Sylhet Tour Guide

My Memorable Sylhet Tour [How To Explore Solo]

My recent solo travel in Sylhet, Bangladesh was too interesting, and adventurous. I’ve gathered many good experiences while traveling solo for the first time in Bangladesh. This post will inspire you to visit & explore the Picturesque Land Sylhet. And definitely, will guide you to know more about Sylhet. For few reasons my 5 days Sylhet tour will be always a memorable one. Details inside…

Sylhet TourMemorable Sylhet Tour

Some Basics about Sylhet

Sylhet is one of the most developed cities in South Asia, Bangladesh. Sylhet is well famous for exporting quality tea all over the world and also known as the Land of Tea Gardens. This city is also well known as Second London because many locals are well settled in London and they always contribute a lot to develop their city.

Sylhet still carries many spiritual values to all. It became Holy Land when famous Sufi Hazrat Shah Jalal (R) came here for the first time with 360 saints to spread Islam.

Sylhet is one of the best tourism hubs in Bangladesh. The weather in Sylhet is cool in almost all seasons what you’ll not find in other places in Bangladesh. But monsoon is the best time to explore the OUTSTANDING natural beauty of Sylhet.

Beautiful Sylhet Sunset Hour (Beautiful Sylhet)

Rural Landscape Beauty of SylhetRural Landscape Beauty of Sylhet

Though Bengali is the main spoken language in everywhere in Bangladesh but in Sylhet locals find comfort talking in their own language (Sylheti Bengali). You can communicate in English too.

There are many standard hotels, and resorts from budget to luxury in Sylhet to stay. Many good restaurants are there to taste all types of cuisines. But Bengali cuisines are must-try for all.

You can travel Sylhet by air or road. There are many good public bus services from Dhaka to Sylhet. Sylhet is very close to Indian border (Tamabil) and so you can even visit by road from India.

Sylhet Tour Guide To Explore Solo

I made a road trip by private car service from Dhaka to all places in Sylhet as found it comfort and safe. My main focus of this tour was to explore the natural beauty of Sylhet.

Nikon CoolPix P600This is what I enjoyed during my entire Sylhet Tour 😉

In my entire Sylhet tour, I was guided by Alamgir Bhai (Driver). It’s a pleasure to mention him here because he nicely guided and helped me to know a lot about Sylhet. This is what I love about solo travel. You’ll meet new peoples on the road. Furthermore, will learn something new from them.

A glimpse of my Sylhet tour before you going through Sylhet Tour Guide.

Day 1

Sylhet, Britannia Hotel, Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal, Shrine of Hazrat Shah Paran, Keane Bridge, Ali Amjad Clock Tower, Panshi Restaurant

Get in Sylhet City for the first time

It was a pleasant experience, no traffic jam, beautiful roads while crossing many bridges on the way to Sylhet from Dhaka. It took just 5 hours to reach in Sylhet city, and distance is almost 250 km.

I stayed at Britannia Hotel in Amberkhana, just 5 minutes walking distance from the Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal. This hotel (www.britanniahotelsylhet.net) is one of the best in the main city with all standard facilities.

In the afternoon I started exploring Sylhet city. Two famous shrines are located in Sylhet. First I liked to visit the Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal. I read and heard a lot about this shrine and world-famous Sufi Hazrat Shah Jalal (R). I’ve liked seeing many Black Pigeons (Jalali Kobutor) inside the shrine. Next, I visited the Shrine of Hazrat Shah Paran.

Jalali Kobutor from the Shrine of Hazrat Shah JalalBlack Pigeons are the main attraction inside the Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal

One the way, spend some times to enjoy the beauty of Surma River from one bridge which known as New Bridge to all. I came to know in other seasons this river lost its beauty and became dry. The remote view of the Keane Bridge from this bridge was nice too. You can even try here street foods while sitting under the sky. One plate Fuchka is just 60 taka, much less than Dhaka (150 taka per plate).

Keane BridgeKeane Bridge

Sylhet is located on the bank of the Surma River. The historic and oldest Keane Bridge (established in 1936) is still there over this river. Beside the bridge, you’ll see another old landmark Ali Amjad Clock Tower which established in 1895. In the evening, during the sunset hour, the whole place was looking very beautiful. I found too much crowd around, and many are spending time at the Surma River Cruise Restaurant, much popular to all.

 Surma River Cruise RestaurantSurma River Cruise Restaurant Beside the Keane Bridge

I found Zindabazar in Jallarpar Road is the most busier place in Sylhet city. All popular hotels, restaurants, and markets are located here and good for shopping in a reasonable price. I had a cool dinner with yummy and spicy Bengali dishes at Panshi Restaurant, the most famous in the city for providing quality food at a cheap price.

 Panshi RestaurantPanshi Restaurant

Sweet Paan Sweet Paan

Noted

  • Must carry National Card (for Bangladeshi) and Passport (for foreigners) while booking any hotel to stay. It is a good practice to carry wherever you go, especially when you’re traveling solo.
  • Overall Sylhet is a welcoming city for all and safe for tourists to move around. Locals are quite helpful.
  • You’ll find various types of persons with bad motive outside the area of any shrines. Be careful about pick-pocketers while visiting those destinations.
  • It never recommended staying outside till late night while traveling solo. You got to be cautious when you’re in a new place. I always try to maintain this wherever I visit solo or even accompanied with anyone.
  • After dinner you might like to try Sweet Paan by the Khasi tribe, available outside of Panshi Restaurant. Yeah, it is the tradition here and how can you forget to have one?  😛

Day 2

Panthumai, Piyain River, Bisnakandi, Jaintia Hill Resort

The real adventure started from the second day of my Sylhet tour. After a breakfast from Britannia Hotel left to visit remote but beautiful destinations like Panthumai and Bisnakandi.

Britannia HotelWithout a Cup of Tea in Sylhet, No Way!  (Britannia Hotel) 😛

But before that enjoyed some moments while walking on the Keane Bridge, the gateway of Sylhet. It was also amazing to hear the bell of the Ali Amjad Clock Tower (Big Ben of Sylhet).

 Keane Bridge Gate Keane Bridge Gate

Keane BridgeKeane Bridge

Ali Amjad Clock TowerAli Amjad Clock Tower

I must say I enjoyed the beautiful and rural landscape during my long journey in Sylhet. The view of green trees, green paddy fields from both the sides of roads will never let you feel tired. And what to say about the beautiful blue sky, though sometimes cloudy but I love every shade of sky.

Beautiful SylhetBeautiful Sylhet

Panthumai is located in Gowainghat, almost 83 km from Sylhet. The road condition is not good, but difficult roads often take us to a beautiful destination and I realized that very well this time.

Panthumai is a remote village. The main attraction here is the Borhill waterfall with the backdrop of Meghalaya mountain ranges. Borhill waterfall belongs to India but from the zero point possible to enjoy the natural beauty of that fall which is a part of the Piyain River.

Borhill Waterfall at PanthumaiBorhill Waterfall at Panthumai

It’s so interesting at the zero point because you’re just close to the Indian border like your one leg is in Bangladesh and another in India. Boundary facts!! Hehehe…

Here I went for a boat ride on the Piyain river to get a closer view of the fall, but no one is allowed to get very closer.

PanthumaiPanthumai

Next destination was Bisnakandi. To explore the beauty of Bisnakandi you must have to hire engine boat, distance is long, it took almost 1.30 hours. The best part about this destination is the beautiful Piyain River and the natural view. I loved the clear water, rolling stones, and Khasi hills views at Bisnakandi.

Piyain RiverPiyain River

BisnakandiBisnakandi

At the evening after returning from Bisnakandi I left for Jaintia Hill Resort in Jaintiapur. I stayed 2 nights here. This resort is so close to the Indian border (Tamabil) and Jaflong is very near from this resort. But this resort not having any standard room services or facilities (no phone, TV, wi-fi), according to the price range. Huh!

Jaintia Hill ResortJaintia Hill Resort

Noted

  • To save time and distances you can enjoy the view of the waterfall in Panthumai by boat while visiting Bisnakandi. You can hire boat directly for Bisnakandi to Panthumai.
  • You can visit all popular tourist destinations directly from the Sylhet city. I wanted to save time and all places are quite near from Jaflong and so stayed at Jaintia Hill Resort.

Day 3

Jaintia Hill Resort, Sari River, Lalakhal, Ratargul Swamp Forest, Jaflong, Jaflong Inn Hotel & Restaurant

In the early morning, I enjoyed the sunrise through the Jaintia hill from the Jaintia Hill Resort. The mountain view with two waterfalls is the best part of this resort. While walking at the resort ground, from the boundary saw the Last House of Bangladesh.

Last House of BangladeshLast House of Bangladesh

I found the mountainous view of Jaintiapur is real attractive. On the way saw the most beautiful Sari River (Emerald green color water) which leads to Lalakhal. Sari River is just near to the Indian border and originated from Meghalaya, India.

Mountainous View of JaintiapurMountainous View of Jaintiapur

Sari RiverSari River

Jaintiapur to Lalakhal distance is just 8.3 km and you’ve to hire a boat from the Sarighat. There are much to see in Lalakhal. Before exploring Lalakhal I had local breakfast (Rice with Chickpea) from one local hotel at Sarighat. The food was tasty. This is called Local Travel Charms…  😉

Sylheti FoodSylheti Food (Rice with Chickpea)

 LalakhalLalakhal

It was so cool to see the pristine and naturally emerald green color water while enjoying the boat ride in Lalakhal which following to the Lalakhal Tea Garden.

With Kids at Lalakhal Tea GardenWith Kids at Lalakhal Tea Garden

And then visit one Areca Nut Garden on the mountain (almost 60 feet high), it was superb to see the top view of Lalakhal from here.

Lalakhal Areca Nut GardenLalakhal Areca Nut Garden

One of the memorable parts of my Sylhet tour will be visiting one local village in Lalakhal. I met one family where everyone was so loving. Though they were poor but big-hearted. I stayed there just 10 to 15 minutes and within that time served fresh lemon juice, tea, and much more to eat. The hospitality from them will be always remembered, because this is called Unconditional Love.

 Local Village LalakhalOne Memorable Moment (Local Village Lalakhal)

A Cup of Tea from LalakhalA Cup of Tea, prepared from Lalakhal Tea Garden Tea Leaf

Then explored the Dreamland, Ratargul Swamp Forest in Gowainghat. Ratargul Swamp Forest is one of the best freshwater swamp forests in the world. My most favorite destination in Sylhet is Ratargul Swamp Forest in terms of extraordinary beauty and adventure. A boat ride at this forest will be always a memorable one. The boatman (Jaynal) was such a kind person. He amazed me with his priceless smile, and good talks. If anything really attracts me that is simplicity. Every love from new peoples around me throughout my journey will be always remembered.

Beautiful View from Ratargul Swamp ForestAmazing Landscape from Ratargul Swamp Forest
Ratargul Swamp ForestBoatman (Ratargul Swamp Forest)Ratargul Swamp ForestRatargul Swamp Forest

At the evening enjoyed the sunset moment at Jaflong, the popular hill station in Bangladesh while coming back from Tamabil border. The Sylhet-Tamabil highway road condition is not ok. And Jaflong lost its old beauty. I was sad to see how peoples are collecting stones and consequently destroying the natural beauty of this destination! Alamgir Bhai was sharing his own experience, how beautiful was Jaflong even 5 to 6 years back.

Tamabil BorderTamabil Border

 Sylhet-Jaflong Highway Sylhet-Jaflong Highway

JaflongJaflong

I had a dinner at Jaflong Inn Hotel & Restaurant, found this new restaurant quite standard and clean among other local restaurants in Jaflong.

Noted

  • You have to hire a boat for Lalakhal according to hour basis.
  • You can enjoy boat ride at Ratargul Swamp Forest as long as you want but you’ve to hire the whole boat. Best to take a normal boat without an engine to enjoy the sound of nature.

Day 4

Kanaighat, Lovachora, Madhabkunda Eco Park & Waterfall, Parjatan Restaurant, Britannia Hotel

Early morning started for Lovachora by road from Kanaighat. This destination is almost 55 km from the resort. I wanted to visit Lovachora Tea Garden, but couldn’t manage permission to enter inside the garden. But it was worthy to come till this long otherwise, I might never be able to see a fascinating landscape beauty in Sylhet.

LovachoraLovachora

Then started for Moulvibazar to visit Madhabkunda Eco Park & Waterfall. This destination is almost 3 hours from Kanaighat. But I loved this journey. The landscape beauty in Sylhet is truly rich and so you’ll love to go for a long drive.

Shewla BridgeShewla Bridge (On the way to Madhabkunda)

Madhabkunda Tea Garden Tea Garden like a Tea Mountain (Madhabkunda)

 Madhabkunda Eco ParkMadhabkunda Eco Park

Madhabkunda is a popular destination in Bangladesh. Almost tourists here come to visit Madhabkunda waterfall. This fall is located inside the Eco Park, where you’ll see various trees, like a picnic spot. This is also one temple, and Parjatan Restaurant.

Madhabkunda WaterfallMadhabkunda Waterfall

I had a lunch at Parjatan Restaurant, here the food was very tasty though pricey.

Parjatan RestaurantParjatan Restaurant

In the evening came back Sylhet city, and enjoyed while Instagramming with free Wi-Fi from Britannia Hotel.  😉

Noted

  • You’ve to buy the ticket to visit Madhabkunda Eco Park & Waterfall.
  • In Sylhet, you can enjoy local shopping at Manipuri Bazar. Here many types of handicrafts and fabrics made by Manipuri Tribal, much popular in Bangladesh.

Day 5

Sreemangal, Lawachara National Park

I was sad as it was my last day in Sylhet. Early morning I checked out from Britannia Hotel. I wanted to eat Beef Shatkora (Famous Local Dish), and had that for the first time from Panch Bhai Restaurant, another popular restaurant for Bengali food in a cheap price.

Beef ShatkoraBeef Shatkora

I was quite happy because for the second time went to visit Sreemangal, the Tea Capital of Bangladesh. In whole Bangladesh the excessive rainfall zone is Sreemangal. Therefore the weather of this destination is always cool and one of the best tourist spots in the country.

Sreemangal Tea GardenSreemangal Tea Garden

Bangladesh Tea Research Institute
Bangladesh Tea Research Institute

The whole Sreemangal is blessed with lush green tea gardens, tea estates, and tea plantations. In addition the best thing is that here in tea gardens most workers (75%) are women.

I had explored a lot at Lawachara National Park with the help of Eusuf Ali. He is very experienced and also cooperative Tour Guide and showed me many offbeat paths at Lawachara Rain Forest.

Lawachara Rain Forest
Lawachara Rain Forest

Mushroom from Lawachara Rain ForestMushroom from Lawachara Rain Forest

I also visited one Khasi Tribal village and it was interesting to know about their lifestyle.

Khasi Tribe WomenKhasi Tribe Women (This is how they decorate Betel Leaves to sell)

While coming back Eusuf took me to see one Lemon Garden and Hot Chili Pepper (Naga Morich) Garden inside the forest. Here from one stall, I loved to take the taste of Seven Layers Tea, very famous in Sylhet.

I took my last lunch in Sylhet from Panshi Restaurant, Sreemangal. The fish curry with plain rice here was so yummy. And then journey started to back Dhaka…

Panshi RestaurantYou’ll really miss something if you don’t try Bengali Spicy Dishes (Panshi Restaurant) 😉

Noted

  • Must take Guide to explore Lawachara National Park.
  • You have to buy the ticket to visit Lawachara National Park.
  • Must buy Fresh Tea from Sreemangal. Here you’ll get the quality one.

Things You’ll Love in Sylhet [At a Glance]

  • Outstanding natural beauty and rural landscape.
  • Lush green Tea Gardens in Sreemangal.
  • Boat ride on beautiful rivers.
  • Long drive on beautiful roads.
  • Adventure at Ratargul Swamp Forest and Lawachara Rain Forest.
  • Yummy Bengali and Sylheti Food in a reasonable price.
  • Exploring Tribal villages and their lifestyle.

Finally, you got many reasons to visit Sylhet. And lastly Bangladesh is very hospitable country. No matter where you go, at last, you’ll be amazed by the hospitality almost from everyone you meet on the road.

Stay Tuned to know more details about Top Tourist Attractions in Sylhet, Bangladesh.

For more query, you can write me or comments below. Are you planning for a Sylhet tour?

Nafisa Habib loves nature and often got fascinated by old beautiful architecture. Here she is with My Own Way To Travel to share her adventures on the road. To her nothing is so interesting than exploring new destinations around. And knowing a new culture and meeting new peoples on the road? Oh, yeah she just loves that too.

6 replies
  1. Imelda
    Imelda says:

    Hello Nafisa,

    I love reading your post from first to last. I have questions the following are:

    Why did you change your Hotels?
    Is there a budget/Cheapest hotel
    How much did it cost for boat ride?
    How much will be the minimum car rent for whole for site seeing?

    Reply
    • Nafisa Habib
      Nafisa Habib says:

      Hi Imelda,

      Thanks for your query but I’m extremely sorry for the delay.
      1. There was no specific reason for changing hotel. I just wanted to stay very close to nature and so thought to stay in Jaflong.
      2. There are plenty of budget/cheapest hotel in Sylhet city near the Majar Road.
      3. In total for boat riding cost me almost $62. Be noted I hired the whole boat everywhere. So group boat riding will cost you very less.
      4. For 5 days min $300-$400.

      Great to know you love reading my post. Please keep reading and always welcome for any query and suggestion.

      Good Day 🙂

      Reply

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