My Memorable Sylhet Tour [How To Explore Solo]

Rural Landscape Beauty of Sylhet

My solo travel to Sylhet, Bangladesh was too exciting and adventurous. I’ve gathered many good experiences while traveling solo for the first time in Bangladesh. For a few reasons my five days, Sylhet tours will always be a memorable one. So, here I’m to inspire you to visit Sylhet and explore the natural beauty of this picturesque land in South Asia, Bangladesh. This Sylhet tour guide will give you the total insights, help you to plan your trip, and visit many sightseeing and top tourist attractions in Sylhet.

Some Basics About Sylhet

Sylhet is one of the most developed cities in South Asian country Bangladesh. Sylhet is well famous for exporting quality tea all over the world and is also known as the Land of Tea Gardens. This city is also well known as Second London because many locals 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.

Though Bengali is the primary spoken language everywhere in Bangladesh in Sylhet, locals find comfort talking in their 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 a must-try for all.

When To Visit Sylhet?

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 the monsoon is the best time to explore the OUTSTANDING natural beauty of Sylhet.

How To Visit Sylhet?

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

Beautiful SylhetSunset Hour (Beautiful Sylhet)

Rural Landscape Beauty of SylhetRural Landscape Beauty of Sylhet

Sylhet Tour Guide To Explore Solo in 5 Days

I made a road trip by private car service from Dhaka to all tourist places in Sylhet and found it comfortable and safe. My primary 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 whole 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 people on the road. Furthermore, will learn something new from them.

Moreover, my five days itinerary will help you to plan your tour in Sylhet either solo or a group.

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, with no traffic jams, beautiful roads while crossing many bridges on the way to Sylhet from Dhaka. It took just 5 hours to reach Sylhet city, and the 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 is one of the best in the central city with all the standard facilities.

Touring Around Sylhet City

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 the 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.

One the way, spend some time to enjoy the beauty of Surma River from one bridge which known as New Bridge to all. I came to know in other seasons Surma river lost its charm and became dry. The remote view of the Keane Bridge from this bridge was beautiful too. You can even try here street foods while sitting under the sky. One plate Phuchka or Fusca 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 built-in 1895. In the evening, during the sunset hour, the whole place was looking fantastic.

I found too much crowd around, and many are spending time at the Surma River Cruise Restaurant, favorite to all.

Surma River Cruise RestaurantSurma River Cruise Restaurant Beside the Keane Bridge

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

Panshi RestaurantPanshi Restaurant

Sweet PaanSweet 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 lousy motives outside the area of any shrines. Be careful about pick-pocketers while visiting those destinations.
  • It is never recommended to stay outside until late at 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 alone or even accompanied by 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 on the second day of my Sylhet tour. After breakfast from Britannia Hotel left to visit remote but beautiful destinations like Panthumai and Bisnakandi.

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

On The Way To Panthumai & Bisnakandi

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 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 an attractive 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 the 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 unusual at the zero point because you’re just close to the Indian border like your one foot 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 close.

PanthumaiPanthumai

The next destination was Bisnakandi. To explore the beauty of Bisnakandi you must have to hire an engine boat; the distance is long, it took almost 1.30 hours. The best part of 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

In the evening after returning from Bisnakandi, I left for Jaintia Hill Resort in Jaintiapur. I stayed two nights here. This resort is so close to the Indian border (Tamabil), and Jaflong is very near to this resort. But this resort does not have 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 a boat directly for Bisnakandi to Panthumai.
  • You can visit all popular tourist destinations directly from Sylhet city. I wanted to save time, and all places are quite near 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

Sari River To Lalakhal

I found the aerial view of Jaintiapur is beautiful. On the way saw the most beautiful Sari River (Emerald green color water) which leads to Lalakhal. Sari River is just near 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 is 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 refreshing to see the pristine and naturally emerald green color water while enjoying the boat ride in Lalakhal which followed 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.

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 always remember because this is called Unconditional Love.

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

A Boat Ride To Ratargul Swamp Forest

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 regarding extraordinary beauty and adventure. A boat ride in this forest will always be a memorable one. The boatman (Jaynal) was such a kind person. He amazed me with his priceless smile and right talks. If anything attracts me is simplicity. Every love from new people around me throughout my journey will always remember.

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

On The Way To  Jaflong

In the evening enjoyed the sunset moment at Jaflong, the popular hill station in Bangladesh while coming back from the Tamabil border. The Sylhet-Tamabil highway road condition is not ok. And Jaflong lost its old beauty. I was sad to see how people 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 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 an hour basis.
  • You can enjoy a boat ride at Ratargul Swamp Forest as long as you want but you’ve to hire the whole boat. Best to take a traditional boat without an engine to enjoy the sound of nature.

Day 4

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

The 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 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.

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 vibrant and so you’ll like 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 all tourists here come to visit Madhabkunda waterfall. This fall 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 lunch at Parjatan Restaurant, here the food was very tasty though pricey.

Parjatan RestaurantParjatan Restaurant

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

Noted

  • You’ve to buy a 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 famous in Bangladesh.

Day 5

Sreemangal, Lawachara National Park

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

Beef ShatkoraBeef Shatkora

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

Sreemangal To Lawachara

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 a very experienced and also cooperative Tour Guide and showed me many unique paths at Lawachara Rain Forest.

Mushrooms of Lawachara Rain Forest in SylhetMushroom 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 taste Seven Layers Tea, very famous in Sylhet.

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

Back To Dhaka

I took my last lunch in Sylhet from Panshi Restaurant, Sreemangal. The fish curry with plain rice here was yummy. And then came back to Dhaka by night.

Points of Interest in Sylhet [At a Glance]

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

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

Are you traveling to Bangladesh for the first time? Check out some informative guide books on travel to Bangladesh to help you out.

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