (often charity fundraisers) held at the large hotels are very popular, both among expats and well-off Bangladeshis. People do city tours in Old Dhaka and boat trips on the many rivers. Some people travel to the Sundarbans (World Heritage site mangrove forest), Sri Mongol (tea estates), and Cox's Bazaar (beach resort popular with locals).The problem is that few of these activities are enjoyable/high-quality enough to want to do over and over again. - Oct 2009

Lots of sports activities. Lots of day trips to a variety of temples. Riverboat rides. Trips to Kolkata, Sylhet and the Sundarbans. - Aug 2009

Tennis is very popular and very cheap. Golf is also cheap and accessible. The American Club has a pool and tennis courts and most Embassy people hang out there for at least part of the weekend. If you have a friend with a boat share, short day trips on the river are great. There is not a lot to choose from in the way of weekend trips, but it is possible and there is a good tour company that arranges cultural excursions that are quite good. There is always shopping. And you can't miss the Sunderbauns. - Mar 2009

Tea with the locals, take a boat trip with a fisherman and his family. Visit a village and stay with a family. Interview college students. Watch children play. Eat food produced by recommended street vendors. Learn the language from laborers. Go to a healer. - Nov 2008

Eat, shop, play tennis, go swimming, or hang out at the clubs. - Mar 2008


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