I recently got back from a trip to Bangladesh. I'm not usually one to do this, but I had SUCH an amazing experience with our tour guide that I wanted to get the word out there and I figured this was a great place.
A bit of background: I like to travel. A lot. Been all over the states, Europe, Central and South America. Usually backpacking and staying in hostels or couchsurfing. I have to admit, I always kind of turned my nose up when I would see a group of people on a package tour, and never thought that I'd find myself on one.
Buuttttt, my friends got married in Bangladesh (he was born there). They had a wedding with a couple hundred Bangladeshi's and about 15 friends and family from the states went over to celebrate with them. We wanted to do some traveling, but figured that organizing such a large group on our own would be challenging. So we arranged to do a 6 day tour with Bengal Tours.
The tour group was great. But the main thing that I wanted to comment on was our guide, Zia. In the short amount of time that we were there, Zia really made the trip into something amazing. He took us into tribal villages around Bandarban that we NEVER would have seen if we had just showed up with a guidebook (and he clearly knew the people in the village and had a good relationship with them). Everything operated super smoothly. When one of our friends had to rush back to Dhaka to get back to NYC for a last minute work emergency, Zia basically made the ocean part to get her through a crazy traffic jam and to the airport on time. He also did an amazing job of showing us around Rangmati, Teknaf, St Martin Island and Cox's Bazar.
While I never thought I would be in a tour group like this, I can totally see the benefit of being on a trip where you have such an amazing guide who can really make the most of your time.
Just wanted to throw this up somewhere in case anyone is looking for a tour guide. Zia is with Bengal Tours Ltd. was amazing. There website is www.bengaltours.com and I would definitely recommend asking specifically for Zia!