Mymensingh is primarily a stop off city for those interested in getting to the Garo areas further north at Durgapur and Haluaghat, both of which are villages in which Garo, Hajong and Mandi people are found in abundance. Those with a bit more time may want to include a stop at the Zainul Abedin museum (see below).
Mymseningh is organised mostly along the south bank of the Old Brahmaputra River. The train station drops you in the in the south-eastern part of the heart of the city, and several restaurants and hotels are nearby.
See & Do
The Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Museum comes highly recommended. (Adjacent to Shaheb Quarter Park [open] 10.30–17.30 Sat-Wed, 15.30-19.30 Fri; closed Thu; entry Tk2.) This humble gallery (shongorshalla in Bangla) is a small tribute to Zainul Abedin (1914–76), who is often referred to as ‘Shilpacharya’ among Bangladeshis, meaning ‘great teacher’. Abedin was born in an undivided India but lived through partition and the Liberation War. Fifty-three of his oil paintings are displayed at this Mymensingh museum, most of which depict scenes of rural Bengal.
Haluaghat and Askipara (2 hours north of Mymensingh) Haluaghat is simply a ramshackle town of tin shacks and village chaos, but upon coming here you soon notice there is a distinct diversity among its faces, as the Garo people are more numerous the further north you go. Just a few more kilometres away lies the Indian border. You can stop at Haluaghat and ask after accommodation at the Oxford Christian Mission (ask your way there), or press onwards to the village of Askipara, a beautiful Garo village that lies just under the Garo Hills of Meghalaya.
By bus Buses depart regularly from the Mohakhali Interdistrict Bus Terminal in Dhaka, located just south of the Mohakhali flyover. Several direct chair coaches are available to Mymensingh (3hrs; Tk100). Buses to Dhaka depart from the Mahstandar bus stand, a few kilometres south of town. For Haluaghat, Birisiri and Durgapur, head to the bus stand near the Bangladesh–China Friendship Bridge.
By train Albeit slightly slower, the train does offer more comfort than the bus and it’s an OK alternative for reaching Mymensingh. See the Bangladesh Railways site at www.railway.gov.bd for more info.
Hop on your rickshaw! This is the only way to get around this not-too-large town.