Dhaka is crazy, sadly not in the right way. If I had to describe the city in a few words, I would think of chaos, dirty, noisy, chaos, and again chaos. There is not really something to visit in my opinion, and it’s just a big hustle to get around. It’s not a typical tourist destination, but I wanted to give it a try despite the bad reputation. Well, I know now why the reputation is that bad, and I sadly have to admit that there is not much to talk good about. Despite all of that I met some charming people, and they tried their best to show me the best sides of the city. People are super friendly, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s just not a tourist destination. Here are 2 of the craziest stories I encountered during my week in Dhaka.
Buses bump into each other all the time
What? Yeah, you read this right. Coaches here behave like some auto scooter at a funfair. The local buses are completely broken and full of deep scratches; most of them have huge cracks in their front windows. I asked myself where these scratches come from until I took one of the local buses myself. This is a thing I still can’t believe – if the one bus doesn’t move fast enough the bus behind him just bump into the front bus. If the road is to narrow for two coaches, they still go for it and scratch against each other – buses full of people?!? When we wanted to leave the bus, it barely stopped, and the moment, we got out the bus behind kicked our bus, and I nearly tripped and fell. And that’s just normal in here.
Driving backward on the highway
The second incident happened when I took an Uber to the train station. It was much traffic like always, and when we left the road, my driver saw that there would be a jam. He stopped and drove backward back to the highway. Buses were coming and rushing towards us, cars had to stop, and motorbikes had to drive around us, and my driver just continued to go backward. I mean, I like adrenaline and action, but I love my life as well.
People just don’t give a shit
People are friendly as I already mentioned when you know them, but for the rest, they don’t give a shit. Queues? What is it? Everyone looks after themselves but doesn’t care for the other, and nobody has a common sense of what is right for everybody. If someone needs something from a store, they park their car in the middle of the street, accepting that there is even a worse traffic jam because of this single car. When I wanted to buy a train ticket, everybody was trying to get in front, and nobody respected the line. People shout at each other when someone isn’t moving fast enough and the drive and turn without looking, resulting in accidents and bigger traffic jam.
In addition to all that the pollution is insane and I had to wear a mask to cover my mouth as soon as I left the house. Adding the fact that there is heavily security everywhere made me feel unwell. You can argue that the extra security and all the man with guns protect you, but I personally feel unsafe in that case. How much must happen if every coffee shop has three men with AK47 standing in front? The mix of dangerous traffic, guns everywhere, and pollution gave me an awful feeling throughout my time there.
In my opinion, the city is not worth a visit as there is not really something to visit. The things you find online are below average in my eyes and other cities have better things to offer. In addition to that, the traffic hustle makes it even less worth to go to these places. I’m sorry for the lovely people in this country that they don’t get international attention and that there are no tourists here, but that has its good reason. This blog entry sounds very negative, and it is, but I think the truth has to be told, and this is what I think.
- Total countries I visited until now: 40
- Planes: 23
- Busses: 48
- Trains: 19
- Boats: 24
- Km driving: 8000
- Km running: 3058