Air Pollution & Traffic – Dhaka, Bangladesh

I don’t like the term ‘world traveler’ & would most definitely never use it when referring to myself – I think it is pretentious & unnecessary. Having said that, I have been extremely blessed to be able to see a bit of this planet & I wouldn’t say I am inexperienced when it comes to travel & experiencing new places & cultures. It has been said that travel broadens the mind & I agree because I am constantly faced with experiences where I learn more & have my mind set altered. Being in Bangladesh was no different. I just wasn’t prepared to experience culture shock as extreme as I did.

Let’s take a look at a few facts about Bangladesh first. Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world with a whopping 168 million people living in a country with an area of 147,570 square kilometres. To put that into perspective, they have the 8th largest population, yet the country is listed as 92nd by size. The country has a tropical climate & is sometimes said to have too much water. Bangladesh isn’t very high up on many travelers’ lists & I think those who do go are often labelled as ‘extremists’.

I arrived in Dhaka & for lack of better words, I was klapped for six (South African for ‘caught off guard’). I was told the country had a particularly bad rainy season & I think that played a huge role in the weather conditions when I was there. I arrived in the middle of the day, but I couldn’t see the sun because of the intense layer of air pollution hanging over the city. It was very humid & last, but definitely not least – something that irritated me the entire time I was there – the mosquitoes. I’ve been irritated by mosquitoes before, every summer in South Africa, & I also saw really big ones in Myanmar, but these guys were next level. They were tenacious, they were resilient. There was just no way to stop them.20190312_084315

Another fact that completely shocked me was the traffic. It goes without saying that many of my travel experiences are related to traffic so you’d think that by now, not much would surprise me. There aren’t really lanes, but rather a mass of vehicles moving in a general direction. Turning signals or indicators are just not used or noticed & the hooters/horns are pressed constantly. People told me that if you’ve experienced the roads in major Indian cities, you’d be fine in Dhaka, but I don’t believe that is the case. Not for me at least. Dhaka seems to be in a league of its own.

I was surprised that I experienced culture shock & to the extent that I did. Have you been to Bangladesh? How was your experience?

Keep traveling, keep safe.

DanVenture Travels


16 thoughts on “Air Pollution & Traffic – Dhaka, Bangladesh

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  1. Nice hearing your thought! I haven’t been in bangladesh…Pollution is really sad true, even in my country.. 😦 Sad thing is that human is the primary cause.. . Keep safe!! Keep travelling!!


  2. The traffic in Dhaka is very intense! I loved seeing Old Dhaka though, so it was worth it! I lived and worked in Chittagong at the end of 2017 and wrote a blog about it; check it out if you want to hear about my experience of Bangla learning too!


  3. First went to this part of the world (Chalna, Chittagong) when it was called East Pakistan in the early 60’s – it has never been on my bucket list for a return trip :- o)
    The traffic seems to have got worse, and faster, due to more bikes / cars. :- o)


  4. Interesting comments . We were considering Bangladesh as the guys in our loca l Indian Restaurant come from there and they have been trying to get us to go for ages. The noise of traffic and particularly car horns in Delhi was horrendous, 24/7. So if it’s worse in Dhaka I hate to think what that’s like. Mozzies are a nightmare and they seem to be getting worse everywhere. Keep blogging.


  5. Thank you for writing that bit about ‘traveler’! We find it annoying when people constantly try to show their superiority by calling themselves anything but tourists. Pretentious AF!

    One of us travels to Bangladesh frequently for work. Your observations are akin to what he mentions. Traffic seems to be a big problem there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi
      Jaki and I could hardly be pretentious. At best we are Bumbling. But we do enjoy seeing as much stuff, meeting as many people and doing as many things as our Pension will allow. We hope people will look at our mishaps and say, “We’ll, if they can do it so can we.” I also hope we give people a bit of a chuckle too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thoroughly enjoyed Bangladesh. Driving in Dhaka is a little intimidating at first but as an experience, not much worse than any other major city. Sure, tailbacks last for miles and it can take three hours to travel three miles but lane discipline is ok – as long as you stay alert 😉


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