TOP TIPS IN TURKEY – WHERE TO GO – WHAT TODO - ANZAC DAY SPECIAL
Turkey is such an interesting country as it’s where East meets West. It does that in Istanbul (Constantinople) their major city, but not it’s not their capital city. A bit like Australia they put that a bit off to coast in a place called Ankora. Ankara is more of a business district city and more conservative in some respects I have been told.
Having lived in Istanbul for six months and done a fair bit of backpacking around the coast on and off the beaten track I thought could share a few of my favourite places and things about Turkey.
The Grand Bazaar. This is such a famous tourist destination. It’s almost theatrical in nature the tourists and the Turks both enjoying the game of selling and bartering. They are getting a hefty price and the tourist is getting a great experience and something that seems good value to them. There is everything you can imagine here from jewellery, to clothes, backgammon boards and trinkets.
The Blue Mosque. When in Turkey be mindful to bring more conservative and covered clothing. At mosques they do offer some extra materials if you are wearing shorts or have too much bare skin. You leave you shoes on the steps and are free to walk in and take a look at the beautiful mosque. I have many memories of being woken up by singing coming from the Mosques at 5am in the morning. It does give you a sense of being in a different culture.
Taksim. There are some really cool bars, clubs and shops in Taksim. It’s a really funky area mainly of one main street and then many side streets going off. It’s a great idea to walk around during the day and get to know it a little bit and then come back in the evening for beers and dancing. Of which there are plenty of options for all tastes. There are some pretty cool breweries and generally interesting café culture in this area.
Vintage shops. Around Taksim there are some really interesting vintage shops that are open late and run by friendly shop owners. There are all sorts of weird and fanciful items to try and indulge your sense of flare and imagination.
Balik Ekmek (fish in bread). I am not joking this is one of the best things you will ever eat. You can get them by the ferries stations all around the city. I could eat one a day they are amazing make sure you say yes to chilli and any other delights they want to put in with the fish.
Apple tea, backgammon and Shisha pipes. In no particular order, all are great, together is the perfect combination.
Turkish Bath. I don’t know about you I am one of those people who cringes at this type of thing yet it is amazing. I used to hate strangers touching me in any way and this is a funny tradition you go to this hot room and get scrubbed from head to toe with a giant foamy scrubber. That being said it is amazing you feel very refreshed and clean. Since the first one I had when I was very young I had several more and always enjoyed it. Bar one where I had a really creepy Turkish man and felt very uncomfortable!