Tag Archive | "turkey"

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Istanbul: The Bosphorus

Posted on 05 January 2016 by Dreidel Regala

Bosphorus

Week 5

Istanbul

The Asian Turkey on the east and the European Turkey on the west. The Bosphorus is where you’ll want to be if you want to be in two continents at once. That and if you want to see Istanbul’s pretty coastline.

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“What are you doing tomorrow?”

We are sitting in the rooftop of our Beyoglu/Istiklal hostel and I just found out that my hostel mates are doing Erasmus in Istanbul. Ah I remember that time when I dare try to get in but wasn’t smart enough lol fun times.

I’m about to end my trip in Turkey and I have yet been on the Bosphorus so when a plan to see it the following day came up I was very excited.

Bosphorus

We took a commuter ferry instead of a tourist cruise. It was cheaper compared to the Bosphorus cruise, around 2.15 lira if I remember right.

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The sunsets onboard was beautiful.

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Sibel here was our awesome Istanbul insider. Showing us her university where we lost in a game of table hockey and walking us around the city. Oh I still remember that yummy waffle in Bebek!

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Another plus when you take the commuter ferry is you can hop off anywhere you want. We got off here to get our delicious waffle and the typical turkish snack kumpir.

Bosphorus

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To get information about ferry schedule and fare checkout Sehir Hatlari website.

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Bodrum: Turkey’s white marina city

Posted on 12 December 2015 by Dreidel Regala

bodrum

Week 8

Bodrum

After around 3 hours of bus ride from Kusadasi where my friend Nancy and I came from, we arrive in Bodrum. The streets are getting narrower and the houses are distinctly painted white. I’m still in Turkey I know it as we passed by a doner shop but it feels different.

We came to a stop in a traffic light, a gray convertible pulls up beside the bus. I watch the passengers for two seconds and it is then that it settles to me I’m in a place where the rich Turkish go for their pleasure and fun.

The Aegean coast shows up after then. But I could say nothing cause when I see something new, only my eyes move for a while.

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In history it is called Halikarnassus but now it is known as Bodrum. It’s got quite a history and ancient ruins can be found around but now I think people go there for the water and nightlife.

Bodrum

Not really a backpacker place judging from the prices of shops and food but we got by. And even earned some beautiful smiles.

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Walking along the marina is also nice.

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There are so many evil eye accessories if you’re a fan of that.

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Backgammon (aka tavla) is quite a popular game in Turkey especially to these sailors passing up time.

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In my opinion if pressed for time, Bodrum can be missed. But it’s always nice to see how Turkey can be both European and Asian and I think Bodrum can be that.

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Antalya: Ruins of Termessos

Posted on 16 October 2015 by Dreidel Regala

Termessos

Week 9

Antalya

The ruins of Termessos is probably one of my favorite among the many in Turkey. For one it’s very much a ruin – nothing has been restored (or at least nothing looks to be). And second the view is fantastic! Although it is set on top of a mountain outside the city of Antalya, spending half day is enough to see the ancient city.

“Sorry we don’t have a schedule for Termessos tomorrow”

Sweaty and a little frustrated I walk out the 3rd door with still nothing on hand. This is the problem with traveling solo, if you want to go on a tour you’re dependent on someone else’s schedule. If there’s none you have to wait out. Of course there is the option to take public buses but I wasn’t excited about the idea of waiting in the middle of the highway. Thankfully though on my forth try I met a tour-agent-slash-cool-DJ who offered to take me there on his motorbike at a cheaper price!

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How to get there?

  • Sign up for a tour. For convenience this is the best option cause you have a guide and transportation. The latter is probably what you’ll really want cause there is no direct public transport that goes to Termessos. In August 2015 the tours I found start from 55 euros.
  • Hire a taxi. There were lots of hire taxi I saw around Kaleici and they go to almost anywhere like Aspendos, Perge, etc. For Termessos, if I remember it correct it was 60 euros back and forth. This should be a good option if traveling with a group.
  • Take the bus. Again there is no direct transport to Termessos so taking the bus will mean getting off in the highway and either taking a really long walk or hiring a taxi to get to the park gate.

How much is the entrance fee?

5 lira.

What to wear?

It’s not really a difficult trek but it can be tricky sometimes especially with those big rocks in the way so a good walking shoes is recommended.

Termessos

What to bring?

You’ll want to have water for the half hour trek up especially during the summer heat.

What to see?

Lots of ruins. From the Agora to cisterns to the Theater. Plus there is a good view of Antalya if you climb further out.

Termessos

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What happened here?

I guess it is mostly known as that city which Alexander the Great failed to conquer because of its geography.

Is it worth a visit?

My vote – YES. It’s not always you see something like this on top of a mountain. And also it feels more authentic because there are not much visitors in the site.

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The Whirling Dervish

Posted on 14 October 2015 by Dreidel Regala

He tilts his head, raises his arms, palms in opposite direction, then starts whirling. He does this for several minutes that I wonder how come he doesn’t throw himself off balance by now. The Whirling Dervish or Mevlevi of Turkey is a good dancer.

Whirling Dervish

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How Filipinos can travel in Turkey for 30 days instead of 15 (Turkish e-visa)

Posted on 08 October 2015 by Dreidel Regala

Turkish e-visa

A few months ago I was in Turkey, a country full of history, diverse culture, and varying landscape. I would for sure tell anyone to go see it even though I’ve only just saw a small part of it. But for Filipinos this would also mean going through the trouble of applying for a visa because yes we do need a visa to enter Turkey.

Last time I checked a sticker visa requires a whole bunch of paperwork and around two weeks waiting time. And that will only result in a 15-day visa.

So how did I get to stay in Turkey for almost a month legally? Thank you e-visa.

In a gist the e-visa means us Filipinos can stay in Turkey for 30 days provided that we have a supporting document (i.e. a valid OECD or Schengen visa). I didn’t have this but I realized it was easier to secure one rather than the traditional Turkish sticker visa so I went to the one that gives out the fastest – in my case it was Japan.

When I got my Japanese visa (after 2 days) I then completed the rest of the checklist for the Turkish e-visa which was easy enough. Although they didn’t check my paperwork when I entered Turkey, technically they will so better have all of it on hand.

In summary…

  1. Secure a supporting document. If you’ve traveled to Japan before I suggest to get a visa from them because it’s easier the second time around.
  2. Complete the e-visa checklist. Make sure to get them all and at the ready when you enter the territory.
  3. Pay and print the e-visa.

Turkish e-visa

If all goes well then you have 30 days to see Turkey, congratulations!

Oh just to add, I didn’t get a chance to use my Japan visa but if I did the e-visa would still work.

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