Covid 19 Safety
All of our staff are vaccinated including booster dose!
We maintain COVID-19 protective measures to ensure a safer touring environment for everyone
This tour is available to start on any Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday outside the schedule –round the year.
It is advised to book this tour at least 6 weeks in advance.
Private and Group Tour Price
The price of the tour mentioned in the price chart above is the starting price for the group tours, assuming you want to join with other people on the tour and reduce your cost. The price for an exclusive private tour will be different than mentioned in the chart above.
We will try to include other people on the tour once you book a group tour. If we find anyone to join the tour later, the entire price will reduce accordingly. We will take a maximum of five people on this tour including you.
We will not include anyone else on the tour in case of booking a private tour. Contact us for the price of a private tour if you do not want to join anyone else on the tour.
Early-Booking and Off-Season Discounts
Early-Booking discount is available for the first two travelers to join any scheduled tour six months in advance. Discount will not be applicable for any tour outside the schedule.
Use code “EARLY BOOKING” on the booking form to get the early booking discount.
Off-Season discount is available for everyone to book this tour anytime from April to September of the year.
Use code “OFFSEASON” on the booking form to get the off-season discount.
None of the discounts will be available for booking a private tour.
On Day-1 Upon arriving at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, after finishing with the immigration and collecting luggage when you come outside using the Green Channel Exit, you will find hotel staff and visitors waiting. You can find your guide by searching around as the guide will be waiting with a sign in your name, or with a placard with Bangladesh Scenic Tours logo.
Sometimes, the authority restricts visitors inside the airport temporarily. In that case, the guide will be waiting outside Terminal-2 (come using Exit-2).
For the domestic flights, our guide/ driver will be waiting at the domestic terminal exit.
Hotels and Resorts
Hotels used on this tour are tourist standard hotels of mostly 2-star and 3-star standard, with customary facilities for the foreigners e.g. clean room, air-conditioning, hot water, western-style toilet, and complimentary breakfast. Only Naz Garden Hotel in Bogra is 4-star and Long Beach Hotel in Cox’ Bazar is 5-star.
State-run Parjatan Hotels have all the standard facilities, but the hotels are poorly maintained. These are the best hotels in those areas, so we are sticking with them until better hotels develop there.
Cottages at Nisorgo Eco Resort in Srimangal are very basic without air-conditioning. They have fans in the rooms. They also have 2 rooms in the brick cottages with air-conditioning. Let us know in advance if you want to stay in one of these rooms. We’ll book them for you if available. You can also book Grand Sultan Tea Resort at Srimangal on your own, which is 5-star rated accommodation and close to Nisorgo. We will deduct the price of Nisorgo in that case. You need to confirm this with us during the booking.
Cottages at Hillside Resort in Bandarban are also very basic, and they are located in a hilly area. You need to climb up some stairs to reach your room. Most of the cottages here have air-conditioning facilities. There is no alternative hotel here to book though.
Bangladesh is full of mosquitoes. You may find some of your hotels too. Hotels will normally spray insecticide in your room to keep them away. But if they don’t, give a call to the reception instead of spending a sleepless night. They will come and spray as many times as you need. You can also bring a mosquito spray or buy one upon arrival at the beginning of your trip, which will cost less than USD 5 and will cover your whole trip.
Hotels in Bangladesh try to provide their best services to foreigners. If there is any sort of issues, please share your problems during the stay. They will provide the best possible solution to resolve the issue.
You can book your hotels in Dhaka online for more upscale ones if you like. In that case, you need to arrange the shifting to and from the airport and railway station with your hotel. We will deduct the price for that case from the tour price. If you opt-in for this option, please inform us during the booking.
Bangladesh Scenic Tours reserves the right to change any hotel listed in the itinerary to a similar standard one if the actual hotel is not available to book.
Hotel Check-in and Check-out Hours
On Day-1, the check-in time at Civic Inn is 14.00hrs. If you have an early morning flight, we can arrange an early check-in for an additional half-day charge depending on availability.
We have set-aside Day-1 of the itinerary as an ‘arrival day.’ For this reason and because tour participants are likely to be arriving at different times, and often from different countries, guided sightseeing or other activities are not included. If you are arriving early or before the start date of the tour and would like to organize some extra arrangements privately, please feel free to contact us.
Check-out time on the last day at Civic Inn is 12.00hrs. If you have a late flight, we can arrange a late check-out for an additional half-day charge within 18.00hrs based on availability.
The itinerary for Barisal is a general outline and not fixed. The activities will vary depending on the season and day of the week.
The place we will explore in Barisal is very remote, and there will be no decent restaurant there. We will arrange breakfast and lunch on our boat with bread, egg, jam, tea and coffee, and locally purchased seasonal fruits. You will find decent restaurants for dinner upon returning to Barisal city in the evening.
Rocket Paddle Steamer
Rocket journey is not guaranteed due to several reasons. The chances of riding a Rocket are very slim as the regular schedule is not always followed for the engine and other issues. We do not encourage anyone to book this tour for the Rocket journey as the main interest.
We will use traditional ferries up to Barisal most of the time instead of the Rocket and drive to Bagerhat from there. If Rocket is running and we can manage the tickets for them, it would be great.
The first-class ticket of Rocket depends on availability. You might have to travel in the 2nd class if the 1st class is unavailable. The only difference between the 1st and 2nd class on the Rocket is, the 2nd class is located on the backside and has no air-conditioning. Other facilities are almost the same. Passengers of the 2nd class can use all the facilities of the 1st class, e.g. dining area, toilets, and the sitting area on the front side.
On Monday and Thursday, a traditional ferry comes in service instead of the paddle steamers. If you book for these days, you have to travel on the traditional ferry instead of a paddle-wheel steamer.
Even in the first-class cabins of Rocket, sometimes air-conditioning might be broken. We will try to move you to a cabin with working air-conditioning if available. If that is not possible, Bangladesh Scenic Tours will not have any responsibility regarding this, as this boat is not under our authority.
Please also be informed that there is no shower in the Rocket paddle steamers.
Traveling on Trains
First-class train tickets will be served depending on availability. Sometimes they mysteriously disappear even before arriving at the selling counter. We will try our best to get first-class for you. But if that is not possible, second class tickets will be provided, which is without air-conditioning. Creating ‘situations’ or blaming us saying taking all of your money and not providing first-class tickets will not resolve the issue.
In the case of traveling on the 2nd class of a train, you will have a reserved seat.
While traveling from Khulna to Rajshahi and Dhaka to Srimangal on the train, it will be very early for your hotel to provide breakfast that morning. We will buy breakfast for you on the train, which is a package of bread slices and jam, a piece of fried chicken, a couple of pieces of cutlet, a bottle of water, and tea.
It is common for the trains in Bangladesh to be 1-2 hours late. But no matter when they arrive, our drivers will always be waiting for you at the station to take you to your hotel.
Traveling on Car and Tuk-Tuk
We use a car only while it is not possible to avoid, e.g. no train, boat, or flight. Roads in Bangladesh are not always up to the mark and at times there is heavy traffic. So, we advise you to be patient while traveling in the car.
The distance mentioned in the itinerary is taken from Google Maps.
The travel time mentioned in the itinerary is our best judgment. It could be delayed or earlier depending on traffic and road conditions.
While traveling on the hilly areas in the CHT region, we may need to stop air-conditioning features temporarily to minimize load on the car engine. Your patience would be appreciated.
Local transportation for Barisal, Srimangal, Chittagong Hill-Tracts area, and Cox’s Bazar will be by Tuk-Tuk. Trips in Srimangal and Chittagong Hill-Tracts area are a short distance. Trips in Barisal would be one hour each, two trips a day.
The itinerary of Sundarbans Tour is just a general outline, and not fixed. It could be changed depending on the season, moon phase, tide, daylight hours, and fog. But we will try to include all the activities mentioned in the itinerary as much as possible.
The boat for Sundarbans is a very basic boat without air-conditioning, electricity, and running hot water (we will supply them in a bucket). It has accommodation facilities for 8 people maximum and one western-style toilet. But we have the provision of larger boats too to arrange the tour for a bigger group.
The cabins in the boat at Sundarbans are lit by small lights running on battery. We will run the generator in the evening for a couple of hours every day to charge your devices and gadgets.
You will get the mobile phone signal of Grameen Phone in the first half of day-6. In Kotka, a new mobile phone tower of Teletalk opened recently, so you will get full network coverage of the only Teletalk in Kotka with 2G internet facilities which are very slow. No other SIM card will work inside other parts of the forest.
For trekking in the forest on day-7, the land is flat and we will not go through a very dense forest, so it will be easy for most of the people, as long as you can walk about 10 km. The trail is dry, not muddy. Bring covered shoes that are suitable for trekking and can protect you from small grass and trees with spikes.
If you do not want to walk, you can remain on the boat which will be still enjoyable, as it will go from Kochikhali to Kotka through small canals, which will be a ride of about 3 hours.
No binoculars will be provided at Sundarbans. So, if you need any, please bring your own.
Seeing a Tiger in Sundarbans
Although we’ve seen tigers in Sundarbans a few times on our tours, chances of seeing a tiger in Sundarbans are very low because there are only about one hundred tigers available in Bangladesh part of the forest (one tiger in about 60 sq km) and they are nocturnal animals who hardly come outside from their den during the daytime.
Being a mangrove swamp, there is no way to track tigers in Sundarbans. We will go through the narrow canals during our journey to the forest with our small vessel, and also will take you to the creeks and canals inside the forest early morning on a noiseless rowboat, which will maximize your chance of seeing a tiger. Other than that, there is nothing much the guide can do to show you a tiger there.
The main attraction of the forest is not seeing a tiger, rather enjoying its tranquility outside the human settlements. Please read the experiences of the previous travelers with us to understand what you can expect in Sundarbans. If seeing a tiger is your main purpose, please do not book this tour, because you might get disappointed in the end.
Rohingya Camp Visit
A special permit is required for visiting the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar which is not possible to arrange in advance. Visitors need to be present in the office of the authority in Cox’s Bazar physically to take the permit on the day of the visit. On day-25, we will go directly to the office in Cox’s Bazar and take the permit. For any unexpected reason, if they refuse to provide the permit, we will refund you the money you paid for visiting the Rohingya camps.
The single supplement applies to the hotels only. You might not be provided separate cabins on Rocket and the boat at Sundarbans, even if you pay for the single supplement, based on the availability.
Visa on Arrival
Citizens of the EU, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Russia, Japan, Singapore, and some other Asian countries can get Visa on Arrival in Bangladesh, which is a pretty straightforward process. Although there is a rule to take the visa beforehand if you have a Bangladesh mission on the country where you are coming from, this rule is completely overlooked. They never check where you are coming from. They only check if you are a national of a country that is eligible for VOA, and directly issue the visa.
Unless there is a long Queue for VOA, it will take just 10 minutes of your time to get VOA. The fee for most of the countries is $51. You will not require any previous application or anything else to get the visa. We will provide you with a reservation confirmation letter for the hotel in Dhaka and a letter of invitation before your arrival. Present these on the immigration along with our trip document. They will be happy enough to provide you with a VOA of a maximum of 30 days.
Once you have collected your visa, do not go back to the Que again, rather proceed to the exit directly.
Check here for more information on the visa on arrival for Bangladesh.
ATM Availability: Although Bangladesh has many ATMs, some of these do not accept foreign cards – your guide can give advice on which ATMs to use but we do not advise relying on ATMs alone for money.
Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Cards are generally only accepted in the more expensive shops and restaurants.
- Local Currency: Taka (BDT).
- Recommended Currency for Exchange: US Dollar.
- Where to Exchange: There is a number of exchange houses in larger towns and cities. You can also exchange at Dhaka airport upon arrival, who provides good rates.
Foods and beverages
All the breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 2 dinners are included on the trip. You need to pay for the rest of the lunches and dinners during your trip. A meal at a decent local restaurant will cost about USD 2-5.
Options for vegetarian food in the local restaurants are very limited. You need to go to a more expensive Western restaurant to find good vegetarian food.
Options for food on the trains are very limited. Vegetarian food is non-existent. Bring your food for the train if you are vegetarian.
Vegetarian food will not be an issue on our boat at Sundarbans.
Tea and soft drinks are very cheap. Mineral water is widely available.
While traveling in the Rajshahi region, there will be no decent restaurants for lunch on the way. So, we advise you to get some dry food on the previous day to bring with you for lunch.
Bangladesh is a secular Muslim country, and whilst the people are very liberal and friendly, alcohol is not widely available. There are only a couple of hotels on the trip which have bars, and even at these establishments, you cannot usually drink in the restaurant. Local beer, when available, costs approximately USD 3 for a 300ml can, and a measure of spirits is similarly priced. Wine is not available. It may sometimes be possible to purchase alcohol outside the hotels, but it is prohibited to consume in public places.
The easiest way to get alcohol in Bangladesh is by purchasing from the duty-free shop at the airport. You are allowed to buy 2 bottles per person from there.
In Dhaka, there are some warehouses from where you can buy alcohol showing your foreign passport. But they only sell entire cartons containing 24 bottles/ cans.
Luggage on Tour
Your luggage should not exceed 20kgs (44lbs). One large suitcase/ rucksack and one small hand luggage/rucksack are acceptable.
Clothing and Toilet
You should bear in mind that Bangladesh tends to have a conservative attitude towards dress. Women, and also to a certain extent men, will find that the way they dress will often determine the degree of respect they receive from both men and women.
Mosques, temples, churches, and synagogues are places of worship and visitors should be modestly dressed. Admission might be denied to men and women wearing short pants/ skirts, sleeveless t-shirts/blouses. Bare shoulders and midriffs are not permitted and should be covered with shawls. You also need to remove shoes while entering one of these places.
It will not be appropriate in Bangladesh for women to hide behind bushes for attending to the call of nature. Any time you need to use a toilet, ask your guide. He will arrange a nearby toilet for you in someone’s house or a public place.
Electric Supply and Plugs
Generally, the electrical supply is 230V/50 Hz and plugs have two round prongs. Many places also have English 3 pin sockets. Our advice is to travel with an adapter and to check the voltage locally.
Wi-Fi and Mobile Internet
Wi-Fi internet is widely available in Bangladesh. You will find free Wi-Fi in most of the hotels on this tour. Upscale restaurants will also have free Wi-Fi.
Mobile phone operators have 3G coverage in most of the places across the country. The 4G Service started in February 2018 and is supposed to be available in all the large cities shortly. Mobile internet speed is not satisfactory however on any of them.
Buying Local SIM Card
The ONLY place to buy a local SIM card for the foreigners would be at the arrival lounge inside the airport (International Arrivals) where you will meet your guide. You will find booths of all the mobile phone operators there. From them, you can buy a SIM card with talk time and data. GrameenPhone has the widest network coverage in the country. If you need a local SIM card, remember to buy from there during your arrival. It will not be possible to buy a local SIM card afterward.
Tipping is common practice in Asia. In Bangladesh, most workers will expect a small tip, anything from BDT 500 and upwards depending on the service provided. At the end of the tour, if your principal guide, together with the driver and the boat crew, has been helpful then you could think about tipping them. The amount can be left to you.
Bangladesh is a developing country with less standard infrastructure. Everything works here with trouble. Organizing such a long tour in Bangladesh may result in some occasional inconvenience. So, we would advise you to be patient and flexible while traveling in Bangladesh.
While traveling in a group, be cooperative and tolerant of the interests and difficulties of your co-travelers.
Your guide is not your enemy. He is with you to protect you and assist you in every way possible. In case of any issue with anything, simply inform the guide about the issue and wait for the solution. The guide will do its best in association with the entire Bangladesh Scenic Tours team to resolve the issue.
Bangladesh is not for every regular tourist. Do enough research about Bangladesh, the tour, hotels on the tour, and everything else possible before booking this tour, so that you do not have unrealistic expectations and end up disappointed after the tour.