With beautiful national parks, jungles that are home to the elusive Bengal tiger, fantastic beaches and age-old plantations, Bangladesh is as diverse and interesting as the people who call it home. If you use common sense, your travels are likely to be safe and without incident.
Armed robbery is the second-most common crime, and obviously much more dangerous. There have been reports of an increase in the number of these types of thefts in Gulshan and Banani, two of Dhaka's wealthiest areas. Passengers of rickshaws, CNGs or taxis, especially at night, are particularly vulnerable to armed robberies.
The kidnapping of businessmen and children for ransom has increased in Bangladesh, but the targets are rarely travelers. Always remain aware of your surroundings, particularly in more isolated or rural locations as the risk increases.
If you are a victim of a crime, can contact the local police, however, keep in mind there have been reports of officials abusing their authority and general corruption. If you visit a police station, don't go alone. Carry a copy of your passport, visa and other important travel documents in case you are required to show identification at designated check posts throughout the country.
Women travelers should always dress modestly to respect local culture. If you're traveling by bus, always sit towards the front near the driver, and avoid traveling at night, particularly if you are alone.
Because Bangladesh isn't a popular travel destination, visitors are often seen as something of a novelty to locals, especially children. Don't be surprised if you are stared at, followed around or photographed, it's usually harmless curiosity. If the staring becomes a bit too much for you, simply say "Amar dike takaben na", which means "please stop staring at me". Be kind, and use this sparingly, because the attention is not meant to offend. Some people may see you as an opportunity to practise their English and will chatter incessantly to you. Be polite and considerate of anyone interacting with you.
For more safety tips for women travelers in Bangladesh, check out this article from Alex from Lost With Purpose.
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