Electricity

Electrical current in Bangladesh is 220 Volts, 50Hz. Round-pin plugs, flat-blade plugs, triangular three-round-pin plugs and parallel flat pins with grounding-pin plugs are all common.

Language

The country's official language is Bangla. English is the main foreign language.

Money

The local currency is the Bangladeshi Taka (BDT). Major cities have ATMS, though credit cards are usually only accepted in Dhaka and Chittagong. Travellers will find moneychangers at Dhaka airport, as well as at most top-end hotels and banks in big cities.

Tipping

Tipping in Bangladesh is not expected but welcome.

Health

Travellers should see a physician four to six weeks before they arrive to receive necessary immunisations, and begin taking anti-malaria and typhoid medication.

All ordinary immunisations must be current. Hepatitis A and B immunisations are recommended, and anyone heading to rural communities and the outdoors will need immunisations for rabies and Japanese encephalitis as well.

Travellers' diarrhoea is the most common affliction; visitors should drink bottled water and be sceptical of undercooked foods. A yellow-fever vaccination certificate is required for all travellers older than one who are arriving from yellow-fever infected areas.

It's best to seek help outside the country for serious conditions.

Safety

Bangladesh is generally safe and few visitors encounter serious crime during their stay. Petty crimes such as pickpocketing occur on crowded buses and at busy markets, but are less common than in other parts of Asia. Visitors can minimise risk even further by concealing jewellery (or not wearing any), travelling during the day, and avoiding public transport if they're exploring alone.

The country has a history of political violence and the domestic situation can become tense. Aggression is very rarely directed at foreigners but travellers should look out for warnings in the media before visiting. The Chittagong Hill Tracts as well as the Myanmar and Indian borders have turned violent in the recent past, so travellers should think carefully before visiting these regions.

Poor road and traffic conditions make city transport dangerous, while ferries are often perilously overcrowded. Monsoon-season cyclones and flooding are a threat, especially in coastal regions and near rivers.

Local customs

Food is always consumed with the right hand in Bangladesh and visitors should remember to wash their hands with water after eating. Shoppers can bargain hard in public markets but not in stores, where goods and services have fixed prices; foreigners should apologise if they accidentally touch someone with their feet.

Local laws, customs and traditions reflect that Bangladesh is a mainly Islamic country, so visitors should ensure that their actions don't cause offense, especially during the holy month of Ramadan. Among other things, same-sex relations are illegal and visitors should dress modestly.

Travellers should also note that Bangladesh is a male-dominated society, despite having prominent women in government.


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Duty free

Travellers to Bangladesh may bring with them 200 Cigarettes, 50 Cigars or 225g of tobacco. Travellers are also granted an amount of perfume reasonable for personal use (250ml), and gifts of up to 500BDT in value. Non-Muslims may have two bottles of liquor.

Communications

The international access code for Bangladesh is +880, and the outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). Travellers with unlocked phones can purchase local SIMs; cafes, restaurants, all top-end and most midrange hotels provide free wifi.

Passport & Visa

Although some visas are available on arrival these are limited and inconsistently 'given out'. Visa fees depend on embassy and nationality. Israelis are denied entry. A return or onward ticket is required and departure tax depends on onward destination.

Entry requirements

United States passport holders require a valid passport as well as a visa; visas can be issued on arrival for stays of up to 30 days. They can apply to extend their stay.

British passport holders require a valid passport as well as a visa. Visas valid for 30 days can be issued on arrival. They can apply to extend their stay.

Canadian passport holders require a valid passport as well as a visa. Visas valid for 30 days can be obtained on arrival. They can apply to extend to their stay.

Australian passport holders require a valid passport as well as a visa. Visas valid for 30 days can be obtained upon arrival. They can apply to extend their stay.

South African passport holders require a valid passport as well as a visa. However, South Africans with proof of Bangladeshi origin can obtain a 30 day visa on arrival. They can apply to extend their stay.

Irish passport holders require a valid passport as well as a visa. Visas valid for 30 days can be obtained upon arrival. They can apply to extend their stay.

New Zealand passport holders require a valid passport as well as a visa. Visas valid for 30 days can be obtained upon arrival. They can apply to extend their stay.

Useful contacts


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Ambulance, fire, police: 999

Embassies / consulates in other countries

Bangladesh Embassy, Washington DC, United States of America: +1 202 244 0183.

Bangladesh High Commission, London, United Kingdom (also responsible for Ireland): +44 20 7584 0081.

Bangladesh High Commission, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 236 0138.

Bangladesh Embassy, Canberra, Australia:+61 2 6290 0511.

Bangladesh High commission, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 12 343 2105.

Bangladesh Consulate, Auckland, New Zealand: +64 9 302 0545.

Embassies / consulates in Bangladesh

Embassy of the United States of America, Dhaka: +880 2 5566 2000.

British High Commission, Dhaka: +880 2 55668700.

Canadian High Commission, Dhaka: +88 2 55668444.

Australian High Commission, Dhaka: +880 2 58813101.

South African High Commission, Colombo, Sri Lanka: +94 11 246 3000.

Ireland Embassy, New Delhi, India: +91 11 4940 3200.

New Zealand High Commission, New Delhi: +91 11 4688 3170.

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