Sunday, 31 October 2010

Sightseeing around the Bandarban

When we got out and about, this is some of what we saw.

Golden Temple or Pagoda

While in the Bandarban, we took a short trip through the pouring rain to visit the Golden Temple or Golden Pagoda, one of the largest Buddhist temples in Bangladesh. It was spectacular with lots of gold paint plus had spectacular views across the surrounding countryside.
Here it is:
This was taken while travelling back down the 4WD track from the temple. Not quite how it was meant to work out but I like it all the same.

Hillside Resort in the Bandarban

More than a week ago, a group of us went on a long weekend trip to the Bandarban. This is a forested, hilly region of Bangladesh on the Burma border. It was so good to get into the fresh air, amongst the greenery and away from the crowds of staring people.
Here's some pictures of the resort we stayed at: Hillside Resort
Breakfast with a view

Our "home" for the weekend

What a view! This is from the verandah outside the restaurant at the Hillside Resort.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

River Trip again

One of the best ways to get away from the hustle and bustle of Dhaka is to take a river cruise - a chance to escape the crowds and beggars, get a cooling breeze and get further away from the stares. I think this one was cruise number three. here are some photos.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Bhawal National Park

Last weekend when Alice and I had a van we decided we'd visit a forest not far out of Dhaka. It is actually called Bhawal National Park. Although only meant to take 1 hour to get there, it took almost 2 but did take less than 1 to get back. It is less than 38 km!!
A forest?? Not exactly what I would call a forest in Australian terms. Yes it was a collection of trees but I actually wonder if they were planted at some time as they seemed to be quite orderly. Underneath the trees was just dried leaves, no bushes, few grasses, no flowers. Tracks and footpaths wound around the park with a lake that has numerous arms in the centre of the park This lake provides a focus with short boat trips an option, fishing rods for hire (but not sure if you would actually catch anything) plus the banks are a nice place on which to sit. There are also pony rides, rickshaws for the lazy and a cleared dirt area in the middle, which appears to be the ground for organised cricket matches.
Visiting on a Friday, it was obvious that the park is a popular picnic spot for locals over the weekend. There was bus after bus parked there. But a Bangladeshi picnic consists of taking huge cooking pots, like 1 metre across, lighting a small fire, and cooking or reheating using these pots.
It was a nice change of scenery but I would also be curious to see it at a time of the eyar when it wasn't so dry. Mind you, then there would probably be mud and leeches!
Here are a few photos.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The Army Golf Course in Dhaka

FINALLY . . . . . . I managed to take my camera with me to the golf course, mind it didn't help my golf much at all for the first few holes while I was taking photos.
This is the 9-hole golf course that we mostly play. There is also an 18-hole one of international standard where lots of tournaments are held and the huge amounts of water manage to grab lots of my balls. This is the practice putting green below.

Anyway the Army course only really has water that cause problems on the 2nd and 3rd holes, where i still manage to lose a ball or two. But it is really nice to get out onto the green grass, amongst the trees rather than being on the dirty streets and continually being stared. As it is directly next to the international airport, there are frequent interruptions from noisy planes taking off. So low is the Saudi Airlines plane on take off every single time that I am sure a high golf shot would hit it. There is also colourful bouganvilleas, some other trees that had lots off pink flowers on the weekend and the "instant" gardens that are a feature of Bangladesh. You go to the nursery and buy already flowering plants such as pansies, salvia, asters, petunias and even dahlias, then put them in the ground. But off course they don't last long as the poor plants have a very limited root system. There is no clubhouse at the moment but they are still working on the huge one being built there and hopefully it is getting closer to opening as most of the surrounding fencing has been torn down.

Then of course, the exercise is much needed and sometimes I think my golf is getting a little better!!

Next to the golf course one of the locals goes fishing!

Friday, 26 February 2010

Back to Dhamrai & Savar

At the brass shop
Last weekend I went back to Dhamrai, the brass village, for the 4th or 5th time. It is always great to get out of Dhaka plus the village is great for taking photographs and the brass shop is interesting. But I think I will have to go back again and buy a brass elephant that holds a tea light candle. But a need to buy a tile to sit it on beforehand. It is always good to have an excuse to go back. Here are some photos of the traditional "lost wax" method used to produce the brass objects.
The wax mould of the cast

Breaking open the clay mould to reveal the brass statue

Wandering around the village is always fun, especially if the women in their colourful saris are walking around spreading the rice, or pushing it into rows or sweeping in between the rows. The bridge over the almost dry river, provides an ideal place to look down on this.

Sweeping the rice

Watching the women working on the rice

Boy watering the street

Decoration of a rickshaw seat

On the way we stopped twice in Savar. Once at the golf course to check out the details of playing - cost, availability etc, and the other at the Martyrs Memorial no doubt more crowded than usual because it was a long weekend.
Some of the very friendly visitors.

One of the best kept gardens in Bangladesh is around the Martyr's Memorial

Some pompom ducks for sale outside the Martyr's Memorial

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Little Italy

Yesterday, I and a group of friends, went a day trip outside of Dhaka. It is always nice to have a change of scenery. I will post more about this trip and some photos soon. However on the way back we stopped at Little Italy, an Italian restaurant owned by the same people as Bella Italia here in Gulshan. Strangely though, the restaurant is located beside the road, rather than in the centre of a town.

Little Italy always makes on ideal stop on the way back from Dhamrai as it breaks the journey and has yummy pizzas. Below is my vegetarian pizza, the same as pizza Bella Italia. It has eggplant, spinach and mushrooms on. So that along with a diet pepsi and some chips was my lunch.

The other interesting sight is that opposite the restaurant there was a birckworks spouting lots of black smoke skywards. It was one of many that we passed while driving and all of them were contributing significantly to the air pollution we suffer with daily here in Dhaka.
Why are there so many brickworks? Due to the lack of rock and stone in Bangladesh (it is built on sand as a river delta), bricks are then broken up again to form stone for various jobs!!

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Moroccan Dinner party

Having availed myself of other people's hospitality, last night I decided to have a Moroccan dinner party. So after playing 18 holes of golf early in the day, I then got cooking. Had a nice beetroot salad plus another salad followed by a chicken tagine, a beef and vegetable tagine and couscous with apricots. Then for dessert had orange slices sprinkled with cinnamon. Thankfully everyone enjoyed the food and a fun evening was had by all. (Plus I even have a few leftovers to eat!)

Here are the happy diners

Beef tagine, apricot couscous with the beetroot in the background

Chicken tagine with olives.

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