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A morning in Sreemongol

A few years ago, while travelling through Bangladesh on our yearly photography tour and workshop, we experienced one of the most fantastic time in the tea plantations of Sreemongol in Sylhet area, North East Bangladesh. I’d like to share some images I took on that morning.

This was the first time that we encountered so many great photo opportunities, as we met a man working by himself in the early morning when the light was still low on the horizon.

A man picking up tea leaves early morning in Sreemongol, Bangladesh


It was my 4th time in the area. We always come very early morning to capture the morning mist rolling over the hilly tea fields, which is stunning. Never before though had we meet someone working in the fields that early. We spent about an hour taking photos and chatting, following the man in his slow walk through the tea alleys.


Later on, while driving through the tea estates, we met a group of women picking up tea leaves near the road. We spent about an hour taking photos, chatting with them and joking with the men who were keeping an eye on the workers.

A group of women harvesting tea in the fields of Bangladesh during a photography tour with Pics of Asia


Even though the women were quite shy at the beginning we managed to melt the ice and got a few smiles out of them.

This is a problem you may face when travelling and taking photos in the area. Because of the bad press, some of the tea estates got after being exposed by journalists for underpaying their workers and not treating them properly, the owners of these places are now worried when they see photographers. They also told their workers to say no when a photographer comes, fearing that they are photojournalists working on an article about their working conditions.

A woman is picking up tea leaves in a tea estate in Sreemongol


After chatting with them for a while, and explaining that we were just happy tourists, things were much more relaxed.

close up of a woman working in the tea estates of North Bangladesh taken during a photography tour with Pics of Asia


If you are travelling to Bangladesh I highly suggest you spend some time exploring the area of Sylhet and Sreemongol! These are some of the most chilled out areas in Bangladesh, and people are extremely friendly.

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Founder of Pics of Asia, Etienne is a teacher with a photography habit.

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