Northeast Bangladesh is one of the popular destinations for local travelers. Sylhet, Moulvibazar, Sreemangal, Madhabkunda Waterfall, Jaflong, Ratargul Swamp Forest, and more. If you visit Bangladesh, one of Southeast Asia’s less-traveled treasures, you will find the country still preserved its authenticity and beautiful natural landscapes. But the tourism network is not yet as developed as neighboring India. That is why Bangladesh has not attracted that many foreign tourists. Also, many are nervous seeing crowded transportation, traffic jams, poverty, dart, and pollution.

Dhaka to Sylhet Highway
Dhaka to Sylhet Highway

Places of Interest

Activities On The Road

The highway between Dhaka-Sylhet Highway N2 is a little better than I anticipated. The distance between these two cities is only 144 miles (232 km approx), but due to the highway passing through small towns and bazaars, slow-moving traffic and road conditions will take about 5 hr 30 min. We were driving a private car, but I felt driving on those highways was dangerous sometimes, so one needs to drive very defensively.

Check-out Road Side Shops

There are many makeshift shops along the highway; we made a couple of stops out of curiosity and to take pictures. Sreemangal pineapples are known for their flavor and natural sweetness. Those are the best pineapples I have ever had. Locals call it Joldugi Pineapple.

Sreemangal, Bangladesh
Sreemangal pineapples are known for their flavour and natural sweetness.

Quick Stop for Lunch

Soon we crossed the Meghna River from Bhairab to Ashuganj. The restaurant was on our left. Soon we crossed the Meghna River from Bhairab to Ashuganj. The restaurant was on our left. You can’t miss Hotel Ujan Vati & Resort is a perfect location for a lunch break. The restaurant was clean, and plenty of open tables. The food was delicious; we had Chicken Corn Soup, Fried Rice, chicken noodles, and sizzling beef. The restroom was decent, but not comfortable with the wet floor; water everywhere needs more cleaning attention.

Hotel Ujan Vati Resort
Having lunch at Hotel Ujan Vati Resort
Hotel Ujan Vati Resort
Fried Rice for lunch at Hotel Ujan Vati Resort

On The Road – Make Random Stop

Since we traveled by private car, we had the luxury of making frequent stops for food, pictures, and more. So only you need to find a good, experienced driver who can handle poor road conditions on one of those highways.

Sherpur Bridge over Kalni River
Sherpur Bridge over Kalni River
Kalni River
A view of Kalni River from the bridge

Early Morning Hike Through A Village

We were traveling during the winter season. As usual early morning fog blanket the region almost every morning. One morning we decided to drive down to Dhakadakshin, Nogor, and Ahmed villages for a walk. We saw people walking their cattle to the field. Locals are riding scooters and taking auto rickshaws to the nearby towns for work. It was a great experience. I took many pictures to capture those unforgettable moments.

Early morning street view in a village in Sylhet
early morning fog
Early winter morning walk in a village

Local Market in Sylhet

I am always fascinated by local markets, so over the years, I have developed the habit of visiting markets the way locals do. Regardless if it is a fish market or a covered dry market, the genuine cultural experiences that the markets present are what I love. There is a list of things that attract me to marketplaces, like the busting vibe of every market, food, spices, clothes, and more. Also, I love taking great pictures, interacting with locals, learning about cultures, and often trying local food.

Local market

Boat Trip in Kushiyara River

Kushiyara River is huge; lucky we were there in winter when the mighty river cooled down a bit. If you want to do a dream itinerary, then rent a boat (motor boat). It is the best option to see fishing activities, riverside villages, and life around the riverbank. Our boat was about 15 to 20 feet long. The morning view around the river was incredible, and the whole private boat tour in the Kushiyara River experience was excellent. We were even able to buy live fish from the fishermen.

Early morning fishing in Kushiyara River
Kushiyara River
Kushiyara River in a winter morning!

Trip to Ratargul Swamp Forest

Ratargul Swamp Forest is a freshwater swamp forest located in Gowainghat, about 16 miles (26 km) from Sylhet. Ratargul stays underwater for almost five months, and the rainy season is the best time to visit the swamp forest. During the rainy season, most trees are submerged in the water. I visited during the winter when you could see thousands of migrating birds. It is a popular destination for tourists around the country.

Ratargul Swamp Forest - Gowainghat
Ratargul Swamp Forest – Gowainghat, Bangladesh
Ratargul Swamp Forest
Local photographers in Ratargul Swamp Forest

Visit Madhabkunda Waterfall

It is only about 40 miles (62 km) from Sylhet town, but due to the road conditions and heavy traffic, it takes a little over 2 hours by car. The road to Madhavkunda Ecopark through the tea garden is also picturesque. The 162 feet fall is considered one of the highest waterfalls in Bangladesh. Therefore, it is a popular tourist sight for locals. Inside the Ecopark, you will find a Hindu temple called Sri Sri Madhabeshwar Mahadev Temple.

Madhabkunda Waterfall
Madhabkunda Waterfall
Sri Sri Madhabeshwar Mahadev Temple
Sri Sri Madhabeshwar Mahadev Temple

Visit Tea Gardens in Sreemangal

Sreemangal is best known for its famous tea gardens, also called tea mountain. It is less than 2 hours drive from Sylhet (55 miles / 88 km). There are more than 163 tea estates in the region. Hiking, driving through the tea gardens, and enjoying the tea-picking scene are popular among tourists and photographers. Other attractions in Sreemangal are worth a visit, such as Lawachara National Park great for hiking, and Hum Hum waterfall, located in the Kurma forest.

Tea Estate in Sreemangal
One of the Tea Estate in Sreemangal
Tea mountain in Sreemangal
Tea mountain in Sreemangal

Where to stay in Sylhet, Bangladesh

Grand Sylhet Hotel & Resort

Grand Sylhet Hotel & Resort in Sylhet features 5-star accommodations, an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and a garden. Free private parking is available, and the hotel also provides car rentals for guests who want to explore the surrounding area. Guest rooms at the hotel come with air conditioning, a seating area, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a safety deposit box, complimentary toiletries, and a hairdryer. Breakfast is available daily and includes a buffet, and you’ll also find a restaurant serving American, Chinese, and Seafood cuisine. Vegetarian and halal options can also be requested. The nearest airport is Osmani International Airport, 0.6 miles from the hotel.

Grand Palace Hotel & Resorts Sylhet

Grand Palace Hotel & Resorts Sylhet has a fitness center, a shared lounge, a terrace, and a restaurant in Sylhet. This 3-star hotel offers room service and a 24-hour front desk. In addition, the property has free private parking and a free airport shuttle service. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms offering a desk, an electric teapot, a minibar, and a safety deposit box. In addition, guests at the accommodation can enjoy a buffet breakfast. Grand Palace Hotel & Resorts Sylhet offers 3-star accommodations with an indoor pool.
The nearest airport is Osmani International Airport, 6.2 miles from the hotel.

My Opinion and Last Word

Have you been to Sylhet, Bangladesh? Any cool tips to share?

I loved being in Sylhet, Bangladesh, and want to go back again. I hope my story has motivated you to visit Bangladesh.

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Robert

    The vivid descriptions and stunning visuals in your blog post transport readers to the serene paradise of Sylhet, Jaflong is one of that beautiful place. Thank you for sharing this hidden gem!

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