- 200 million
Lush greenery, pristine forests, the Bengal tiger and not a bad cricket team… Those are just a few of Bangladesh’s assets. It’s also the only country to have six official seasons – summer, rainy, autumn, cool, winter and spring – instead of four.
It’s a country that offers just as many reasons to visit as its more highly fancied neighbours like India and Myanmar. The historic heart of Old Dhaka is a sprawl of alleyways and markets that unravel at the waterfront of Sadar Ghat. From there, river cruises offer a more relaxed view of the city while stopping at historic monuments like Lalbagh Fort and the Baitul Muharram Mosque, one of the biggest in the world.
Find solace in the Buddhist villages of Kaptai Lake and the ruins of Bagerhat where fifteenth-century warrior saint Khan Jahan Ali ruled and lived. Sundarbans National Park contains the largest mangrove forest in the world and boat trips offer glimpses of exotic monkeys, birds, deer and perhaps even the elusive Bengal tiger.
Although not known as a beach destination, you should head to Cox’s Bazaar, where there’s a stretch of golden sand that’s 125 kilometres long. There’s been a bit of unauthorised development along the beach, so get there before this little piece of paradise is gone.