Welcome to Barisal
Surrounded by turbid rivers and hemmed by unending tracts of greenery, Barisal (bor-ee-shal) is a major port city and one of the gateways to the waterworld that is Bangladesh. It’s strangely isolated from the rest of the country, and is interestingly much easier to reach by boat than road (although buses to and from Dhaka are straightforward enough). Barisal is one of the more pleasant outposts in the country, with several ponds in the city centre and handsome buildings from the Raj era, crumbling away in quiet backstreets. But it’s the busy river port, constantly humming with life, that is the real hub, and to arrive here by boat in the early-morning mist (as you do if you catch the Rocket from Dhaka) is an unforgettable experience.