Istanbul Tour With Ayah Mak | Istanbul, Turkey

August 6, 2017

It feels a bit funny to write this post as I realized I just finish writing about my road trip around Istanbul (Where East Meets West) and most of the places we went have been shared in my previous posts. Haha, but let's just see how this post will lead me to. 

10th July 2017
Istanbul, Turkey

Europe Trip started here!

We left the country with Turkish Airlines. My previous flight with my parents was 2 years ago when we were on our way from London, UK to Geneva, Switzerland. Yep, that was from our first Europe trip (so-called Europe Trip 1.0 - more to come hopefully, ameen!) Since Turkish Airlines is not a low-cost airline, I felt relieved at least for them to have a proper, chosen seat and proper meal on board. For meal, we personally prefer Emirates. If you guys love cheesy food, Turkish Airlines suits you more :D

4 checked in luggage - one for Ayah, one for Mak, the rest were food (plus kitchen utensils).

Well, cliche. :D

I don't know what happened to the flight air-conditioner that time, but it felt warm on board. We were a bit sweating. T_T

Arrived Istanbul on time, we decided to walk directly to the praying room. It is quite close to Gate 219 (if I'm not mistaken), seems like I have no idea if there is another praying room around departure area. 

Done with prayers, we continued to the arrival to get to the hotel desk. Fuh, the queue at the passport control was not a joke, it took more than half an hour just to get our passports stamped! I feel glad that I have some experiences with this airport, at least I have some idea to walk around. Save time, save energy. -_-'

Breakfast with Mr. Potato. I persuaded Ayah to buy a cup of coffee from Starbucks just for the sake of sitting there, even though this was my first time with Starbucks. Sorry, I don't know why I don't feel good to sit in any restaurants without buying anything. Hee.

Istanbul was scorching hot that day. Trust me, prepare yourselves with good sunscreen lotion especially with SPF50+ if you are planning to come to Istanbul in July. :D 

If you have a long transit / lay over in Istanbul (Ataturk) Airport, simply request for Istanbul Tour / free meal voucher

Our tour group was quite big that time - about 2 buses (maybe around 40 people?). We are eligible for 9am-3pm tour since our connecting flight was around 4.30pm. The tentative was roughly like this:

Haha, see, I posted at least some points for each attractions :) Click if you want to read, yea?

Our tour group - the guide was explaining about Hippodrome.

German Fountain

Obelisk of Theodosius

Blue Mosque

They looked cute though in those cloth :) 

I have witnessed the same procedure in mosque in Malaysia (for example Putrajaya) where foreign / non-Muslim will receive this kind of clothes to cover themselves. Just, in Putrajaya, they are not allowed to enter the praying areas (so far that I know), but here in Blue Mosque, everyone is welcomed inside. 

From this view, I am a bit confused with the saying that says women with menstruation are not allowed to enter mosques. How can we know that fact among these non-Muslims?

Inside Blue Mosque. Mak said that there were too many people, it was hard to enjoy spiritually. I just realized, here similar to the interior of Hagia Sophia we can see the names of Khulafa' Ar-Rasyidin and the grandsons of Prophet Muhammad - Hasan & Husein. 

Upon leaving Blue Mosque for Topkapi Museum, Mak kept mentioning the roasted corn. T_T Fuh, I did not have any Lira, but thankfully the hawkers accept Euro coins (the big one like one and two Euros). So, craving fulfilled :p Bought chestnuts as well. Haha

Standing on European side of Turkey, at the back is the Asian side. Most historical sites are located in European side.

The sea... Mesmerizing!

What else can I share in this post.....?

Hmm maybe my personal comments about the tour?
  • This type of tour (9am-3pm) involves a lot of walking. Please bear in mind and put this into consideration if you are planning to join the tour with the elders.
  • Food, entrance fee and all transportation you use during this tour are for free.
  • Mind that the food may not be according to your taste and the food is Turkish style. But, why not have a try? :D
  • Istanbul was really hot that time. Prepare your own water. Don't drink from the tap water, not recommended.
  • There are few souvenir shops just outside Blue Mosque (the entrance facing the Hippodrome). For this specific type of tour (9am-3pm), you don't have the chance to go shopping at any bazaar. Unless if you are eligible for another type of tour (9am-6pm). So, be prepared with some Turkish Lira in advanced if you wanna buy some souvenirs.

Hagia Sophia, maybe next time?

  • Ask the tour guide at what time the bus will leave for the airport. You may get lost or get separated from the tour group, so at least you know where you can meet them again to catch your connecting flights.
  • Prepare a good camera as you can either listen to the tour guide or wander around. I mean, if there is any view that catch your heart, directly snap it! You may not have the chance to return to that specific point. 
  • All in all, the tour is hectic even for me. I have a feeling my parents would love to come again and enjoy the city slowly. :) But, we should not complain as everything is for FREE, remember that :)

With the background of Blue Mosque.
Till we meet again, Turkey. :) 

SS, Perak, Malaysia

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