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Big Harvey
Post subject: Bars
PostPosted: 16:03 on 22nd Mar 2014

Joined: 09:14 on 23rd Apr 2008
Posts: 2365
Other than very expensive ones in posh hotels, bars in Bangladesh keep a low profile and can be hard to locate. They're an experience that shouldn't be missed though.

Here are directions to a few I've been to, mostly pinched from 2010 Bangladesh Forum posts by Wickets and Welsh Dan, but I've added my own take:

Dhaka

Nightingales : Turn left coming out of the Hotel Victory, cross the road, walk up to the next junction (it's a big one). There is a car repair shop and just next door is a door leading to a flight of steps. That is it. When in take ten minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. Coldest beer in Dhaka. The toilets are famously rustic!

Peacock bar : About fifty yards on the right down the alley opposite the Sheraton Hotel. very friendly and heaving at night. Beware of overcharging though.


Shakira (may be spelt "Sakura") : On the top floor of the building opposite the Sheraton, not down the alley as the Bradt guide says, that would be the Peacock. Really a restaurant but they will let you just have beer. A bit dull compared to the Peacock.

Purbasha : Turn left coming out of the Hotel Ramna, walk across one, possibly two junctions, green door leading up a flight of steps. There's a sign above the door. Extremely smokey with TV screens providing the only lighting I seem to recall.

Piyashi (sometimes spelt "Piyasi") Restaurant and Bar was a favourite of mine in 2010. It's on Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Avenue at Moghbazar. It did decent food, and was less smokey than the others.

Chittagong

Railwayman's Bar: Turn right out of Asian SR Hotel (or left out of station, once hit main Station Rd, if beers more important than digs) and walk 5-10min to first roundabout, known as BRTC Circle. Then turn left down wide alleyway towards train tracks and walk up stairs at very end where you see bar sign.

Hotel Shahjahan: 91 Sadarghat Road. It's set back a bit from the road on the left if you're coming from Station Road. Google Maps looks to have the location right, just beyond the junction with Amar Chand Road. The bar never used to be advertised at all, although that may have changed. It's on about the 3rd floor I think. A quaint tradition there is the calculation of your bill by the number of empty cans on your table. I recall one session with Clarky when they had to bring in another table to accommodate the empties!

Locally brewed Hunters, served in a Fosters-coloured can is the most common beer nowadays.

Bars in both cities tend to be closed on Fridays, although I'm not sure whether that applies to clubs or the posh hotels. In Dhaka, if you want to rub shoulders with expats while drinking your beer, get signed in to the BAGHA Club in Gulshan. In Chittagong, there's The Chittagong Club, which seems to be as much for wealthy locals as for expats, although I fell foul of the dress restrictions that were in operation on the one occasion I tried to get in there and haven't been back.
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