Stay Safe in Bangladesh
Following a series of assaults particularly targeting foreigners committed by Islamist extremists that started in September 2015 and culminated in a café attack in Dhaka that killed 20 foreigners on July 5, 2016, the United States and Japan issued travel warnings to Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is a nation where people are kind and open-minded. However, since it is a poor nation with a high poverty rate, there are destitute or nasty individuals who may exploit a foreigner or visitor. Some of their tactics may be seen in frauds and ordinary pickpockets.
Use common sense measures, such as avoiding wandering alone after dark or needlessly. Also, if you’re in danger, make a lot of noise to attract the attention of others, who will almost certainly rush to your rescue. Foreigners, particularly Caucasians, will feel comfortable strolling about the city’s streets since you will certainly be seen by a large number of inquisitive individuals at all times. Keep your valuables close at hand while commuting by rickshaw, CNG (auto-rickshaw), or bus. Wearing costly jewelry without care is not recommended; most middle-class individuals today wear gold/silver, rhinestone/clay imitations, and beaded pendants.
Local women’s attire differs by faith and religious conservatism, socio-political environment (which changes by historical period), geographical location, and socio-economic position. As a visitor, it is generally preferable to wear at least a salwar kameez, which is both simple to wear and reasonably flexible and practical while being culturally acceptable. If you don’t have or don’t want to purchase a salwar kameez, wrap a big scarf over your upper body instead. Bangladesh is a conservative country, and if you’re a foreign lady, you’ll get a lot of attention. Wearing shorts, tank tops, or anything with a lot of skin is not a good idea. However, much of Bangladesh is a somewhat liberal Muslim nation, and young people in major cities (such as Dhaka, Chittagong, and others) are well-acquainted with Western culture.
In Bangladesh, national strikes, also known as “hartals,” are a common form of political protest. In recent years, the political opposition has called for a number of these hartals, which have resulted in the virtual shutdown of transportation and trade, as well as assaults on people who do not follow the hartals. During the hartals, clashes between opposing political parties led in fatalities and injuries. Any political protest, demonstration, or stroll must be avoided by visitors. Visitors should take care in all locations and remain as inside as possible during hartals. Hartals, manifestations, and other manifestations may happen at any moment and last anywhere from a few minutes to many weeks. If you’re in Bangladesh during a strike, expect your reserved road transportation choices to be unavailable, since protestors are used to blocking roadways and torching any cars on the road. Taking the train as an alternative is a good idea since protestors seldom obstruct the tracks. If you have an urgent need to go someplace (such as the airport) during a strike, you may hire an ambulance that will transport you across strike zones for a charge. Some areas of Dhaka may be under police control during the strikes, allowing for safe transit.
It is advised not to eat, drink, or smoke anything given by strangers – this is a rising issue in many Asian nations countries, and you will often notice posters advising you not to use buses, trains, or other forms of public transportation. You should not accept someone’s offer of a home-cooked dinner, but you should think carefully about accepting the candy that the person sitting next to you just gave you. In addition, keep cleanliness standards for local street food and snacks in mind.
Many people are killed by buses, coaches, and fast vehicles. Cars often disregard traffic signals and traffic lights, and traffic bottlenecks are unavoidable, making transit for pedestrians very difficult. The most important thing to remember is to avoid driving or walking alone on major highways. As a result, road travel (if absolutely required) is best accomplished with a local driver in a decent vehicle equipped with seat belts. Rickshaws should be used with care; although they are a highly genuine local unit, they are also the most hazardous mode of transportation, particularly on major roads (it is now prohibited).
Under Bangladeshi law, homosexual conduct between consenting adults is punishable by prison terms ranging from 2 to 10 years. Travelers who identify as LGBT must take caution.
Stay Healthy in Bangladesh
- Because tap water is frequently unsafe for foreign stomachs, and some hand-made tube wells are polluted with natural arsenic, it is advised that you drink bottled water. This will readily pass through filters that are solely intended to screen out germs. Boiling your own water or using purification tablets are also more ecologically responsible options. Arsenic, on the other hand, can only be removed via distillation. Mom, Fresco, and Spa are three brands that come highly recommended.
- It’s also a good idea to be cautious while eating from street sellers; make sure the food is hot and freshly prepared.
- Mosquitoes may be plentiful in certain regions and towns, particularly during rainy and humid seasons, and mosquito networks are often supplied to cover your bed at night, even in the cheapest hotels and in all houses.
- Consult your travel doctor about malaria and typhoid fever precautions. Before you go, be immunized and take preventative and curative medications.
- Pollution may be an issue in certain places, like as Dhaka and Chittagong, therefore bring an oxygen tank with you. While some recent attempts to clean up the nation have been made, such as a ban on plastic bags, there is still a long way to go, and most people use the numerous waterways as landfills: swimming is dangerous in most places, rivers, and plain useless in a lake.