Bangladesh - Money & Costs
Money & Costs in BangladeshCurrency: Taka
Bangladesh is a very cheap country to travel if you're prepared to travel on a budget, but the quality of budget food, accommodation and travel is low. It's possible to average US$4 a day if you go 2nd class on trains, travel on local buses, stay in the cheapest of hotels with shared bath and no air-con and eat at the very cheapest restaurants. If you want to escape nerve-shattering buses and reduce your risk of stomach bugs, US$10-15 a day will get you a decent hotel room with its own bathroom, a couple of good meals a day and first-class train travel. If you want to spend big, it's possible, but there isn't a huge range of top-end accommodation or restaurants.
Cash and travellers cheques in US dollars are preferred by banks to British pounds. Outside Dhaka and Chittagong you'll have problems changing pounds. Credit cards are widely accepted at hotels, guesthouses and restaurants in Dhaka and Chittagong, but virtually nowhere else. Amex users can get a cash advance with their card.
A tip, or baksheesh, seems to be demanded in almost every exchange, except in the more isolated rural areas. In restaurants, Bangladeshis almost never tip, but waiters may expect a 5% tip in Dhaka restaurants frequented by foreigners. Most transactions require bargaining, which is considered a normal part of life in Bangladesh. A rule of thumb is to offer about half the original price and work up. It's worth remembering that a few extra taka are likely to help your bargaining adversary more than they'll hurt you.