Tk 30 per day hotel rent? Welcome to floating hotels of Dhaka

Is it possible to stay in a hotel in Dhaka for one night for just 30 taka? You may think it’s impossible, but there are at least four hotels in the city that offers you such a low rate. The catch? These are floating hotels, anchored at the bank of Buriganga.

These “no-frill” and not- so-clean hotels are there for more than six decades. Their lowest price of Tk 30 applies for a bed in a common room perched on a large launch. The highest take is Tk 80- Tk 85, and you get a small cabin.

“It is cheap,” says Mustafa Miah of Faridpur Muslim Hotel, “we also provide our customers with small lockers to keep their valuable things.”

Traders from different districts who have business in and around the busy Sadarghat area mainly stay in these hotels. And there are many traders who are staying in these hotels for ages.

Siraj Matabbar is a food vendor who has spent more than 40 years in these floating hotels—toggling between his home in Shariatpur and Dhaka.

Like Siraj, there are at least 15 other traders who live in these floating hotels for five to 20 years.

Like many other hotel guests, Matabbar has learnt to make himself feel comfortable with the shabby hotels. “I came to Dhaka before independence. At that time there were at least fifty floating hotels in Buriganga and it was convenient and cheap. For me it was the best option to live in Dhaka. So I stayed back,” Matabbar pointed out.

These cheap floating hotels popped up for the first time in Buriganga in the fifties, mainly for Hindu traders who came to Dhaka for trading by river. Over the time the number of hotels increased. But after the independence, their number came down to just five.



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