The Displaced People

Thousands of Refugees were evicted from their makeshift camps on Wednesday after the police here were ordered to clear and tear down their houses in the area, which is approximately 60 kilometers from Cox’s Bazar, to make way for tourism along the new Marine Drive Road.

The unregistered Refugee communities there have
been living in that area since the 1990s, after fleeing the ethnic persecution in their own country, Myanmar.

The area looked like a scene after a cyclone had wiped parts of the areas.
Families were seen with the portion of their belongings they picked from the piles of scraps from what was their home.
Mothers with the young children, staring bleakly at their torn down homes, trying to collect their small possession of some plastic sheets and sticks, some pots. The men folk working to put the huts back together for their families to have at least a cover above their heads to live in.

It’s a big blow to an already struggling group of people who have very little to make ends meet, a daily hand-to-mouth existence in this largely fishing community. Life is hard for them.

The fact that they fled and then got settled somewhat in another country, only to be at the mercy of the existing laws that do not do much for them either. The unregistered refugees do not receive much of the aid (if any) like the people in the camp who are helped with food rations and some medical support from UN & NGOs. They, pretty much like all the people in and around here have to keep struggling and keep strong to try and make it in life.

The push for better treatment and acceptance, of better accommodate , better support them is an ongoing struggle, there are thousands of people and much aid and other issues to try to work through.

Help in means of food aid, better education for the children and work skills training for the adults would be a good way to try to reach out.

Let’s try.

Liz❤️
Email: ttravelers2@gmail.com
Photos by Andrew #andrewdayphotography

#Refugeestruggles #Rohingya #Refugees #AppealForHelp #Hope

IMG_5103

IMG_5135

IMG_5130

IMG_5105

IMG_5099

IMG_5127

IMG_5098

IMG_5106

IMG_5094

Advertisements

Life

Showing how vulnerable you are is not a sign of weakness… for me it shows you’re human. Yes its ok to not have all the answers.. cause sometimes you are being reminded that its not on your time… you dont have that power. Its all in God’s time. He knows our paths more than we can see it ourselves.
But its also good to realise, that some things are not just given, that you have to put in the effort too.
Practice humility in everything that you do, for, maybe at an unseen twist of bitter fate, what you take for granted might be tested and taken from you.
Never look down on another human being. You’re not put on a pedestal.
Remember each person on your way up in life as you’ll meet them on your way down. life always goes in a circle. What you put out will always come back to you, the good and bad.

Don’t get smug in your thinking and behaviour. Respect others even though they can’t offer you anything back in return.
If things are not going anywhere, ask yourself why and try and see the problem so as to be able to find a better solution.
Change your attitude & views as needed, a much clearer path might be shown to you.

Many make in wrath what they want in reason… try to be slow to anger and accept criticism gracefully. Respect and true understanding of your purpose and how you conduct yourself with others can bring you the peace that you seek.
Be sad, crying is not a sign of weakness.. but cry and be done with it, don’t dwell, brood and don’t let it consume you to a point of debilitating.
Life’s too short, live, not just merely exist, if you find what you want, then go for it.

Love more than you are shown, Compromise is the key to any negotiations for a better understanding, it doesn’t mean your giving in or losing, it means you value and respect another person’s views as well.
Swallow your ego, its not fattening, letting it get out of hand will cause you more harm than good. Don’t be reckless with people’s lives.
Practice integrity, always do as you say you’d do, then you’ll earn the respect & trust. Peace & happiness will be yours, if what you say and what you do are in harmony. Strive for that.

And above all, hold on to faith and hope, for without it all human hearts would break. Good Luck.

~ Liz ♥️

IMG_5980.JPG

Of Randomness & Such Meaningful Moments

No doubt this place tests your endurance and sanity I must say haha… The people here (many many people) are amazing, resilient, few annoying cause they follow and pester- I don’t know why but just hmmm really can’t explain. But mostly yes life lessons aplenty and priceless in comparison to be honest. The moments that the takes your breath away … being saucy here – not including the choked drains smells and cow manure LOL

Really … I have been taught plenty in humbleness and humility and the great human spirit in my journey here, and also the same for Andrew.

Too many to mention, some fills you up with hope, joy and contentment that you feel your chest is going to explode with it .. some brings you right back down to earth ..and in a hard way.

The photo I took just outside a snack shop where we bought our lunch of bread roll and one burger. There were people waiting outside and Andrew bought extra pieces and gave it to them. On the right side of the photo there’s an old woman, she was at a dementia stage I believe, needing care and the one who looked after her was the young boy in front of her, he fed her and cared for her. I don’t know whether he was her grandson but I don’t think so- just a human being caring for another… #lifesAngels

Another experience for me was we were at the bank and it was closed but there were a few people waiting and asking for money and the security guard shooed them away. One in particular caught my eye was a mother and her son. She was young in her late 30s perhaps and her son was maybe 9 or 10. They went away quickly as the guard cleared the area.
About an hour later we were on a Rickshaw heading to the nearby market and I saw them again, this time crouched beside a shop, sharing a small packet of rice… Ouff my heart *no words …

The need here and the desperation is immense and sometimes as human beings we dismiss just how bad it is for them based on just our shallow opinions and thoughts.

Andrew was telling me last night that on the way back from the Orphanage he stopped by a small slum area just off the beach where a small community lived. They were weaving fishing nets, a man and his wife. Just hospitable (they always tend to be, the *locals here ) and showed Andrew how he ties the net around his neck and the floats he used when he fished. The style of the way this type of fishing is that the men will wade the waters till neck high and spread out their nets in the water and wait for the fish. The old man told Andrew to come again the next day and he will give him some fishes from his next morning catch.
This, from someone who hardly makes anything for his family but just enough to feed them ‘hand to mouth’ #humbled

The children at the orphanage, the wee ones, shows us too the valuable life lessons in their own way of life.
As Andrew describes it best : “Kids with no parents, living on a dollar a day and still manages to smile more than I do.”
#lifelessons #grateful #humbled

(Photos by Andrew)
………….

IMG_0988.JPG

IMG_1081.JPG

IMG_1082.PNG

IMG_1090.JPG

IMG_1089.JPG

IMG_1096.JPG

IMG_1091.JPG

IMG_1094.JPG

IMG_1095.JPG

IMG_1097.JPG

IMG_1093.JPG

IMG_1092.JPG

IMG_1084.PNG

IMG_1087.PNG

IMG_1085-0.PNG

IMG_1088.PNG

IMG_1086-0.PNG

to be continued….
~ Liz ❤️
Andrew

Recents and life’s happenings

A quick post on the recents of past week :

The weather is quite warm and we haven’t been out as much as before, just more of going to check on things and get some things. We even have had to cut back a bit on our Sunset walkabouts, not going as much as before. We are so tanned it’s unbelievable haha. But winter is coming soon here, I think (hope) and with the weather cooler, we can do all of that again :))

Past weeks happenings:

We invited the StreetKids for lunch at the place we were staying in & they had loads fun & hung out in d flat … all smiles. ❤️

Went to the ROHINGYA huts on the secluded beach of Inani to give out some gifts for the children there.

Work on the Cookhouse is looking good and should be completed soon (keeping in mind “This is Bangladesh” :))

Went to the market again to buy the things to cook for the Orphans. 🙂

#Bless….

Both Andrew and me we feel really blessed that we have been able to be here and reach out and experience it all n to help. Things we get to experience in person here have been real good eye openers, how it’s like to live in another’s place to see what they see and to experience it for yourself.
And many times the people and experiences here teaches us, more so than the other way around; even with the kids… #humbled

Many people have reached out, some of our own friends, family and sometimes through friends of friends, people from the network, all help out and make all this happen too. It’s just been amazing. 🙏

Funny how people’s Life’s journeys are, be it intricate, delicate … the tangled weave of life; but everyone plays a part. Trust that there is a role each of us have in this world, in this life.
Sometimes cocooned inside our private dramas we often don’t realize life beyond us rolling.
So some stay, some go, some cross oceans, some stand in place of-or for others, filling gaps,… there’s always a place in one’s life in the grand scheme of things; it may not be smooth but trust that’s exactly where you need to be.

Choices and sometimes breaking out from the norm and sometimes it really can’t be explained just how life unfolds, personal journeys and we seek to fulfill what feels good for the soul, our own life’s path. Some at junctions of their lives where the pursuit for monies and riches and material things are not what we seek anymore in what others define as happiness but a journey within too.

I feel and so does Andrew that there are people who don’t get why we do what we do, and why we journeyed out of the comfort zones of our own lives to do something, to fill the need, to fill the void, why we seek outward and do what we do; that which not many people have taken the time to reflect and understand why this.

Like the good, we take in the bad too, criticisms and put downs, well to be expected I guess; human nature that even if u stay n do or don’t do, you’d get criticized any which way, it’s all part of life.
Both of us feel this is what we need to do in our lives, break away from the exhausting, constant race & monotony and slow down, to find our purpose, to reach in, reach out, teach, share, give;..

That’s the thing with personal journeys, life’s path differ from one to another. Probably not all people will get it no matter how you try to explain and sometimes you have to make peace with that coz it does boil down to you yourself and it may not make sense to others but suffice that it makes sense to you. #acceptance

It has been a roller coaster ride but we are so thankful too and important that we have each other, someone who shares the same likeness and passion, that while doing what we do we, can share that with the other and turn and say “holy shit” or “how Epic is that?” and that in itself feels good and makes it even more fulfilling.

~ Liz & Andrew ❤️

~~~~,~~~~*****~~~~,~~~~

“Each of our lives’ is a separate and precious journey. No matter how happy, sad, painful, tragic or confusing it may by, it is unique and beautiful. No matter if we hurt others or if we ourselves were hurt, it happened and it is part of our story.

More than genetics, money or education, it is our journey who defines who we are. It defines what kind of person you are. Not the experiences you encountered nor the happy or traumatic events you may have endured. But rather how we dealt with those events and how we continue to deal with those events; when we evaluate ourselves and how we treat others.

Your journey is part of your story. But it is not the complete story of who and how you are. You, a soul, a spirit, who has traveled through this life and along the way; you learned and gathered bits and pieces from here and there. And you, yourself, have woven together yourself. And that is who you are today. You define… you.

So keep weaving. You are not finished yet. It is never to late to define who you are.”

~•*•~

And most of all… Make the best out of everything. Use your weakness to spur on your strength, life maybe muddled now but it will settle. Hold on to the faith. Keep keeping on.

~ Liz ❤️

✨✨✨✨💙❤️💙✨🙏✨✨✨✨

IMG_0889.JPG

IMG_0885.JPG

IMG_0588.JPG

IMG_0817.JPG

IMG_0576.JPG

IMG_0702.JPG

IMG_0862.JPG

IMG_0874-0.JPG

IMG_0820.JPG

IMG_0821.JPG

Counting Blessed Days

One of the favourite questions we get asked here is how long have you been in Bangladesh and do you like it here?
And we reply @Yes@ and they go really?!

To many it might sound like we are completely out of our minds (we are, yes of course, admitting it, not denying one bit, – it’s all in the whole -who we are and what we do -clause 😉

Well, re time etc, we’ve been here a few .. we’ve say oh just a while etc or something coz saying more than it is would involve more extra questions and we try to avoid that. 🙈🙉🙊

One thing we find here is that people are super inquisitive ..like really at times it feels almost like an interrogation 😂🔦

We sit and joke “Geez how many FB posts u think are out there are of us ?” from when we first came till now many many many people have come up and taken pictures with us especially on the beach. Be it a whole group, many times with each person in the group and also couples n families and their kids, we pose with them, we don’t really mind the photo taking.. . as Cox is a tourist spot anyways, people on holiday etc … but then you have the questions… ouff …

• where you come from?
• how long have you been here?
• how do you find Bangladesh?
• how long more are you going to be here?
• what?
• why?
• how?
• which hotel are you staying at?
• can you come for coffee, today , tomorrow, now?
• Do you have facebook?
• Do you have a calling card?
• Do you have Viber, whatsapp etc?
• what’s your contact number?
• how did you two meet?
• where are you going?
• what are you doing today, tomorrow what’s your plan?

Like Daily, steady & constant.

Oh it can get exhausting… Haha. Like some one unknown, randomly assail you with these barrage of questions… wish u could say ‘ erm none of your business?… ‘ and walk on.. right?

Again that said, we are generally nice and stay friendly but it does bring about certain problems like taking a photo (or hundred clicks later.. I’m exaggerating, ..not ) or giving your contact number, suddenly someone assumes that we’ve become bestest buddies and texts you non-stop, don’t care what time it was, be it night or day.
We’ve had round the clock messaging, calls, as early as before the sun’s up till wayyyyyy past midnight like 2 and 3AM.
There’s no getting out of handing your number coz they’d make you dial on the spot n give them a missed call or something… and that entails an add on VIBER, whatsapp, Tango… eishhhh… ☎️📱📡📡⏰ 🙇💆

And then to top that off, you meet someone, be nice n cordial, they give you their FB ID and tells you to add them etc (I’m cautious whom I add anyways and of course it’s your personal right to add or not to add right?! ) .. ..but then you bump into them a few weeks later n they are upset n rags on you asking ‘why didn’t you add me?!’
Erm excuse me? U knows the term subtle hints?
Oh my…
So much so I begin to wonder .. hmm… I’m not sure all this being friendly approach is a good thing or not
coz people take it upon themselves that just coz of that, we’ve became best friends for life type thing and rings us up no matter what the time … Haha bless…. 🙆✌️#subtlehints #boundaries #personalspace

Of course it isn’t all bad, yin and yang, positive negative… all that said we do meet a lot of people too whom we connected and as it turned beautiful friendships bloomed and good acquaintances made.
People who have similar minds, maybe scary at first haha as you try to size them up … but language barriers etc aside, the dynamics of the new friendship makes you go Wow , distances , different parts of the world and different cultures but same cause. 🙏🌏❤️

When we first came it’s to see some things about the country, things we’ve been doing before us coming, things we’ve heard about, also about the people; be it the few times for me or first for Andrew, both wanting to experience various things and reach out where we can.
And that is what it is today. The number of people too who has come up to us with just that first exchange of numbers, in person or online and you meet, chat again and go “hey this is alright..”
Jim and Sarah haha we are tourists. Yes go with that. 😉

Ever heard the saying “And the Universe conspired..” ?
Well that’s the feeling I get about our time here. There have been many things we’ve seen and had the privilege to do … and we reach out and the people I talked about, same thoughts and cause, reaches back and we just compliment and collaborate as we go and things just come together… God blesses.. is all I can say.

Be it the mother struggling to earn for her family on the makeshift roadside stool she sits on under the heat of the day, to orphaned children who lost their parents in a devastating cyclone which wiped out their island or orphaned young girls whom a school have taken in and gave them free education, or providing treats, gifts or simple gesture of buying them a snack , or just walking with them and taking time to know their names and abit about them, those exchanges, those moments, those minutes, no matter what is so so precious and priceless.

Many smiles, rekindled hope , heartwarming and shining from people’s faces and that bit of difference it makes in their lives, a little respite and relief from their struggles, each and every one of them from the wee ones to the old, … just to be able to be a part of it , be it a small gesture or a smile, a hug to one or a contribution to a few all over, be it from us or people we are in contact with in various areas here, as well as parts of the world, friends, family etc, they hear and they want to be a part of it too…
And truly, for Andrew and me, we can sincerely say, from the bottom of our hearts, it has been a real privilege and a truly humbling experience, they have given us in return with all of everything and each and everyone.

God blesses many times over.
Ameen, Amen.

~ Liz ❤️

IMG_0566.JPG

IMG_0722.JPG

IMG_0586.JPG

IMG_0540.JPG

IMG_0370.JPG

IMG_0376.JPG

IMG_0145.JPG

IMG_9767.JPG

IMG_9874.JPG

IMG_9988.JPG

IMG_9973.JPG

IMG_8785.JPG

IMG_9353.JPG

IMG_0082-0.JPG

IMG_9069.JPG

IMG_9346.JPG

IMG_8793.JPG

IMG_8810.JPG

IMG_8828.JPG

IMG_9279.JPG

IMG_8233.JPG

IMG_8310.JPG

IMG_8315.JPG

IMG_8248.JPG

IMG_8128.JPG

IMG_0769.JPG

IMG_0762.JPG

IMG_0504.JPG

IMG_0707.JPG

IMG_0774.JPG

IMG_0773.JPG

IMG_0775.JPG

P.S:~ I want to add a few lines to say a few words… in what we do we only do in our capacity sharing hope, love & support. Many who understands & shares this cause & experience with us, I thank you for all the kindness you have extended and we make it a very high priority to facilitate the help that comes through. God blesses…..❤️
To those who revel in jealousy, envy, and nastiness please take it somewhere else. Deal with whatever it is maturely and think carefully and wisely about the implications of your actions.
I wish you peace, acceptance and the capacity to move on … …
… Let go and Let God. ✌️~L

When all that stands between you & a fair chance is $63.

Growing up, mum would always remind us of the poor kids who don’t have anything and how lucky we are to have the things we have to enjoy a comfortable life. She would say “we (dad & her) provide for you everything…. all you need to do is study and do well”. Or the times when we don’t finish our food she’d again say, “don’t waste… many don’t even have food to eat. ; a toy to play; etc ” those were my early reminders of not to take things for granted and to be grateful for what we have. I’m sure many of us has had that from our parents at some point growing up.

And then you grow up …and then sometimes you forget and you splurge and waste …and then something happens to remind you of all of it again….. and again… and again…..

Many would ask the whys and what brought us here to Bangladesh. Hmm it’s a tricky question to answer coz it’s many things, some with answers +things at different points in our lives that we wanted to do and see etc…

It’s been an amazing journey this trip of ours.. and things we never ever dreamed of doing … well we did dream of certain things and the Epicness of it is , we get to live , do and experience it , .. It is just mind blowing and real eye openers, a truly very very very humbling experience. And at times Andrew will turn to me and say.. “really you can’t just make this up ..” Things just happen, we don’t really plan or have an itinerary for this travel.

How things just flows n happens like the connections in this tangled weave of life, (I’m getting philosophical now bear with me .. haha) … for example like our frequent trips to the beach where we meet many kids ~ I’ve written a lot on our blog page about the Street kids and SeaBeach kids …

… And then you meet a kid like Al Amin, a sweet boy of 12 who sells Cotton Candy on the beach. Always pleasant with a smile as he walks the beach with what he has to sell for the day….

IMG_0198.JPG

The very fact that he is one of the few kids out there who doesn’t asks or hangs on your arm for money from us but instead walks the Seabeach from 4pm daily with his Cotton candy to sell, is one of the things that draws us to him. His ever smiling face and even weaving through the throng of people, he would stop and try to speak to us for a few minutes or if the crowd is not that many, he would spend time with us or collects shells with me and then skips back to work with a wave and his big smile.

Last week he told us his mom just went for an operation. He communicates in his language with a smattering of English words, ever so polite. He went on to explain that the operation was a C-section and that he has a new baby sister (awww…) and asked whether we would like to visit his home. Of course we would! are you kidding? .. So he arranged to meet us back at the beach on Sunday at 10am and he will bring us to his house. 😊

Today is Sunday. We were running late, 30 minutes late because of another invitation earlier that morning. We rushed on the Tom-tom to the beach and my heart sank a bit when I didn’t see him, all the while thinking he must’ve waited and then gave up with a disappointed look on his face. 😭💔
Then as we approached the sand bank near the water, Andrew said “There he is..”
Oh thank God.
Smiling as he walked towards us, he had a pinkish shirt (well thoroughly worn) and a pair of jeans, shoes and all…. awww…
He asked what the time was and I pointed to my watch and said 10.30 . He said in Bengali n hand gestures: “Thirty minutes late”
~ ouff ..Eek! I know…..awe😬 sorry ..

So we hopped on the Tom-tom and off we went to his house in ShomutiPara, a slum village just at the back of the tourist strip of Cox’s Bazar.*•
We then got down from the Tom-tom and a bit of a quick walk in and we approached his house …

OMG….

IMG_0221.JPG

IMG_0220.JPG

*•ShomutiPara is one of the 3 villages behind Cox’s bazar airport just past the runways. We were told by another one of our friends that the people residing there are mainly from the islands of Moreshkali and surrounding ones. Those islands suffered devastating damage during the 1991 cyclone and many of it’s people came down to Cox and resettled in these Paras.

Back to the story …

We’ve been to a few shacks on our trip before this but this hut was quite something. A low door and front wall build on a clay bank is it’s front foundation , we had to duck low to cross the doorway into the house. first thing as you cross through was kind of a front space area where we would call it the vestibule (?)

There were odds and ends stored there together with the unsold packets of cotton candy from the previous day. Then there’s another doorway to a dimly lit space which serves as a family room which also doubles up as a dining, living and a place where his parents and him and his 2 sisters sleep. His grandmother and uncle greeted us at his home. His mom and dad n new baby sister had gone to the hospital for a post natal check to clean her Csection wound.

Back to the layout of his house, to the left of that living area cum dining and sleep area, there’s a small room with a cupboard and a bed for his uncle n aunt. Back of house is the open kitchen with its clay built oven and another small back utility room. That was it. 8 people in the house.

There was hardly any other furniture sans a few plastic chairs as the father had to sell their furniture to pay for the mom’s operation. I read her medical file from the hospital. She had had to go for an emergency Csection a month before her expected due date because she was bleeding due to Placenta previa ( where the placenta detached prematurely from the womb, a very dangerous risk as it cuts the oxygen supply to baby and mother could die from complications such as hemorrhage)

An hour later, his parents and baby sister came home and we spent the afternoon with the family, who was so hospitable it is so humbling to be in their house. Hardly enough to make ends meet with meager possessions but wanted so much for us to join them for lunch and grandma began to cook in the kitchen as we sat and spend the time doting on his newborn sister.

IMG_0226.PNG

We sat and talked to his uncle who was the translator for the household and his mom who was on the living room floor resting and you could see she was quite struggling wz the pain from the operation.

As we chatted I asked whether Al Amin goes to school. His uncle explained that he did attend Madrasah but coz of the family’s financial constrains, the family could not afford the school fees and that he has to go out to work instead but his sister attends the Madrasah.

I queried further how much was the school fees for a month. The uncle replied “400 taka” that’s >> 5USD (mind blown, quick count times 12 is = 60 dollars a year)
OMG ….

All thoughts crossed ones mind at that moment. OMG is that what it came down to? A realization that hits you hard that that is what stands between a fair chance in education for the child – and one who is clearly smart , sharp & witty and hardworking and polite – ….is a mere 60$ .
How do one from a better situation than this family, be able to wrap their mind around this? That that for that amount alone I could easily spend it on a pair of shoes or something frivolous. Ouff.

(And again Mom’s words starts to play in my head…)

I asked again if we provided for his fees would he enroll again to school? His uncle said yes.

Well then….. Done.

We told them we will arrange for money to be transferred to our close friend here in Cox for long term plan and they can collect it from him for payment for AlAmin’s school fees. 60$ a year.
You can’t look yourself in the face if you can’t provide at least that. I can’t.

Bangladesh alone has a population of approx 160 million and true some would argue “…Pffft .. Just one, what about the million others like Al Amin or worse. ?”

my answer to whomever thinks that would be this: my favorite story of all ….

IMG_0227.JPG

We post photos with kids, of the kids, some orphaned, others just victim of circumstances of being born poor and tell stories of our visits and meeting these kids on our trips around Bangladesh coz , as common or as hard as it is, depending on what you think of all the 3rd world problems etc, it’s also a method for us to reach out, so that if anyone feels they would like to chip in, support, or sponsor a child, we can try and facilitate that. And some people have. It has nothing to do about promoting ourselves or our egos.
It’s about how we can tell their story and with it, maybe that which is as small as one child’s situation or a whole school’s challenges like bigger classrooms and strong, safer infrastructure of the existing school, to clothing and meals, everybody and everyone can reach out and help to “make a difference to that one” and to “remind us of the poor kids who don’t have anything “… it may be a very small sum to us, $60 ….but for the children in this part of the whole wide world, it truly does and can make a huge huge difference.

~Liz ❤️

“Even the smallest act of caring for another person is like a drop of water -it will make ripples throughout the entire pond…”

“If you’re giving to get, all you’ll receive is disappointment. But if you’re giving to give, all you’ll receive is joy.

And my favorite of all is….

“We’re all in this together.”

IMG_8731.JPG

IMG_8729.JPG

IMG_0222.JPG

📮ttravelers2@gmail.com
Twitter : @ttravelers2
Instagram: #travelingtravelers

Hopefully some handy tips for the Foreign Tourist 🌐📍

I first came to Bangladesh 22 years ago, lived in Dhaka for 3 years …and yes it’s pretty much the same way things are all round, but with more modern high rised buildings and highways built but OMG the traffic! ; especially in Dhaka it has gotten very congested; even the locals complain about it.

Today, Dhaka’s population alone is at a staggering 14,251,000 million (Chittagong, 4,816,000 people) …yes you can see why it’s that bad…. Between rickshaws, talagari, buses, lorries, cars, Tom-toms , cows, sheep, goats, dogs and people, people and more people …

On average we calculated on peak hours, which seem nowadays every time, it takes 2 hours each way for a trip from just it’s outskirts. (Eg from Uttara, which is near the airport to areas like, Motijeel the heart of Dhaka City – Distance: Uttara to Motijeel is 17kms. Dhaka Airport to Motijeel 14.9kms).

Communicating wise etc generally you are able to communicate in English but if you’re talking with locals like the Rickshaw drivers or Market sellers etc, we have found it’s easier to have on your phone, screenshots of simple Bengali phrases n words or have pictures* ready to show so the locals who don’t converse well and can’t really grasp what you are after or trying to say.. it definitely saves the nerves and the time, yours and theirs.

✈️📍When you fly in depending on the propose of visit, I’m assuming most visitors to Bangladesh are “Tourists” just like us, so yeah a Visa on Arrival can be easily obtained at the Airport. (Do check though for eligibility of country you’re from).

📇 Once your plane lands, come down through, at the Passport Clearance area, find the counter with the sign “Visa on Arrival”. The police guy at the desk will just ask you some question like purpose of visit and length of stay (easier to just say holiday or Tourist) and he fills out a receipt type paper and points you to the cashiers counter where you pay USD 50 for it , with 30 days stay. 💵
*scroll down for visa extension info*

Back track a bit to pre-travel ; on what we packed and brought along as in supplies for the simple things we are used to :

3-in-1 Coffee Packets
Tea Bags
Small packets of Sugar
(We can’t live without Caffeine) ☕️☕️

It’s not that you can’t get them here, it’s just handy to have when you arrive for the first few days as you try to get your bearings of the place. Different if you are in a 4 or 5 star hotel where, you know, ..posh, of course, you have your coffee/tea provided in your room & mini bar etc (oh my ..haha *clink🍸 * ) .. can… but We travel cheap and wing it as we go.

That said I also did pack :

•Plastic Cutlery🍴
•(2 sets) Metal Spoon/fork/teaspoon

Medication – 💊
•paracetamol,
•band aids,
•calamine lotion, 🆒
•✔️cream for bites, burns, sting (Japanese brand – Mopiko- works wonders!) 💫👍
•medicated plasters for backaches 💪
•Brufen – for fever & pain 🙇

•Anti diarrhea medication (never had to use it so far, touch wood) 🚽
•Activated Charcoal

••Mosquito/Insect Repellant (A Must have!) 🐜🐝🐞💥

•Tea tree Oil ( or you can bring Lavender Oil, helps with wiping down beds for bugs etc in dodgy places) 💦😂

•Sunscreen
•Toothpaste
•Shampoo
•Conditioner
•Dental Floss

💦Water Purification Tablets – we have been drinking the tap water here , just pop these tablets in, and use it for our kettle for our tea & coffee. ✔️✔️

We bought an electric kettle in Dhaka for 1500tk and we bring it with us everywhere we go.

Other things that are handy to have :

A dozen copies of Passport sized photograph
Passport Copies
Hand held fan🔆

🔋🔌Power Bank charger for phone, iPad, laptop coz the powercuts happen very often, like daily. (Too important also for on-the-go )

We brought along too:

Rope
Clothes pegs for our laundry
Tape
Anti bacterial Wipes

And any other prescription medication or what you normally have to take for maintainace & upkeep 🙂 .. for me it is my muscle relaxant for my neck… an old injury from a car accident… Sigh….

🔆Wherever you go, it’s a good idea to bring a bottle of mineral water to drink coz it can get pretty hot and you don’t want to be stuck in the hot Tom-tom on those long trips or walks under the hot Sun and dying of dehydration. (Drama I know and of course you can buy from shops, but better to have it in your bag) 💦👒☔️☀️⛅️

Yeah because you move around so much, trips and side trips etc, better come prepared some what with a bit of supplies.

We have had one encounter with quite an appalling hotel, where there was Paan (beetle leaf /nut) red spit marks on walls n floor, insects of few kinds, food under the mattress from God knows when, awful no flush squat type toilets. That said not all hotels are like that … 3 Star onwards are decent. 5 star hotels like the Sheraton, Raddisson, and the likes, you won’t even know you’re in Bangladesh.🎩👑

🔉📱Phone and Internet : most hotels would have wifi and/or you can buy a local SIM card at Airport arrival (Robi service provider at 500tk registration) it has 3G so you’ll be alright for Internet connections where there is no wifi service in hotel or outside. 316TK for 1GB usage. If you need credit top ups just walk into any shops, they can top up for you. (just give your local mobile number). You’ll receive a text from the service provider for the new credit top up.

🚩Anyway… If for any reason … after all that sightseeing and stay and adventure you decide you want to extend your stay, you can…. for a total of up to 90 days from your first date of arrival.
What we found hardest is different people + info on certain websites is not very accurate hence different versions n explanations given which can be very frustrating. (Hence this Blog post)

Anyway if you want to extend, here’s what you need:

1. Your Passport 🎫
2. Money, 💰and lots of it. (See attached pic for visa fees according to country) Ours came to 8000tk for 2, plus 10000tk they had asked us to pay to expedite the process time which was total bullocks; it’s actually bribe money for “not much help given”.

3. A 45mm x 35mm passport photo (Bring 2 just in case).
4. A filled out Machine Readable Visa Application Form (MRV Form). 📇Download one:
http://www.dip.gov.bd/sites/default/files/MACHINE%20READABLE%20VISA%20%20FORM.pdf
5. The immigration office opens between 10:00 am (maybe 9) and 13:00pm. 🏢

The address, for the Immigration Department in Dhaka , is:
Passport Bhaban
E-7, Agargaon
Sher-e-Banglanagar, Dhaka

In Chittagong :
Mansurabad,Chittagong

For other info on getting around etc, I don’t want to be giving point to point cause it sounds so serious 👯 and some may find it easier, some may find it harder. Either way , please do read our previous blog entries as we described our experiences with all these during our stay so far in Bangladesh.

Hope all this helps!
Cheers!

~Liz ❤️

IMG_0262-0.JPG
Supplies

IMG_5092.PNG

IMG_5091.PNG

IMG_5090.PNG

IMG_5089.PNG
Words & Phrases

IMG_8425.PNG

IMG_8426.PNG
Visa extension fees

IMG_0148.PNG
Map Dhaka Airport to Motijeel

IMG_5138.JPG