Your experience matters the most to us
Hotel 71 is strictly a corporate hotel, but we do receive a fair share of leisure minded travellers. Hence we have put together a list of hints and tips to help you acclimatise to the nuances of Dhaka city. It can be an ordeal if you come unprepared, but not so much. So it is in that regards we have put together a list of hints and tips so you can make a smart and safe travel in Dhaka city and other parts of Bangladesh. Bangladesh won’t perhaps make into the bucket list for many people, but for a selective few its an enlightening experience.
Never accept hitchhike rides while you are in Dhaka city. You’re safety is in your hand once you step outside Hotel 71. We reiterate, never use black or mini cabs, they are looming with trouble. Peak times are between 7:45 am – 10:00 am, 1 pm – 3 pm, 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm; ensure if you plan to head to a destination at or around this time, you depart with plenty of time in your hand or else you might find yourself running pretty late.
Rickshaw riding can be very fun, almost like a bicycle but with three wheels. We do also suggest to refrain using rickshaw around or after dusk to foreigners, there are few bad apples around the street, so better be safe than sorry.
We suggest to refrain from trying local street food, unless you have a strong tummy and love the thrill with new delicacies.
Refrain from buying goods that looks like a genuine brand but seems like too good a price for it, let’s face it, if it’s too good to be true, it most likely is. Unless of course the seller is honest about what he is selling and tells you that it is an imitation, then in that case, our tip would be to let your personal feelings walk you through the decision of buying it or walking away.
In all honestly there isn’t really much to see in Dhaka, except for the relentless rhythm of life, the nuances of emotions which will envelop you as you sink into the day of a local. That’s where truly the beauty and the best of the sights is we believe, you can sit down at the Dhanmondi lake and feel that 30 minutes somehow extends to the length of a day, not because it’s boring, but because time is somewhat blessed in Dhaka. Hours tick by at a very different pace than what you are used to, you will see smiles where you thought it wouldn’t exist, you will see the most unassuming kids selling flowers, toys on the street and other creative ways to make a living. You will see adults making a living on the street only by selling tea, someone only sells packets of biscuit, it is amazing! If you’re a photographer or a poet, every corner of the street will be your ultimate muse in Dhaka!
We suggest you take a day trip to Elephant road, don’t worry there are no elephant’s, probably once were. But now it’s all shoes, sandals, it’s like the global depot for footwear. You should also try Metro Shopping mall, Rifles Square and Bashundhora City for all your apparel needs. Take a local with you if you can, cause they are very good at haggling, in case if you prefer to go alone on this adventurous shopping spree, make sure the price they offer you, you offer back something less than half of what they asked.
Avoid buses and cars at all cost, picketers target them. Rickshaw are more safe during this troubled hours. But yes, the best choice is to ride it out, just like how winter polar bears do during the deep winter hibernation. But if you absolutely must have to go out, we suggest to opt only for rickshaw; those feeble looking three wheel drive.
Saving the worst for last, if you ever get caught in one of those very rare unpleasant experience; be submissive. It will likely to take place around night times or at places where there is hardly any people around. The safest bet is to not walk with a lot of money in your pocket, or carry an expensive mobile if you are foreigners. You don’t know the street or place like the locals do, so play smart. Carry a 10 year old disposable mobile, that’s what we would suggest. Of course, this whole tip would do you a world of good if you’re an avid traveller who likes to get absorbed into the local way of life.