DAY 01: 11 January 2024: ARRIVAL DHAKA
After arriving at Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh we check in to our hotel and then proceed to Old Dhaka, perfect for street, portrait and cultural photography. Our welcome dinner will be followed by a presentation from our expert Bangladeshi photographer whose images and local insights will inspire and prepare you for the days ahead.
DAY 02: 12 January 2024: DHAKA-IJTEMA PILGRIMAGE
We will witness “Bishwa Ijtema” the World Muslim Congress and the 2nd largest Muslim congregation in the world. More than 4 million Muslims converge for the 3-day event. There will be iconic scenes of masses of pilgrims packed on trains and vehicles, devotees praying, bathing, cooking and celebrating.
DAY 03: 13 January 2024: DHAKA- COAL PORT
Our morning session explores the riverside port where every day more than 3000 labourers carry coal, bricks and sandbags on their heads as they unload docked vessels. The theme of human toil and industry continues when we later visit women and children working at a large recycling facility.
DAY 04: 14 January 2024: IJTEMA FINAL DAY
We revisit the Bishwa Ijtema pilgrims on the last day of the congress. After final prayers they return home on stunningly overcrowded trains, buses, boats and other transport. A spectacle of human endeavour.
DAY 05: 15 January 2024: SHIPYARDS
Arriving at the Old Dhaka city riverside we can capture images of thousands of commuters crossing the river by small local boats and take in the activities at the riverside markets. Next, we will visit the largest shipyard in Asia providing work for 15,000 labourers. This is a labyrinth of giant skeletons of ships being dismantled and new ships being built from what has been recovered.
DAY 06: 16 January 2024: DHAKA-SYLHET
We drive north-east to the historic and culturally significant area of Sylhet on the Surma River. Along the way, we will stop to photograph the coal port with 3,000 workers unloading bags of coal. Then time for a colourful contrast as we visit the biggest tie-dying village of Bangladesh. Witness the traditional processes of fabric dying and the beauty of fields of vibrant fabrics drying in the sun. Rice paddies and factories will also be a feature of the day’s tour.
DAY 07: 17 January 2024: STONE MINE
After visiting a morning vegetable market, we will enjoy a whole-day photoshoot at the stone mines. Around 20,000 workers are engaged in searching for, selecting, carrying, crushing and sorting stones and loading them on traditional boats. This will be another opportunity to record the toil, industry and resilience of these workers and reflect on this aspect of the human condition.
DAY 08: 18 January 2024: STONE CITY – SOUTH CITY, CHITTAGONG
Departing Dhaka, we proceed to Chittagong. We will take in images of local village and rural life, markets and landscapes and also visit an immense garbage field. The field has an overlay of fires and smoke providing dramatic effects as men, women and children fossick for any items that could be of value and support their meagre existence.
DAY 09: 19 January 2024: CHITTAGONG
This morning we will visit the biggest fish markets in Bangladesh. This is a bustling site of industry and visual treats on a large scale as fishermen unload their catch, haggle with vendors, tend to their boats, repair fishing nets and prepare to go back to sea. We will also visit salt factories and people making traditional pottery.
DAY 10: 20 January 2024: CHITTAGONG – SOUTH BAY (Cox’s bazar)
We proceed to South Bay (Cox’s Bazaar), visiting a seaside village and one of the world’s longest beaches (120 km).
DAY 11: 21 January 2024: SOUTH BAY (Cox’s bazar)
Visiting local fishing villages, we will see expanses of fish drying in the sun and witness village life. A visual feature is the array of colourful, traditional fishing boats with their distinctive crescent-moon shape. Fishermen converse, mend nets, drag their boats, children play nearby and the beach provides excellent seascapes, particularly at sunset.
DAY 12: 22 January 2024: SOUTH BAY (Cox’s bazar)
Our exploration of the surrounds of Cox’s Bazar will include a visit to the largest betel nut market in Bangladesh. Porters, traders and producers ply their trade amongst giant mounds of yellow-gold areca nuts providing wonderful opportunities for portrait, creative, street and documentary photography.
DAY 13: 23 January 2024: SOUTH BAY – DHAKA
This morning we take in the biggest dry fish village of Bangladesh. Hundreds of villagers work at the traditional process of sun-drying fish providing yet another visual spectacle. A short afternoon flight returns us to Dhaka and the opportunity for more street photography.
DAY 14: 24 January 2024: BRICK FIELDS
We will enter several brick factories in which labourers are engaged in traditional methods of making bricks by hand. Brick-loads, dust, sweat and muscle are just some of the features to be captured as we again witness human toil in its raw state. In the afternoon, there will be more street photography in Old Dhaka.
DAY 15: 25 January 2024: DHAKA-Departure
Depending on your departure time, there will be opportunity to gather last-minute images of Dhaka before being transferred to the airport for your homeward flight.