Mercantile Jessore (pronounced Joshor) is a quintessential Bangladeshi small town characterised by bustling yet manageable street-markets, narrow winding streets, roadside stalls and a plethora of tea stands. Being an authentic, non-touristy place, it makes for a good wander and offers a great opportunity to sample local proletarian culture at its most undiluted form.
A fantastic open-air museum of medieval architectural heritage, Unesco-protected Bagerhat sends a shiver of excitement down the spines of archaeology buffs. Hidden among the green folds of the surrounding countryside of this sleepy town are more ancient mosques and mausoleums than anywhere else in Bangladesh (except Dhaka).
Sundarbans National Park
A shroud of mystery and danger looms over the Unesco-protected Sundarbans National Park, the largest mangrove forest in the world. Bleak and haunting at the same time, the wilderness here comprises an enormous network of interconnected waterways, stretching inland for about 80km from the Bay of Bengal.
Kushtia is steeped in cultural history. This tiny town was once the home of Nobel-laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore, who penned some of his most influential works while living in his family mansion here. Kushtia is also the final resting place of the great mystic musician Lalon Shah; a hugely popular folk-music festival is held here in his honour twice a year.