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Bablu Chowdhury


Photo: Bablu Chowdhury

This photograph shows the narrow passageway of a ‘floating hotel’ at the Shadarghat dockyard, Dhaka. A man locks the door of his room as he prepares to spend his vacation in his home district.

Discarded ships, floating on the Buriganga river, have been transformed into hotels with facilities left over from the Victorian era. The tenants or guests come from districts far away from the capital city of Dhaka. Most of them make a living as street vendors and hawkers.

This hotel can accommodate up to 50 people. Single rooms come complete with bed bugs. Luxury rooms are a bit more costly but are free of worries about getting bitten in your sleep. If you need to be more economical, a bunk in a dormitory is cheapest of all.

On the deck is the only toilet and a drum filled with plenty of water to freshen up with and drink. The hotel also provides a restaurant (no room service, of course). Amazingly, one can eat and sleep for just one dollar a day.

Bablu Chowdhury A student of Pathshala, The South Asian Institute of Photography, he now works as a photographer with The Daily Independent, Bangladesh

Drik Picture Library Ltd

New Internationalist issue 370 magazine cover This article is from the August 2004 issue of New Internationalist.
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