Bangladesh: Ecotourism with Indigenous Peoples
Bangladesh is so culturally vast, that it is easy to lose sight of how many indigenous peoples inhabit the region. Visitors looking for a truly unique experience may opt to get away from the high-octane chaos of the many inner cities and head to the highlands and outer-lying regions to meet the true people of Bangladesh.
A variety of eco-tours exist for those that seek them out, placing you hand-in-hand with many of Bangladesh’s indigenous tribes.
Experience life in a indigenous village, available for most of the 14 indigenous peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
Take a lake and river cruises by sampan and country boat. Help conserve the Bangladeshi ecology and learn first-hand about this most peace-loving and open people. Support local tribal handicrafts and take home unique jewelry, hand-woven cloth, flutes and more. Stay with the headman and his family or at one of our traditional eco cottages. Take a short hike through the hills and visit a local village school run by the tribal council. This is truly an experience to treasure.
Refer to the Tours link on Bangladesh.com for points-of-contact with Tour agencies who offer eco-package deals out of Chittagong that will place you in the middle of culture that you’ve never experienced before.
Within close proximity to one another, you can see several local villages. First among them is the Chakma village of Rangamati. Here you can enjoy their handicrafts center, Buddhist Complex and Tribal Museum. Cruise nearby Kaptai Lake by Sampan or speedboat. In your free hours enjoy a little swimming with the locals, reflect in ancient Buddhist Shrines, and come to the realization that you are indeed a long, long way from home.
Not far off, sits the Mrus village – known for their unique music, song and instruments, the Mrus sing and play their unique bamboo & gourd flutes. Deeper in to the countryside sit two more villages. In between sits a marketplace, a Buddhist Shrine, and an indigenous school.
After a day or two, you’ll realize that you’re not just looking at handicraft masters doing their best to survive in the 21st century, but rather the backbone of Bangladesh – a country that owes its existence to a variety of rich indigenous cultures.