Esto es lo que no te puedes perder cuando viajes a Estambul, Turquía 🙂
Come to experience Istanbul with us like she did! ❤
Esto es lo que no te puedes perder cuando viajes a Estambul, Turquía 🙂
Come to experience Istanbul with us like she did! ❤
Well who doesn’t know this famous guy?
‘A joyous, white-bearded man, sometimes with spectacles and wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots and who carries a bag full of gifts for children.’ – Wikipedia
During Christmas’ eve many children around the world will go to sleep excitedly waiting for this guy to swing by and drop their most anticipated gift. Well, the heart wants what it wants. According to the rumor, Santa will come and drop the present for only well behaved children. But do you know that the modern Santa Claus figure is derived from a historical Greek Bishop figure, who was born in Myra, Turkey which is known as Demre today?
Santa Claus, or the Saint Nicholas of Myra, was born on 15 March 270 and passed away at the age of 73 years old. He was born from a Greek Family during the Roman Empire. He was in fact born from a rich family. According to the Wikipedia, he made it a practice on his feast day, which is on 6th December in the Gregorian calendar, to give present in secret, such as putting coins in the shoes for people who had left them out for him.
Well, who would’ve guessed? Ho~ ho~ ho~
Ok, aku x sure bangsa lain macam ni atau x, tapi sebab aku Melayu, aku nak cerita pasal bangsa aku sendiri yang mana setengahnya ni berlagak x kena tempat…
Dari pengalaman aku sendiri, dah ada berapa ekor dah kenalan or total strangers yang aku encountered sendiri buat perangai ni, old friend, neighbours, office colleague, total strangers you name it.
Type 1 – Tak Suka Terserempak Sesama Melayu
Korang pernah jumpa x jenis ni? From my own experience, jenis ni yang paling banyak aku jumpa. Jenis yang bila nampak sama2 melayu, dia cepat2 pandang ke lain buat2 x nampak, and mak pun dengan gembiranya nampak melayu, terus tegur dan bagi salam. Dah bagi salam, jawab salam pulak alahai… Nampak sangat senyum dibuat2 dan terus pandang ke lain agaknya dalam hati tu sebut; ‘Ala… Jumpa orang melayu la pulak!’ Selalunya yang perempuan perangai macam ni, yang pasangan diorang pun agaknya segan sebab xnak nampak biadap, teruskan la jugak conversation yang hidup segan mati x mahu… Phrase yang paling best saya pernah dapat;
‘Dah berapa lama duduk sini? Oh 2 tahun ke? Takde la lama sangat!’…
Hmm excuse me? Berapa lama dah ko duduk sini? *smh*
Type 2 – Denial: Buat2 Tak Tahu / Tak Kenal Member Sendiri Yang Duduk Di Luar Negara
Bagi aku la, jenis ni la paling x semenggah sekali. Apa masalah diorang ni agaknya ya? Datang berjalan ke luar negeri, ada member atau kenalan lama yang memang dah menetap di sana bertahun2, apa salahnya kalau xnak jumpa pun at least give them a heads up? It doesn’t hurt right? Ok, aku paham kalau member tu berlagak, but yang aku selalu kena adalah;
Case 1: Tapi, masa aku datang wedding dia happy je dengan gembiranya sambut aku dan bergambar?
Case 2: Tapi, dia reply je komen2 aku dekat gambar2 lain dengan baik, xde pulak rasa dia sebenarnya menyampah dengan aku?
Case 3: Tapi, masa kat ofis dulu boleh je kita lepak makan lunch sama2 dan bila aku balik Malaysia hari tu boleh je dia siap ikut hang out mengopi sama2?
Type 3 – Aku ke Kau Yang Duduk Di Istanbul?
Hahaha type ni memang kelakar, ok aku setuju maybe sebab dia banyak google dan baca dari blog2 travelers lain jadi dia banyak dig info pasal Istanbul or Turkey before dia datang. But bila kadang2 aku betulkan info2 yang dia dapat tu dan propose dengan something yang lebih membina or actually worth it, mereka abaikan.
Yang x boleh tahannya, kadang2 info about culture atau apa2 bende lain yang dia baca tu x betul pun, tapi beria2 pulak dia berdebat. Pendek kata jenis ni jenis bodoh sombong.
Aku tinggal ko kat celah2 area Umraniye tu kang baru ko tahu! Balik sendiri!
Type 4 – Nak Makan Makanan Melayu 24/7
Ni pun satu hal jugak ni, dah nama pun traveling kan, kalau setakat travel jauh2 setakat nak ambik selfie, xnak cuba langsung makanan local, baik duduk Malaysia senyap2… Sanggup bawak Maggie dari Malaysia banyak2 makan Maggie seminggu sebab x leh masuk makanan Turki…
Let me tell you one thing, makanan Turki ni macam makan Arab jugak, they share the same palette… Kalau dekat Malaysia tu korang excited sangat makan makanan Arab, apsal pulak x leh makan makanan Turki? Come on la, Izgara (grill) kat Turkey ni macam BBQ kot, kat rumah korang boleh plak korang ber BBQ?
Di sini la secebis bab type 3 aku nak masukkan sekali, katakan la ko x leh masuk jugak makanan Turki no matter what, dengar la nasihat aku bagi tau kedai2 lain di Istanbul, makanan Uyghur ke, Cina ke, India ke, Nasi mandi ke… Ni x nak dengar jugak… Kedai mamak or nasi arab kat Malaysia ko boleh pergi pulak? Ok bersangka baik, maybe dia x cukup duit, I can understand that. But seriously, ada je yang jenis terlebih mampu pun masih buat perangai ni!
Type 5 – Penyakit Was Was
Ok type ni pulak ok sikit dari type 4, tapi still dia bawak jugak ke’Melayu’an dia ke Turki. Bila nak pergi makan, dia akan tanya, ‘halal x?’ Dude, Turkey ada population of 70 Million people, dan 98% adalah Muslim. Sini memang rata2 food halal. Pendek kata, nak cari makanan halal di Turki adalah lagi senang dari nak cari makanan halal di Malaysia!
‘Tapi kedai ni jual arak?’ is another form of question yang selalu saya dapat. One thing korang kena ingat. Orang Turki walaupun Islam, diorang memang minum arak macam minum Cola. FULL STOP. X kira la dia Islam ke x, diorang memang minum arak. Ada yang x minum, tapi banyak lagi yang minum! So kalau jumpa kedai makanan jual arak, sila jangan over takut sangat, diorang minum arak, tapi diorang x campur dalam makanan macam western food or chinese food.
‘Tapi gelas dia guna tu gelas bekas arak!’ Ok, jenis ni sila jangan travel, duduk je Malaysia diam2… Gelas arak, selalunya gelas lain, dia x pakai gelas yang sama dengan gelas Cola, or gelas air kosong. Tapi kalau ada pun yang jenis pakai gelas sama dengan Red Wine tu, slalunya tempat high class, tapi yang minded macam ni selalunya xde la pun sampai nak ke kedai2 macam tu.
By the way, gelas yang bekas arak tu, kalau ko basuh dengan detergen and bilas pun dah cukup dah… ‘Eh, kalau dia basuh x bersih?’ Again, sila duduk Malaysia diam2, jangan travel.
Type 6 – Cheapskate
Yang ni pun kronik. Suka bargain… Jangan ko bawak penyakit Chow Kit tu ke sini… Agak2 la nak bargain pun, kalau sampai masuk dalam kedai ada brand pun ko nak bargain… Memang aku pun malu beb! Makan midye dolma tepi jalan pun nak bargain, beli simit nak bargain, aku bawak ko shopping kat Tahtakale ko bargain beria2 dengan penjual kat situ, serious aku yang paham bahasa Turki ni malu bila dia maki ko bersepai, rasa nak lari jauh2! Belum lagi bile penjual tu jeling aku semacam sebab bawak pembeli macam ni…
Type 7 – Terlebih Ramah
Yang ni aku dah x reti nak nasihat macam mana. Kalau di area Sultanahmet tu please do not speak to strangers. Jangan layan pun, kalau dia tegur apa pun buat bodoh je. Why? Sebab kat situ sangat ramai conmen. Dia akan pancing korang dengan macam2 taktik, contoh;
‘I have been to Malaysia!’
‘Dari Malaysia? Nenek saya duduk kat Malaysia!’
‘Kawan saya kawin dengan orang Malaysia!’
‘I love Malaysians, saya nak kawin dengan orang Malaysia!’
Just walk away, don’t say a word, never response. Diorang ni akan guna macam2 taktik untuk get you engage in conversation dan nanti ko mudah terjebak. So please. Dah ramai yang kena, so don’t add yourself to the statistic.
Tapi dalam banyak2 type ni, yang paling aku x boleh bla adalah type 2. It really gets on my nerve. X payah la sombong and berlagak sangat, dunia ni Allah punya. Bukan ko sorang je travel, berlambak lagi manusia lain travel. X payah la nak rasa macam kami yang duduk di sini ni will ruin your holiday mood.
Contoh macam aku, jangan kata member, orang yang x jadi amik tour package, yang aku x pernah kenal pun aku boleh bawak belanja lepak kat Mado makan Kunefe siap… Bukan nya kalau ko datang jumpa aku, aku nak mengemis dari ko pun… Alasan seperti ‘sorry la Wanie, aku busy kat sana, x sempat nak jumpa’ memang x bley terima langsung. Sebab ko datang bercuti, aku kerja kot, boleh cari waktu luangkan masa untuk jumpa kawan lama, apa kejadah ko yang bercuti tu lagi busy dari aku? Ntah ke aku kena bawak client malam ke? Kalau betul busy pun, balas komen aku kat gambar ko or mesej aku explain ringkas pun aku paham, save me ur lame excuses please.
Kudos to those yang datang sini and walaupun x pernah kenal aku selama ni tapi sanggup find a time to meet with me under recommendation of your friends or acquiantances. You guys rock!
What about you? Apa jenis perangai orang Melayu yang x semenggah yang korang pernah jumpa waktu travel?
If you ever visit Istanbul, make sure you have Büyükada in your must visit list. Büyükada literally means The Big Island. But, Büyükada is also widely known as the Princes’ Island among the tourists. However, please note that Büyükada is just one island among 9 islands in the cluster. This group of island is actually called as Princes’ Islands. It consists of 4 large islands along with 5 small ones:
The Larger Islands:
The Smaller Islands:
The best season to visit Büyükada is during April – August. Of course in spring, Büyükada is a home to many colorful flowers which can be found at many classic, Victorian wooden houses on the island.However if you wish to enjoy autumn view in Büyükada, you can also visit the island during August – November.
How to get to Büyükada? There is only one way, which is by boat (well unless you own a private helicopter or you wish to swim all over!) But the easiest and most common way is to catch the boat at the Kabataş pier. From there, depart for Büyükada and you will enjoy a cruise for about 1 hour 30 minutes or even 2 hours to the island (those with mild sea sick, beware, bring a vomit bag or something, just in case!)
Me personally are in a love hate relationship with Büyükada. I love going there, but I hate the fact that I have to wake up really early for it. Because in order to be there at the best time, we will have to catch an early boat to the island. Now, when I say early, the boat will leave as early as 08:40am in the morning. And in order to catch that boat, I have to leave from my home as early as 07:20am in the morning!
And another downside of it, the boat trip to the island are not as frequent as few minutes apart, they are within around 1hour++ interval between each departures. So, if you missed the trip, you will need to wait for quite a while before you can get on the next one.
There are few piers that you can go for to catch the boat to the island. However, the most common one will be from Kabataş pier. And there are few companies that offer a trip to the island, but of course the cheapest one will be the big yellow and white Titanic look alike ship. Please do not buy the jeton (token), they cost 5.50TL which is about 1.83$ USD. Instead, get a hold of the Istanbul Kart (which you can get easily at newspaper kiosk at many tramvay stop for 6TL = 2$ USD). With Istanbul Kart, you will be able to refill this card and use it repeatedly for not just 1 person but for few persons at the same time! And the charge imposed per person with this card is only 4.40TL = 1.47$ USD. Yep, save that 1TL and buy yourself a simit (sesame bagel) instead. And, you can also use this card with the tramvay, metro, metrobus, otobus & furnicular. For more details about public transportations in Istanbul, please check my previous post.So what about other companies? Well, they are charging around 5-6TL per trip, no discount and you can’t use Istanbul Kart, cash only. But the advantage of these boat is their departure time is different compared to the Titanic ship! So for those who missed the trip with the Titanic ship and don’t want to wait, you can always hop on this boat instead and make your way to the island without wasting your precious time.
The boat will make a stop at few other islands before it will make it final stop at the Büyükada. So use this time and have your own photo shoot session in the meantime. And I mean on the boat, do not disembark from the boat at all cost. But please, refrain yourself from losing all control. You see, you still need those memory space for photos once you reach Büyükada later, right?
The bigger question. Why do I have to suffer this 2 hours journey with a cramp on my sweet gluteus maximus on a boat just to get to this island? What is it with this island? Let me tell you something. Büyükada is famous for its lush of nature, antique Victorian like wooden house and fresh air since there is no car allowed on this island (well, except for the manure part). The only car you could find there, either belong to the police, or for small construction purposes. Do I hear you asking how do people get from one place to another on this island? They use phaeton. A horse carriage just like in Cinderella story, except not as luxury and it’s real! (with smell and all)One thing that I always see at Büyükada, from the happy face of the young children, until the happy face of an old couple… They all tend to wear the same thing. The flowery head wreath. Sold for about 5TL, I must say that get one of these beauties for yourself, wear it on your head proudly and ride on that Phaeton feeling like a princess! (beware of the opportunist, they can try to sell it at more expensive price!)
Ok, so the Phaeton will cost you around 77TL per cart, which can hold up to 4 people. There are 2 common tours that tourist normally take, the long or the short one. 77TL is for the short tour, which will last for around 45 minutes (6-7 km in total). They will take you around the island and give you a small break of 10 minutes halfway during the trip where you can make some shopping have some tea before the journey continues. Honestly, short tour is enough for you, no need to waste your money on the long tour.
Well apart from the phaeton, you can also rent a bike to explore the island on yourself. Or, you could do something more extreme, like what I did with my friend last time, we walked all the way following the phaeton trails until we came back down to the square. Until today if my friend talk to me about taking that walk again, I, without hesitation will give him a backhand as a reminder of the pain he made me went through… LOLOne fair warning though, please check on the weather forecast before you plan to go to the island. Büyükada is extremely beautiful during sunny days, so you don’t want to be going there when it is rainy. It just ruins all the mood, trust me.
What else is there? At Büyükada there’s a lot of old Victorian like wooden mansions, beautiful but yet scary especially when you realized that that house had been abandoned for quite some times. There are 2 hills in Büyükada, the famous one nearby the pier is called Isa Tepesi (Jesus Hill) or previously known as Hristos (Greek for Jesus). There was a big wooden orphanage on top of this hill before, but it is no longer there since the building was too old so it remains a history. Among these 2 hills that I mentioned, there is a church and a monastery of Agios Nikolaos and also a former fairground called Luna Park.
Last but not least, there is one place that always caught my eyes. The Büyükada Gözlü Ev or it’s real name, Sabuncakiş Köşkü. The mansion with the ‘Eye’. This mansion was constructed in 1904, with 3 levels and its top level, is the entrance level. I guess with the picture I don’t need to explain more what is it about right? According to the coachman, the house belongs to one of the richest guy in Büyükada, one of the electronic tycoon in Istanbul.That’s all you need to know about Büyükada. And if you guys manage to catch the boat at 08:40am, you will reach there at approximately around 10:40am, take the phaeton ride for 45 minutes and you will be done by 11:30am. After that you will have your own free time to take a lot of pictures, or simply sit at one of the waterfront restaurants at the pier before you leave.
Hope you enjoy the post. Sorry for the long post, here’s a potato for you!
‘A muezzin’s call to prayer reverberated inside the sixth-century Istanbul landmark Hagia Sophia for the first time in 85 years on July 1.
The building in the city’s historic Sultanahmet district broadcast the azan from its minarets following July 1’s Laylat al-Qadr, or night of power, marking the first revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad…’
TÜBITAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) work really hard, they even turned the priest prunes into imam…
FUN FACT: Some Turkish call prune as ‘Papaz Eriği’, which literally translates into Priest Prune…
Hello everybody! Recently I just noticed that a lot of people managed to find their way to my blog, because they are looking for Istanbul’s shopping guidelines. Therefore, I would like to share with you guys the latest information regarding the shopping areas and what to buy in Istanbul.
1st of all, what do you want to buy? Trinkets? Shawls? Bag of spices? Aladdin Genie Lamp? A handsome Turkish Guy? Then, ask yourself, “Do I need it?” (Lol, cross that. I just watched Confession of a Shopaholic yesterday :p ) OMG So many questions, so little answers! After you finally get it clear, take a deep breath and let’s start with one of the most famous area for tourist in Istanbul:
THE GRAND BAZAAR (Kapalı Çarşı)
The Grand Bazaar is actually a very cool place indeed! What’s funny is that,even the locals don’t really shop here. Some, has never been there! There are approximately around 4000 shops and 61 covered streets inside the Grand Bazaar. It is safe to say that the Grand Bazaar is actually more like a labyrinth. Oh, don’t worry, you will find your way out, but you will most probably drowned inside, along with all the things they got to offer!
No matter what, everything inside is sold at a tourist price. Therefore, shop smart, your magic word of the day is ‘BARGAIN’. Let me give you an example, if they say 100TL, cut it down half. Make sure you start your bargain with at least 50% of the price they offer. And don’t stray far from it.
Another thing and this is important, please for the love of God, do not show your eagerness or desperateness of wanting whatever it is that you are bargaining for. Of course show your interest but don’t show that they got you in their hands, because there’re lots of other similar shops inside, that might offer a better rate. Hey, if you show them who’s boss, maybe they will bow down to you and voila! You will get to buy the stuff you want at your price. Simple, right? Just please try not to exaggerate it with ridiculous price okay? Below are some examples of the prices:
About Nazar Bonju / Evil Eye Bead
Is a widely spread superstitious in Turkey whereby they believe that the Evil Eye Bead could guard them from an evil aura or intentions from others. It is said that the Evil Eye Bead originates from the myth about Medusa, whereby her eyes are known to be blue in color. Whenever people will stare straight into her eyes they will immediately turns into stone and ironically that’s how Medusa was killed, by staring straight into her own reflection on a shield of a warrior who was battling with her and Medusa then turned into stone. People then took upon the concept of this myth and that’s how you got the Evil Eye Bead. There is also rumor about it being originated from the Eye of Horus from the Ancient Egyptian mythology.
How to get to the Grand Bazaar? Just hop on the tramvay and get out at the Beyazit, Kapali Carsi station. There is another tourist attraction adjacent to the Grand Bazaar, it’s the main entrance of the Istanbul University which was built in 1453 by Sultan Mehmed II during the Ottoman Empire. So, go and march straight to that big entrance and don’t forget to take a selfie!
Ok, Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar. Another one of the famous tourist attracations located in Eminonu just next to the New Mosque, Eminonu (Yeni Camii). Well, just as the name suggest, this place is full with spices. But of course, there’re other things are being sold here. But mostly you will find spice and Turkish Delight / Lokum.
If you want to buy lokum here, especially those by kilogram, please do a little bit of bargaining. Not so much, but still try your luck. Trust me, the standard ready-packed Turkish Delight is around 10-15TL depending on the flavour. But if you want something a little bit different, then go ahead and try those that are lined up neatly. There are so many types to choose from (not to mention more modern and trendy flavour) and what’s more important, a lot of them are made with 100% honey instead of sugar.
But just beware of the price. The sarting price for lokum made with honey are roughly around 80TL/kg. Normally I will just buy around 200g just for myself and it takes quite a while to finish it and you don’t have to worry much since this thing doesn’t get spoiled easily. Spice Bazaar is actually not that big compared to the Grand Bazaar. Adjacent to the Spice Bazaar, there are shops selling various kind of cheese, dry meats, pickles and also fish. Even though the Spice Bazaar is relatively small from the Grand Bazaar, there is an interesting place just right behind it. Want to know more? Read below!
Psstt.. Do you want to know? Tahtakale is one of the cheapest place in Istanbul. Located just right behind the Spice Bazaar, Tahtakale is a place where most Turks will come and shop. From coffee to Turkish Delight, nuts, kitchenware birthday party’s decorations, decorated boxes, cheap chocolates sold in bulk, clothes, jackets, dumb bell and even a hoe! (No, not that kind of hoe, the garden hoe!)
So how to get there? Let’s say if you enter the Spice Bazaar from its main door, just walk straight until you will reach the end and get out from that door in the end and you will start to smell that beautiful coffee smell, and you will be at the Tahtakale area. If you are a coffee lover, make sure you buy that Mehmet Efendi Coffee from its stand here, it’s extremely cheap compared to those sold in the Sultanahmet area. Anyway, if you decided to go to Tahtakale, you do not have to bargain that much. This is because everything sold here mostly are sold at a very cheap rate compared to other places.
Ok, now this is another interesting spot for shopping. If Tahtakale is situated right behind the Spice Bazaar, Mahmutpasa is located right behind the Grand Bazaar, adjacent to Tahtakale. Over here you can find a lot of textiles. If you wish to buy the Turkish robe worn by the ladies here, you can find them here. If you come to this area from the Grand Bazaar, just walk straight down and you will reach the Eminonu, the place where the Spice Bazaar is located. In conclusion, Grand Bazaar is situated on the higher ground, and when you exit from the Grand Bazaar and walk downhill you will reach Eminonu. My advice is, don’t go the other way around unless your favorite sport is hiking!
Just a reminder, all items sold in the Grand Bazaar are not that easy to get in other parts of Istanbul, except in those tourist areas along the tramvay line from the Grand Bazaar station, passing the Cemberlitas, Sultanahmet, Gulhane, Sirkeci and finally Eminonu. So if you would like to buy touristic souvenir, just buy them from those area, don’t tire yourself lol.
Ok, I think this is enough for now. If you like this article, just follow my blog for more interesting posts about Istanbul. Till then, görüşürüz!