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Ruled by a succession of Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim dynasties before passing to the British, Dhaka has always been a crucial city, due to its strategic location on the confluence of two rivers. With 17 million inhabitants, modern-day Dhaka is one of the mega-cities of Asia and among the top fifty most densely populated cities in the world. Due to its numerous rickshaws, Dhaka has earned the moniker "Rickshaw Capital of the World", and many of these bright, colorful craft can often be seen darting in and out of heavily congested traffic.
Given Dhaka's long past, the city is a treasure trove of historic sites and cultural treasures; chief among them are the rambling, crowded streets of Old Dhaka; the ornate Tara Masjid, or Star Mosque; and Lalbagh Fort, the commanding, sprawling structure that served as a symbol of Mughal might and hegemony over the region.
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Tour through the city by cycle rickshaw. Rickshaws are the most popular form of transportation in the Dhaka; there are some 400,000 on the streets, and are typically brightly painted with a riot of images drawn from nature, history, or popular films. Visit a workshop where rickshaws are painted and meet the artists behind these fanciful designs.
Explore the old city, which runs along the waterfront, and dates from the Mughal Empire, when Dhaka was an important regional trading center. Witness the bustling river life of the Buriganga, where floating merchants ply their trades and people from all walks of life queue for the riverboats bound for other cities in this riverine country.
Go to Lalbagh Fort, an unfinished fort dating from 1678, when Dhaka was the regional seat of the Mughal viceroys. Though the fort was never completed, recent excavations and renovations have restored its imposing fortifications and ornamental gates. Several of the interior buildings remain, including a mosque, tombs, an audience hall and the hammam (or Turkish-style bathhouse).
Visit the National Museum, home to an excellent collection of sculpture from Bangladesh’s Hindu, Buddhist and Mughal past, as well as an extensive collection of folk art. A curator will take you on a personal tour of the highlights of the collection.
Visit a number of projects supported by the Grameen Bank and its founder Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning economist who was instrumental in the development of microcredit financing — the extension of small loans to individuals or organizations who do not qualify for a traditional loan. If Mr. Yunus is available, meet with him and discuss with him his economic philosophy and the vital changes it has brought about in Bangladesh.
National Assembly Building
Visit the stunning National Assembly Building (Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban), designed by world-renowned American architect Louis Khan. Planned with both contemporary architecture and the aesthetic history of the region in mind, the massive stone building combines clean lines and forms with the monumental feel of a Mughal fort.
Visit the beautiful Star Mosque, or Tara Masjid, in the old city. The mosque’s five domes, porticos and pillars are decorated with hundreds of large and small stars, created by setting pieces of china on white cement. In bright sunlight, this brilliant combination is quite striking and can give the building the effect of floating above the ground. The inside is just as lovely – covered with floral motifs and passages in Arabic calligraphy picked out in the same unusual style of mosaic, known as Chini Tikri.
See the best Bangladesh has to offer on this luxury 8-day journey through the historical, colorful country. You’ll move from the historical buildings of Dhaka, through the thick flora of the Sundarbans forest, and back again, visiting must-see sights the Shrine of Bayazid Bostami and interacting with local hilltribes.
Explore the sights and attractions of India’s exciting Bengal region, on a 12-day luxury journey from Bangladesh’s bustling Dhaka, through the lush Sundarbans mangrove forest, onwards to Calcutta for lunch at the Polo Club, and ending Darjeeling for a tour and stay at Glenburn Tea Estate.
Travel through the wild and wonderful side of Bangladesh on this thrilling 8-day luxury tour starting with a rickshaw tour of historic Dhaka, and finishing off in the lush Sundarbans forest, where you can spot Bengal Tigers. You’ll stop to take in ancient sights like the Pink Palace, and the Sixty Dome Mosque.
Get a glimpse of Bangladesh's rich cultural history on this unforgettable tour. Starting and ending in the heart of its capital, you'll make the excursion to explore the treasures at Comilla in between and find yourself falling for this country in just three days.
On this unforgettable whistlestop tour of the beauties of Bangladesh, you'll spend eight days discovering the country’s considerable highlights. From the bustle of the metropolis to the simple life of tribal villagers, from visits to historic temples to lazy days on never-ending beaches, you'll truly see it all.
In just six days, get a taste for the beauty and culture of fascinating Bangladesh, from its bustling capital to its tribal villages and temples imbued with history. Revel in the sights, smells and colors of this amazing country.
Experience the best of Bangladesh in this eight-day tour, packed with treasures and wonders. From the city museums filled with historic relics, to the country’s most impressive temples, mosques and ancient sites, you’ll get a sense of the culture - and natural delights - of this fascinating nation.
Delve into the amazing architecture and sacred structures of Buddhist Bangladesh on this eight-day tour. From the city to the hillsides and the countryside to the coast, this is your opportunity to explore this fascinating culture and its ancient history up close.
Le Meridien Dhaka
Located just over a mile from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, the clean modern lines of the Le Méridien Dhaka make perfect accommodations for discerning travelers wishing to discover the numerous attractions of Bangladesh’s capital city. All 304 of the exquisitely appointed rooms feature grand, yet restrained, contemporary interiors set off by a striking achromatic color scheme, with floor-to-ceiling windows, plush bathrooms and rainfall showers. The suites feature separate bedrooms, with options for dining rooms and butler service to add an extra layer of luxury. Along with a 24-hour business center, the hotel also provides a choice of six different restaurants and bars, fully-equipped gym and the ultra-exclusive Le Méridien Club Lounge for suite and Club Room guests. The 14th-floor spa offers guests a place to relax against a soothing back drop of soft hues and inspiring views of the city, a combination guaranteed to bring solace to any traveler.
Dhaka Sheraton Hotel
Within close proximity to some of Dhaka’s major sights – the downtown business district, Dhaka’s famous Ramna Park, the Prime Minister's office, and the National Art Museum – the Dhaka Sheraton Hotel is home to 272 guest rooms and five categories of suites, each with Internet access and satellite television. The hotel provides a wide array of services, including 24-hour room service, an on-site barber and beauty salon, massage treatments, babysitting, a business center with Internet access and translation and secretarial services, currency exchange, fitness center, outdoor swimming pool, jogging track and tennis and squash courts. There are five restaurants and bars, including the highly regarded Vintage Restaurant, with a fine wine list to match its exquisite cuisine.
Pan Pacific Hotel
Located just nine miles from Dhakaâ€™s Zia International Airport (DAC), the Pan Pacific Hotel lies in the center of Bangladeshâ€™s capital, just east of the Buriganga River and in the midst of the lively Motijheel commercial district. The property is currently undergoing renovations and will have 277 rooms and 25 suites, all outfitted with satellite television and high-speed broadband Internet access. The executive suite spans the width of the hotel, with a view of both the pool and the city. It is complete with a marble bathroom, entertainment area and four-poster bed draped in rich apricot- and raspberry-colored silks. Amenities include a 24-hour business center with fax, email and telephone services, seven restaurants and cafes for a variety of dining options, an outdoor junior Olympic-sized swimming pool, flood-lit tennis courts, a fully equipped fitness center, a sauna and steam rooms.
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.