Bangladesh is a country on the Indian subcontinent whose capital is Dhaka. Located in the northern Bay of Bengal and almost landlocked in India, it has a small border with Burma.

Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries (with 165 million people), and one of the poorest. The majority of its population lives in rural areas, but urbanization is fast and slums have developed in the main cities. Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy with 300 directly elected deputies. The independence proclaimed in 1971 was quickly followed by 15 years of military power, which led to a peaceful transition to democracy in 1991.

Tourism is still underdeveloped and relations with the inhabitants are therefore more authentic. Nature lovers will be able to see the biggest mangrove swamp in the world. Life in Bangladesh is very cheap. Meals are very cheap too (4 to 5 euros for a quality meal). If comfort is not your priority, you can sleep in a hotel where the bathroom is common, and travel in second class for almost nothing. Here are some price examples:

Basic products Price in Euros / Bangladeshi takas
0,33L of water (bottle) 0,17 € / 15,25 BDT
1 simple meal 1,70 € /150 BDT
1 bus ticket 0,23 € /20 BDT

Name of the currency: Bangladeshi Taka
1 EUR = 95,45 BDT

The local cuisine includes a lot of fish dishes. As in Indian cuisine, spices such as curry are used a lot. Kebab (meat skewers) and kofes (meatballs) have far exceeded borders. In Bangladash, you can also eat lentils in sauce, called « dal », and the famous « Tandoori ». Tandoor is the clay furnace in which meat or fish soak with spicy yogurt. You can also stew the saffron-flavoured rice pilaf dish, with or without meat, known as “byriani”.

After your project, you should definitely visit the ruins of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur, the historic mosque city of Bagerhat and the Sundarbans mangrove forest. Also, some other sites are worth it : Dhaka, the capital, with its bazaar, its pink baroque palace, its Lalbagh Fort, its mosque and its national museum ; the city of Chittagong, with its mosques, its British quarter and its ethnology museum ; the temples of Puthia will not fail to amaze you ; Cox’s Baraz, a beach resort ; and the beaches of Saint Martin’s, Inani and Himacheri Islands…

Vaccines and specific advice:

Find out about the vaccines you should make before going to this country and about the preventive and/or treatment measures for local diseases.

Checklist :

  • Vaccine updates, specific vaccines: 1-3 months before departure
  • Visit your doctor for any health problem, prescription renewal, contraception, etc. In addition, you will need to send your coordinator a certificate from your doctor certifying that you are well suited to take part in an international volunteering project.
  • Dentist: a dental check-up can be useful before going!

We advise you to visit the website of your country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry to consult the advice for every country.

Advice for American travellers:

Advice for Canadian travellers:

Advice for English travellers:

Bangladesh travel advice

Latest update: Entry requirements section – revised information; your passport should be valid for at least 6 months when applying for a visa to visit Bangladesh; Property disputes section – revised contact information on the expatriate help cell

For more info, read full article Bangladesh travel advice

Since the visa legislation is changing a lot, the SVI cannot guarantee the information below. For more information, feel free to visit the CIBT website, which will give you more info and will help you obtain a visa online.

Don’t forget that unless it is specified, volunteers should leave with a tourist visa.

List of projects available in Bangladesh