Sunday, February 26, 2006

Terra Incognita

Bangladesh, land of ... I'm not sure exactly. Nobody ever goes to Bangladesh, and the only time you hear about it on the news is during the annual floods that affect the country like clockwork and kill thousands of people; or when another over-laden rust-bucket of a ferry sinks, taking its human cargo with it. I can't say that these events are altogether surprising when you consider that 90% of Bangladesh is taken up by the world's biggest delta region, formed by the merging of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, and, to compound matters even more, that is is the most densely populated country, of any size (I'm not counting the Vatican or Monaco), in the world. The country has no real tourist attractions and gets very few visitors a year (though I'm not surprised at that seeing as they charged me over £40 just for the visa). Even a couple of Bangladeshis that I have met were perplexed about my plans and couldn't offer any suggestions for places to visit. But, as George Mallory famously replied when he was asked why he was climbing Everest, I'm visiting Bangladesh "because it's there" (and also because travelling to Myanmar would have been even more expensive!). So I'm rather curious as to what I shall find. Either way you'll be finding out soon.

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