AN HOUR FROM THE AIRPORT, inching along, I asked, “Is the traffic always this bad?” “No, today is Sunday. This is good.”
Dhaka is crowded, chaotic, confusing. If it is the beating heart of Bangladesh, she may well be about to have a cardiac arrest. But boring it is not. There are bazaar where the spices make your eyes water, boats and rickshaw and buses and chai wallahs and snacks and museums and palaces and cottage industries. Rickshaw capital of the world, see it to believe it.
Boys hanging out at the dockside market.
Dhaka's port is a hive of activity, with all manner of craft coming and going around the city and country.
Two friends in Dhaka's waterfront.
Buriganag River calm, in contrast to the rest of the city.
The Star Mosque originally had just 3 domes.
A man sews seats for a rickshaw in one of the many workshops in the city.
A young bus conductor. Catching a bus is really hard. If you can work out which one is yours, it won't stop. It'll slow down, a bit, and you have to make a run in your flip-flops.
The rickshaw capital of the world, employing millions of people.
Rickshaw workshops found in Old Dhaka are usually happy for nosy tourists to take a look.
Traffic in Dhaka is generally pretty awful, and probably getting worse.
Warehouses, markets and traders fill the streets around Dhaka's docks.
Loading is almost entirely by hand.
A ferry pulls away from the docks.
If Dhaka does ban rickshaws, it will be a backward move, in the name of progress.
Lalbagh Fort was begun in 1678 by Mughal prince Muhammad Azam, grandson of Shah Jahan, of Taj Mahal fame. Construction was abandoned in 1684. The mosque pictured here was actually built in 1649, before the fort.
Cottage industries are a vital part of the Bangladesh economy, employing millions in workshops the size of a living room.
Rickshaws go where no car can.
A quick snack mix of chick peas, tomato, potato, spices, served in cut up newspaper.
A quiter part of the docks, with the main ferry terminal in the background.
Boatmen hold their poles upright as they wait for customers.
Ahsan Manzil, official residence of the Nawab Of Dhaka, built in the late 19th century. From the 1950s, squatters moved in, turning it into a slum. It was restored by the Bangladeshi government.