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  #1  
Old January 7, 2015, 03:14 PM
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Default Bangladesh trip - things to know before you land!

I'm going to Bangladesh after almost 6 years, and this time with my 22-month old son. I know lots have changed in there, and there is large amount of food tampering these days. While I'm excited to see my family and friends, I'm scared for my son's health.

What are some of the things one must know before going to Dhaka? Where can I buy fruits free of formalin? Where can I buy drinking water? Is it safe to eat out? If so, which restaurants should I stay away from?

I'll be in Dhaka only this time. Any help, advise, or guidance will be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old January 7, 2015, 04:06 PM
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Take your shots, Make sure the little one has his shots. When are you going? Typhoid shot is a must for you.

Most houses in Dhaka have water purifiers. So should be okay. If not BUY one the first day or the next day. Long gone those days where we could play and drink any tap water. Our internal system has changed as well. make sure you have enough emodium tablets. Hahaha!!!

If you have any relative who grows fruits and vegetables then you are good. Else ektu formalin khaiba ar ki. Onno shobai khai.

Wash your hands everytime you come from outside with antibacterial soap. Wipe the toilet seat before letting your son sit on it.

Restaurants are fine. Bring your own bottled water. Order Sprite/7up. Khaiya aro motu hoiba.

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  #3  
Old January 7, 2015, 04:22 PM
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Great thread! Going to Bangladesh after 10 years in about a week's time! Would really appreciate any useful tips. I have a lot of relatives there but what I really want is someone's perspective who visited after a considerable amount of time after getting used to the comfort of the western world. Would be keen to know what are the useful things I must pack. I love photography so was thinking of visiting Lal Bagh Fort, Ahsan Mazil etc and capture some good shots to bring back and show my friends.

Also is Hajir Biriyani still there? There seem to be a new restaurant called Fish Co, is that worth a visit?

Anything at all would be much appreciated.
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  #4  
Old January 7, 2015, 04:23 PM
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Do they ask for bribe and force you to open your bags at the airport? I heard some horror stories!
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  #5  
Old January 7, 2015, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shehwar
Do they ask for bribe and force you to open your bags at the airport? I heard some horror stories!
If you act like you are the pri-minister's nephew and pass through the green channel; no one would bother you to stop. Hamki - dhamki'r ekta bapar asey. Nothing to declare. It helps to dress up as well for this occasion only. Khali English boltey hobay with an accent. If you can not do that then twist your jaw and speak English. You will have an accent.

Foreign passports stands in a different line for immigration. The moment you land BD you become a BD citizen and (HHS) rush to that line downstairs. Don't be shy and don't try to show your good side here. The bathrooms are nasty thus you don't want to stand in line for a longer period.

This is the problem: (luggage)

If multiple flights come around the same time, your luggage will take a longer time to reach to the carousal. So many things can happen to your luggage behind the scene. You have your kids, wife - tired and ready to fall off. This is what I always do. I let them get out (w/ passport) and one car takes them home with all the carry-ons. I remain at the airport and tickets collect the luggage and rush out. There is a helpline one can call. I think you pay 1,750 taka and they will have a representative inside the airport.

They don't ask for bribes. They ask for US dollars.
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  #6  
Old January 7, 2015, 09:15 PM
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kabir is ALIVE!! congratulations oon your kid...

all of you sound like big foreigners... you are going to your mother country for which u know the language to.... you have nothing to fear..... common sense is enough i think..... enjoy your trip dont worry about things...

that suggestion of tigers eye sounds terrible,,,, let ur kids and wife go while u wait.....wtf? are u a retard?
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  #7  
Old January 7, 2015, 09:19 PM
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LMAO!!!!! ^^^^^

Pretty soon Kabir will speak Banglish like: Accha water buy korte kon kon shop e jete hoy Gulshan subburb ey, please keu say korben.
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  #8  
Old January 8, 2015, 01:05 AM
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@Shehwar: went to Fish and co few months back when i was there.Good food but the front had a massive crowd waiting to get in. If reservation can be done then better do that.
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  #9  
Old January 8, 2015, 01:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iDumb
...
that suggestion of tigers eye sounds terrible,,,, let ur kids and wife go while u wait.....wtf? are u a retard?
Mr. Abul,
Jeita niye kono experience nai sheta'r upor na kotha kowatai bhalo. Tai na? Agey baccha poida koro, tarpor bhujha jabey how many paddy make how many rice. By the way, Ore wife'r monay hoi eita first time BD sofor (ever).
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Old January 8, 2015, 01:26 AM
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Mr Abul re maaf koira den. Bechara has nothing to do whole day. Bok bok korai shavabik
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  #11  
Old January 8, 2015, 06:47 AM
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Having just come back from a few weeks in BD, here's my contribution:

- For the last few years, every time I land at HaSInA, it takes 2+ hours to get my luggage. This time was no exception. I am told that this pretty much happens to everyone who arrives from the west with a connection through Dubai (or any other middle east hub), as the loads of "Dubai party" luggage have to come out first. So be prepared for that... and the army of mosquitoes at baggage reclaim.

- Getting a short-term use SIM in BD is a pain-in-the-*** these days. You have to provide lots of documentation apparently. I just had my sister do it for me.

- It's really dusty everywhere this time of the year in BD. Not sure you can do much about that, but just thought I'd mention it...

- I had no problems with the water anywhere in BD. Everyone I visited had water filters at home and most restaurants only served bottled water (although, I didn't visit that many restaurants, mostly ate at home). The only time I had serious stomach problems was when I tried "Katakat curry" from BBQ Tonite in Dhanmondi - that stuff will burn holes inside you! On the other hand, our "chhuta bua" tried it and she asked for more chilies to add to it!

- Haji'r Biryani is, IMHO, seriously overrated. I had it the last time I was in BD as well. People keep recommending it and delivering it to our home. I don't see the big deal. It's not even a real biryani - more like a tehari... and if you are going to have tehari, go for Shaad Tehari Ghor in Lalmatia!

- Fish & Co - Someone treated me at this place. We went there for lunch on a Saturday, and it was quite empty - easily got a table. It did get busy within the hour though, but no queues. The starter we ordered was okay - platter of seafood battered and deep fried. My main was fish & chips because I was told that I just "had to" try it. They had all kinds of varieties of fish & chips based on different countries. I ordered the "standard" one, and someone else ordered the "American" one. I couldn't tell the difference in taste. I just thought "Why the hell am I having fish & chips in BD when I have successfully avoided it all year in the UK?" - it was okay tasting, but just a bit pointless for someone who lives in the UK. I did make two interesting observations while I was there though: 1) This chick at the next table (who seemed like she lives abroad) wearing a mackintosh, even though it was totally dry and 24C outside, 2) This other chick at another table wearing a full-face veil before ordering which just completely came off when the food arrived!

- I had "pepper steak" at "Spaghetti Jazz" in Gulshan. I think I've had it once back in 2011 as well. The quality was okay, but the meat was a bit chewy and not "medium rare" as I ordered it. The pizza that someone else ordered just tasted weird. They used some strange cheese (no mention on the menu) that I couldn't quite place.

- The only time I got hassled (probably for a bribe) was when I arrived back at HaSInA for departure. My luggage went through the security at the gate and this guy stops me and I have this interaction with him:

Him: "aapni ektu sir-er shaathe kotha bolen" (points at the guy behind the security machine)
Me: "ki bepaar-e?"
(he keeps repeating the same thing a few times before saying the next thing)
Him: "aapnar luggage-e ki maach ase?"
Me: "kono maach nai"
Him: "shotti kore bolen... ase naaki?"
Me: "aapni chaile khule dekhte paaren ase naaki..."
Him: "accha aapni koi jaachhen?"
Me: "London"
Him: "acchcha jaan ge..."
(slaps on the security sticker on my bag and lets me through)

And no, I did not have any fish in my luggage...
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  #12  
Old January 8, 2015, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigers_eye
Mr. Abul,
Jeita niye kono experience nai sheta'r upor na kotha kowatai bhalo. Tai na? Agey baccha poida koro, tarpor bhujha jabey how many paddy make how many rice. By the way, Ore wife'r monay hoi eita first time BD sofor (ever).
Beshi wrong experience thakle erokomi hoi.... You are telling a guy who is worried about his sons safety in bd to let them out of sight after landing from airport... Something is missing in your head...... Advice has to be relevant......

I am gonna reiterate this u are going to a country where u speak the damn language and look like the ppl, if something goes wrong it's your fault and lack of common sense.

I am not gonna let anyone even if they are blood related to take my less than 2 year old son home without my presence....
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  #13  
Old January 8, 2015, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iDumb
Beshi wrong experience thakle erokomi hoi.... You are telling a guy who is worried about his sons safety in bd to let them out of sight after landing from airport... Something is missing in your head...... Advice has to be relevant........
Diaper change koro nai that's why your understanding is wrong. He has family who can take them home an hour or two early and relax. He is not leaving them to the Mobs. As I said, Public toilet at the airport.... no difference than jatrabari. My son had to go to potty once. Never again if I have a choice.

Even waiting in the car is better than standing around the baggage area.

Travel with a kid(s) for two days on your lap. Cranky as hell cause didn't/couldn't sleep the entire journey (which happens most of the time). You want them to stand (for you don't know how long) at the luggage area with giant sized Mosquitos buzzing around you? It is his choice though what he would do. I am just giving him what I do to ease the suffering of my family.

You can't imagine unless you experience yourself. Hopefully Kabir would find his luggage within decent time. I had three Hajj flight landing at the same time. Nightmare.
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  #14  
Old January 8, 2015, 10:45 AM
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By the way, Mosquito repellent/ spray is a must. Take Tylenol, mortrin for the kid. Take Zantac for you.
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Old January 8, 2015, 10:53 AM
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tiger eye Bhai you are assuming a lot of things.

I completely understand and no one said travelling with a kid will be easy....if u want easy life u should not have kids...

Having said that personally I feel if you suffered for 2 days..what's two more hours just to have everything under your control.... and if it's to the point where I have to choose between my luggage and my kid I choose my kid...luggage not going anywhere ... it can even be delivered to my address

But it's all situational u figured out ur optimal way... I wouldn't let my son be left with 3/4 of family members here forget about bd ... it's not anything bad..it's sheer incompetence of ppl when they are with a child....
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Old January 8, 2015, 11:10 AM
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^ its not that simple man. And no luggage wont be delivered to your adress. Bhai this is Bangladesh we are talking about. If your luggage gets lost its your headache, not their. There is no such thing as customer service unless you have some inside connection. When I went to BD I had to literally thela dhakka with people to get a cart for my luggage. Yes it gets that bad depending on when you land. Come on man how you not gonna trust your wife.

Foreign passport, deshi passport doesnt matter. In my experience I saw people getting in any line they wanted. I saw binch of mohilas skipping line, bole bhai ami eka mohila manush please diya den. Aie rokom kore kore line er samne jai and than hotat kore husband pops out of nowhere.

Kabir bhai i hope you have a safe ride from the airport. My friend just went to BD, her famiky rented a ambulance to pick her up from airport, but that was during obordh.
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  #17  
Old January 8, 2015, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iDumb
tiger eye Bhai you are assuming a lot of things.....
Yes, I am assuming a lot of things. But the assumption is from experience. I have traveled with my kids 5+ times in the last 10 years. For anything you must understand risk and how to minimize it. The last few hours is the hardest. Sometimes you feel like traveling business class because of that. Our travel time is more than someone from NY, Toronto, Houston, Dallas, Chicago etc. We have to get to those cities first; add 5/6 hours both ways.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDumb
Having said that personally I feel if you suffered for 2 days..what's two more hours just to have everything under your control.... and if it's to the point where I have to choose between my luggage and my kid I choose my kid...luggage not going anywhere ... it can even be delivered to my address ....
Luggage may not go anywhere but if you give them (finest airport authorities) opportunity, you may find things missing from them luggages. You can't get anything back. Things are not that important but if they cut your bag, you have to buy new suitcases from Dhaka. That is pain.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDumb
But it's all situational u figured out ur optimal way... I wouldn't let my son be left with 3/4 of family members here forget about bd ... it's not anything bad..it's sheer incompetence of ppl when they are with a child....
I don't have that problem. it would be my Mom. Plus my wife would be with the kids.

So Kabir and others,
Find the airport help line # and arrange something before you land there. It is safe and reliable. Someone from BD would have to make the payment before hand. You can not push two carts (assuming 6 luggages plus carry ons) with your kid in your arms or wife's arms. Would need several Advils to ease the pain. Best of luck.
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Old January 8, 2015, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigers_eye

So Kabir and others,
Find the airport help line # and arrange something before you land there. It is safe and reliable. Someone from BD would have to make the payment before hand. You can not push two carts (assuming 6 luggages plus carry ons) with your kid in your arms or wife's arms..
This might be the only useful thing u have said, arranging some sort of help for the luggage ...

I meant you are assuming a lot about me... I think I have some experience with kids and travel to qualify me to make comments...

AJfar Miya trust frust EGula ki Kou? My point is I want to be there with them no matter what happens initially..that's how I roll...

This is a vacation and all these are part of the experience , there is no need to be preoccupied about unnecessary things... I have always noticed it's always the ppl that worry too much that things happen to them....

There is always a solution for everything and there is no amount of preparation u can do to prevent some of them...

I have lost luggages, laptop, wallet, social security card,, was late for a flight and missed it, extensive questioning by customs, immigration.. At the end of the day everything was fine, me and my family is safe and thats the most important thing.

Some ppl see it as hassle I see it as an experience and as part of my vacation.... As long as my family is by my side I am ok. But yes it will get slightly annoying if ur spouse is a b$)()$... At that time u tell her to stfu....if u suffer she suffer u in it together.
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Old January 8, 2015, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iDumb
if u want easy life u should not have kids...
Lol...if you want an easy life you should not have a wife to begin with. But you, Mijan bhai, and most of us are all beyond that point now.
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Old January 8, 2015, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigers_eye
So Kabir and others,
Find the airport help line # and arrange something before you land there. It is safe and reliable. Someone from BD would have to make the payment before hand. You can not push two carts (assuming 6 luggages plus carry ons) with your kid in your arms or wife's arms. Would need several Advils to ease the pain. Best of luck.
I really like the helpline idea. I'll look into it before I go.

My son (like everyone else's) is just unmanageable. May be the problem is with me. Regardless, waiting at the airport for 2 hrs is not an option. I would rather leave without the luggage and buy everything new again!
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Old January 8, 2015, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigers_eye
Ore wife'r monay hoi eita first time BD sofor (ever).
Second time...but after a 6-year gap, you almost have to re-learn everything.
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  #22  
Old January 8, 2015, 03:49 PM
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This is seriously useful stuff! Thanks all!

Aar matro 6 din! Cannot wait!!!

Allah e jane 10 bochor e ki ki change hoise!!
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  #23  
Old January 8, 2015, 10:38 PM
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I just came back from Bangladesh last week. Lucky to come back at the right time cos apparently the political unrest is screwing transport systems up at the moment.
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Old January 8, 2015, 11:23 PM
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kabir Bhai u probably already booked the ticket but from reading this thread it seems some of the solution I would aim for are...

Possibly landing in Dhaka at night or during a time when flight arrival are the least. If u going to chittagong possibly a better option maybe landing in ctg airport or any other beside Dhaka to minimize crowd

Buying 3 tix instead of two so u have more space if u want to put the kid down for some hours...unless u get lucky with an empty plane...

Make flight longer with extended layover time for a hotel stay in between .

Have a cell phone activated for bd prior to going there from Canada.....u can do that in NYC easily I m sure Canada probably has that too.

And have pick up arrangement already set possibly with a baby seat in the car ... because I remember last time I was in bd it was a very rough ride without any seatbelt ..

None of those illegal ambulance renting stuff..that's ethically wrong imo.

Keep all the essentials including baby stuff and clothes in a carryon ..

These are my commonsense thoughts... and what I would do.

And enjoy.

Also I m sure u will do this but I would drink only bottled water outside...and even inside at home for the kid.... if u are paranoid can even boil that water...
Avoid street food....

And just pray for the best..... and enjoy ....
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Old January 8, 2015, 11:30 PM
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Only problem with chittagong landing might be u might have to get the luggage yourself at Dhaka prior to ur connecting flight then it's pointless really. Sorry didn't think about that I dont) remember what I did when I went to ctg from ny...it was long time ago
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