Featured Categories

About

A Little About Me

Karen kho is a fitness and lifestyle blog. The blogger, Karen, is a fitness addict who likes sharing fitness tips on social media, and who aspires to motivate her followers to lead a fitter, healthier lifestyle. Karen also casually blogs about her travels, beauty and fashion. More info...
Currently on the blog


Here comes to my favourite part of TURKEY, Cappadocia 
Cappadocia, Turkey has long held at the first place on my travel bucket list. Cappadocia in Turkey really is the dreamiest of dream places, all those photos you’ve seen really do look like the real thing, actually no, I think the real thing is even better! 

Also, my bf but now my fiancé proposed to me in my dream place during the trip
It is one of my sweetest dream i ever had in my life. A moment to cherish forever
Thank you for making my trip a memorable one <3

As i promised, i will be sharing every single bit of my travel tips and all the information you need to know about traveling to Cappadocia Turkey. So keep scrolling. 

HOW TO GET TO CAPPADOCIA  

In order to get to Cappadocia, you have to fly into this two airports: Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR) in Kayseri and Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport (NAV) in Gülşehir. Nevsehir is a bit closer to Goreme, but the difference isn’t much, both taking less than an hour.

 Kayseri (Erkilet International Airport) from Istanbul. The flight is only about 45 minutes, and both Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines offer super cheap flights (under $100). Prior to your arrival in Kayseri, ask your hotel for a shuttle from the airport or book your shuttle from local travel agency.  Just provide them your arrival time and flight number and they will arrange accordingly, it is around 40TL per pax. They can drop you off directly to your hotel in Goreme. 

Trust me, it is much more CHEAPER to take the shuttle services than TAXI
Because upon the arrival, i took a meter taxi and it costs me 400TL from airport to the hotel.
It is so expensive and not worthy at all. So, remember to arrange the shuttle bus in advance. 

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT CAPPADOCIA

According to the locals, months of March-May (spring) and October-November (autumn) are the most ideal, because the temperatures are comfortable and the crowds manageable.

HOW LONG SHOULD I STAY IN CAPPADOCIA

I stayed in Cappadocia for 4D3N and i don’t regret it. Without a doubt that the perfect amount of time to stay in Cappadocia is three or four full days. This gives you enough time to explore the entire area and fit all of the best activities in. If you choose to stay longer, you can have another day to enjoy the hot air balloon ( from different view ). Trust me, it is all worth it. Also, The Hot Air Balloon ride is very depending the weather, so i highly recommend to stay a little longer maximize your chances of getting on a flight or get to see them.


Watching the Hot Air Balloon rising at the Sunrise/Sunset Point 

Here is two things that u MUST do in Cappadocia 

TAKE A HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE You can’t visit Cappadocia without going up in a hot air balloon at sunrise! It is such a magical experience floating up with 50-100 other balloons at dusk and rising up into the sky as the sun paints beautiful colors across the horizon. You can only get to see this in Cappadocia, so don’t miss it. It is worth the money!


Next, WATCH THE HOT AIR BALLOONS In addition to actually riding in a balloon, make sure you also watch the hot air balloons from the ground. You can do this from virtually anywhere in Cappadocia, but the absolute best view of the balloons is from Sultan Cave Suites or at the Sunrise point. You can also rent a classic car from the local tour agency to chase after the Hot Air Balloon for better view of the Hot Air Balloon. There are a lot of local tour agency along the main street in Goreme. Just ask them for the price and you can nego with them too. 

The best time of year to go hot air ballooning in Cappadocia is from April to November as the most favorable weather conditions are during these months; because of strong winds most of the flight cancellations take place from December to March.

HOW MUCH IS THE HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE


It is approximately 180-200 euro per pax. There are many different company but they are more or less the same. We booked our very last minute from the local tour agency one day before our flight. The flight is around 1 hour, and it is including a certificate, a champagne toast upon laded and also some light breakfast before the flight.


Alongside that experience, there are a few other attractions I’d definitely recommend making time for. In the afternoon in Cappadocia, you can actually book a tour to explore the city. We booked our from KLOOK before the trip. Basically all the tour including hotel pick up and some include lunch/dinner too. 
 They have all sources of different type of tour that can bring you to the main attractions in Goreme


Also, we went for a horseback riding tour. It is around RM171 per pax
I recommend to take the 1 hour tour than the 2 hours one because 2 hours is slightly too long. Also, choose the morning session because it is more chilling in the morning. Evening might be a bit too hot before the sunset.

There are a lot of different tour and activities that you can do in Cappadocia.

HOW TO BOOK?
Just download KLOOK apps in your phone, register an account, search the activity by location and you will see a variation of activities to choose from. Just choose what suits your itinerary and interest from the sites will do. Once you purchase, they will send you an confirmation email, and the tour will Whatsapp you one day before the tour for the pick up location. 

 You can also book it from the website - https://www.klook.com/


WHERE TO STAY IN CAPPADOCIA 

We booked our first night at LOCAL CAVE HOUSE.
The location of this hotel is quite good, because the sunrise/sunset point is just right behind this hotel. While, to the main street of goreme, it is around 3-5 min walk, which is quite near too. Also, The services is good, staff are very friendly and helpful. The price is very affordable too! It is around RM250++ per night during our stay. ( depending on the season )

They have family room too, it is cheaper if you travel with a group and book a family room.
If you want to book a HOT AIR BALLOON ride, the reception can help with that too. 
The reason why i book this hotel is because of this pool view. The only things i don’t like about this hotel is, they don’t have a rooftop terrance. So, i suggest to stay at least 1 night here, and book another hotel if you want a terrance view in the morning with the hot air balloon. 

The room is including breakfast too. Breakfast starts at 7am every morning.


LOCAL CAVE HOUSE HOTEL
Address : Gaferli Mah, Cevizler Sok. No.11, Goreme, 50180 Turkey
Tel : +90 384 271 2171

Another two nights we manage to booked SULTAN CAVE SUITES. I always wanted to stay at this hotel in Goreme because of the legendary rooftop. It is perfect for Panoramic View for watching the Hot Air Balloons early in the morning. We are lucky enough to book two nights here and we bought the air ticket to Turkey after we secure the stay and plan our itinerary accordingly. LOL. 

Also, the rooftop is actually very crowded in the morning because basically everyone who visit Goreme will wake up early to see the Hot Air Balloon. So you might need to get up a little early (before the sunrise) to queue for a photo. But trust me, it is worth it. We are lucky enough to have a random tourists that queue behind us to take this photo of us. 
Photo taken by iPhone 8 plus, no filter at all

But the price is slightly higher compare to the rest. It is around RM750+ per night.  If you can’t manage to book Sultan Cave, you can also try Mithra Cave, which is right beside Sultan Cave, but it is slightly more expensive than Sultan Cave and it is always full too. 

The breakfast was good, and the view is amazing too! 
Every corner is photo worthy. 

SULTAN CAVE SUITES
Add : Aydinli Mah, Aydinli Sk. No.40, Goreme, 50180 Turkey
Tel : +90 384 271 3023


To be honest, there are much more nicer and affordable hotel around, if you don’t mind about the legendary rooftop terrance. You can consider these few that i’ve survey .

- Corus Hotel ( New, More modern, with air con)
- Travellers Cave Pension ( Family room, clean, good services, affordable price, with aircon)
- Traveller’s Cave Hotel ( Budget, good location, along the main street ) 

Also, there is a lot more. You can check from Booking.com or Expedia
Remember to read the review before you proceed the booking. 


LAST BUT NOT LEAST, some of my tips before you fly there : 
-remember to bring at least one pair of sneaker. It is easier to walk with sneaker in Goreme. 
- bring sunscreen, it is really sunny in the afternoon.
-bring lotion & hydration mask, the weather is very dry



Alright, I’m finally complete with my TURKEY TRAVEL BLOG!
Hopefully i didn’t missed out anything. Feel free to drop me a comment if you have any question


Thank you for reading <3




Move on with PART 3 of my TURKEY TRIP 
This Article, i will be sharing more about my next destination which is Pamukkale and Istanbul

So we drove from Ephesus to Pamukkale after lunch. 

The journey is around 2.30 hours from Ephesus to Pamukkale. But i suggest you all can take your own sweet time to tour around Izmir area if you are interested to explore more and reach Pamukkale at evening or at night. 

If you reach at night, then you can just check in to the hotel, and visit the attraction early in the morning like 7.30AM/8AM. Trust me, early morning is the best time to visit Pamukkale as it is super super crowded with tourists. We visited Pamukkale in the evening but it is still super crowded with tourists and it is really hard to find an empty spot to take a nice photo. So bare in mind.
This is one of the main attraction in TURKEY
The famous natural hot water travertines in Pamukkale. Also known as "The Cotton Castle”

TIPS : You really need to PLAN YOUR VISIT to avoid the crowds

All visitors must go barefoot when walking on the travertines. You’ll be expected to carry your shoes and your belonging as you walk so try to bring a waterproof bag. 


WHICH ENTRANCE TO USE?

There are two entrances to the Pamukkale travertines; one at the top at the ancient town of Hierapolis and a less used entrance at the bottom of the travertines in the town of Pamukkale itself. You can buy tickets that give you access to both the travertine pools and the Hieropolis at either gate, but access to the ancient Roman baths at the top is extra.  

The top Hierapolis entrance is the one most favored by large tour groups, so you’ll encounter most of  tourists near the top of the travertines and it’s by far the busiest section.  

All this means is that the bottom of the travertines are quieter than the top. As an added bonus, the rock at the bottom pools is whiter. That said, the view from the top is beautiful so if you have the opportunity, it’s worth the trip in either direction.
The entrance fee is 60TL, depends what you want to see 

Does PAMUKKALE really look like the what we see on social media photos? 

Hmmm, Definitely NOT! 

Certainly not when we were there.  Some of the pools actually dried out. How the pools look depend on the time of year that you visit and the weather conditions. Plus, of course, there are the crowds so i don’t really enjoy much of my visit there. But i still think Pamukkale worth to visit at least once. Most importantly, plan your visit to the Pamukkale hot springs carefully to ensure you make the most of your time here.


WHERE WE STAY?

We stayed in ALIDA HOTEL in PAMUKKALE which is located right opposite of the lower entrance. Less than 5 mins walk to the attractions. Also, along the streets, you will find many restaurant, from Turkish cuisine, Western Cuisine, to Chinese Cuisine. So don’t worry about food. 
We only spent one night here, so we chose a budget hotel. The price is reasonable and the location wise is good! It is more like an Inn, don’t expect much for the room. It is around RM180 per night including breakfast. But if you want to stay a better hotel, there are plenty. You can search from booking.com and all. 

I don’t recommend to stay in Pamukkale more than 1 night cause there is nothing much to do there. It is a very touristy place, which has only one attraction to visit. The food here is slightly expensive compare to other places, and it is not as good. It is a very small town. So one night is more than enough to explore this place.

After Pamukkale, we returned our car to DENZILI Airport and flew all the way to ISTANBUL
We spent 3D2N in ISTANBUL and i think it is just nice to explore most of the must visit places.

For ISTANBUL, here’s some
MUST VISIT PLACE IN ISTANBUL

First of all, BLUE MOSQUE & HAGIA SOPHIA
We took a cab there, it is around 20 min from our hotel. The fares is alright. Just make sure that the cab driver is goes by meter fare will do.

The Blue Mosque is also known as the Sultan Ahmet Mosque and is located opposite right the Hagia Sophia Museum. It is perhaps the most well-known monument in Istanbul and dates back to the 17th century. 

Though visiting the Blue Mosque is one of the most popular things to do in Istanbul, it is in fact still a working mosque, and is therefore closed to tourists during prayer time. In general, the opening hours of the Blue Mosque Turkey are from 8:30/9 AM until one hour before dusk each day, excluding 90 minutes for prayer, and two hours during Friday noon prayers. Read more on the prayer times here. You will need to abide by a dress code before you enter, and entry is free.

HAGIA SOPHIA is a must to visit. It is unique because starting its life as the Hagia Sophia Church (Church of Holy Wisdom),and then turned into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest and is now a museum. While Hagia Sophia there is an entrance fee, you can purchase the ticket at the entrance or buy it online to skip the queue. 

After visiting the Mosque, you can take the tram and visit the GRAND BAZAAR.
But i don’t really like that place myself cause it is like a maze and i have nothing much to buy there.

And you can take a typical shoot like this in Grand Bazaar if you want, but please take noted that most of them have to pay for a picture. Just be nice and ask if you want to snap a photo.

Remember to visit BALAT! It is another 15-20 minutes from Grand Bazaar by cab.
Balat is a down-to-earth neighborhood of narrow streets and colorful houses, where hip cafes and cutting-edge galleries sit next to old-school neighborhood grocers. Definitely a must visit!




next, MUST HAVE FOOD IN ISTANBUL?

1. KEBAB
Iskender Kebab is made up of döner meat laid over bread, tomatoes, and peppers, and is topped with yogurt and melted butter.  It is delicious, and a must-try food in Istanbul!



2. SIMIT

Similar to a bagel or pretzel, this chewy, round bread is covered in sesame seeds and is one of the most popular street food snacks in Istanbul–you’ll find simit carts on nearly every corner in the city!


3. MUSSELS 

Mussels are a popular food in Istanbul and are popularly sold as a street food or in small, casual restaurants. Two varieties are the clear favorites: stuffed mussels, and deep fried mussels. I saw this everywhere in Turkey, so i decided to give it a try! Surprisingly the stuffed mussels taste good!


3. NUSR.ET

THIS IS A MUST HAVE FOOD IN ISTANBUL. I’m pretty sure every one of you heard of SALT BAE. YES, he is originally from TURKEY and he owned this restaurant. There are many franchises all over Istanbul but make sure you made an reservation earlier because it is always fully booked.

Remember to order the steak and the burger! It is delicious.
Not to mention, the price is super reasonable too! Strongly recommended!


4.  MIVAN RESTAURANT CAFE

After our tour to Blue Mosque & Grand Bazaar. We walked our way to this restaurant for some authentic Turkish food. Surprisingly the food is good and the services is good too!


We found this restaurant through Google Map and chose this according to the rating. Google Map is so convenient when it comes to travel. So, feel free to do that too if you don’t know what to eat and want to explore some nice food around you. 

If you want to snap some Instagram worthy picture with nice view of Blue Mosque you can go to Seven Hills Hotel. I didn’t get to visit this round, but if you are there, please do visit this place.


WHERE TO STAY?

It took me very long to choose where to stay in Istanbul because i’m not too familiar with this place. I want to stay at somewhere not too far from all the attractions, somewhere modern, good location for food, shopping and bars. So here’s a map for you to understand more about where is everything located at and choose where you want to stay and explore :P  

There are two side of Istanbul. OLD CITY & NEW CITY. Basically most of the attraction is located at the OLD CITY of Istanbul, but it is not very far from the NEW CITY. I choose to stay at the NEW CITY ( Taksim/istiklal area) because there is more shopping, modern restaurant and bars around that area. It is more happening there compare to the OLD CITY.

We stayed in the Beyoglu district, right at Istiklal Street just steps away from the Galata Tower.

I’m staying at MR.CAS HOTELS for two nights. The location is super good, because once you came down from the hotel, there whole street of shops, you can shop any many as you want. 
Love the interior and every single bit of the design of this hotel. It is vintage and classy.
Price range is around MYR350-1500++ depends on the room and season

MR.CAS HOTELS
ADD : Kuloğlu, İstiklal Cd. No:153, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey


Okay, Wondering how many days in Istanbul is ideal?

 For a first-time visitor, there are plenty of things to see and places to visit in Istanbul, and to cover all of the sights you should aim to spend no less than 2 to 3 days in the city. Most of the popular tourist attractions are close to one another, meaning you can cover a lot of ground easily and make the most of your time in Istanbul.

Well, that’s all for my part 3 of my Turkey trip
Next article, i’ll sharing my favourite city in Turkey - Cappadocia 

Stay Tuned <3

We started our journey from the West of Turkey

I’ve shared about some travel tips and the transportation expenses in my previous post. You can read it HERE. In this article, i will be sharing all the details of my itinerary. We landed in Istanbul early in the morning and took a transit domestic flight to IZMIR. Once we arrive in IZMIR, we drove all the way down to a town called ALACATI

(TIPS : Try to arrange at least 2-3 hours in the airport for transit upon arrival because the Istanbul airport is really HUGE)

HOW TO GET TO ALACATI?  

Izmir to Alacati: The closest airport to Alacati is in Izmir – Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport (airport code: ADB) – the drive from Izmir to Alacati will take you approximately 50 minutes. 


We rent a car from IZMIR ADB airport by AVIS Rental Company thru EXPEDIA. We choose AVIS because they have more option to drop-off the car at different airports. We want to drop our car at DENIZLI airport (Pamukkale) after, so these was the only option we had and it is more reliable cause it is an international car rental company. For the petrol, There are plenty of places to fill up on petrol along the way. So don’t worry about it. 

You can check the car rental price from my previous post, click HERE


WHY ALACATI?

If you want to experience the seaside holiday in Turkey, Alaçatı is a place you have to visit! There are numerous restored old Greek houses in Alaçatı, that makes the whole town looks like you are in Greece. This town is a hidden gem that you won’t see a lot of Asian tourists around. 


Alacati ( Pronounced “Ala-Cha-ti”) It was love at first sight 

We walked down to Alacati main street and you will found tiny streets with beautiful stone buildings and there is a lot of nice restaurants, cafes, and antique shops and gift shops. Wandering through the cobblestone streets and checking out the colourful buildings is one of best things to do in Alacati. Take it easy and sip on Turkish coffee during the day and wine at night.

Alacati is the perfect place to get lost in the picturesque streets while doing some shopping, watch the world go by from the terrace of one of the many cafes before having a romantic dinner and heading to your boutique hotel. The best time to visit the main streets is during the golden hour  

TIPS : MAKE SURE YOU USE GOOGLE MAP FOR THE LOCATION
I use google map to search for all the attractions,cafes and restaurants around.

Walking along the main street and you will get to see the 19th century windmills. 
There is no entrance fee and can be visited any time of day.

  Ancient stone windmills that sit on top of the hill overlooking the village are Alacati’s symbol. These cute windmills that date to the 1850s are among the oldest structures in the area.

Besides strolling around the Alacati Streets, you can also visit the beach club if you love sun tanning like me. Alacati is located in the centre of Cesme Peninsula, it is surrounded by the water and its beaches are all within easy reach. There are around 50 beach clubs around this city. We managed to visit one of them which is KAFEPI Beach Club

It is less than 10 minute drive from our hotel. The entrance fees is 80TL per pax ( You will get a normal seats, the price is not including the food and drinks) We ordered a beer, a cocktails and fries. It costs us around 100TL if i’m not mistaken.. 

WHERE TO STAY IN ALACATI

There are chic boutique hotels and hostels that you can spend a great time at in Alaçatı. 
There are many many cute boutique hotels with affordable price, you check them at booking.com or Expedia. I booked my hotel and my parent’s one from Booking.com. Try to find the hotel that are nearer to the main streets of Alacati, so it would be easier for you to explore around. 

Transport : For us, we rent a car on the first few days. So it is easier for us to get around.

 Im staying at Evliyagil Hotel by Katre, around RM500 per night including breakfast



And my parents one is in Alacati Alaris Hotel. It is around RM200 per night including breakfast
There is still a lot more nice boutique hotel around the area, you guys can check from booking.com.

For me, I think 2D1N is more than enough to spend in Alacati, we drive to Ephesus the next day around 6.30am. Because Ephesus is around 1.30 hours away from Alacati. We wanted to avoid the crowd so we decided to leave early so that we can reach Ephesus at 8AM. Trust me, it is better to visit early in the morning. 

I’m a big fans of historical sites. Therefore, Ephesus is a MUST!
The city was once considered the most important Greek city over 2000year and it is the most important trading center in the Mediterranean region. Throughout history, Ephesus survived multiple attacks and changed hands many times between conquerors.

The highlight of Ephesus is the iconic Roman Library of Celsus
The entrance fee is 72TL for the normal ticket.
You can literally walk in the footsteps of ancient Greeks and Romans!
*The whole area is pretty HUGE, you might need to spend at least 2-3 hours there*

As you might see from these photos, the sun shines powerfully down on the reflective white marble of Ephesus, so for summer touring, do bring a hat or sun umbrella.I highly recommend to visit this sites early in the morning. You can also hire a guide to explain the stories behind these magnificent historical sites. You can find them in the entrance, usually they will approach you. Just ask for the price on the spot if you’re interested.  



After visiting Ephesus, we went for a Lunch in Selcuk town which is less than 15 mins drive from Ephesus and drive all the way down to Pamukkale. (2.30 hours drive from Ephesus) 


Will blog about Pamukkale and Istanbul at my next article
stay tuned! Thank you for reading *xoxo 

Feel free to drop a comment if you want to know more about my trip :)








Popular

Where else you can find me