One of the more interesting dining experiences I had during my recent two-week tour of Bangladesh (we wanted to cover 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the country) was taking one of those antiquated colonial-era, British-built paddle-wheel steamers upriver from the Sundarbans (the world’s largest mangrove swamps) back to Dhaka, Bangladesh’s chaotic mega-capital.
There are only 4 of these century-old paddle-wheel steamers left in the whole of Bangladesh, trawling its network of waterways, and our 16-hour journey gave us a view into the life on the banks of riverine Bangladesh:
The Third Class packed in over 500 passengers.
We took First Class, which had 8 cabins with twin bunks each. Leaky air-conditioner unit notwithstanding, it was worlds apart from the cramped conditions below.
Views along the way:
Whilst passengers in Second and Third Class packed their own meals for the journey, First Class passengers can enjoy a hot Bengali meal churned out from the little kitchen on-board.
The First Class dining area:
Our dinner consisted of chicken Dopiaza (spiced, oniony chicken & potatoes - very tasty), curried eggs and “sobji baazi” (braised green papaya, with carrots & string beans), all served with “kichuri” (spiced rice cooked with yellow lentils).
Pretty tasty renditions.