DHAKA

Dhaka is the cacophonic center of Bangladesh. With its overhang of crisscrossing electrical cables, traffic din and rickshaws jostling for space on the tattered roads, it is a full-on attack of the senses. The city has an ancient past and boasts of an era when the Mughals ruled, from 1608-1707. As the capital of Bangladesh, its myriad expatriate communities offer a vast variety of cuisines, from authentic Korean to Italian and Mexican. Dhaka also loves the local delights that stem from the old, historic part of the city, popularly known as Puran Dhaka.  Bangladeshi cuisine is dominated by rice, dal, fish and a wide range of curries. Dishes often include eggs, potatoes, tomatoes and aubergines, a variety of spices and herbs, mustard oil and ghee. Black tea is a popular beverage. Bengali desserts and confectioneries ranged from pan-fried and steamed rice cakes to sweets made from fruits and sweetened cheese. The phuchka, a hollow chip dipped in sweetened water, is a major street food. Bangladesh is the world's fifth-largest producer of tropical fruits.