Bangladesh punches above its weight, it pulls you in and turns your world upside down, inside out. The only sanity in the country could indeed be your hotel room and I loved it. Close your door on the world away from the madness of bustling, non-stop street-life of Bangladesh. And pick a good one. Dhaka is the capital where the whole madness shows its true colours. It’s no wonder the national flag is red and green. A mix of anger and frustration from this circular redness is engulfed and surrounded by green – the envy, the go go go and the leafy gardens that await the end of the last tuk tuk’s exhaust fumes. Dhaka is a sprawling city, its ridiculous never ending streets, markets and traffic mayhem reminding me of Asuncion in Paraguay for some reason.
However with a Bangladesh Visa, I was arriving by flight into Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and the airport is pretty far north of Dhaka itself, in fact the airport is in Uttara. There are a few kilometres of non-urban sprawl between Dhaka and Uttara. To all intents and purposes, Uttara is a separate town, encompassed into Greater Dhaka.
I found the Nagar Valley Hotel online, based in Uttara (Sector 4) and they provide a free airport pick up and are just about 4 kilometres from the airport. This made it an easy choice for me and my welcome to the country. You will pay a bit more than downtown Old Dhaka but the prices are a level par with the swanky new town hotels and you get a little bit of peace and relaxation here. Plus you are close to the Dhaka Biman Bandar train station for onward journeys to Chittagong (where I headed next – a story and a half!). Here are five reasons why I enjoyed my stay here in Uttara.
1.Different Location – Uttara
Most backpackers make a beehive to the Old Town in Dhaka and base themselves there. It was a given that I would tour Old Town Dhaka anyway without needing to stay in it, so it was nice to have my own mini-neighourhood to live in for a few days, here in Uttara – I even had a local shop and a kebab joint. I loved it. Nights on the local streets here are safe and less frenzied. Every security guard and shop owner on the street stopped to chat to me.
2. Free Airport Pick-Up
The free airport pick up was definitely a bonus. Bangladesh is a safe enough country, but I had read some crazy reports from fellow blogger friends Derek (Wandering Earl) who once got kidnapped in Dhaka and Johnny (One Step 4Ward) who once got accused of doinking a prozzie in his hotel room in Dhaka, so a safe bet was the airport pick up. They threw in a welcome drink too, which was nice.
3. Fast WiFi
I was ready for 6 days of being offline. I was wrong. My hotel here in Uttara and the one in Chittagong both had fast WiFi. I was actually very surprised. I even got some of my blogs typed up here, and found out that AFC Bournemouth had beaten West Ham to gain our first ever Premier League win!
4. Free Breakfast
It won’t blow you away for sure, but hey egg on toast, jam, mango juice and a cup of Bangladeshi tea set you up for a corker of a day. You’ll need some energy to survive this city, trust me.
5. Friendly Staff
The staff were all wanting photos with me, trying to help me. Bangladeshi people are like this, they might not talk at first, or smile, but get them going and be ready for emotions to flow. General manager Chandra was great and very welcoming (below right) and the staff did all they could for me – really superb hospitality.
My room had the bonus of Air Con, hot water, a fridge, a fan, a TV and a comfy double bed, so all in all this was a perfect choice for me so if you’re flying into Dhaka and want an easy option, go for the Nagar Valley Hotel and say hi to them all for me!
Here are the details for booking the Nagar Valley Hotel:
Address: 27, Shayesta Khan Avenue, Sector # 4, Dhaka, Uttara, Bangladesh
Click here to view our location.
Phone: +880 2-8932468
Mobile: +880 1710-912276
Feel free to contact us 24*7
Phone: (+88 02) 8932783 ; 8959601 ; 8958669
Here are some videos of my time in the Nagar Valley Hotel: