TRAVEL IN TURKEY | PART 1

15 September 2019

Merhaba! I’m finally back from my 10 days trip in Turkey, a place that i always wanted to visit for years! I’m super excited to finally tick it off my bucket list and i can’t wait to share with guys more about my trip. Hopefully my info helps.

Turkey is home to fairy chimneys and hot air balloons, Roman history and kebabs, a world wonder and 16 UNESCO World Heritage sites! From bustling bazaars and historic sites to stunning landscapes and serene beaches, i am sure there is something for everyone.

Turkey is a huge country. Well, If you are planning to visit Turkey for 7 days, it is totally not enough. Because there are so many amazing sites you cannot miss in Turkey. Here is some typical touristy place you cannot miss ( Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Istanbul ) But if you plan to explore a bit more, you can choose 1/2 more cities for example Izmir or Antalya 

*Izmir is more historical sites and Antalya offer beautiful beaches*

For me, my itinerary start from Izmir to Pamukkale to Istanbul to Cappadocia 



Initially, I was planning to follow tour with my family and i’ve survey a few different company. Most of them costs around RM5xxx-Rm6xxx  ( not including the Hot Air Balloon Ride) for a 10D8N or 9D6N. But i’ve read thru all the itinerary and i’ve done some research regarding all the places in Turkey before i go. I realised that, following a tour might not cover a lot of the places that i wanted to visit, and you will spend most of time sitting in the bus traveling from place to place . And, the hotel and food might not as good if you following tour. The time you spend in the attraction is limited, you might not have enough time to explore on your own.

So i decided to plan my own trip. At least, i can make full use of my time. Take my own pace, travel to wherever i wanted to do, stay as long as i want.

Free and easy, I personally think it is more comfortable to travel like that :)

Of course, you need to plan well. Here’s some of my itinerary for your references. You don’t have to follow 100% of my itinerary, you can just customise your own according to your preferences. It is  much depending on the places you wish to visit and the activities you want to indulge in

I received plenty of DMs asking about the budget of entire trip. Hahaha. Since, everyone is more concern about the money i have spent, So i’m going to share some breakdown of the expenses. 

THE TRANSPORTATION

We booked our flight 1 month before the trip and we chose a direct flight because it is more comfortable to travel. So far, only Turkish Airlines provide direct flights to Turkey. The flight duration is around 11 hours. My flight tickets is RM3250 per pax including 30kg of luggage.

After i arrived in Turkey, i travel from place to place thru internal domestic flight.
First Stop - Izmir ( ISTANBUL to IZMIR) RM140 per pax 

Then we rent a car in IZMIR to travel down to a small town called ALACATI
CAR RENTAL using AVIS which costs around RM1300 for 3 days of usage and we dropped the car at different state - DENIZLI ( Pamukkale )
*the price is much depending on what car you rent*

Then we took a flight from DENIZLI to ISTANBUL RM110 per pax

Stay two days in Istanbul, then fly to KAYSERI (CAPPADOCIA) RM268 per pax
Spent 3 nights in Cappadocia and fly back to ISTANBUL RM268 per pax and back KL

In Cappadocia, we also rent a car for a day which costs around RM150 per day

For international flight + domestic flights, we spent around RM4100 per pax

*All the internal flight duration is around 1 hour*

Of course, if you want to budget your trip, you can skip some of the domestic flight and take the overnight shuttle bus from place to place. But it would be tiring, i wouldn’t recommend that.

TIPS : For the international flight and car rental, you can book everything through Expedia or from their official websites. It is more reliable. While for the domestic flight, you can just check Turkish Airlines websites for the time and prices. 

Also, please be aware of Turkish Airlines is NOT ALLOWED to do name amendment if there is an error on your name for the flight ticket. So, please DOUBLE TRIPLE check before you purchase a ticket. I believe that most of you that followed my IG stories know about this scenario that i’ve faced. I actually purchased a new flight ticket before i fly to avoid any hassle. It was a really bad experience with the ground crew and the customer service but i don’t meant to criticise about the whole airlines as i met some nice cabin crew during the flight. So i will skip this part. 


Meanwhile, getting around in Turkey with their transportation access is easy. You can get around with flight, shuttle bus, and taxi. In Istanbul city, you can just take a taxi, metro or tram to get around. While in those suburb area, i would recommend you to rent a car.


BEST TIME TO TRAVEL TO TURKEY

Spring and autumn, from April to May and from September to mid November respectively, are the ideal times to visit Istanbul when temperatures are pleasant and the skies are clearer

Although the weather is chilly, but the sun can be really hot in the afternoon. 
Remember to bring sunscreen, and lotion as the weather is really dry. 


THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW 

- There is no need VISA application for Malaysian to visit Turkey, so don’t worry about that

-Remember to bring at least one pair of sport shoes because the road is really bumpy and you are require to walk a lot a lot a lot in Turkey. It is more comfortable to walk with a good walking shoes.

-Be extra alert when you travel in Turkey. Whenever you make payment, please ensure to check your loose change from the person you paid to. Especially on the taxi. Because a lot of my friend had bad experience with it. So just be careful with that. 


STAY CONNECTED IN TURKEY

You can either get a local sim card or rent a portable wifi that can share up to 5 people.

For portable wifi, it is RM27 and 500MB per day.

You can just book it online ( TRAVEL RECOMMENDS ) and collect it at your departure airport.

While, for local sims. We chose Turkcell which costs around 150TL for 200 mins of call and 20GB data. Apparently it is the cheapest local sim packages compare to other brand. 




Overall, the flight + hotels, we spent around approximately RM5900 per pax 
Not including the car rentals, the tours, the food expenses and hot air balloon ride. 


NEXT, 
 I will share about the details part of itinerary and the price for each activities on the next post,

STAY TUNED ...

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