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Urban Study Group

Dhaka City, Bangladesh
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Orkobasu wrote a review Mar 2019
Bengaluru, India12 contributions8 helpful votes
If you want to experience the grizzled but still vibrantly beating heart of Old Dhaka, allow the volunteers from Urban Study Group to guide you through a fascinating walk through the past. You will be taken down tiny alleyways and up colonial stairways, across the terraces of crumbling mansions, through centuries-old mosques, forgotten temples and historic churches, all while munching on yummy local snacks along the way. Bring comfortable walking shoes because the walk is extensive, taking up to 5 hours even. But it hardly feels that long because the passion and enthusiasm of the volunteers is very contagious. The walk ends with a delicious lunch at a heritage home served by a wonderful host, Emran, who will regale you with tales of his illustrious family. This walk could be the highlight of your Dhaka trip, as it was mine. Don’t miss it.
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Date of experience: March 2019
2 Helpful votes
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chjg wrote a review Feb 2019
scotland11 contributions4 helpful votes
Wonderful 4 hours spent walking the busy streets with 2 very helpful and knowledgeable guides from USG. Got inside buildings not usually open to the public - or women. Loved the soap factory! Lunch in a heritage house with very welcoming and interesting host, Emran, the sixth generation to live there. If in Dhaka definitely do this tour, such a worthy cause - to save the heritage buildings of old Dhaka which are the history of the city.
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Date of experience: February 2019
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D H wrote a review Nov 2018
Hanoi9 contributions3 helpful votes
Met at 0830 for a 4 hour walk around the old city. The aim was less focused on 'the sites' and more on the heritage buildings and people. I was the sole tourist guided by three great guys, clearly committed to saving the heritage of old Dhaka and giving me an excellent tour. They extended their tour by a couple of hours to show me extras I wanted to see. Great fun, can't recommend them enough - learnt so much. Currently (2018) they ask for 500tk (£5), but I thought they merited more. A new addition is the offer of a lunch in a heritage property with a charming English speaking family (also 500tk). I asked for a vegetarian menu and was served with a veritable feast! My advice: go for both and don't have a big breakfast before you go, you'll eat lots on the walk and at lunch.
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Date of experience: November 2018
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FrequentTraveler6464 wrote a review Jul 2018
Phuket, Thailand107 contributions36 helpful votes
We took a 4 1/2 tour of old Dhaka, seeing 200 year old colonial buildings, Moslem mosques built in the 1600's, Hindu temples, market areas full of surprises! The volunteers who led us on the walking tour were a wealth of information, incredibly positive, and hopeful for the future. I highly recommend the tour!
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Date of experience: July 2018
1 Helpful vote
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Larus_pacificus wrote a review Nov 2017
Vancouver31 contributions11 helpful votes
The Urban Study Group Tours are a consistent highlight of my visits to Dhaka. Nothing else comes close. The tours combine a guided walk through parts of Old Dhaka, highly knowledgeable guides, lessons in history, architecture, politics, amazing photo opportunities, a chance to see inside amazing buildings and meet locals.They're also very flexible, and plenty of time to stop and chat, eat, shop (within reason!). I've yet to meet anyone who hasn't raved about these tours. I've been on three and all were outstanding. Great thing to do if you're traveling alone or a bit apprehensive about heading into Puran Dhaka alone....
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Date of experience: November 2017
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