“Authenticity.” “Genuine.” “Untouched.” Every last one is a loaded term when it comes to travel, and, like temperature, comes in degrees. International tourism used to be a luxury for the well-monied few; now the sky is the limit, and, even better, modern transportation puts just about everywhere within reach.
In 2014, this eastern European country sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine saw all of 11,000 tourists. This could be because of the fact the country has one of the longest-running frozen conflicts on the continent; when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 all its constituent republics became independent nations. This did not sit well with the very large Russian minority in Moldova, which has effectively divided the country in two, with the Moldovans on the larger west side of the Dniester River, and the Russians on the smaller east in the de facto independent, but unrecognised, nation of Transnistria.
It has no wars, no terrorism, and uncontested control over its regions. So if Micronesia has any downside, it is because the place is just so ding-dang remote.
Bad reputations die hard, and this country is known more for natural disasters, political upheaval, and a deplorable human rights record than it is for fabulous temples, archeological sites, dazzling textiles, almost unreal landscapes, and one of the longest unbroken sandy beaches in the world (the 75-mile stretch of sand at Cox’s Bazar). There are actually a lot of strengths to the Bangladeshi tourism industry.
Dhaka, the capital, is an ancient city with fascinating Moghul and British Raj sites, but don’t be too surprised if you find yourself in the previously-mentioned Cox’s Bazar, on the country’s southeastern coast. Long the playground for the natives, that city and its neighbor of Chittagong form the poles of the budding tourist zone.
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