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Peace Corps Bangladesh Welcome Book | October 2005

Peace Corps Bangladesh Welcome Book | October 2005

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Peace Corps Bangladesh Welcome Book

Peace Corps Bangladesh Welcome Book

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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: Accessible Journal Media Peace Corps Docs on Jun 13, 2010
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10/23/2013

Bicycle rickshaws are the most common form of transport for

small distances. The rickshaws have three wheels, with a sofa-

like seat for two behind the driver and a hood that can be put

up for rain. A rickshaw ride can be quite rickety, so passen-

gers often have to brace themselves with hands or feet. Riding

in a rickshaw on an open road with a cool wind in your face

can be very pleasant, but riding in one in Dhaka during rush

hour is a completely different experience. Many rickshaws

have poor brakes and can be stopped only by running into the

back of a rickshaw in front. Auto rickshaws, also called “baby

taxis,” are motor-driven three-wheelers whose back seat can

hold up to three people. (One or two extra people sometimes

sit next to the driver when there are no police around.) These

taxis are convenient, but traveling in them can be a night-

mare, as the drivers often ignore traffic rules and collisions

are frequent. “Tempos” are taxis that hold 10 to 20 people and

A WELCOME BOOK · BANGLADESH

31

PEACE CORPS

32

follow set routes for a low fee. (In rural areas you might find

yourself sharing them with chickens, goats, or calves.)

Rickshaw safety will be discussed during training.

Local buses can be irritatingly slow. Long-distance buses tend

to travel at unsafe speeds, but companies are beginning to

impose penalties on drivers who arrive earlier than their

scheduled time. Some long-distance buses have modern

coaches with air conditioning, offering relatively comfortable

travel. Accidents and crime are more frequent during

overnight bus travel, however, so Volunteers are prohibited

from traveling at night.

Train travel is usually a pleasant experience. Although local

trains tend to be overcrowded, long-distance trains are com-

fortable and reliable. First-class, air-conditioned sleeping com-

partments are available on some routes, and most trains have

fans. Rail service to the west is complicated by numerous river

crossings; on these routes, travelers have to get off the train

and onto a ferry to rejoin the railway line on the other side.

Travel to the southwest may mean taking a short ferry trip

across a small river or up to three hours for a larger river.

Waiting time for getting onto a ferry varies enormously, the

current record being 15 hours. Because ferries commonly

have accidents, they present a real safety risk. You will learn

about traveling safely on water during pre-service training.

Another means of travel to the southwest is via launches.

These boats vary in quality but can be very relaxing, and it is

worth booking your trip in advance to travel on one of the

better ones. The Rocket, a favorite, is a modern ship with a

television in the main lounge, a dining hall, and other ameni-

ties. Launches can be fogbound during the winter.

Airplane travel is relatively cheap. A 20-minute flight from

Dhaka to Rajshahi is much more appealing than an eight-hour

ordeal by bus and ferry, but flights are often delayed. Walking

A WELCOME BOOK · BANGLADESH

33

is by far the safest method of travel in Bangladesh, though the

concept of walking for pleasure is not widely understood

(probably because it is too hot and muggy most of the year).

When walking, one should never assume that traffic will come

from only one direction, even on one side of a divided roadway.

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