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Himalaya

Day 121: Dhaka

Michael Palin - HimalayaNaila says that, despite Grameen's success, the potential has barely been tapped. Only one million of the 140 million in Bangladesh have been connected through the mobile system, and Grameen Phone, half owned by the Norwegians, is now the biggest single investor in the country. The concept has been exported to poorer rural communities in places like Malaysia, Thailand and Ukraine.

The pace at which Naila and her PR team work is very different from the leisurely diurnal rhythms of this soft, warm, inviting countryside and once away from the village her mobile starts up again and doesn't stop until we're back in Dhaka.

For those able to survive the sound and fury of the capital there is a reward. Ishraq puts it simply.

'The best international cooking in Southeast Asia.'

And he's determined to prove it. Last night we ate some fine Chinese, surpassed tonight by a wonderfully authentic Lebanese dinner. And tomorrow, yet another strike day has been called, so we can stay in bed and sleep it off.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 121: Dhaka
  • Country/sea: Bangladesh
  • Place: Dhaka
  • Book page no: 276

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