Dhaka is usually just a turn around, but due to a change in flight times it meant that with flying legalities it now has to be a layover temporarily. I’m not complaining, gives me a chance to explore a new place that I will most likely never go and explore myself! We departed from Dubai at 16:45 and it was just a short 3 hours and 50 minutes over to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Bangladesh. Landing just before 11pm, we made our way over to the hotel and myself and three other economy girls decided to join each other for room service and a glass of wine as the hotel restaurants were closed.
I woke up at 8:40 the next morning to meet a few other crew to go for a tour of Dhaka! We were told by a couple of local crew members that the traffic on a Saturday would be much better for getting about, however the traffic was so crazy everywhere we went so I dread to imagine what rush hour is like here!
Our first stop was the University of Dhaka, it wasn’t very exciting and I was unsure why it was included in the tour but the building was pretty! It was sad wherever we went in Dhaka as well as there were always people begging for money, especially young children. Two kids followed us right by our side the whole way round the university grounds tugging on our clothes and holding out their hands. It really opens your eyes to everything and how you shouldn’t take everything for granted!
Next we went onto Lalbagh Fort. Lalbagh Fort is an incomplete structure by a Mughal prince and later emperor himself named Muhammad Azam (third son of Aurangazeb). He started the work of the fort in 1678 during his vice royality in Bangladesh. It really reminded of when I went to the Taj Mahal in India, but on a much smaller scale!
As spectacular as the fort is, it seemed we were much more of a tourist attraction as everyone kept stopping us and asking us for pictures! We were an odd bunch though with myself from the UK, a girl from Spain, Portugal, South Korea, Hungary, Croatia and a guy from Egypt so I can see why we may have drawn a little attention in a predominantly Bengali only area!
After this we went to Parliament House, usually they let crew in if we carry our UAE ID or Emirates ID however the prime minister was doing a speech that day so there was no entry so we just managed to see the outside and the river and bridge opposite.
We were then going to go to the mall as you can get really cheap clothing here as a lot of brands make their clothes in Bangladesh. But due to the traffic it would have taken such a long time so we made our way back to the hotel to eat and sleep before our wake up call that evening.
It was a lovely layover in Dhaka, it really reminded me of India with how colourful and vibrant and busy it was. I wouldn’t be in a rush back but I’m really glad I had the opportunity to visit a new country. Thanks Emirates!