CAPITAL

Dhaka is the capital and largest city of Bangladesh. It is the cultural and economic hub of the country. Having a colossal historical background, the old part of the city, known as Old Dhaka or Old Town, is home to a broad range of architectural heritage starting from the vestiges of the Mughal Empire to the British Colonial buildings. Being the centre of the independence movements of Bangladesh, Dhaka also hosts some significant national monuments andstructures. There are a number of annual cultural events held in Dhaka like Pohela Falgun, Pohela Baishakh and Ekushe Book Fair which add a unique flavour to the city.

The modernization and development of Dhaka during the last couple of decades has made the development of international five star chain hotels profitable and spurred the building of some of the largest shopping malls in the Asia. There are some amusement parks in and around Dhaka. There are 2 golf courses situated in Dhaka.

Dhaka is a thriving, colourful and congested metropolis of some 18 million people. Given the number of people that live there, and the density they live in, Dhaka is one of the most frenetic places on Earth. The streets and rivers are filled with colourful chaos. It also plays host to the highest number of rickshaws in any city in the world, totalling around 400,000; you certainly won’t miss them. Experiencing the city for the first time can often seem overwhelming.

Since the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, Dhaka has been developing as fast as a modern city and is the country’s centre of industrial, commercial, cultural, educational and political activity. Depending on where you start from, a thirty minute rickshaw ride can take you from crowded shanty towns near Old Dhaka to the glitzy high­class neighbourhoods of Gulshan and Banani where a meal costs more than most people earn in a week.

Motijheel is the main commercial area of the city. Dhaka’s main waterfront, Sadarghat, is on the banks of the river Buriganga in Old Dhaka and is crowded with various ferries, yachts, paddle steamers, fisherman’s boats and floating dhabas all bustling with activity. If you have time, do visit Hatirjheel, the newly built urban lakefront, in the middle of the city.

Most of the people will speak Bengali to communicate. Although some Urdu/Hindi speaking population resides in some parts of Old Dhaka, in Bihari Camp in Mirpur and in Geneva Camp in Mohammadpur. You can find English speaking people but do not expect the CNG drivers or rickshaw­walas to speak English. But they will understand enough to take you to your destination.

SHOPPING MALLS

Dhaka has some of the largest shopping malls in the Asia. Bashundhara City (on Pantha Path just west of the Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon) is the closest replica of the malls found in Asia with Food Courts, Movie Theatres as well as small shops spanning over a whopping 8 floors. Jamuna Future Park (Near Bashundhara Residential Area) is the new and most modern of the shopping malls in Dhaka with several 3D theaters, a good amount of brand stores, an extensive food court, a bowling alley, as well as a rather large outdoor amusement park. However. there are numerous mid size malls in every neighborhood of the city. Banga (or Bango) Bazar is a block

west of the Gulistan bus station on Kamruzzaman Sharani Street at the edge of Old Dhaka. New Market on Mirpur Road in Dhanmondi, just west of Dhaka University, is the largest market in the city and it has more class, more room and just as much choice. Aarong, a well known chain with several outlets around Dhaka and one in London, is owned by BRAC (the largest development organisation in the world) and sells handicrafts and clothing at moderately high prices. Several other renowned brands are Aranya (60 Kemal Ataturk, Banani), Jatra (same building as Aranya), Anjan’s (Several outlets in Dhanmondi, Bashundhara City and Banani Road 11) etc.

FOODS

Dhaka has an enormous variety of food catering to all budgets. Old Dhaka is overflowing with cheap Bangladeshi food where a meal can be had from Tk 200 ($2.50), while in the upscale areas such as Gulshan and Banani you can find just about any type of cuisine you can imagine ­ Chinese, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Greek, Mexican and franchises such as Pizza Hut, KFC are abundant. Reservations are usually not required in most restaurants. A lot of the buffet­ style restaurants in this neighborhood have Taka: 700 to 2000, fixed price menu. Few of them are listed below:

● Western Cuisine

Flambé, House # 6, Road # 50, Gulshan # 2, Dhaka.

Spaghetti Jazz, Alam Arcade. 43, Gulshan circle­2, Dhaka.

A&W, 54 Gulshan Avenue, Dhaka­1212. (Other Branch: Dhanmondi Road 2/A,

Steakhouse, (Road­90 House­2, Gulshan­ 2, beside Unimart, Dhaka. Email: info@steakhousebd.com)

Nandos (House # 175/A, Road # 61, Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan # 2, Dhaka). (Other Branch: House ­ 43. Road ­ 16 (New) 27 (Old), Dhanmondi, Dhaka ­ 1206)

KFC (House­ 84, Road ­ 7/A, Dhanmondi, Dhaka.

Other Branches:

I. Bir Uttam Mir Shawkat Ali Sorok (South Avenue),Gulshan 1, Dhaka;

II. 40 Kemal Ataturk Avenue,Dhaka;

III. 10 Natok Sarani,New Baily Road,Dhaka.

Pizza Hut, Plot # 754, Satmosjid Road, Dhanmondi R/A, Dhaka- 1205,

Other Branches:

I. 3, New Baily Road, 10, Natok Sharoni, Gold Hunt Shopping Complex, Dhaka;

II. Road- 140, SE(F), – 1, Bir Uttam Mir Shawkat Ali Shorok, (South Avenue), Gulshan – 1, Dhaka- 1212;

III. Adept N. R. Complex, Plot- Ka 5/2, Bashundhara Link Road, Jagannathpur, Badda, Dhaka-1229;

IV. Plot- 13, Sec- 13, Sonargaon Janapath, Uttara, Dhaka;

V. Spring Rahmat E Tuba, Plot- 132, Road- 2, Block-A, Section- 12,

Mirpur, Dhaka.

BBQ Bangladesh, 175, Gulshan Avenue, Dhaka­ 1212.

● Local Cuisine

Hotel Al­Razzak, 29/1 North South Road, Bangshal, Dhaka.

Haji Biriyani, Nazira Bazar (close to Bango Bazar), Old Dhaka

Hotel Star, House­ 15,Road­ 17,Block­ C,Banani,Dhaka.

Bismillah Kabab, Kazi Alauddin Road, Old Dhaka

Fakruddin, 119, Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Ave, Dhaka.

Dhanshiri, Road­ 46, Plot 32/A, Gulshan 2, Dhaka­1212.

● Japanese Cuisine:

Samdado, House­ 27, Road­ 35, Gulshan­2, Dhaka­ 1212.

ICHI, Chandiwala mansion, House­ 32, Road­ 11, Block­ G, Banani, Dhaka.

Izumi, House­ 24, Road­ 113, Gulshan­2, Dhaka.

● Korean Cuisine:

Koreana, House­ 22, Road­ 123, Gulshan­1, Dhaka­ 1212.

Dae Jang Geum, House­ 11/B, Road­ 50, Gulshan­ 2, Dhaka­ 1212.

Doo Mi Ok, House­ 159 Road­ 11 Block­ E Banani, Dhaka­ 1213.

Goong the Castle, House­ 12/B Road­ 50,Gulshan­2, Dhaka­1212.

SURA, House­ 7/2 ,Road­ 71, Gulshan­2, Dhaka 1212.

Arirang, Arirang Hangar Complex General Aviation Area ( Besides Flying Club) HSIA, Kurmitola, Dhaka­1229.

● Indian Cuisine

Kabab Factory, House­ 2, Lake Drive Road, Rabindra Sarani, Sector­ 7, Uttara, Dhaka­1230, Email: info@kababfactory.com.bd (Other Branch: House­ 9/A, Road­ 53, Gulshan­2, Dhaka.)

Khazana, House­ 09, Road­ 55 Gulshan­2 Dhaka­ 1212, Bangladesh.

Sajna, House­ 14, Road­ 11, Block­ H, Banani, Dhaka­1213.

Handi, House­ 68, Road­ 10, Block­ D, Banani, Dhaka 1213.