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Bangladesh Travel Guide


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In 2010, Bangladesh was estimated to be one of the ten most highly populated countries with an estimated population of just under 160 million.  This makes the population density of about 875 people per sq km (2,267 people per sq mi) higher than other countries.  Most of the population is young with about 60 percent under the age of 25, with only about 3 percent over the age of 65 (life expectancy is 61 years).  Twenty percent of the population was deemed to be urban in 1998, making Bangladesh's population predominantly rural. 

Bengalis make up the majority of Bangladesh's population.  They are descendants from immigrant Indo-Aryans who came from the west and intermarried with various Bengal groups.  The minority in Bangladesh is comprised of several groups, the Chakma and Mogh (Mongoloid people who live in the Chittagong Hill Tracts District), the Santal (migrants from India) and the Biharis (Muslims who came from India). more....


Education is not compulsory, but is free for elementary students.  Approximately 85 percent of the elementary school-aged children attend schools, while secondary schools enroll less than 20 percent.  This poor attendance record is responsible for Bangladesh's literacy rate of 41 percent for people 15 years and older.  The education system in Bangladesh is similar to that begun by the British before 1947.

Over 500,000 students attended colleges or universities in the years from 1989 to 1990.  The largest (and oldest) university in Bangladesh is the University of Dhaka which was established in 1921.  Other universities in Dhaka are Jahangirnagar University (1970) and the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (1962).  Two Bangladesh's colleges are Chittagong Polyechnic Institute (1962) and Bangladesh College of Textile Technology (1950).



Bangladesh was formed in 1971, when the east Pakistan Province declared their independence on March 26.  They warred with the central Pakistan government, and became financially separate later that year (December 16) with financial help from India.  Eventually other countries recognized them and in 1974, they were admitted to the UN (United Nations).  It was at this time that Pakistan finally acknowledged them and it was 1976 until China showed diplomatic recognition.

In 1972, the new government's prime minister, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Mujib), was responsible for repairing the country that was destroyed by war.  This reparation included bringing order and structure to the lawlessness that was sweeping the nation.  There was much political unrest that wasn't helped by nature.  As a result of severe flooding that destroyed grain crops, Bangladesh declared a national state of emergency in 1974.

Mujib became president in early 1975, but was killed later on that year in August during a revolution without ever being able to calm down the political situation.  November 1975 brought about an overthrow of Mujib's successor by the military.  Instead, of Khandakar Mushtaque Ahmed, they put in Abusadat Muhammad Sayem as Bangladesh's president, who resigned the position in 1977. 


Sayem's successor, General Ziaur Rahman was assassinated in 1981, just four years after taking office, by another military coup.  The vice president, Abdus Sattar, took over office and was then elected to the office in November.  Once again, he was relieved of his duties when yet another military takeover ensued.  Lieutenant General Hossain Mahammad Ershad was placed in power.  His actions included eliminating political parties and proposing the requirement for all schools to teach the Korean and Arabic.  This proposal brought about rioting which brought political activities to a standstill until later in the year (1983).

During most of this time, Bangladesh was ruled under martial law.  In 1986, martial law was finally lifted and the constitution was reinstated.  In 1988, Ershad resigned his position after much political conflict and was promptly charged and put in jail on corruption and illegal weapons charges.  

General Ziaur Rahman's widow was elected prime minister in 1991 and remained so until 1996, when more....

Bangladesh Travel Guide



Covering about 580 km of coastline along the Bay of Bengal is Bangladesh.  A low lying country, Bangladesh has trouble with flooding.  This is due to the number of rivers in the country and the fact that most of the habitable areas are found on a delta, one formed by the Brahmaputra and Ganges rivers.  The floodwaters bring a lot of rich, alluvial soil with them and houses in this area have to be built on platforms or high embankments.  These mud platforms and embankments are made from mud that is taken out during the dryer months (those without monsoons and the resulting flooding).  The holes or pits that are made by removing the mud are then filled with water.  This water is then used for drinking, bathing and irrigation.

Only a small portion of the country is considered hilly, the southeastern section.  In this area is found Bangladesh's highest peak, Mowdok Mual (3,291 ft/1.003 m). There are some insignificant hills found along the north and eastern borders with India and there are two remnants of alluvial terraces in the north central and northwestern portions of Bangladesh.  These are old terraces that are not nearly as fertile as the floodplain surrounding them.  These terraces reach up to about 100 ft in height (30 m).



Warm temperatures are found year-round throughout Bangladesh, with not much change, although January seems to be the coolest month (66 F/19 C) while May tends to be the warmest (84 F/ 29 C).  Bangladesh has a tropical monsoon climate, with most of the rainfall for the year occurring during the monsoon period.  The average precipitation ranges from  as much as 200 inches (5,080 mm) to as little as 55 inches (1,400 mm). 

Monsoon season lasts from May to October, with destructive cyclones occurring from April to May and again from September to November.  The cyclones cause many deaths and a lot of destruction, particularly with the surging waves that come along with them.  One of the worst natural disasters of the 20th century was caused by a cyclone that struck Bangladesh in November 1970.  In this storm about 500,000 people died, while in 1991, over 120,000 people died when a cyclone struck the Ganges delta.


The Bengal tiger is found in the Sundarbans, while the Chittagong Hill Tracts are home to elephant herds and leopards. Bangladesh is also home to other animals such as the Bengal fox, jackal, vulture, swamp crocodile, parakeet, mongoose and kingfisher.  With 109 indigenous mammal species, 684 types of birds, 119 varieties of reptiles, 200 different kinds of marine and freshwater fish as well as 19 different amphibians.  A common mammal is the rhesus monkey with other common animals being lemurs and gibbons.

There are very few forests left in Bangladesh, only about an eighth of the country.   Exceptions are the Chittaogong Hill Tracts District (the hilliest portion of Bangladesh), parts of the Madhupur Tract and the Sundarbans.  The Sundarbans is actually a mangrove swamp found in the southwestern part of the country.  The hilly areas of Bangladesh have broadleaf evergreens, while the plains areas have deciduous trees like acacia and banyan.  Commercially, there are several variety of trees - sundari, sal, gewa, garayans and in the villages there are fruit trees such as jackfruit and mango.  Also found are numerous varieties of bamboo as well as areca (betel) and date palm trees.


Bangla, also known as Bengali, is the official language of Bangladesh.  It has it's own script (from Sanskrit) and over 98 percent of the population speaks this as their first language.  The remaining population speaks Urdu, mostly those who immigrated from India during the 1940's.


Almost 90 percent of Bangladesh's population adhere to Islam, with most of this number following the Sunni branch.  Most of the remaining population following Hinduism, with even fewer numbers of Buddhists, Christians, and animists.

Bangladesh Travel Guide

Republic of Bangladesh
Flag Coat of arms
AnthemAmar Shonar Bangla
My Golden Bangla

(and largest city)
2342′N 9021′E / 23.7N 90.35E / 23.7; 90.35
Official language(s) Bengali
Demonym Bangladeshi
Government Parliamentary republic, Unitary state[1]
 -  President Zillur Rahman
 -  Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed
 -  Speaker Ad.Abdul Hamid
Independence from Pakistan 
 -  Declared March 26, 1971 
 -  Victory Day December 16, 1971 
 -  Total 147,570 km2 (94th)
55,599 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 6.9
 -  2009 estimate 162,221,000[2] (7th)
 -  Density 1,099.3/km2 (9th)
2,917.6/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2009 estimate
 -  Total $241.295 billion[3] 
 -  Per capita $1,465[3] 
GDP (nominal) 2009 estimate
 -  Total $94.507 billion[3] 
 -  Per capita $624[3] 
Gini (2000) 33.4 (medium
HDI (2007) 0.543[4] (medium) (146th)
Currency Taka (BDT)
Time zone BST (UTC+6)
Calling code 880


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