Saturday, 25 April 2009


After a small delay (well a 2 week trip to Australia) here is the final instalment about the trip up north before the break.

Day Three involved travelling from Syhlet further south to Srimangal from where we would eventually catch the train back to Dhaka. It was about a 3 hour trip in total. It was a pretty journey that continually involved dodging other traffic on the road, mostly CNGs but also trucks, other cars and rickshaws. Then of course there is always pedestrians wandering along or back and forth across the road where they always expect the vehicles to stop.

Along the way at Moulvibazar, on the "main" road we came across a large crowd of people blocking the road so had to detour. This meant an opportunity to explore the side streets and see Bangladesh country town life.

As usual rickshaws were the most common form of transport.

We passed lots of shops and people going about their everyday business including this man in white.

Passing through Srimangal we went on to Lawachara National Park where a small area of tropical forest is preserved. This forest, rather dry when we visited but still pleasant to walk through, is home to a myriad of colourful birds, lots of butterflies flitting around, hoolock gibbons and we saw a couple of macques including 2 on a branch up above the track with the younger one scratching its mother's back.

As is the case everywhere you go in Bangladesh, our "groupies" tag along. Always a crowd gathers or our group magical get a few extra people joining on. Curiosity!

After a nice lunch in Srimangal at an Asian restaurant, I just soup because I had a stomach upset, we went to the town outskirts to visit a Monipuri village. This is one of the many tribal villages in the area. In this case we went to see the traditional weaving. It just so happened that this woman below is our guides mother.

Then of course we had to support this traditional craft and do some shopping. I just bought a couple of scarves - great idea in a hot climate but gave one to my mother.

And just to prove how small the world is, right where we stopped is the sign below Melbourne North rotary club helped to set up the craft/weaving project.
Srimangal's real claim to fame is TEA. We stopped for a quick look at a tea plantation where the tea bushes are shaded by cedar trees scattered around. Unfortunately the bushes are waiting for rain before sprouting their lush green leaves that are then picked for processing into tea.
Then of course there was the enevitable to sample the local speciality - 5-layered tea. Not that I tried it as I don't like the taste of tea. But everyone else said it was nice. Topped with cinnamon and lemon tea in the bottom, its recipe and method of production still remain a secret!
we then caught the train back to Dhaka at about 5 pm, which is another whole story in itself!!

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