Often overlooked due to its chaotic nature, Dhaka is the hub for activity in Bangladesh. Dhaka is a juxtaposition of older and newer, as well as wealth and poverty as shantytowns line up the streets just outside of the prominent Gulshan and Banani neighbourhoods. With UNESCO sights and prominent monuments, Dhaka is slowly gaining momentum.
Walking through the buildings in Dhaka is a historical swing from the Islamic Mughal Empire to British colonial homes to ultra-modern shopping malls and chain restaurants. Life in Old Dhaka offers a bustling street life atmosphere with mosques, barbers, street vendors, and kebobs along crumbling sidewalks. Comforts of home are easier to find in North Dhaka, which is better maintained and often much cleaner. Coworker recommends checking out Dahmondi Lake for festivals and concerts. The area tends to attract a younger crowd and is a favourite amongst foreigners and locals alike.
Dhaka is one of the densest cities in the world and has the traffic to reflect it resulting in heavy pollution. Though the cycle-rickshaw is the most popular form of transport, its slow nature backs up the streets for long waits. Many people are choosing to cycle themselves to bypass long line ups of larger, less agile vehicles. Be prepared to hit the pedals!
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