A Love Letter To… Sylhet, Bangladesh.

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My soft spot for Sylhet – a major city located in northeastern Bangladesh – is not merely based on bias, I promise! Yes, Sylhet is a warm home for me – it is where my family hails from. But this metropolis is significant for so many other reasons too: it is a happy place, and a place that most certainly sits up there as one of my most dearly adored spots in all the world. Sylhet is a place where one can relax away from the stresses and stressors of urban life, without feeling fully detached from such a life. It is a city bursting with colour and culture, and with sights too alluring to resist. Here is a short ode that I have penned to this beautiful location. An ode that I hope sparks an interest in all of you that stumble across this article. I hope that you can add Sylhet to your list of future travel spots. Maybe we can go together, because I really want to go back again.

I always do.

 

Sylhet,

Your greenery gives health and happiness to my eyes; seeing tea leaves and gardens all over. You are busy and bustling, full to the brim, sometimes overly so. But you are also so completely full of life, and you never bore me. So much to do, eat, and see. Sylhet, you are the one for me!

From the emerald shades of the Tea Resort in Sreemangal Upaliza, to the serene yet stimulating grounds surrounding the campus of Shah Jalal University, your every sight is mesmerising. At every corner, there is something exciting to be discovered: sweet scents of fried snacks at the crowded street side in one corner, a waterfall and swamp at another. I will call over one of the many vibrant rickshaws to allow for easy navigation from sight to sight, and perhaps a Tuk Tuk or CNG too; you are so vast to get around. I could always use my own two feet as transport, but I have the reassurance that you always have various modes of (super cute!) public transport readily available for days when I feel I need it. I will rest assured the next time I want to move from the Museum of Rajas – a folk Museum – to Ratargul Swamp Forest, which is one of the world’s few freshwater swamps.

My mum immersing herself in one of Sylhet’s many tea gardens. Credit: mum’s photo album.
Splashing about in serenity: my mum at a waterfall site in Sylhet. Credit: mum’s photo album.

Sylhet, I will keep going back to you and unwrapping your many sights further.

Until next time!

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Whether you would prefer visiting Sylhet during the dewy monsoon season, or at a more humid and summery point in the year, I would highly recommend a trip to this lush location. It is cultural and full of curiosities, and plenty of tasty culinary delights that I hope you will be able to savour long after you depart.

 

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English and History undergraduate student at the University of Southampton.

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