Set among rainforests, waterfalls and rolling hills in the picturesque Surma Valley, Sylhet is a must for anyone interested in southern Asia.

Best known for its tea, Sylhet is where the country's commercial tree production first began. Today, visitors can relax in the tranquil tea gardens at the Tea Research Institute in Sreemangal, with the area also home to pineapple, rubber, and lemon plantations.

Most of Sylhet's attractions are not located in the city itself, but in the surrounding valleys. The Lawachara Rain Forest is a great place for spotting gibbons, leopards, and pythons, while the Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary offers guided hikes and makes a great excursion as well. Travellers may enjoy a trip to the Bangladesh-India border, where the scenic views at Tamabil Jaflong are tremendous.

Much quieter than bustling Dhaka, Sylhet is a great place to get a feel for life in Bangladesh, and to enjoy the tranquil beauty of southern Asia. Many locals speak good English.

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