Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Advanced Adventurer on MV Nautica (9 - 11 Feb 2018)

1st teaching trip of 2018, 24th teaching trip, 4rd SSI teaching trip.

Dive #1
Location: Nudi Colony
Max depth: 11.1m
Average depth: 9.0m
Bottom time: 31min (0919H - 0950H)

Dive #2
Location: Tortel Island
Max depth: 16.5m
Average depth: 11.3m
Bottom time: 36min (1203H - 1239H)

Dive #3
Location: Tortel Island
Max depth: 15.1m
Average depth: 10.3m
Bottom time: 39min (1458H - 1537H)
Dive #4
Location: Sleeping Turtle
Max depth: 10.6m
Average depth: 6.3m
Bottom time: 30min (1936H - 2006H)
*Night Dive

Dive #5
Location: Tortel Island
Max depth: 22.7m
Average depth: 15.5m
Bottom time: 26min (0809H - 0835H)

Dive #6
Location: Pulau Abang Besar
Max depth: 16.1m
Average depth: 10.3m
Bottom time: 34min (1009H - 1043H)


Buying fishes from local fishermen

Island visit


BBQ dinner

Jembatan Barelang (Barelang Bridge)


More pictures: Advanced Adventurer on MV Nautica (9 - 11 Feb 2018)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sinar Eco Resort (20 & 21 Jan 2018)

Lobby area

Living room

Container style for couples


Pool room

Karaoke room

Boat ride








View from roof top


Night time

More pictures: Sinar Eco Resort (20 & 21 Jan 2018)

Monday, January 01, 2018

Bangladesh (23 - 31 Dec 2017)

Exchange rate and budgeting

Decided to change from SGD to USD instead of directly to BDT (Bangladeshi taka ৳)



Flight plan:

Flight 1

Scoot Airline
Date of Journey
23 Dec 2017, 05:55 PM
Singapore (SIN)
Changi Intl Arpt, Terminal 2
Dhaka (DAC)
Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Terminal 1
Flight 2

Scoot Airline
Date of Journey
31 Dec 2017, 09:00 PM
Dhaka (DAC)
Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Terminal 1
Singapore (SIN)
Changi Intl Arpt, Terminal 2

Flight Cost: SGD341.92


Day 1, 23 Dec 17

On flight TR514

Everyone rushing to alight

Shahjalal International Airport (DAC)

Visa on Arrival was USD $51. I was told it is possible to get visa done in Singapore at approximately SGD$37.

Changed USD $100 for ৳8340 at the airport, and bought a traveller SIM card at ৳400. 10 days temp SIM with 2GB data and 1GB for Facebook.

First night at Golpata Bed & Breakfast, Dhaka (6km / 20min taxi ride, ৳1000, from Airport, but took way much longer due to road closure)

Common kitchen

The mixed dorm

View from the window


Day 2, 24 Dec 17

This is how Golpata Bed & Breakfast's building looks like

Road works

Having tea "char"

Goaldi Mosque - গোয়ালদি মসজিদ

Panam City পানাম নগরী

Tea time

Lunch at Highway Inn

Cardboard collection

Very near to India

- Ship-breaking yard






Kids playing

Market for items salvaged from the ships

Jam everywhere


Street snacks



Street stalls

Street market place

CNG ride

Night stay at Golden Inn


Day 3, 25 Dec 17


Chittagong Railway Station Old Terminal চট্টগ্রাম রেলওয়েস্টেশন প্রাচীন টার্মিনাল

Fishery port

Dried fishes

Full of locks

Chittagong Court Building চট্টগ্রাম কোর্ট বিল্ডিং


Chittagong War cemetery

Shops selling items salvaged from the ships



Public toilet

Night time

Bad traffic

Bus station, but I didn't manage to get the bus ticket that I needed

Got my ticket at the main office of S.R. Travels

An overnight Bus journey to Bogra (192km / 5hrs)

Map from Google


Day 4, 26 Dec 17

Reach Bogra (S.R Travel's office) very early in the morning (5.40am) and had breakfast at local restaurant. Met a pair of father and son.

Round-about at Bir Srestho Square

Took a CNG North towards the Mahasthan Bus Stop area

Jiyat Kunda (The well of life)

As the sun rose, it started to get warmer

We walked along the walls

Fenced up

I was too early to visit Mahasthangarh Museum মহাস্থানগড়, the first sign of early civilization in Bengal of 4th - 6th century


Vasu Bihar ভাসু বিহার

Took a CNG to the village

visited a local home

Watched the local kids play cricket

Didn't managed to explore the Somapura Mahavihara সোমপুর মহাবিহার (locally called paharpur) and Kusumba Mosque কুসুম্বা শাহী মসজিদ , took a direct local bus (৳120) towards Rajshahi instead.

Cows on the railway track

Rajshahi Railway Station রাজশাহী রেলওয়ে স্টেশন

A.H.M Kamruzzaman Memorial Chattor

Room for ৳600


The Padma River separates Rajshahi, Bangladesh from India (similar to Mekong River separating Vientiane, Laos and Thailand). Image from GoogleMaps

Street stalls

Puppies cuddling together for warmth

Rajshahi at night


Night market


Day 5, 27 Dec 17

Rajshahi College রাজশাহী কলেজ

Start early in the morning and explore Phutia Temple Complex পুঠিয়া রাজবাড়ী,

Puthia Rajbari Complex পুঠিয়া রাজবাড়ী

Gobinda Temple

A round trip from Rajshahi to Phutia and back to train station cost me a whopping 1,000 because I did not have small change and the driver just drove off with my note.

Lunch at Rajshahi Railway Station রাজশাহী রেলওয়ে স্টেশন


Catch the train at 2PM. Although the "Arani Railway Station" is nearer to Putia, the train to Khulna does not stop here. You will still need to go to Rajshahi Railway Station to take the train

Crossing Arani Rail Bridge আড়ানী রেল সেতু

Ishwardi Bypass Railway Station ঈশ্বরদী বাইপাস রেলওয়ে স্টেশন

peddlers selling stuffs

Power station

Crossing the Hardinge Bridge, Pakshi হার্ডিঞ্জ ব্রি

Reach at Khulna at 8.30PM

Train track (Map from Google Map)

Stayed at the Hotel Royal International (৳2,175). As I run out of taka, I had to change my USD to taka at the hotel at a horrible rate (US$100 to ৳7500)

View from the room

Dinner (৳135)


Day 6, 28 Dec 17

Breakfast at hotel

Morning view




Took a local bus to Bagarhat

Barakapura Park বারাকপূর পার্ক

Singair Mosque সিঙ্গাইর মসজিদ

Mosque of Bagarhat

Shaat Gombuj Mosque (Sixty Dome Mosque) ষাট গম্বুজ মসজিদ

Shatgombuj Mosque Pond - Ghora Dighi ( ঘোড়া দিঘী )

Khan Jahan Ali's Tomb খানজাহান আলী সমাধি

Selling snacks

Nine Dome Mosque

Taking a local bus which crossed the river at Bekutia Ferry Ghat towards Barishal

Barishal Launch Ghat

Took the Surovi 8 Launch. I arrived about 5pm to reserve my space and the boat only depart around 9pm

No more cabin, so I slept on the deck with the locals. 200taka


Day 7, 29 Dec 17

Arrived in Dhaka at about 6.40am

Dhaka Launch Ghat

Stayed at Airbnb, Hosted by Swapan


Bangladesh Supreme Court বাংলাদেশ সুপ্রিম কোর্ট

Bangladesh National Museum বাংলাদেশ জাতীয় জাদুঘর

Dhaka Shishu Park ঢাকা শিশু পার্ক

শিখা চিরন্তন - Eternal Flame

Museum of Independence

Curzon Hall কার্জন হল

Central Shaheed Minar কেন্দ্রীয় শহীদ মিনার

Dhakeshwari Mandir ঢাকেশ্বরী মন্দির

Themed resturant

Lalbagh Fort লালবাগ কেল্লা/ Tomb of Pori Bibi পরী বিবির মাজার

Khan Mohammad Mosque খান মোহাম্মদ মসজিদ

Chawkbazar Shahi Jame Mosque চকবাজার শাহী জামে মসজিদ

Kartalab Khan's Masjid করতলব খানের মসজিদ

Star Mosque - Tara Masjid তাঁরা মসজিদ

Armenian Church আর্মেনিয়ান চার্চ

Babu Bazar Bridge বাবু বাজার ব্রিজ

Rocket Steamer

Pink Palace - Ahsan Manzil আহসান মঞ্জিল


View from rooftop


City Building নগর ভবন in the background

It was a Friday and I did not manage to visit many places. Fatigue also limited me to explore further.


Day 8, 30 Dec 17


Revisit the Museum of Independence স্বাধীনতা জাদুঘর

Eternal Flame শিখা চিরন্তন

Bashundhara City Shopping Complex বসুন্ধরা সিটি শপিং কমপ্লেক্স

Mausoleum of President Ziaur Rahman রাষ্ট্রপতি জিয়াউর রহমানের সমাধি

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre বঙ্গবন্ধু শেখ মজিবুর রহমান নভোথিয়েটার

F25 - BNS Bangabandhu (বানৌজা বঙ্গবন্ধু) Frigate

Jamuna Amusement Park যমুনা বিনোদন পার্ক

Jamuna Future Park যমুনা ফিউচার পার্ক

Fast food meal

Night snack


Day 9, 31 Dec 17

Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Drinking water


Did not manage to visit:

- Mahasthangarh (Bogar)
- Sompur Mahavihara সোমপুর মহাবিহার

- Liberation War Museum মুক্তিযুদ্ধ যাদুঘর
- Kamalapur Railway Station কমলাপুর রেলস্টেশন
- City Centre সিটি সেন্টার (tallest building at 171m)
- City Building নগর ভবন (Dhaka City Corporation Building)
- Dhaka New Market ঢাকা নিউ মার্কেট
- National Martyr's Monument জাতীয় স্মৃতিসৌধ
- Physics Department Of Govt. B.M. Collage (Barishal)


Final thoughts
- Get visa done in Singapore
- Be careful, while there are nice people, there are also people out to take advantage.
- Transport is expensive
- Have small change ready at all times
- Take note of opening hours and their break time for visiting places.


More pictures:
- Bangladesh (23 - 28 Dec 2017)
- Dhaka (29 - 31 Dec 2017)