Category Archives: Sights

Trip to Paharpur. Day 1

Paharpur is one of the main sights in Bangladesh, the ruins of what was once a buddhist temple. You have seen one of those in Comilla already, but this is the biggest one.

Even though it was supposed to be a 4-5 hour drive, because we happened to go on the same day, what the Indian prime-minister was visiting Bangladesh, the National monument (the one I showed before as well) to be precise, which is in the same direction, it took us 12 hours. It was bad. Very bad.

We got to enjoy a lot of bush art though when we got there.


Kinds get to learn the “picture with the bush” skill when they are very small.


I am trying hard too


The ruins are cool

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People are manually cutting off the grass with little knives.


The light at the ruins was absolutely gorgeous, but still iPhone made everybody look different!

IMG_6779 IMG_6774 IMG_6765 IMG_6770IMG_6768

We are performing

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The layer on top in new, put there to protect the left overs from further destruction IMG_6825

Guess whom I met there?!



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More goats


More bush-pictures

IMG_6838 IMG_6840

The area where Paharpur is situated, Rajshahi district, is famous for its mangoes. Therefore here is the biggest part of our dinner — mangoes and lychees.


To be continued!

Cricket game

Cricket is Bangladesh’s national sport. The team has been doing really well and has won 3-0 against Pakistan (which means a lot here because of the historical connections) and recently also won 2-0 against India.

I went to the first game against India and it was lots of fun. Of course I didn’t understand a thing, but everybody was so happy every time Bangladeshi team scored, so it was impossible to sit still!

We were also asked for an interview and went live!

IMG_6907IMG_6911 IMG_6913 IMG_6917After the game we were invited to hang out with the Indian team and some of them appeared to be quite good dancers! (and apparently they are like rock starts in India o_O)


Trip to Savar

One day we decided to go and watch metal casting. And after researching the area a few other things got added to the list, so the furthest point this time was Shailan Mosque and this time google maps was about right, but again we had to leave at 6 am.


Thanks to wikipedia we learned about the mosque and it was our first destination

IMG_6215 IMG_6212 IMG_6210 IMG_6207 IMG_6203 IMG_6200 IMG_6198 IMG_6197 IMG_6196 IMG_6195

The person who is looking after this mosque offered us some mangos right off the tree!

We walked around the mosque a bit and found the local gym (nobody was working out though)

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Our next stop — Dhamrai Roth, a hindu wooden kind of  temple that gets moved around the town once a year


While waiting for the metal casting we were walking around the city visiting various temples (majority of the population in this particular area are hindu). We randomly found a very nice man who was looking after one of the temples and showed us the others in the neighbourhood. In one of those temples the reaction to me saying that I am Russian was “Russia is good, Russia is India’s friend”

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The metal casting happened right in front of the Roth. The family that runs this workshop has been doing it for over 500 years. The technique is called “lost wax” and the idea is that at first a wax figure is made, then it is covered with a few layers of clay and afterwards is being put in the something like an over when wax runs away and the metal is poured in the forms instead. The process of metal casting is the most interesting one and it was very very hot and very very dangerous. The metal looks beautiful though — acid orange and green.IMG_6249

These were the pieces that have been sitting there for a whle already waiting for us

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But this is not over — because it comes out with many defects, a lot of work is needed to fix it and make it perfect. At that moment they have been working on a big statue for one of the temples (the base was casted), and the head was getting last touches. In italic because it takes months to make it look shiny.

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There is a shop by this workshop and once can see some examples of their work

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The statue like the one above takes about 3-4 months.

And a must-have picture with the family that runs this workshop


They have a very nice house


The next stop — Natinal Memorial. I mentioned the war of 1971 many times already. Here it is like the 2nd World War in Europe, but for one country. It took them 16 years though to build this place, it looks a lot like many other concrete memorials I have seen in my life, but one should never tell this to the locals, for them it is the best memorial ever. Because the locals like to pose (A LOT), we decided to blend in (but we definitely suck)IMG_6266 IMG_6263 IMG_6270

Speaking of posing — many people pose with the bushes. I showed some examples before, but it is super funny — even when there is a monument, a Bush is thing to take a picture with. So we have been working hard on blending in even more


And in the end — a selfie with Mr. Bush!


Trip to Comilla

This weekend we went to Comilla, a small town that is here

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 21.54.11As usual, Google is very optimistic and it took us almost 4 hours to get there.

Comilla is famous for Salban Vihara, which is place where the ruins were found and also that in the nearby there is a village where our maid lives 🙂

Once we got there, first we visited the museum and got a few pictures (even though it is of course prohibited) with some ancient statues

IMG_6054 IMG_6059Visited the ruins of what people used to think was king’s palace but it was in fact a buddhist monastery

11348069_10153258194675170_2134973916_oIMG_6088 IMG_6096 IMG_6098 IMG_6105Watched guys posing with a bush

IMG_6107And how dates are growing


IMG_6110And took a picture of the guys following us

11354376_10153258194770170_185763008_oIn the park next to it I became friends with a goat sitting alone on the bench

IMG_6065At first I was very shy

IMG_6066But then I decided to test the limits

IMG_6069 IMG_6072 IMG_6074And in the end — a selfie!!


After we went to visit my maid in her village. Her son (23) lives there with his family

IMG_6120The girl is about 18 now and the little boy about 8 months old. I didn’t take many pictures in the village, because it just didn’t feel right, but basically the family of three people lives in a little room, where they have a bed, a fridge and some shelves. They eat and sleep on the bed (although I was told that they eat usually on the floor and it was only for the guests that we were eating on the bed).

Sometimes the streets of the village are covered in pants

IMG_6115That is for the rainy season to soak up the water.

The kid was afraid of me, which everybody found funny

IMG_6128And here is the final picture


Old Dhaka. Again x3

So far we covered hinduism and islam. Didn’t I say before that Old Dhaka is amazing? Well, they even have an Armenian church here. There used to be a big group of Armenians living here, but there aren’t any anymore. There is still a church and usually it is closed to visitors, but not when you have a local guide and a few takas.

The wall by the church and the view from the ou

IMG_5956 IMG_5957And here we are inside

IMG_5958 IMG_5961 IMG_5960 IMG_5962 IMG_5963This is a henna tree

IMG_5964There are plenty of mango trees in the church garden. The season comes in about 2 weeks, but we tried a small one (a different kind than on the picture) and to me it was super ready!

IMG_5965The man who is looking after the church asked us where we were from and when I said that I was Russian he got very excited! Apparently, there is an Armenian man working at the Russian embassy (from what I understood) and he comes to the church every Friday when he is in Dhaka (not that Friday). He was so nice, so sweet and offered us some drinks and snacks, gave mangos and invited to come and visit him anytime. It was one of those rare cases, when being Russian actually helped 😉 I am definitely going back to visit him and chill at the church garden with mangos! And this is the interior and my new friend!

IMG_5967 IMG_5968 IMG_5969 IMG_5970 IMG_5972As we were three girls, we agreed that going to the fabric market is very important and inevitable 🙂 This pictures shows a tiny little fraction of fabrics you can find there (and it is on the weekend, so many places were closed!!)

IMG_5974 IMG_5976 IMG_5977I bought some souvenirs. 3 piece is the most common women’s wear (pants, dress and scarf) and they sell it usually like on the picture and then a lady should take it to the tailor and get it fitted. Beautiful, isn’t it?

IMG_5999 IMG_6003And the last stop of our tour — the main Dhaka attraction — the Pink Palace

IMG_5987Inside there is a museum in a sad condition. Apparently you cannot take pictures there (and fairly speaking, there is not much to take pictures of), but before I was told this I took the pictures of how the books are stored

IMG_5985How the locals enjoy the paintings

IMG_5981 IMG_5982And a couple of portraits. It was hard to choose which one of them had the most different right and left sides of the face.

IMG_5983 IMG_5984Leaving the palace I saw these friend posing in front of the bush one after another. Could only take a picture of one guy, was too busy laughing when I saw it!

IMG_5992At the end of the tour it started to rain. A lot!

IMG_5994We got soaked, caught a CNG and drove to our part of Dhaka. CNG died a few times before we finally got home, I managed to take a picture of the flooded street (which totally reminded me of the everlasting puddle I had in front of our first apartment)

IMG_5995And then there were a thunderstorm, heavy rain and lightenings for the next few hours. Very refreshing!

Old Dhaka. Again. And again

Next stop was ship a breaking/painting yard

IMG_5884 IMG_5886 IMG_5888 IMG_5887 IMG_5890 IMG_5893 IMG_5894 IMG_5900 IMG_5908 IMG_5905On our way to a slam I took a picture of a local barber

IMG_5909There was a wedding on the way as well and people were cooking on the street

IMG_5910It is very common here to buy cigarets by one and our guide has been constantly stopping by the little shops to buy them. At one of them I saw a lighter on a thread, very smart 🙂

IMG_5911Need some garlic, ginger or chilis? Here they are

IMG_5912Hanging out with the slum kids while drinking cha (black tea mixed with sweet condensed milk)IMG_5914 IMG_5915 IMG_5916 IMG_5917There was also another wedding and these kids got so colourful because of it.

Getting back on the boat, that is what the shore is like

IMG_5920Spice market again! Have been there before, but it is still very interesting

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At that point we got off the boat and needed to take some land transport. This is what we got!

big rickshawAnd I also decided to give it a try!  look at the girls’ scared faced 🙂

11206807_10153238508270170_1455492386017251366_oIn the next place decorations for rickshaws were created

IMG_5937Because Friday is a day off, everybody was just chilling out and these guys were playing the game. Apparently, for participation you should give 500 taka (which is a lot!) and then the winner gets all the money!

IMG_5938Right outside this workshop there was a big Bangladeshi flag and we decided to take a picture inviting everybody around us to join

IMG_5941The Hindu temple was our next stop

IMG_5943 IMG_5944 IMG_5945 IMG_5947 IMG_5948 IMG_5950But it is a muslim country, remember? So we “visited” a very pretty mosque as wellIMG_5953


Of course we couldn’t get in, so here is a picture of the guys that was sitting outside selling some fish (I guess it was very small eel)

IMG_5954The day was long and the tour covered a lot of amazing places, so more to come tomorrow!

Old Dhaka. Again

Old Dhaka is amazing. I don’t know enough proper English words to describe it, but I love going there again and again.

This time we got on another tour with a guide, because, like I said before, it is impossible to navigate there on your own.

Our first step was the place where plastic is being sorted. Did you ever wonder how the little bits of everywhere’s plastic are being sorted and recycled? Well, here they do everything manually. Get the plastic-sort it by colour-wash it in the river-put in the sacks-sacks are sold back to China (where most of this plastic come from in first place). One sack is worth 5000 taka, which is about 55 euros.

IMG_5819Below the guy is showing us a plastic bag handle and a marker cap.IMG_5820 IMG_5827 IMG_5829 IMG_5831I made a friend

IMG_5823And the colours are great

IMG_5828 IMG_5826 IMG_5832Right by this sorting “facility” women are sorting different kind of plastic

IMG_5834What do kind do there? Well, they swim

IMG_5835From the river the plastic sorting place looks like this

IMG_5836From the boat we could also see the laundry, where local hotels’ and hospital’s (that is in the near) sheets and being washed. In the river.

IMG_5837 IMG_5839I wonder how they are still that white. Chemistry is a great science.

A couple of views on the way

IMG_5843 IMG_5844 IMG_5850We got off the boat on the other side of the river, the part of Dhaka, that is called South Dhaka. Living in South Dhaka is much cheaper that in the Old Dhaka, so people rent houses apartments there and then commute to the Old Dhaka every day. It is very common that in the 3 room (2 bedroom) apartment live three families, each in every room.

On the street we saw a group of young guys listening to somebody with a great interest. We asked our guide what it was all about. Apparently, the man was selling some “medicine” for sexual potential.

IMG_5854 IMG_5855 IMG_5856Remember that everybody is commuting with boats? Well, this is a boat taxi queue

IMG_5857Here is a beautiful view

IMG_5859And this is what I was standing on when taking this picture. Feels like walking on a soft carpet

IMG_5863The next stop was a garment factory. These are two 7 storey factories

IMG_5865This is a local garment “factory”. Even though it is an official day off, they still come to work for a few hours to make some extra money. The boy working on a sewing machine earns the most.IMG_5875 IMG_5868

This is the manager’s “office” (our guide is sitting in his chair). His portrait is on the wall, by the way.IMG_5869When we were leaving we saw people sleeping right there in terrible conditions. These factories work for the local market and there are no strict requirements for them to comply with any regulations. So they don’t.

Outside the factory we saw this guy. He was attracting more people and later there was supposed to be a fight between the snake and this little guy (don’t know his name). Although that is not the whole attraction. After that the man will start selling his “medicine”. Nice marketing.

IMG_5877A few pictures on the way to our next stop

IMG_5880 IMG_5881More great pictures and garbage views tomorrow! 😉

Sreemangal. Day 3

Have a look at the view from out guesthouse. There were only 5 rooms, 3 of which were occupied by our group.

IMG_5517We even had coconuts on our tree, see there?

IMG_5518First thing in the morning we went to rent bikes at the place what was also a rickshaw art center

IMG_5521 rick1 rick2And the adventure began! Kids would see us on the other side and thenl run along the river shouting “bye” or “hi”

IMG_5527And what do we see around? Rice fields, people working hard, goats and very very nice people.

IMG_5528 IMG_5531 IMG_5532I was trying to pet a goat and first this lady (you see her white fingers, that’s for that green leaf, paan, that is also why she has such teeth) was helping me to catch one and then the boys brought me this guy

IMG_5533 IMG_5535On the bikes we got to the wetlands where we were taken on a boat ride

IMG_5538 IMG_5542 IMG_5549 IMG_5552It was very quite, very beautiful and very hot.

We had our lunch at one of the fisherman’s house. They are six brothers living together and the family is considered to be pretty wealthy. The house was built very recently. And yes, in Bangladesh you eat with your hands (unless you are in the western parts).

IMG_5560 IMG_5561 IMG_5562I like their ‘wardrobe’.

Here are our bikes standing by the house. They were very heavy

IMG_5563The kids were of course very excited and there was a lot of picture taking and staring


IMG_5616Here is a D&G shirt (says Made in Italy)

IMG_5565I think I mentioned before that one doesn’t have to be a professional photographer to take great pictures. A better camera would help though

IMG_5566In the city I stopped by the bamboo stall to buy a traditional Bangla hat and made a friend

IMG_5567 IMG_5569 IMG_5571After 10 minutes by the stall we got some attention (just on one side!)

IMG_5572On the way from the village we also found a little kitten on the road and kept her. She really loved the hat 🙂

IMG_5575Next stop — seven layer tea. Tasted and smelled like cocoa in my kindergarden

IMG_5579Look inside any street — people sewing

IMG_5583Of course some real tea

IMG_5586And the train back.

IMG_5589A couple of pineapples for a ride (15 take each, e.g. 15 euro cents)

IMG_5588A rare albino person

IMG_5591And our friends seeing us off. They are great.

IMG_5592Here is a video of the tea gardens we were passing by on the way back and the interior od the train (obviously, high class)

Sreemangal. Day 2

Second day in Sreemangal started with a hike through the tropical forest at one of the national parks.

IMG_5419 IMG_5422 IMG_5431There was a heavy rain early in the morning and our route looked like this

IMG_5424It was beautiful and very hot. But very beautiful. Only one thing was bothering us a lot. A LOT. Many leeches. Many-many leaches crawling up the shoes into the shoes, getting into the ankles, feet and legs. In the middle of the walk I really freaked out when I realised that my socks were soaked not in my sweat, but my blood from the leeches that I was pulling out of my shoes.

brrrBecause it was a weekend, there were plenty of school groups in the park. We were popular, but the nice thing about it is that you can also stare back at them and take photos.

IMG_5440 IMG_5447 IMG_5450 IMG_5452After the hike and the leech stress we had a snack — a half of a pineapple and a half of apapaya . This is a 40 taka snack, or 40 euro cents.

IMG_5455The next destination was a pottery village. Here is a village lady cleaning the rice from the dust

riceThis is the rice before the shell has been peeled

IMG_5463Many cows and excited small kids

IMG_5465 IMG_5468 IMG_5487 IMG_5491They love looking at the pictures that were taken

IMG_5469Then each of us took a pottery class from a very patient and nice man

IMG_5481 IMG_5479And got a piggy bank as a souvenir

IMG_5492People are beautiful and very nice. This lady gave me a little piece of a mango bar with some spices — very typical snack.

And remember I was complaining that nobody was smiling back in Old Dhaka? I am taking my words back.

IMG_5488Our guide was a member of an association that is supported by some American NGO. He is promoting eco tourism in Dhaka and half of the money they are earning is being spent on the street kids. That day one of the boys had a “birthday”. In Bangladesh there are no compulsory birth certificates at the birth, some people often get it only when they take their high school exams. For that reason many people, especially ladies, have the birth year in their birth certificates that is a few years later than their real year of birth. With the street kids it is even more complicated. For this reason they just appoint a date for every kid. This boy was turning 14-15 years old, nobody new it more precise. But to me he looked much younger. When we met him the next day on the streets of Sreemangal, he was riding a rickshaw. Our guide told me that he was a drug addict, but they helped him and also got him a rickshaw, so he is working now and visiting their free school for the street kids.

IMG_5493There was a candle and a cake. I told him not to forget to make a wish and through our guide he said that his wish was to become a carpenter.

IMG_5494There were many people at this celebration.


And also some music

Here is Gulam


It was overwhelming.

Sreemangal. Day 1

On the 3rd of May there was a public holiday in Bangladesh and I decided to go to Sreemangal for a long weekend. Sreemangal is here

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 20.53.25And it is famous for its tea.

You see how optimistic google is saying that it only takes 3,5 hours to drive there from Dhaka? Well, we rented a mini bus and it took as about 6 hours. Right. 180 km in almost 6 hours.

Our adventure started with a visit to the tea gardens. See the mountains far away? It is India.

IMG_5381 IMG_5372Usually women collect tea leaves — there should be two leaves and a bud — because they are more gentle. Men also help, usually with what needs to be done with the ground and other hard work. This is one of the guys

IMG_5391He showed us this lovely shy plant. Look what it does when you touch it

The lotus lake was absolutely stunning

IMG_5380 IMG_5396 lotus IMG_5395

We met the sunset there as well

IMG_5385Looking for some fruit we visited the market after.

IMG_5401You can buy fresh fish

IMG_5400Or dry fish

IMG_5403Or more dried fishIMG_5404Maybe some more?

dried fishAnother awesome view

IMG_5408This is what tobacco actually looks like (big dried leaves).

IMG_5409Of course bananas and something like plantains

IMG_5410 IMG_5411And chickens right beside it

chicken on the marketWe finished the day with a visit to a local cinema to watch 10 minutes of this Bangladeshi movie. It was hilarious.

IMG_5417Two more days to come!