In November 2019, my colleagues and I attended a conference hosted by Daffodil International University (DIU) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The few days we spent there experiencing the food, music, and culture instantly made it one of the most memorable trips I had in 2019.
It was only confirmed that we would be the ones attending the conference a week prior, so that was the only time we started applying for our visas. Even when we had the whole process expedited, our visas were only ready hours before our flight, one that had a long layover in Bangkok.
We stayed at Radisson Blu Water Garden and it was then that I realised it was my first time having a hotel room to myself. Haha if we didn’t have a schedule to follow, or if we had an extra day throughout our stay, I would have spent a generous amount of time just lounging in the room.
- View from the lobby.
- The only photo I have of my room.
- Coffee break.
- Sunrise on our last day.
Prior to our trip, I didn’t know much about Bangladesh. I did hear about the Bangladesh bank heist in 2016 but that definitely doesn’t capture the country’s history and culture. That’s why I was so thrilled when I found out that a city tour was included in the itinerary.
After stopping by the National Parliament, we headed to Bangabandhu’s Museum, which was once Bangabandhu’s family home, until he and his family members were assassinated in 1975. Throughout the tour, I was able to learn about how Bangabandhu came to be Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation.
We then headed to one of DIU’s buildings in downtown Dhaka for the Welcome Dinner that included quite a number of cultural presentations by the students. Dinner comprised of Bangladeshi dishes, dishes that were way too spicy for me, but I’m still glad I was able to try them. 🙂
The second day of the conference was held in Radisson. The entire day was filled with presentations and speeches, and the highlight was meeting DIU’s robot!
It ended with the gala dinner and more cultural presentations that also included songs and dances to represent the different nationalities of the delegates.
Our last day in Dhaka started unbelievably early. I think we needed to wake up at like 4AM so we would have enough time to get ready, have breakfast, and check out.
As soon as everything was sorted out, we headed to DIU’s main campus. The drive took about an hour and a half, and we were able to see more of Dhaka along the way.
We had refreshments in one of the buildings overlooking the campus. It was followed by an opening ceremony and then a cultural presentation. Can I just say that one of the things that I absolutely appreciated throughout the conference was the fact that the organisers really showcased the culture of Bangladesh. After the presentation, we proceeded to the newest building in campus that only opened on the day we were there. We then had lunch (I went pretty crazy on all the fruits) and headed back downtown to rest before our flight back.
- Preparing documents.
- Memorising the prompts I needed to answer for the video LOL
- A rickshaw to myself
- We all rode rickshaws to get to and from different buildings in DIU!
- A photo at the garden complete with swing sets right outside the cafeteria.
Since we had a lot of time to spare, we walked around one part of downtown Dhaka. Afterwards, we had what they claim to be the best fried chicken in town for dinner. 🙂
While I was looking through the photos (and putting the video together a few months ago), I couldn’t help but be grateful for the opportunity to travel to Dhaka, even though it was for work. Tourism-wise, Bangladesh currently doesn’t hold a high rank and this can be attributed to the fact that Bangladesh is still a developing country (READ: The Next Eleven). Still, Bangladesh already has so much to offer — I know I’ve probably said this, but when you visit, you can instantly experience the culture. Hopefully in the future, I get to see more of Bangladesh, maybe explore Old Dhaka and see a Bengal Tiger.