Bangladesh Inspection Tour
An England tour to Bangladesh doesn't come around very often; the last tour took place way back in 2003. For the lucky ones who travelled back then, it is a common view held that that Bangladesh is a tour not to be missed. So, for Howzat Travel, this has been one that we have been looking forward to for quite some time.
As with other Howzat Travel tour destinations, we have completed a full inspection tour of Bangladesh. If you love Asia, you will love this cricketing country. If you love cricket - and we are sure you do - the mix is just perfect; sun, cricket, culture and memories that will last a life-time.
The purpose of a Howzat Travel inspection tours is, as is always the case, to ensure you are provided with the very best experience possible. Our local ground handler is extremely experienced within cricket circles, regularly looking after players and media alike, and has strong connections to the Bangladesh Cricket Board.
We have hand-picked the very best possible match tickets, travel arrangements, hotels and guides to make sure your own Howzat Travel experience maintains our record of 100% customer satisfaction.
First things first, as a British passport holder, you require a Visa to enter Bangladesh. We used the postal system at the Manchester sub-office. Here, you are required to download and complete a visa form, and send it recorded/special delivery along with a SAE, your passport and a £40 payment in the form of postal order or bankers draft payment to the Bangladesh High Commission.
Ours was returned within seven days, stamped and ready to go.To get started, visit the Bangladesh High Commission website, here.
The visa form requires you to add contact details on your local host in Bangladesh. Please contact us before applying for the visa and we will send you a letter from the local company with full contact information.
Bangladesh guide book
For those wishing to purchase a Bangladesh guide book before leaving the UK, the Bradt version comes highly recommended.
It is difficult to give a historical account of ancient Bengal. The earliest known account however is found within the Hindu epic, Mahabharata from the 19th century BC.
Bangladesh is situated on the extreme east of India and has historically served as a connecting land link between the sub-continent, Burma, South China and the Malay Peninsula and Indo-China.
From the 15th century, the Europeans namely Portuguese, Dutch, French and British traders exerted an economic influence over the region, and in 1757 AD, the Political British Rule took force after defeating the last Muslim ruler of Bengal.
Bengal was ruled by the British from 1757 to 1947. The end of the British rule came in 1947, when the land was divided along religious lines creating a centrally located Hindu India and a separate independence state of Pakistan. As the Muslims lived in extreme west and east of the country, the British decided to split Pakistan into two geographical parts; East & West Pakistan.
Present day Bangladesh was once known as East Pakistan. The movement of autonomy started within a couple of years because of the linguistic, cultural and economic disparity between the two divides. The seeds of independence were sown in 1952 when the language movement established Bangla as the state language.
On 25th March 1971, a bloody battle commenced between the Pakistani Army and the Bengali Mukti Bahani (Freedom Fighters) until some nine months later, on 16th December 1971 when Pakistan forces surrendered and Bangladesh was finally established.
The country is the pioneer in micro-credit for poverty elimination which brought the Noble Peace Prize in 2006.
Official Name: The people's Republic of Bangladesh
Area: 1,47,570 sq. Km
Population: 143.9 million (projected in 2007)
Time: +7 hours GMT
Average Temperature in March: 32C high and 20C low
Language: Bengalin, but English is widely spoken
Principle Industries: garments, jute, tea, newsprint, cement, sugar, leather and fish
Principle Exports: Ready-made garments, jute products, tea, leather and frozen food
Sea Ports: Chittangong and Mangla
Airports: Dhaka, Chittagong, Jessore, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Cox's Bazzar. Syedpur and Barisal.
Electricity: 220 volts AC
Tourist Season: October to March
It is essential that you contact your GP to discuss your own malaria precautions.
Our chosen airline for international flights to Dhaka are with Emirates via Dubai. Depending on your initial departure point, we highly recommend getting to either Gatwick or Manchester with at least three hours to spare.
The initial flight to Dubai will take approximately six hours. Since Emirates offer probably the best in-flight entertainment in air travel, passing this time will be a breeze.
On arrival in Dubai, expect a quick changeover to the connecting flight. Our experience was that an Emirates host was gathering passengers together leaving the initial flight and then directing you to the next departure gate. This is likely to be upstairs through a further security check point.
On the final flight into Dhaka (four hours) you will be expected to complete an immigration and baggage declaration form, so it is a good idea to have a pen handy. Please remember to complete the entire form, including the bottom section; you will require this for your inbound journey.
We recommend taking some UK sterling to change to Bangladeshi Taka when arriving into Dhaka. There are numerous outlets offering a good rate of exchange conveniently located after you pass through customs.
Please be warned, this is a slow, manual process. Each individual seems to take an age to pass through immigration. Make sure you fully complete immigration cards and if possible, sit towards the front of the plane when requesting seats as this will help speed the process of getting through immigration when you arrive in Bangladesh.
The currency used throughout Bangladesh is Taka; currently you receive 95 Taka to £1GBP.
Domestic flight to chittagong
When arriving in Dhaka, we will direct you to domestic departures, which is a very short walk in the adjacent building.
Once we arrive in Chittagong, we will be met by our local guide who will direct us to the air-conditioned coach for the 17km (40 minutes) drive to the Agrabad Hotel.
The second largest city in Bangladesh, Chittagong is also known as the industrial sea and commercial hub of Bangladesh, located approximately 264km away from Dhaka on a south eastern line.
The surrounding mountains and rivers make the city attractive and a pleasant city for the 1st test match. There is a variety of optional sightseeing activities in and around Chittagong; our local agents will be able to assist you with these whilst in the city.
Located in Old Chittagong, this 5-star property is highly regarded as one of the best hotels in the city. Tthe hotel is currently undergoing room renovation and we have secured the newly-renovated rooms for guests. The property offers everything you would expect from such a hotel including a bar, restaurant, swimming pool, cafe, shop, fitness centre and games room. Expect TV crews and media to be joining us at this hotel.
Zahur Ahmed Chowdury Stadium
Located approximately 5km away from the Agrabad Hotel, expect a 30-minute transfer (depending on traffic).
We have selected the best seats available; high up behind the bowler's arm, above the media and players boxes.
We are working towards providing meals as part of an outsourced catering program for media and broadcasting crews.
Cox's Bazar is a major city and district approximately 150km south of Chittagong. We will drive to Cox's Bazar by air-conditioned coach to get a flavour of the Bangladeshi countryside and wet farming grounds that cover large areas of the county. The journey from Chittagong will take approximately four hours depending on traffic.
Cox's Bazar is mainly known for the world's longest natural sandy beaches, which stretch 120km (including mud flats). The town was named after Lieutenant Cox, an army officer serving in British India.
Located on the so-called 'Golden Mile of Hotels',the Seagull Hotel will offer guests a welcome break away from the hustle and bustle of city life and a perfect location for some down-time, sightseeing and general relaxation.
The Seagull Hotel is regarded simply as the best 5-star hotel in the area and is a favourite with international business and holiday-makers alike.
The hotel boosts 181 rooms and we have secured sea-facing rooms for all guests.
The hotel's facilities include the largest swimming pool in Bangladesh, a secure, policed private beach with sunbed and lounging equipment provided. It also boasts a fully-equipped gymnasium, spa, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, three restaurants, a cafe, boutique shops, internet facilities and much, much more.
If sitting and relaxing is not your thing, we have included some excursion ideas for you below.
St Martin Island
This is a small coral reef island with beautiful sandy beaches lined with coconut and palm trees. It is situated two hours by road from Cox's Bazar at Tenka. You will then need to take a two-hour boat journey.
This is an old Buddhist village located 16km from Cox's Bazar. Ramu contains Buddhist Pagodas and monasteries and is a worthwhile visit. Villagers earn a living weaving and making hand-made cigars.
The southern-most tip of Bangladesh, and only separated from Myanmar by the river Naaf, this exotic 84km drive with exhilarating views will give you a flavour of the beauty of Bangladesh.
Previously known as Dacca, Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and the principle city of the Dhaka District, located on the banks of the Buriganga river. It has the usual hustle, bustle and traffic of most South Asian Cities. Dhaka along with the metropolitan area has a population of 11 million, making it the largest city in Bangladesh.
Restaurants in Dhaka
Here are some of the resturants that have been recommeded to us by our local ground agent, there's something for everyone;
1. El Toro (Mexican Restaurant)
Address: House # 1-A, Road # 138
Gulshan - 1, Dhaka - 1212
Tel: 880 2 8852863 / 8812792
2. Spaghetti Jazz (Italian Restaurant)
Address: Alam Arcade
43, North Gulshan(2nd Floor)
Gulshan - 2, Dhaka-1212
Tel: 880 2 8822062
3. Bamboo Shoot (Authentic Chinese & Thai Restaurant)
Address: R.M. Center(1st floor), 101 Gulshan Avenue,
Gulshan Model Town, Dhaka - 1212
Tel: 880 2 9888307 / 8821497
4. Spitfire (Barbeque & Grill, continental)
Address: (Ground Floor), NWF-8, Gulshan North Avenue,
Tel: 880 2 8851930
5. Khazana (Indian Restaurant)
Address: House - 55, Road - 09
Gulshan - 2, Dhaka ' 1212
Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, Dhaka
Located some 10 km from the airport on the northern edge of the city centre, this 5-star property really is the ideal hotel to use as a base for the Dhaka end of the tour. You will be staying with players from both the Bangladesh and England teams in this hotel - what more could you ask for?
The hotel boosts 252 rooms, three restaurants (see below), two bars, a first-class swimming pool, a shopping arcade, a large gymnasium, health club including a jacuzzi, sauna & steam rooms.
We can confirm that our rooms are secured in the upgraded premier category. They are spacious and clean and feature satellite TV, a mini-bar and everything else you would expect from a 5-star property.
Restaurants in the hotel include Cafe Bazzar (a coffee shop and breakfast area), Jana Grill (for lunch & dinner) and Ciao (an Italian restaurant, for lunch & dinner).
If you wish to head out of the hotel, it is entirely safe to do so. We recommend you visit the Basundhara Shopping Mall (the largest in South East Asia). It is a short walk from the hotel and full of bargains, expect branded garments, electronics and everything you could wish for. The site also contains a cinema complex.
There is also a range of highly-recommended local restaurants nearby to the Pan Pacific Hotel.
Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium
Although located just 5km from the Pan Pacific Hotel, the journey to and from the ground will take between 40 minutes and one hour, depending on traffic.
We have requested seats in the Grandstand, which is an enclosed VIP area next to the England cricket team dressing room.
No alcohol is allowed in the ground and again, we are currently investigating being included in a private catering program for media and production crews.
General notes about Bangladesh
Alcohol is very expensive in the hotels. This is due to a 600% tax included. You can expect to pay 500 Taka in the hotels (around £5) for a small coke-sized can.
If heading out for a meal, most restaurants offer a 'bring-your own' policy on alcohol. Purchasing alcohol from duty-free shops works out much cheaper.
Friday is the weekend, therefore Thursday is party night. Traffic levels on the roads are considerably lower on Fridays.
Your financial protection
ATOL no. 9498 Howzat Travel is also protected by ATOL so you can book your trip of a lifetime with confidence.
The air holiday packages shown are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 9498.
See the Bangladesh TOur Details Here
Please see our Bangladesh 'Butterfly Tour' terms and conditions here.
NB: Howzat Travel reserves the right to make alterations to any aspect of the itinerary, including accommodation stated. Equivalent alternatives will be provided if this is the case.