Mohammad Zahirul Islam alias Dalton Zahir has recently been selected as the co Chairman of the Standing Committee on Civil Aviation and Tourism of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI). Zahir, also a director of Tourism Developers Association of Bangladesh (TDAB), was elected for the 2023-25 term, said a press release issued on Thursday. He is the founder and CEO of Traveller Key, Europe Key, Traveller Times, Welcome Bangladesh and World Vacation Club. Zahir worked as Head of Sales and Marketing of BRAC Services Ltd (BSL), the management of BSL said in a statement. Read more: Baklai Waterfall in Bandarban: How to Get to One of the Tallest Waterfalls in Bangladesh He also served at Rose View Hotel, Sylhet. He has 22 years of experience in hospitality, tourism, public relations, media communications, branding, sales, marketing, and operations. He also worked for Grand Sultan Tea Resort and Golf, Ocean Paradise, Lakeshore Hotel, Motorola Mobile, Apple Computer, Philips Mobile, and Fujifilm Digital Camera Distribution for Bangladesh (Jel Corp HQ in Singapore). Zahir, curious about the tourism and hospitality sector, has been working to explore tourism potentials focusing on beautiful Bangladesh for its different places, cultures, and cuisines. His thirst to devise tools and to draw a blueprint to attract tourists makes him dexterous in hospitality and tourism. A travel loving personality, Zahir visited the UK, Germany, South Korea, Singapore, Poland , Denmark , Austria , Czech Republic ,Spain, France, Switzerland,Portugal, Netherlands, Malaysia, India , Nepal , Myanmar , China and the UAE. He also participated in various esteemed events like India ’s largest event Travel Tourism Fair, ITB Berlin (World’s largest travel tourism fair in Germany), WTM London (Best World Travel Market, UK) and photo competitions of USA , Germany and France. Read more: Royal Enfield 350: Review of 350cc Motorbikes Coming in Bangladesh He has achieved the membership of the Photographic Society of America. Tourism Developers Association of Bangladesh, Tour Operator Association of Bangladesh, World Travellers Club Ltd. European American Chamber of Commerce of Industry, Pacific Asia Travel Association, New York Chapter USA, member of SKAL Madrid Spain.
While trekking through hilly paths, the most inaccessible trails offer the most beautiful scenery. When the natural sounds of the wild springs mingle with the hum from the hidden abyss, it soothes the ears of outdoor enthusiasts. And, if the trekking leads to the heart-pounding heights of one of the highest waterfalls in Bangladesh, the journey will surely be memorable. Let's delve into the travel route details to reach the Baklai Falls in Bandarban. Significance and Geographical Location of Baklai Falls With approximately 380 feet, Baklai falls stands as the focal point of Baklai village located at Nighting mouza under Thanchi upazila of Bandarban district. The Baklai village is situated between Keokradong and Tazing Dong, the two significant hills of the country. The majestic Baklai waterfall is visible from a distance of 110 km from Ruma and 45 km from Thanchi. Locally, the falls is also referred to as Baktalai Jharna. Due to extremely treacherous hilly roads and a lack of sufficient initiative, only a handful of tourists can reach the foot of this waterfall. Read more: Trekking to Ham Ham Waterfall, Moulvibazar: On the Way to Pass the Impassable The height of Baklai falls is close to Liluk or Langlok falls, which is also located in Thanchi. While doubts persist about the title of the country's highest waterfall, Baklai stands ahead in terms of sheer beauty. How to Visit Baklai Waterfall in Bandarban from Dhaka To reach Baklai Falls, Bandarban Sadar can be directly accessed from Dhaka through a bus route. Various buses depart for Bandarban from different points of Dhaka city including Gabtali, Kalyanpur, Kalabagan, Jatrabari, Mohakhali, or Fakirapool at fares ranging from Tk 850 to Tk 1,800 per person. If traveling by train, travelers need to reach Chattogram first and then take a bus to reach Bandarban. Chattogram-bound trains departing from Kamalapur or Biman Bandar railway stations charge BDT 285 to BDT 788 per person, depending on the class levels. Read more: Waterfalls in Bangladesh: Everlast Destination for Fountain Lovers Flying from Dhaka to Chattogram takes around 1 hour and can cost between BDT 3,000 to BDT 11,175 per person. However, booking seats in advance, at least 1 month ahead, may offer a chance to get a discount on the ticket price. Upon reaching Chattogram, the tourists can catch a Bandarban bus from BRTC or Dampara bus stand, with costs ranging from BDT 220 to BDT 300 per person.
Have you ever planned a solo trip, stepping beyond the rigid schedules and compromises of group travelling? Solo travel is a leap into adventure, where every turn unveils a fresh surprise. A solo trip for the first time is an enriching experience that amalgamates excitement and caution. While the thrills of exploration are immense, it is crucial to prioritise safety and preparedness. With thoughtful planning and an open mindset, solo travel can be a transformative journey. Here are some tips that will help your first solo journey be safer and much more enjoyable. Ways to Stay Safe for the First Time Solo Travellers Preparation is Key Efficient planning can make your trip easier and less stressful. Before you start your journey, it is a good idea to create a checklist of important things you will need. Make sure to gather all your travel documents like your passport and tickets. Packing suitable clothes for the weather at your destination is mandatory. Do not forget any medications you might need. Book flights, and hotel rooms ahead of the trip. Besides these, take local currencies and credit cards for travel expenses. Read more: 10 Most Affordable Destinations in Indonesia: Winter retreats on a budget Share Information with Trusted Ones Keeping safe during solo travel is important. Try to share your travel plans with someone you trust, so they know where you will be. Stay aware of your surroundings, especially in new places. Choosing Safe Accommodations When selecting places where you are planning to stay alone, explore different options like hostels, or guesthouses. It is suggested to pick a spot that feels safe and fits your budget. Checking reviews is important to ensure that the staycation is secure, especially at night. It would be wise to pick accommodations in well-lit areas and places with good security measures. It is essential to choose accommodation that makes you feel comfortable and secure during your solo trip. Furthermore, keep an eye on your belongings to avoid theft. Read more: Best Asian Alternatives to the Maldives: Affordable Island Getaways Stay Connected One may consider buying a SIM card from the place they are visiting. This helps one stay connected and reachable. With a local SIM, one can use maps and stay connected even without Wi-Fi. Having a local number allows people to access local services and make calls easily during their solo trips. Moreover, stay active on the internet during your trip. Having a reliable means of communication helps you stay connected and feel secure while travelling solo. Stay Emotionally Strong While travelling alone, you may sometimes feel lonely. Staying positive and staying open to new experiences helps keep your spirits high while travelling solo.
Political instability ahead of the national election appeared as a big blow to Bangladesh’s tourism sector as most popular tourist destinations including Cox's Bazar, St. Martin, and Kuakata see sharp drop in the number of visitors. With up to 90 percent of advance bookings canceled, the once-bustling establishments face unprecedented vacancies as people are reluctant to travel amid the countrywide ongoing blockades and hartals enforced by the BNP and some other like-minded opposition parties. Tourism industry insiders claimed they had to count losses worth Tk 1.5 thousand crore in the last several weeks due to cancellation of advance bookings in hotels, motels, and resorts across tourist hotspots until mid-January. Women's participation in the tourism industry should be increased: Speakers Hotel and motel owners said prior to October, over 50-60 percent of rooms in more than 500 hotels and motels in Cox's Bazar were booked daily. However, recent weeks have witnessed a drastic decline in tourists, reducing the number from half a lakh to a mere 5-10 thousand. Most of the visitors are predominantly locals. Similar circumstances prevail in Kuakata and St. Martin. Hotel and motel owners expressed concern about the ripple effect on their employees, as business downturns force layoffs and hinder salary payments. President of the Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB), Shiblul Azam Qureshi, laments the impact on tourist spots like Cox's Bazar, St. Martin, Rangamati, and Kuakata. “Now is a critical period for the tourism sector. Bookings for November, December, January, and February—the prime tourist months—have been canceled,” he said. He said Cox's Bazar, Kuakata, Sundarbans, Sylhet, Ratargul, Jaflong-Tamabil, Rangamati, and Patenga Beach, which should be bustling with tourists at this time, now lie empty. Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal should promote mutual tourism: PM Hasina He also said he has a hotel at St. Martin but its 90% rooms are lying vacant now. “With the tourism season typically starting in October and reaching its peak in November, the ongoing political unrest has resulted in nearly empty hotels and motels this month, with bookings canceled due to the blockade,” he said. Salim Newaz, General Secretary of Cox's Bazar Hotel Motel Guest House Owners' Association, said over 500 hotels and motels are empty now due to the continuous blockade progrmame. 230 BGB platoons deployed on day 2 of blockade Mukhim Khan, general secretary of the Kalatali Marine Drive Road Hotel-Motel Owners' Association, estimated a staggering Tk 1000 to 1500 crore losses due to the prolonged blockade. He urged the concerned to keep tourist vehicles out of the purview of hartals and blockades to salvage the tourism sector. Similarly, Motaleb Sharif, General Secretary of the Kuakata Hotel-Motel Owners’ Association, said, safety concern has led to widespread booking cancellations, as people are reluctant to embark on risky journeys with their families amidst political instability. 48-hour blockade: Miscreants set fire to 3 buses in Natore
Enjoying the unparalleled beauty of nature cannot be measured by any monetary value. However, everything in the world comes with a price, tourism is no exception. Though travelling costs are getting higher day by day, Bangladeshi tourists can visit overseas within a tight budget with proper planning and right information. Let's explore some popular international tourist attractions to visit with 10,000 taka. 10 Overseas Places to Visit from Bangladesh with a Budget of BDT 10,000 Cherrapunji This city, which is also called Sohra, is situated in the East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. Notable attractions here include Mawsynram, the Double Decker Root Bridge, Mosmai Cave, and Mokdok View Point. Foreign visitors are drawn to enchanting waterfalls like Nohkalikai Falls, Thankharang Park, Mosmai Falls, Kalikai Falls, Rainbow Falls, Krangsuri Falls, and Seven Sisters Falls. To reach Sohra, travelers must take a train from Dhaka to Sylhet and then a bus to Tamabil. The minimum train fare from Dhaka to Sylhet is around BDT 400, and the bus journey from Sylhet to Tamabil costs BDT 35. Read more: 10 Most Affordable Destinations in Indonesia: Winter retreats on a budget Upon reaching Tamabil, complete Bangladesh immigration and cross-border checking at Indian customs. Subsequently, a taxi or minibus will leave for Shillong through Dauki Bazaar. Cherrapunji is a bit further, past the Wardslake gate of Shillong. For budget accommodation, homestays in Naingriat village can be arranged, with room rents for 4 people ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500, approximately equal to BDT 1,330 to 2,000 (Rs 1 = BDT 1.33). The cost of food can range from Rs 160 to Rs 200 (approx. BDT 215 to BDT 266) per person per day. All in all, one can travel from Dhaka via Shillong to Cherrapunji and back to Dhaka in 3 days for around 8 to 9 thousand taka. Read more: Best Asian Alternatives to the Maldives: Affordable Island Getaways Delhi Delhi, the Indian capital on the banks of the river Yamuna, retains its popularity among travelers due to its historical significance. Jama Masjid, Qutub Minar, Chandni Chowk, India Gate, Red Fort, and Emperor Humayun's Tomb are among the city's prominent sightseeing spots. Dhaka residents can reach Delhi affordably by first taking a bus to Kolkata. A non-AC coach will cost around BDT 890 to BDT 900 per person. From Kolkata's Howrah, they need to take a train to Delhi, with a non-AC sleeper costing approximately Rs 650 to Rs 700 (close proximity to BDT 865 to BDT 931). Opting for a tour agency's sightseeing package, which typically costs Rs 300 to 500 per person (hovering near BDT 399 to BDT 665), is recommended. The average daily cost for food is Rs 390 (roughly BDT 519). Double-bed rooms in Paharganj can be found for Rs 500 to Rs 650 (approx. BDT 655 to BDT 865). Read more: Shopping in Malaysia: What to Buy, Where to Buy from Shimla The capital and largest city of Himachal Pradesh in North India is known as the Queen of Hill Stations. Places to visit in the picturesque city include Mall Road, The Ridge, Summer Hill, Viceroy Lodge, St. Michael's Cathedral, Himachal State Museum, and Jakhu. Budget visitors must first come to Kolkata from Dhaka by the ways mentioned earlier. A minimum of BDT 1,100 will be spent here along with the immigration process. After that, the explorers have to go to Howrah station in Kolkata as before. From there, the Kalka Mail train will take them to Kalka, for which the ticket price will be around Rs 710 (about BDT 945). Toy Train fare for Kalka to Shimla is Rs.50 (close to BDT 67). A room in Shimla can be rented for Rs 1,000 (near BDT 1,330), and food per day can cost Rs 194 (almost BDT 258) per person. Read more: Lawachara National Park Travel Guide: Evergreen forest in northeastern Bangladesh
When stepping into Indonesia, every globetrotter finds it to be a treasure-trove of islands. A nation adorned with natural wonders, each island tells a tale of its own. Especially the historical attractions along with spectacular beaches hold surprises for winter wanderlusts. Unveiling the budget-friendly gems, this list meanders through Indonesia's winter retreats. These are the most affordable tourist spots in the Indonesian archipelago. 10 Best Budget-Friendly Indonesian Destinations to Visit in Winter Gili Islands A trio of small islands off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia, the Gili Islands are famed for their lush vegetation and world-class diving and snorkeling spots. The underwater world surrounding these islands is a mesmerizing sight, easily accessible from any point along the shoreline. For those considering a journey from Dhaka to Lombok by air, the most economical per-head deal is USD 334 in parity with BDT 36,689.97, with the exchange rate at USD 1 = BDT 109.85. Accommodation costs per person are generally IDR 146,755 or BDT 1,027.21 (IDR 1 = BDT 0.007), and a day's worth of meals can be budgeted at IDR 49,993 which is equivalent to BDT 349.93. Read more: Best Asian Alternatives to the Maldives: Affordable Island Getaways Ubud Located in the uplands of Bali, Ubud offers a central hub of attractions. The Royal Palace, situated in the heart of town, is free for visitors, and just down the road lies the Sacred Monkey Forest, a popular destination. A bemo ride takes travelers to the famous Goa Gajah, an elephant cave in Bedulu village, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for intricate carvings. Accommodation costs in Ubud typically IDR 2,142,151 in proportion to BDT 14,993.94, with budget options such as Agung Trisna Bungalows and Inang Villa. The daily charge for food in Ubud is approximately IDR 189,959 equaling BDT 1329.61. The most cost-effective airfare from Dhaka to Ngurah Rai Airport is USD 252 in parity with BDT 27,682.25. Read more: Shopping in Malaysia: What to Buy, Where to Buy from
Nestled serenely within the expanse of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives has lured travelers with its opulent allure. The pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and luxurious resorts have made it an icon in high-end travel. Yet, for those with a more budget-conscious spirit, some exotic tourist destinations in the heart of Asia can offer almost similar experiences. Let’s take a look into some of the most popular budget-friendly Asian alternatives to the Maldives. 10 Best Budget-Friendly Alternatives to the Maldives in Asia Phi Phi Islands, Thailand This tropical paradise, along with its mesmerizing blend of stone and sand beaches, is located in the Andaman Sea. Among this island group comprising six distinct islands, Phi Phi Don is renowned for its Monkey Beach and Maya Bay. In the case of spending the night, Tropical Garden Bungalows come with a jungle vibe with modern amenities. The airfare to Phitsanulok, the nearest airport to this place, from Bangladesh starts at USD 230 (BDT 25,264.65 at an exchange rate of USD 1 = BDT 109.85) per person. Meals cost approximately THB 417 or BDT 1,289.45 (THB 1 = BDT 3.09) per day, while local transportation is estimated at THB 253 or BDT 782.33 daily. The average cost for a couple's hotel stay in Koh Phi Phi is THB 2,956 (BDT 9,140.58). Read more: Beach Bucket List: 9 Magnificent Sea Shores in South Asia Koh Lipe, Thailand This hidden gem, located in the Andaman Sea, offers hiking opportunities to take in the island's natural beauty from elevated vantage points. The island provides a variety of amenities, from bars and open-air restaurants to cafes and massage shacks.
Sylhet, Bangladesh is a region endowed with mesmerizing natural beauty. Lush green hills, expansive tea gardens, and meandering rivers create an irresistible canvas of diversity. This Jaflong travel guide is going to highlight the spellbinding charm of this traveler’s paradise. Origin of the Name Jaflong The name Jaflong is steeped in the history of the Khasi people. The term "Jaflong," with its connotation of a “haat (market) of pleasure”, finds its roots in the Khasi culture. Geographical Location of Jaflong Jaflong is nestled at the foothills of the Khasi-Jaintia Hills, approximately 62 km to the northeast of Sylhet. These majestic mountains serve as a natural border, separating Bangladesh from India along the Meghalaya border. The surrounding region falls within the Piyain River basin in Gowainghat upazila of Sylhet district. It's through Jaflong that the Dawki River enters Bangladesh from the hills located in India. Read more: Tinap Saitar Waterfall Travel Guide: Visit a pristine natural fountain in Bandarban Best Time to Visit Jaflong Jaflong's charm undergoes a captivating transformation with each season. However, it is during the rainy season that the destination is in its full glory. Those who desire to experience the beauty of this water kingdom must visit during the rainy season. The period from June to October is the recommended period for the visit. During this time, the greenery of the mountains flourishes and becomes even more captivating, extending into November. What to See on the Jaflong Trip Standing knee-deep in the Piyain River and gazing upward at the verdant hills cloaked in clouds is a truly unparalleled experience. The suspension bridge is a relic from the British colonial era. Additionally, the winding course of Dawki River, a Piyain River tributary, beckons tourists with its majestic allure. Read more: 8 Best Winter Travel destinations in Bangladesh The Khasia village, located just beyond the Piyain River, features unique hillside dwellings that pique the interest of thousands of tourists. Jaflong hosts a Baishakhi fair on the first day of the Bangla New Year. Even if the occasion is the same, the banks of the river with rapid currents, surrounded by mountains, look very different compared to the crowded atmosphere of Dhaka.
Manpura Before 2009, Manpura was just another island on the southern edge of the Meghna River in the Bay of Bengal. Thanks to Giasuddin Selim’s Magnum Opus “Manpura” movie, the island came into the limelight. Ever since the blockbuster, there has been a growing interest in Manpura as a new travel destination. Here’s everything you need to know about the Manpura island, how to get there, what are the attractions, and many more. Where is Manpura island? Manpura island is situated in the northern Bay of Bengal. It borders the exit of the Meghna River into the bay. The island is formally known as Manpura upazila under the Bhola district. It is surrounded by the two of the biggest islands of Bangladesh – Bhola and Hatia. Read more: Tinap Saitar Waterfall Travel Guide: Visit a pristine natural fountain in Bandarban
Standing on the bank of the Yamuna River, Delhi, India's capital territory, presents a captivating mix of history, culture, and modernity. Its strategic location, at the centre of the Indian subcontinent, has made it a bustling hub of diverse influences. And, this year, this city is one of the venues of the ICC World Cup. Delhi promises a wide range of experiences, from exploring ancient monuments to savouring delicious cuisine, along with sports excitement. Let’s take a look at this Delhi travel guide and explore the numerous facets of this fascinating metropolis. Top 10 Famous Tourist Places to Visit in Delhi, India Arun Jaitley Stadium Formerly known as Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, this cricket venue was established in 1883. Five matches of the Cricket World Cup 2023 are going to be held at this stadium located on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in New Delhi. Among them, the match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is set for November 6, 2023. India Gate Also known as the All India War Memorial, it stands on the side of the Rajpath in New Delhi. The 138-foot-tall historic structure was designed by British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. A Republic Day parade is held annually around this war memorial. Read more: Shopping in Kolkata: What to Buy and Where to Buy from This structure is dedicated mainly to the 84,000 Indian and British soldiers who perished during the First World War and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. Engravings on the monument surface display the names of 13,300 soldiers. Local food hawkers often gather here, offering various delicacies for picnicking groups. A charming children's park is also nearby. Qutub Minar Known as Victory Tower, this minaret is part of the Qutub Complex in Lal Kot, Delhi. Qutub Minar's construction began in 1199 under Qutub-ud-Din Aibak. Shamsuddin Iltutmish completed the upper sections between 1199 and 1503. Qutub Minar brilliantly merges Islamic architecture with Southwest Asian design. In 1993, UNESCO bestowed upon it the prestigious title of a World Heritage Site. Read more: Spain Travel Guide: Top 10 Must-Visit Places