Travelogue | The Daily Star
  • Through Santal villages, midnight walks and ghost stories

    Smells evoke emotionally charged memories. Like the smell of freshly picked green mangoes after the season's first Kalbaishakhi or the smell of clothes washed with Chaka Ball soap and laid out to dry on the wires running along the village front yard. However, Beautiful Bangladesh—our tagline for tourism—has its inimitable share of horrible smells that also manage to etch themselves into our memories.

  • The Time I Was Arrested in Japan and the Police Served Me Green Tea

    In 2007, I was working in Nagasaki, Japan, during my college summer break. My team traveled around the prefecture, teaching English to adorable Japanese school children of various ages. In between, we got to enjoy breaks, and stay with host families so we could live like the locals.

  • Auschwitz: Reflections and Realisations

    Neat rows of red-brick buildings, bathed in brilliant sunlight, stretched out under an azure sky. The carefully manicured grounds, and the forest beyond, were a lush green. One could be forgiven for mistaking it for a well-run summer camp. It certainly did not look anything like what had been portrayed in Schindler's List or the myriad of Holocaust literature. Even the wrought-iron sign above the gates reading

  • Thoughts from Chitwan - Where the wild ones roam free

    A massive rhino rustled through the tall elephant grass and charged at us. Ears cocked, nostrils flared wide open and tail held high, the animal seemed to take up the entirety of the unique Chitwan landscape. Its distinctive one horn cut through the thick humid air of the Terai, its muscles rippled in tension under the thick armour like skin.

  • The Time I Took A 19-hour Bus Ride Across East Africa, Because Why Not

    My work visa in Tanzania was about to expire, and I needed to do a quick trip out of the country in order to renew it. I couldn't be gone for too long, so it made sense to go somewhere nearby—to one of the neighbouring countries, like… Kenya. Plus, I had a friend in Nairobi whom I hadn't seen in years, which also meant free accommodation...

  • Love in Tokyo

    When I first stepped in Tokyo streets, getting out of the Aoyama Itchome subway station, it was late evening, and it was raining, as it would rain casually in any season in Dhaka. The modernist styled buildings reminded me of a Motijheel, the sound of light water drops on the pitch black roads reminded me of Dhaka's soundscape in any

  • Ambling through the City of Victory

    Travel back to the bygone days of the Vijayanagara dynasty. The ruin of the ancient city of Hampi today stands amidst gargantuan boulders. Climb up the 575 steps to the Anjaneya temple to view the sunset and hike atop the Matanga hill for a sublime sunrise, or take a coracle ride across the Tungabhadra river during the wee hours, the only sound breaking the silence being the swish-swash of the oar dipping in the water.

  • Dancing with the Arctic Sky

    Huddled inside a lavvu, a Sami tent, around a blazing pinewood fire, we binged on coffee and “almost homemade cake”—almost because Knut, our guide for the night, bought the chocolate cake with coconut and sugar dusted on top from a store and sliced it in the kitchen at his home! We learnt from him about the Sami. Historically known as Laps or Laplanders, they are the natives inhabiting, primarily...

  • Brunei Darussalam - Paradise on earth

    On November 26 last year, my wife and I decided to visit Brunei on a long-pending invitation from our son, Shahriar Shams Rony, who works as a teacher at the Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB).

  • Why you should go mountain climbing

    I know, I know, mountain climbing isn't on everyone's agenda. Being a dedicated couch potato who can barely run two kilometres without dying, it was the furthest thing on my mind.

  • Welcome to surreal Pakistan

    When after a long journey through mountains, valleys, villages and hills; I saw Deosai for the first time, it struck me as if Wordsworth wrote the poem for Deosai.

  • Ice camping with penguins in Antarctica

    When you've paid a large chunk of your savings to go on the trip of a lifetime, you would probably be smart about it and not do anything stupid that will make you miss the trip.

  • The Great Bengal romance with the Sundarbans

    She is a friend and a foe. She is all encompassing and she can take away all. The mighty Sundarbans, the enchanted forest, the recipient of my modern-day love letters.

  • Love in Florence

    On a bright sunny August afternoon, the view from the Camping Michelangelo—a camp site set on a hill above the city of Florence—is spectacularly exhilarating.

  • Rafting in the Grand Canyon

    My first visit to the Grand Canyon was with my wife, as a newly wedded couple several decades ago. I was so fascinated by the majesty and beauty of the vast expanse of red rock and by what must have been the immense power of the meandering river, that I told myself I had to experience this canyon and that river at closer proximity. I questioned myself over the years why I felt that way so compulsively.

  • In search of Heidi, eating my way through bits of Bhutan

    The Proustian punch of eating food that stirs a nerve is something I have always been on a quest for.

  • Lost at the Prague Castle

    Many say that travelling makes you free, educates you, creates a bigger network that one can benefit from and of course, learn about a foreign culture. I would agree with all that, and add, however, that it also makes you think.

  • Why heavenly Bosnia deserves to be your next travel destination

    Rich in history and natural beauty, the country is relatively cheap to travel across.

  • New AI technologies promise to make travel a little smarter

    The Terminator wants to be your next travel agent.

  • A non-touristy tourist destination

    One of the special aspects about Bhutan is the way they have maintained their tourism industry—they don't overdo it.

  • 'O Madams', a trip to find ancient ruins and haors

    We spent our two days in Habiganj, eating through the town, walking through the forests that house the last vultures, sitting under the shade of an old banyan tree and catching some old-time village gossip.

  • Through the submerged world of Barisal

    I like to think that poet Jibanananda Das derived inspiration for his seminal poem Banalata Sen during his times in Barisal.

  • Trekking 101 - A Beginner's Guide

    There are two kinds of people in this world- those who have been on the daunting, yet incredibly beautiful journey to Nafakum or Keokradong, Bandarban and those who have it on their to-do list.

  • A Visit to the Hawaiian Islands

    The island state of Hawai'i has been called a paradise in this world. Its multifarious scenic beauty, magnificent beaches, active volcanoes, flora-fauna, and its vast distance from nearest land, have made it a very attractive spot to visit.

  • (My) Magical Mystery Tour

    “Is there any name for that feeling when hours of research tell you that you are going to witness something beautiful and you feel

  • Pages of Kolkata

    It was a usual summer day in Kolkata. A nonchalant working day where one is bound to wake up from the rings and horns of the busy Kolkata streets.

  • Vincent and I

    The lobby of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) seemed to be an organised chaos - hundreds of people standing there in a serpentine queue, talking art and waiting impatiently to grab their ticket to get into the magical madness of this place. There was impatience, but no rage.

  • The Finer China

    In November of 2015, with 18 other journalists from different countries, I travelled to China to report on The One Belt, One Road

  • The Venice of China

    Everywhere you look, a piece of the beautiful Grand Canal can be seen peeping through from beside the busy streets.

  • Paris in Pixels

    A train ride from Barcelona to the Paris Gar de Lyon, is a long one. Even though we Bangladeshis are used to spending hours on the streets of Dhaka to get to Motijheel from Gulshan, the 6 hour train ride from Spain to France is quite a long one for Europeans.

Top