This friendly capital city really doesn't have that many sights of interest to tourists. Some places that are worth your while include the Lalbagh Fort, the National Assembly Building (designed by Louis Kahn), Baitul Mukkaram Mosque and the national gardens (be on the lookout for mongooses there). Also visit the Star Mosque, Nawab's Palace, the Supreme Court building, an Armenian church and cemetery and the Buddhist monastery. (Buddhists were once the majority—they now account for less than 1% of the population.)

We enjoyed poking around the bazaars and shops along the riverfront, but if you do so, be prepared for crowds.

One night in Dhaka will allow you to see most of the above, but consider taking an excursion or two: Jessore, a picturesque town about 100 mi/160 km southwest of Dhaka, merits a night. Rajshahi, a scenic city northwest of Dhaka, deserves a day as well. Savar, also northwest of Dhaka, has beautiful gardens and a somber memorial to those who died in the 1971 War of Liberation. The town is also a docking point for the Badhi river gypsies, who ply the country's waterways on traditional houseboats.

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