Tour the most populous cities in the world, stroll along serene tea fields and chat with tribal members when hiking up into the hills. You can have it all when you embark on this 12-day Bengal Journey through Bangladesh and India Itinerary. The trip takes you through Dhaka, Sylhet, Chittagong and the Sundarbans in Bangladesh. Fly into Kolkata to begin the Indian portion of the adventure and travel to Bagdogra and Darjeeling. This is the perfect balance of nature, culture and bustling city life.
|Visit the final resting place of the adored Saint Mother Theresa Get a rush from a fast-paced rickshaw tour through the buzzing city of Dhaka Bike through the fragrant tea fields of Sylhet and even sample the leaves yourself Take a ride aboard the charming Toy Train in Darjeeling||
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Begin your trip in one of South Asia’s most happening cities, Bangladesh’s Dhaka. Check out the National Museum for a fantastic introduction to the country’s dazzling artwork. The daunting National Parliament House is a must-see. Check in to the humble-but-accommodating Westin Dhaka, the best option in the area.
Begin your tour of the city in Old Dhaka. This old-world architecture is reminiscent of the city’s one-time important role as one of the largest and richest cities in the Indian subcontinent. Walk through the shockingly Pink Palace also known as Ahsan Manjil. Finish the day with a visit to the Star Mosque, Tara Masjid. Finally, you’ll take an exciting rickshaw tour of the city for an unforgettable adventure.
Make your way to Sylhet (around 5 hours' drive) through the major urban center of Srimangal. This is the hotspot of the country’s tea industry. Take a bicycle tour of the lush, fragrant tea fields. Enjoy a seven-color tea tasting, before concluding your day with a visit to a local hilltribe to learn about a rare culture. Check in to the Nazimgarh Resort to rest your head for the evening.
After breakfast at your hotel, fly to the second-most populous city in the country - Chittagong. Upon arrival, check in to the Peninsula Chittagong. After getting comfortable, take off to see the Shrine of Bayazid Bostami. The tomb is a revered holy place that draws many pilgrims. The on-site pond is home to black soft-shell turtles - a species that has been extinct in the wild since 2002.
Go straight to the heart of Bangladeshi culture upon this morning’s visit to a hilltribe outside of Chittagong. The remote area has little influence from the outside world. Observe tribe members in their daily traditional activities. The people still weave their own clothing and grow their own food. This evening, catch a flight to Dhaka and check in to the Westin Dhaka.
Journey out of Dhaka and into the thick of the largest single block of mangrove forest in the entire world. Catch a flight to Mongla, where you will step aboard a private boat for an up-close tour of the forest’s roots. On the way back to Dhaka, visit the incredible Mosque City of Bagerhat. The city was once considered a “lost city.” The Sixty Dome Mosque is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Travel back to Dhaka by crossing the rushing Padma River on a ferry.
Depart Bangladesh and travel to exciting India. Your first stop is the former capital of the British East India Company - urban Calcutta. We recommend the Oberoi Grand or the Taj Bengal for a comfortable, luxurious stay in the city.
Spend the day enjoying the city to the fullest. Have a private tour of the city’s elegant colonial architecture. Highlights include the National Library of India, the sprawling 19th-century Marble Palace, the Indian Museum, the General Post Office and the Victoria Memorial. Dine at the oldest polo club in the world for lunch at the Calcutta Polo Club. This afternoon, visit the Mother House, the final resting place of the revered Mother Theresa.
Check out of Calcutta and fly to Bagdogra. From Bagdogra you will be driven to lush Himalayan town of Darjeeling. The British introduced tea plants to the area in 1849 and the industry still thrives today. Check in to the Glenburn Tea Estate and enjoy the perfect combination of tea plantation, homestay and luxury resort.
Start your day by touring the fragrant tea plantations at the Glenburn Tea Estate. You can tailor the teas to suit your personal preferences during a tasting at the tour’s end. Next, take a drive through the dense Simbong Forest until you reach the River Rung Dung. A local guide will help you identify the local flora and fauna on a nature walk. Cross the impressive Manjitar Suspension Footbridge and visit the local Shiva Temple in the small Manjitar Village. Return to your hotel this evening.
A visit to Darjeeling isn’t complete without a ride on the quaint Toy Train. The train is thus named because it is the narrowest gauge railway - only two feet wide. Next, have a private tour of the 1875-built Ghoom Monastery. Enjoy a cup of tea with the senior resident monks and learn about their way of life. Hayden Hall and the Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Center are both fantastic nonprofits to visit in the area.
Check out of your hotel in Darjeeling. Transfer to the airport and fly through Bagdogra to Calcutta. This is the end of your journey - you can choose to extend your stay or make the journey home.
Centrally located in the business district of Gulshan, the 241-room Westin Dhaka is steps away from shopping malls, restaurants, museums, and foreign embassies. Like most Westins, the accommodations have an agreeable, though ultimately forgettable, design. Rooms feature signature Westin comforts like the Heavenly Bed and the Heavenly Shower (a double-headed shower), and modern amenities like an LCD flat-screen TV and high-speed Internet access (for a fee). A 24-hour business center provides a full range of business services. Leisure facilities include an outdoor heated swimming pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a full-service spa. Six restaurants and bars make up the dining scene. These include Prego, an Italian restaurant on the 23rd floor, and Seasonal Tastes, serving Pan-Asian cuisine. The hotel is just five miles away from the Zia International Airport.
The Peninsula Chittagong is a property in the city’s upscale GEC Circle, a short 5-minute walk from Central Plaza shopping area. Feel soothed by the outdoor pool, pampering spa treatments and well-equipped fitness center. The air-conditioned guestrooms all come with a flat-screen TV, minibar and personal safe.
The Peninsula Chittagong Limited is a 20-minute drive from Chittagong Railway Station, while Chittagong International Airport is a 45-minute drive away.
Laguna Multi-Cuisine Restaurant offers dishes from Bangladesh, India, Thailand and China. Other dining options include Continental and Korean food at Flamingo Cafe, pastries at Orchid Patisserie and cocktails at Isles Bar. At the spa, guests can relax with a massage, or in the sauna and hot tub. The hotel also provides a business centre and a tour desk.
Travel by boat through the Sundarban mangrove forest, the largest mangrove forest in the world, that lies on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal. This naturally abundant territory is home to the Bengal tiger. On your basic boat you will cruise a network of rivers and creeks through dense evergreen forests. Nature lovers can enjoy spotting crocodiles basking in the sun, deer, wild boar, otters, river dolphins, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and of course the illustrious native tiger. There is basic accommodation available in this remote area; however Remote Lands does its utmost to ensure guests have the most pleasurable and comfortable stay as is possible.
Affectionately called the “Grand Dame of Chowringhee,” the stately, neo-classical Oberoi Grand has stood for 125 years in the heart of Kolkata (Calcutta). With elegant decor evoking the city’s colonial past as the capital of the British Raj, all rooms and suites provide wired and wireless high-speed Internet, a 32-inch LDC television, satellite TV, DVD, Ayurvedic toiletries, and more. Dining options include gourmet Thai cuisine at Baan Thai, the all-day international buffet at La Terrasse, while fine wines, beer, spirits, and cigars are available at the Chowringhee Bar. The health center features state-of-the-art Life Fitness cardio machines and weight training equipment. The Oberoi Spa offers a variety of massage treatments, body wraps, Ayurvedic therapies, salon treatments, and personal yoga and meditation sessions. The Oberoi Grand is approximately a 50-minute drive from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU).