Stories from the Road: Panam City, Bangladesh

Stories from the Road is a collection of stories about my own photographic adventures in South Asia. Sometimes the stories are exciting and sometimes mundane and at times emotional. I hope you enjoy the pictures and the story.


My mother and I arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh at around 5am. At the airport we had to get visa’s on arrival, go through customs, and get a taxi. Once we made it to the hotel it was between 7 and 8am. A tour guide was supposed to pick us up at 10am, so we just got ready and went back to the lobby to wait. We were both very tired since we had flown in from Istanbul. A little after 10am we got a phone call from the tour guide, he would be there at noon. Oh man, we both wanted to sleep there in the lobby. However, we managed to stay awake.

Our first outing in Bangladesh was to the original capital of the province, Sonargoan. It is know for the Folk Museum there. That was the first place we went, however, I took no photographs. There was a fair happening on the grounds of the museum, so after looking through the museum we went to the fair grounds. We tried some snacks and bought some tiny ceramic pots.

There is also a short street with known as Panam City. It is where the wealthy used to live. The architecture dates from the late 19th century. You can walk down the street any time. While the buildings are supposedly uninhabited, we found people living in some of the buildings. They took us into one of the buildings which is where I made this photograph. Two men and the tour guide talked to my mom the whole time, giving her the history I guess. I walked around making photographs.

There was beautiful detail in the architecture both inside and outside. What really struck me inside the building was the use of stained glass. The stained glass is installed above the door in a semi-circle and the glass is yellow, red and blue. I enjoy seeing the details that remain. Sometimes it is nice to see a structure that is in partial decay.

From Panam City, we went to see the Taj Mahal replica in Bangladesh, which I talked about in another post. Once leaving the Taj Replica we headed to a factory where they make fabric. On the way there I fell asleep. I woke up as we started driving though an industrial area, where men and children were welding. The fabric was being made by hand, it was an amazing sight. I did not take any photographs while we were there. My mom took some though. I should ask her to share them.

Anyway, I was so happy to arrive back at the hotel. We ate there and then went straight to bed.

By |2016-11-10T20:00:11-06:00August 23rd, 2016|Bangladesh|0 Comments

About the Author:

Betsy Williamson is an assistant professor of art in the state of New Mexico. Before coming to New Mexico for this job she was an adjunct professor throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, teaching photography and art appreciation. Between September 2015 and May 2017, she took a break from teaching to pursue art, research and life in India. Now she is back to teaching and part-timing it in India.

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