BANGLADESH

Bangladesh Flag
Country Description: Bangladesh has a developing economy. Tourist facilities outside major cities and tourist areas are minimal.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: A passport and onward/return ticket are required. A visa is not required for a tourist stay of up to 15 days. Visitors can obtain a landing permit upon arrival by payment of a fee. Further information on entry requirements can be obtained from the Embassy of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, 2201 Wisconsin Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007, telephone (202) 342-8373, or the Bangladesh Consulate in New York, located at 211 E. 43rd Street, Suite 502, New York, N.Y., 10017.

Areas of Instability: Public demonstrations, marches and labor strikes are widely-used means of political expression in Bangladesh. Numerous general strikes, or "hartals," have been called by the political opposition during the past year, resulting in the virtual shutdown of transportation and commerce, and attacks on individuals who do not observe the "hartal." Clashes between rival political groups have resulted in deaths and injuries to participants. Violence is a particular problem on university campuses. Visitors to Bangladesh should check with the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka's Consular Section for updated information on planned political activities."

Medical Facilities: Medical facilities in Bangladesh are not adequate even in tourist areas. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. Supplemental health insurance which specifically covers overseas treatment has proven useful. It is also useful to have medical evacuation insurance that covers the high cost of emergency air evacuation to another country with better medical facilities. Additional information on health problems can be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international travelers hotline at (404) 332-4559.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Crime rates in Bangladesh have traditionally been low compared to other areas of the world. However, the crime situation in Dhaka and Chittigong is worsening and there are increasing reports of crimes involving weapons. Foreigners have not been especially targeted. The loss or theft of a U.S. passport abroad should be reported immediately to local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Useful information on safeguarding valuables, protecting personal security, and other matters while traveling is provided in the Department of State pamphlets, "A Safe Trip Abroad" and "Tips for Travelers to South Asia." They are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Drug Penalties: Travelers are subject to the laws and legal practices of the countries in which they travel. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs are very strict in Bangladesh. The death penalty or life imprisonment can be imposed for some drug-related crimes. At a minimum, convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: Bangladesh has a marginal road network, in part due to the difficulty in building and maintaining a transportation system across the world's largest flood plain. The streets of Dhaka are congested, with hundreds of thousands of bicycle rickshaws competing for limited road space with motorized vehicles. Because intercity roads are narrow and in poor condition, driving outside urban areas at night may be dangerous.

Registration: U.S. citizens may register at the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka and obtain updated information on travel and security within Bangladesh.

Embassy Location: The U.S. Embassy is located at the Diplomatic Enclave, Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka, telephone (880-2) 884700-22.

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