Service Of Our 25 Years Cricket Travelling Experience
The Opportunity To Watch Cricket With Awesome People That Have Travelled With Us For Near 20 Years
When introducing a 'cricket city' I usually include significant places to see and visit; a golden beach, famed restaurant, or highest vantage point. Dhaka, sadly, is known for little more than snarling traffic and its appalling distribution. Aside from the fight to leave the airport carpark, you'll meet the famed traffic at the intersection of the airport drive and the North-South Highway; the mania often managed only by a sole police officer gently waving his lathi stick with futility.
PHOTOS: Enjoying a short-lived clear journey from the airport, otherwise in 'a jam', lookout for weary horses in-between the buses!
Once you arrive at Dhaka's Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport the hotel will meet & greet you before whisking you down the clogged highway or bereft of life artery. It can take 15 - 75mins to reach the hotel but hopefully new flyovers will make the former more likely. If flying from Chattogram after the 1st Test, my flight to Dhaka will be promoted for you to book a similar time so we can share the shuttle. If coming by train from Chattogram please make your own way from Kamalampur Station as the shuttle is for airport arrivals only.
Once in the delights of the leafy diplomatic enclave of Gulshan in North Dhaka, home to over 50 foreign missions, decompress at the amazing Amari on a quiet backstreet on Lake Banani. The Amari is a short walk from Gulshan 2 Circle, laden with plenty of money-changers, cafes, ice-cream parlours, restaurants, and the markets of Gulshan.
PHOTOS: Even if you don't want a star fruit, potato, cabbage, or bright floral cotton, the happy market sellers will always want a photo!
With at least one day before the Test up your sleeve, charge your camera, grab an auto-rickshaw (called a CNG (compressed natural gas) in Bangers) and have a day in the maelstrom (love that word!) of Old Dhaka. Get to Islampur and get lost in the 'Ultra HD Technicolour' of Banglabazar, Shankharibazar, and Babubazar, on your way to Sadarghat Ferry Terminal, which is best seen from the bridge at Babubazar.
If you prefer to stay close to home, explore Gulshan or Banani markets, get a shirt or suit tailored, grab lunch on Road 11 (the epicentre of Bangladeshi restaurants, cafes, and ice-cream parlours) or simply relax by the pool. The Amari is on Road 41 which is an extension of Road 11 that starts on the bridge just 100m left out of the hotel.
PHOTOS: Unlike India, you are caged and locked in a CNG for security, or you can take in the fresh air of a cycle rickshaw!
The night before the Test we'll have drinks on the rooftop where you will get your match tickets, floral shirts, and directions to the game, before heading to the Australia High Commission for their famed open-door 'Aussie BBQ' to welcome the weekend. Every expat in Dhaka hits Australian soil for this Thursday night tradition that started long before my first visit in 2005!
PHOTOS: Our rooftop pool! The long green park to the right is Lake Banani, drained and overgrown with foliage. When there is water, there are too many boats to count!
Getting to the game in Mirpur is simple, grab a CNG! We've not included transfers for the logical reason that bundling everyone into a bus for the 6km journey can take an hour sitting in traffic. Whereas a CNG will buzz its way through the gridlock to the game within 20mins for $1 per person. A bus transfer would add $100 to your Experience, whilst denying you an unique travel experience!
PHOTOS: Taking the shuttle bus to school is hard work for the driver. We won't put him through the same by taking us to the game!
After play we will 'refresh' by the pool, before finding one of Dhaka's 'public houses' but where you ultimately wine & dine is up to you! We will suggest places which you never need to accept, but do know there will be dinner on the night of Day 5 so I can farewell and thank all of you for coming.
As we have included the night after the Test, you can spend another day in Dhaka before taking a very-late evening flight without having to check-out of the hotel. This day will allow you to collect your tailoring if you got measured up, or do some bargain gift shopping. Otherwise, grab a CNG and go to Old Dhaka if you haven't already. It will blow your mind, as I trust this short Bangladesh Experience has!!