World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide

Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Indian Subcontinent

Bangladesh Travelling Guide
Bangladesh Travelling Guide

General background: Bangladesh came into existence in 1971 when Bengali East Pakistan seceded from its union with West Pakistan. About a third of this extremely poor country floods annually during the monsoon rainy season, hampering economic development.

Area comparative: Slightly smaller than Iowa

Climate: Tropical; mild winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March to June); humid, warm rainy monsoon (June to October)

Terrain: Mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast

Population: 133,376,684 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Bengali 98%, tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims (1998)

Religions: Muslim 83%, Hindu 16%, other 1% (1998)

Language: Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English

Government type: Parliamentary democracy

Capital: Dhaka

Legal system: Based on English common law

Economic overview: Despite sustained domestic and international efforts to improve economic and demographic prospects, Bangladesh remains a poor, overpopulated, and ill-governed nation. Although more than half of GDP is generated through the service sector, nearly two-thirds of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single most important product. Major impediments to growth include frequent cyclones and floods, inefficient state-owned enterprises, inadequate port facilities, a rapidly growing labour force that cannot be absorbed by agriculture, delays in exploiting energy resources (natural gas), insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Economic reform is stalled in many instances by political infighting and corruption at all levels of government. Progress also has been blocked by opposition from the bureaucracy, public sector unions, and other vested interest groups. The newly-elected BNP government, led by Prime Minister Khaleda ZIA, has the parliamentary strength to push through needed reforms, but the party's level of political will to do so remains undetermined.

Communication/Telephone system: Totally inadequate for a modern country, modernizing; introducing digital systems; trunk systems include VHF and UHF microwave radio relay links, and some fibre-optic cable in cities. Satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean); international radiotelephone communications and landline service to neighbouring countries (2000).

Places of interest:

Travel Tips: Despite being the world's most crowded country, rural Bangladesh feels relaxed, spacious and friendly: travellers from India have been agreeably surprised to find border officials offering them cups of tea rather than reams of forms to fill in. Facilities are limited but if you have an independent streak, it's definitely worth avoiding the crowds heading to India and Nepal and following the old slogan of Bangladesh's tourist body: 'Come to Bangladesh before the tourists'.