Hi Everyone, 🙂
We had an absolutely fabulous time in Turkey. Luckily, we were a part of an amazing group of people. Sanjeev and I had never travelled in a group before so we thought we’d do our own thing once we reach there. But somehow we struck a chord with a lot of people there and the rest of people pretty much decided to tag along with us. Then we even convinced our guide, Tanher, to give us great deals on our extra tours and help us cover all that we wanted to see in Turkey. It turned out to be a one happy family vacation at the end of it. It’s one of the most memorable trip we had and we’d always cherish it. 🙂
Here’s the video that we made during our Turkey trip. Hope you enjoy watching it. 🙂
Some must see places and must do things in Turkey :
- Hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia – expensive but once in a lifetime experience. The trip will cost around $200 per person. The rides take place around 5:00 am so that you can see the sunrise from the balloon.
- Whirling Dervishes. Best place to see is Hodjapasha dance theater in Istanbul
- Turkish ice cream- they have an act they do to before serving it to you.
- Pamukkale – you’d not find something like this anywhere.
- Taksim Square, Spice Market, Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. There are long queues for tickets in most of these places so ask your guide to arrange them beforehand.
- Bosphorus Cruise.
- Try Baklava, Turkish chocolates , Turkish Delight, and various teas in Spice Market.
- Turkish tea and Turkish coffee.
- Be aware of fakes in Grand Bazaar but pick up cute local trinkets.And Bargain!
- Dress conservatively. It’s a muslim country rather a very fashionable one but be respectful of their culture. Don’t bother about skin showing.
Now some good and bad details about how our Turkey trip was planned by makemytrip
Okay, for those who wanted to know why we took another package from makemytrip despite our bad experience during the Jordan trip, we want to make it clear that we booked this package back in Jan- Feb. This was our last trip with them. In fact, a lot of people in our group said the same thing.
The trip started on a bad note. MMT team mistakenly booked us in 3 star hotels. We were not provided with the details of hotels until a week before. When we checked the review of the hotels, they were BAD. We literally had to fight with them to upgrade our hotels. When they finally agreed, they asked us to pay an exorbitant amount. We finally left the upgrade thinking that we’d manage somehow. The hotels there were BAD to say the least. Even the 5 star that MMT offered did not live up to the quality standards. It came across as if no one from MMT has even bothered to go an check the hotels there. They booked us in Turkish Airlines, which was fabulous.
Our trip was planned badly; it was supposed to be 6 nights and 7 days but get only 4 days instead- 1 day in Antalya, 1 day in Cappadocia, and 1/2 + 1 + 1/2 day in Istanbul.
Day 1. Our flight from Delhi reach Istanbul in the morning around 10:30. we should have stayed in Istanbul only, and 2 nights stay there would have given us 2 and a half days. But we had a connecting flight to Antalya at 1:30. By the time we reached Antalya (the flight was 2 hr late) the whole day was gone.
Day 2. Our group was taken for Antalya city tour. Fortunately, we had sense enough that we left for Pamukkale on our own. After seeing Pamukkale we couldn’t believe it wasn’t included in our itinerary. We paid for the complete Pamukkale trip from our pockets. Not only that, we paid for a lot of tours from our pockets- Hagia Sophia, Bosphorous cruise, Galata tower, and Topkapi Palace.
Day 3. The next day we were taken to Cappadocia from Antalya in a bus. The bus journey itself takes nearly 10 hours. It was quite tiring and frustrating despite the gorgeous scenery that Turkey has to offer . We had stops in between for
very bad lunch etc. So our whole day was gone traveling in the bus. We could have taken a plane and finished the journey in 2 hours. We couldn’t do anything since we reached our hotel in Cappadocia by late evening.
Day 4. We were left with only one day to do the balloon ride and see places in Cappadocia. We did the best we could. We had planned to take a bicycle and roam around in the valleys, a fun thing to do in Cappadocia. Sadly, we didn’t get any time for that.
Day 5. We took a flight for Istanbul and reached Istanbul in the afternoon. But our hotel was so bad that we shifted to the five star one by paying two nights rent on our own. By the time we shifted to our new hotel it was evening. We roamed around a bit in a mall and that was that.
Day 6. We asked our guide to include a lot more places in out Istanbul tour and it took us the whole day to cover the places. As mentioned earlier, we paid for these following tours from our pockets- Hagia Sophia, Bosphorous cruise, Galata tower, and Topkapi Palace.
Day 7. We spent half a day at Bosphorus cruise and spice bazar and then left for the airport.
If we had done the journey reverse, i.e. first Istanbul, then Cappadocia, then Antalya, and left Antalya in the afternoon or evening on the last day..we would have saved more than a day.
Despite all the bad planning and bad accomodation, we had a great trip because of the awesome group that we had.
Shopping; If you want luxury shopping malls in Istanbul look for Istinye Park or Akmerkez. We were told that all the luxury brands such as Louis Vuittons are there. Unfortunately, we couldn’t visit them because of the lack of time.
Language: Language is going to be an issue in Turkey, especially in Antalya and Cappadocia. Learn some common translation for things such as milk, sugar, water, food, supermarket etc. beforehand. It would really help. We were really at loss to explain at many restaurants that we wanted vegetarian food.