I find the people in Turkey very friendly, and a lot of them speak English, especially in the tourist areas. There are internet cafes everywhere and they are pretty cheap, from around 50 Euro cents an hour. The food is generally pretty healthy, not too expensive, and flavourful. You can find markets where they cell lots of exotic spices and teas, so make sure to stock up on Turkish safron and other juicy stuff before leaving. All I’ve explored so far is the southwest coast, and I’d say every little village along the coast is worth visiting. Make sure to seek out the ruins. Kadir’s Treehouses is a popular destination among backpackers, especially Australians. When I was there during the winter, Kadir was busy in the US recruiting travelers to try and balance the spectrum. He started his treehouses some 20 years and, by word of mouth, the whole area has ballooned into many treehouse enterprises and pensions. Seems like a major party place during the summer for young travelers and I am very much looking forward to checking it out once the tourist season hits.
Backpackers have also told me Goreme < is a big place to go, located near Urgup, near Nevsehir, southeast of Ankara. Supposed to be a really nice and mountainous region worth visiting. I hope to organise tours there to and from Kadir’s in the summer.
I was also highly suggested the mountainous region in the eastern part of the country, and then the Black Sea coast, both of which I plan to check out on my way back to Prague by July of 2007.
Cyprus is a great island, but expect to pay 30 TYL/month for liability insurance if you have a car (you can buy a year’s worth for around 70 – look for “Gunes” travel insurance), and learn how to drive on the warrior knight’s side of the road. The ferry can also be pricey, and car ferries leave from the mainland town of Tascucu < . It is almost a different country, so be prepared to go through customs and whip out your passport before getting on the ferry. If traveling with a Turkish mainland mobile phone sim card, make sure to get the roaming activated, which should be free.
I’ve read the British Council advisory website and I think you can consider the entire thing a total joke. I guess they just don’t want to be sued by their own population for any possible damages, so they are painting the worst possible picture. Might as well put the US on the most dangerous destinations in the world, if you will be talking about terrorist attacks like that. Everywhere I’ve been so far, the people are so laid back, relaxed and friendly, it is a great pleasure. Sure, something can happen anywhere, but car accidents do a lot more harm than terrorists (car accidents killing 60,000 people in the US within three years after 911). So relax, dude.
Yes, you might be charged more than locals occasionally, but prices are cheap enough that you shouldn’t even notice.
Your own country’s mobile roaming service should work no problem, but if you want to use a local sim card, be prepared for some crafty manipulation and a lengthy visit to a Turkcell Extra office, usually only in the larger cities (you need to register your phone with your passport).
Suggestions about Turkey from People I Know
Olympos, Kadir’s treehouses and other places around it (Kadir’s is one of the most expensive ones there are several more reasonable places around it.) is about 80 km’s from downtown Antalya and 30 Km’s from resort town Kemer, it may be a nice place to stay for a while, but during long winter months it may be kind of boring. Anyway after arriving here you can make your decision yourself.
Below are the couple of small towns that you might want to experience in southwestern Turkey:
My reflections on the difference between Islam and Christianity.
Some Basic Turkish
Turkish word (phonetically spelt) English meaning Merrhubba Hello (I like to say, “Merhaba bubba”) Teshekurle Thank you Mersee (merci, like French) Thanks (less formal, but can invoke thoughts of the days when the country was ruled by France) Goole goole Goodbye (but as everywhere, people just LOVE saying ‘bye bye’ instead) Nussusseen How are you? (If you don’t say “How are you?”, you are an assassin) Bir bira (my favourite) One beer Lootfen Please Pishman Sorry (think “peace man”) Shuludus (not sure of prononciation) See you later Arkadash Friend (saying this word will win over many of their hearts)
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We are a family operation managing private custom boat tours in the beautiful Palawan area, and are happy to help travelers with their plans through the Philippines, having traveled a lot of it ourselves and planning to visit it all. These pages in this section cover my various solo travels through Europe before meeting my wife.