01 June 2018



I'm too excited that I have no idea where to start! GOSHH!!! I actually wanted to go to Turkey from last year. Invited my family only to be turned down , until I get to persuade the only friend who could come here by following her schedule LOL. Thank you Edlyn Arjanggi! Talk about what I'd do for this trip! Imagine how elated I was when I had to wait until the day came! Behold, upon seeing this post, all of you who rejected my invitation would burn in envy!

Countless questions arose, such as whether I used tour or alone, for how long, for how much, etc and EVERYTHING will be revealed in this article. So buckle up, it'll be one hell of a long article. It might just be the longest one in this blog YET! Love you, my readers! I really wish that this article will help you picture what it's like in Turkey. Although I might not be able to explain in vivid detail since I have memory problems. Let's start it out!!

Alright, so I took the vacation with ATS vacations (no endorsement!), I've told so many people already so I'm not gonna bother answering since everything will be here! GRRR! Anyway, I purposely took an off season to get much better price! I don't like my photos obstructed by too many people! I went in the beginning of may, 10 days and 8 nights (first and last night was spent on the plane!) I chose ATS because of many factors, but the most simple one is just because they offered direct flight from Jakarta to Istanbul. Yup, THAT simple! Of course there were other travels that offered the same flight, but none was this interesting in my opinion. Indirect flight had you obliged for a transit in Abu Dhabi. My flight took me 11hrs with Turkish Airlines, but thanks to brilliant ATS, they always pick sleeping hours in local time, meaning you don't have to feel restless. I slept throughout the flight!

How much did it cost for the tour? It differs and depends on, let's say, where you'd want to stay in Cappadocia. The infamous cave hotel in Cappadocia costs IDR 16,990,000 per pax, while regular 5-star hotel costs IDR 15,990,000. 1mill difference. The price did not include Turkey Visa for IDR 450,000 per person and tipping for tour leader, local guide, and driver, OH and also the hot air balloon ride. How much was the balloon ride? You gotta read it through!

You're gonna go through my itinerary chronologically, so you'll get ALL the details on day to day basis! I arrived to Istanbul at 5a.m. local time (9am Jakarta time, yep, 4hrs difference!). It wasn't dark at 5 in Istanbul, and the sunrise and sunset in Turkey was weird. The nights were shorter! Sun sets at around 8.30pm! That's why it felt like a long time in Istanbul. BTW! Pop fact, Istanbul is not the capital of Turkey anymore. It is Ankara now. The temperature here varies, in Istanbul it's around 20 degrees celsius in May, so it feels like being in a well air-conditioned room all the time, which is great. Just wear whatever you usually wear when you go out to the malls!

This place is well known for its high crime rate, especially pickpockets. Be careful of your belongings! Also, the traffic jam here is similar to Jakarta despite having already had tram, commuter rail, metro, ferry, and even seabus. It's such a developed city! 

When we got into Istanbul, we had breakfast in Warung Nusantara. The owner is, of course, an Indonesian who married a Turkish. There were nasi uduk, mie goreng, perkedel, cabe ulek, etc but you just can't compare it to what you eat in Indonesia. Perhaps there were some spices that are unavailable in Turkey so they have slightly different taste. Near there, I found this one baklava shop called Sembol, where I tried their Su Boregi.

Here it is! The turkish traditional pastry has crunchy outers like croissant, and a wet, cheesy lasagna-ish texture inside.

Taraaaaaa. This is how it looks like. I forgot the price tho :| Despite the size, it was kinda filling!

We didn't spend the night in Istanbul because in the last day we'd be back here. We travel to each city by bus, which makes it kinda like a road trip. Prepare yourselves for a lot of toilet stop in gas stations though. Might sound tedious, but look at this view! I don't mind at all.

Some of the public toilets have prices, some aren't. Just like here in Indonesia, but most of them costs around 1 lira: IDR 4,000 ish. A bit expensive for peeing cost!

We arrived at GALLIPOLI a.k.a. GELIBOLU after 3hrs bus ride! It's kinda like a port to ride the ferry.

Look at this! So cleann! I wish Indonesia could be like this too, hey we had the potentials! I'm talking to you, Jakarta!

Before the ferry, we had lunch at Gelibolu Balik Restaurant. It's all included in the tour, so we don't have to pay anymore!

Rice, salad, fries, and satay. I was super excited when I got to try middle east food, but after that... Hmm... No comment.

Here's the ferry I told you about! The bus also parked in the Ferry to accompany us through the ride! Crossing to Canakkale was only 30 mins, felt like nothing because I was busy taking photos! Also, I have no idea how much all of these costed, it was all managed by the tour!

It was hard not to be narcissistic! Don't hate me for it though! You'll find a lot of my face throughout this article. What can I say, Turkey is so beautiful!

The ferry doesn't make you get motion sickness, maybe thanks to its big size. There are outdoor and indoor area, and here's the outdoors!

Arrived to CANAKKALE! We were here to see TROJAN HORSE (well, it's "only" kinda a horse statue, except if you already know the story of Troy, which I won't bother telling here!), however I simply just love this seaside city kinda atmosphere. Die.


Near the horse, there's this 1 famous ice cream parlour called DOGAN PASTANESI. Just look at the crowd!

I ordered 3 flavors for 5 liras, meaning around IDR 20,000 ish for this beauty! I kinda had no idea about the flavor since everything was written in Turkish. So I guessed these would be chocolate, vanilla, and ermmm, hazelnut? HEHE.

Here in Turkey, this bread called Simit is really well known. Kinda like bagel, but really hard and tasteless. I don't really know how to eat it, they said it's the most common breakfast in Turkey.

Nogger oreo sandwich! I randomly bought it in the supermarket and it turned out so good! It was more like a soft cookie though, not crunchy.

That's it for Canakkale, then we went to AYVALIK for another 2 hrs bus ride. I really didn't mind the ride because the view was just so breathtaking. Enjoying every second here!

Ayvalik is a small town and coincidentally, the area around our hotel is also small. You can even take photos in the middle of the road, bud!

We stayed in a 4-star hotel called Musho Hotel.

5 mins walk could get you to a mini Carrefour. One of my favorite activity: local grocery shopping!

The back side of our hotel is the beach, baby! Despite the location, I love how the air is really fresh and not that humid. Also not that windy! This is the kind of zen, calming beach that you dream about!


The hotel room is neat and clean! Although it's not the kind of 5-star dazzling hotel.

Dinner time! Remember that I said it was still bright at 8pm? I have this weird habit of checking my GMT+7 watch and then think to myself DAMN AM I HAVING DINNER IN MIDNIGHT? It went on for like 10 days. I just couldn't get over the dread :')

We usually have dinner in whichever hotel we stayed in, which might have been their priority for efficiency, I guess. Well although the food is international cuisine, this one is too.. general. It's the kind of salad bar that I usually avoid when I'm in Jakarta aaandddd this is what I got for the night.

This is my lifesaver! Kind of a bread with cheese filling. I have no idea what it's called, but as long as it's good and bottomless.

As I was curious of the taste, I tried to give a try to most of the desserts. Some did not really suit my palate since they were too sweet, but some of them that I like were creme brulee and sponge cake (I know, so standard, don't judge me). After dinner, it's time to sleep! :') What a life!

Gunaydin! Meaning good morning in Turkey HAHA! I checked out of Musho Hotel and I was supposed to go down for breakfast. But I chose to preserve my time to sleep and... Chose to stay in the room..... Am I stupid or nah? XD

This day we were about to go on a boat tour to CUNDA ISLAND. Unlike the ferry trip, the bus didn't ride the boat! Gosh what made me in love was that each vessel felt so personal and well designed. Clean and neat, and sorry to compare but it's nothing like Jakarta's barely functional ships, as well as the fresh and clean water, UNLIKE....

Here's the ship to Cunda, which took about 40mins ride. Sea was calm, ship was big and stable.. Rest assured. It's another 40mins trip of joy and serenity.

It's me again WKKWKWW (here's how we Indonesians type our laugh. WKWK)

I don't understand either, as long as you guys might have known, I don't take that many selfies or ootd posts. But being here just made me wanna. The sceneries in Turkey were just too breathtaking to not take pics where I'd want to be part of it. 

Anyway, you can see that during the boat trip, you can see the city scenes on the right and left, which is an entirely different experience, again! 

Arrived at CUNDA ISLAND! When I got here the place was so quiet to the point it seemed like dying. I arrived pretty early and saw a lot of running coffee shops, which made me come into assumption that it'll actually be livelier during evenings.

The island is small, around the size of Gili Trawangan I guess. Lots of retail stores like local coffee shops, wine house, motel, souvenir stores. Yet what I really love is that everything here is so visually pleasing! Even their alleys are full of flowers, which makes things all the more romantic.

See what I'm talking about? The restaurants weren't even open yet when I came.

It's really unfortunate that I went to Cunda just for a kind of transit, and the tour didn't give us time to explore the alleys and city. After googling a bit of Cunda, this small town is beautifully colorful :')

You'll find these literally everywhere! Called the blue evil eye, it's locally believed to reject negative force. Interesting, can I use this to repel netijen nyinyir? JUST KIDDING! It comes in many materials and shapes, but are usually made of plastic and glass!

Fun fact: little dog breeds don't seem to exist in Turkey. Wherever I went, I see big sized dogs the size of a husky at least. Goshness!

That's it for Cunda! Errrr I wish I had more timeeeeee aaaaaa!!! It was so captivating! But I'm still grateful as the other tours didn't even have the offer to visit this place! So underrated tbh. Anyway I just realized that actually we walked all the way to the end of Cunda then rode OUR bus away, meaning we didn't need to take the boat tour, functionally speaking. But it's all about the experience though!

Had lunch at this place called Artemis restaurant in Kusadasi town, after a 3hrs long bus ride (and breathtaking views.)

Would you look at these :')

It's kind of a buffet restaurant. Most of the restaurants I visited were also visited by other tour groups. Might be one of their main business strategies, I guess.

They ain't half bad though. Look at these:

I honestly think it's not my kinda place. I'm not sure why, perhaps it kinda gave an eerie vibe? But anyway, there are these 3 paces, in which each of them has washbasin that symbolizes love, luck, and money, blessing you when you wash yourselves in it. Some even managed to drink it! Well, superstition or not, it's up to you to decide!

This wall is filled with people's wishes, and I did write one too! Since I didn't bring paper, I ended up writing mine on a tissue paper then tied it up!

I wrote some wishes to be precise, some serious, some dumb! Buttttt guess what! One of the dumb, silly wishes turned true in Turkey! I was shocked and amazed at the same time! One unfortunate event happened though. I sneakily tried to take a pic of one of these wishes (not mine), then my phone died just like that. I can't even. It came back on later with a story though, soo. EHEM LET'S CARRY ON!

It used to be a city though!! Can you imagine how big it would be? Now it's just an ancient remnant for tourists.

This city is already in ruin, said to be a victim to a massive earthquake. What used to have tall pillars like a kingdom is now just a thing of the past.

The one below is called HERCULES GATE. Don't ask me why, I'm also clueless!

The Library of Celcus is the third largest after Alexandria and Pergamum. It's said that this library used to have tens of thousands books. Insanity.

There were so much to explore, but I'm honestly not that good with historical ruins, all I know was just that the view is breathtaking as always.

This is Nike angel, why Nike? Because on the left bottom near its robe there were this Nike check symbol... eng... JUST KIDDING! In ancient Greek, Nike is called the Goddess of victory, hence its V mark and why the prominent sports brand used her name. Not sure about their relation with this statue though!

Just like I told you, the place is huge and spacious. It's tiring to just walk to the inside, and getting out took me just as long.

where they used to hold animal duels here! I regret not going upstairs! Can't imagine how good would it be to take a shot from high angle, but it was too hot at that day and now I just have nothing but regret :(

It's medusa......

LOL byeee, what matters is just that it's a cool place in Ephesus city. A must whenever you want to use the tour or a DIY! Since it was scorching, I bought this cornetto disc in toblerone flavor! It was SO good! Really tasted like toblerone, I swear!

So, remember that my phone died in the house of Virgin Mary? Thanks to that I got to take a long walk in the shores of Kusadasi! I tried all day long to restart, charge, remove the simcard, hard shutdown, and it didn't save me anything. So I told my local guide that I need to repair my phone however it'll take. Soo here I was, with my local guide Ahmet, a native Turkish! Anyway he took me to the repair store, and guess what, the guy only did the same thing I did: pressing the home and lock button at the same time, and voila! (it reads voala, in Indonesian pronunciation. Don't embarrass me.) the phone got resurrected like it's Easter! So anyway since it only took a moment, my kind tour guide took me for a round to the city, then we hung together over wine in a seashore diner!

I'm really grateful my phone broke so I got to travel the other part of KUSADASI. It's majestic, especially that I was there during the sunset. It's a resort city that is so romantic, great as a dating place! The town isn't as big as Istanbul, but certainly bigger than Ayvalik, so it's quite lively!

Kusadasi means bird island, so here's their monument:

So we stayed in this another 4-star hotel called Ramada Resort, whose rooms are bigger than our hotel in Ayvalik. This one has a living room with a pool view. I didn't get to explore the hotel since we got back pretty late after drinking wine over casual conversation! I enjoyed my time a little bit too much, I guess!

So I went to the leather factory in Kusadasi, which is a mandatory spot that might have been made so by their government, I suppose. But there's this beautiful photo spot! Anyway, the stuffs here are so good, especially their leather jackets. They even promote it by doing fashion shows, and I was chosen to do it as well! It was so embarrassing yet blood pumping!
See #lulabyspoonturkey on instagram to see my catwalk XD

Then we went to SIRINCE (meaning pleasant) Village, another 20 minutes bus trip. Not sure if there's only one entrance or not, but we got to get off the bus, hike through rocky path for around 5 mins, then through a small alley, we entered the village. This is a unique village in the western part of Turkey and well known for its wine. It's become kind of a tourist spot so you'll see foreigners here and a lot of souvenir stores.

So here's the Sirince "lobby". In this 1 spacious area, there's the restaurant, coffee shop, winery, souvenir stores, etc. Anything you buy here isn't covered by the tour, so you can eat and drink at your own expense. Anyway, since this place is mesmerizing, just feast your eyes on the visuals! :3

Now you know what I'm talking about. Great lights, chill weather.

Here's the winery! They even offer flavored wine selection such as strawberry and peach. Fun!

Anyway just as usual, you have to be smart (or thrifty) when you shop for souvenirs. They sometimes raise the price and my suggestion is not to shop at the lobby area. Walk around and find the smaller alleys where there were other merchants and you can get same items at a lower price! Worth the walk! Btw, unlike China, here you can't bargain for price XD

So that's it about Sirince, great for people who love to explore through small alleys and thrift shop! Unlike Jakarta, the "alleys" are photo worthy!

One of the historical site that I couldn't really get. It's all in ruins, said used to have 8 pillars and now they only have one left, incomplete... Not really my thing imo. As some Indonesians say it:
Unfaedah :')

Here it is...

Lunch time! I felt like a goat wkwkwkwkw (don't hate me, it's my real sarcastic laugh). I swear to the Lord my God this is one of the places where I almost didn't eat anything since almost nothing suited my palate. It's called Sofra Restaurant, near Artemis Restaurant where I had lunch yesterday. It's a buffet place. Vegetable. Buffet. God. Why.

My lifesaver this time! In this restaurant, they also sell lamb satays, which costed 20 lira a portion (around IDR 40,000). I had to pay for it myself though, but at least they taste great; the lamb didn't smell at all and well, more edible than raw veggies.

Gosh these are so huge and sweet! Found these beauties being sold in front of the restaurant. No regret.

Here we are at PAMUKKALE! Took us another 3hrs of bus from the restaurant. The paths were swirling and winding but I got to see a vast, refreshing farm view in autumn color. Peaceful. Anyway here's where you buy the ticket etc, which would be already get taken care of by the tour. No hassle. 

This place is huge. Inside it there was this The White Travertines (Cotton Castle Turkey), Cleopatra's Pool, a museum, and the ruins of Hierapolis. Really. Huge. They even got shuttle to get into it, but we chose to walk it off like we meant it! It's about the journey!

Lovely, ain't it? <3

Here's the COTTON CASTLE, all came in white with the hot spring. Anyway the spring is supposed to have more water (google it for reference) but I don't know what happened, the water level seemed to be receding.

It's suddenly crowded, why? Because it was the only area with water at that moment, so people crowded the place to just bask their feet in the spring water.

Anyway, that's what you get to see while you soak your feet. Seeing the city from uphill! Feel like staying here spacing out for a long time and forget about everything, especially work!

Don't ask what I was doing and I know I dressed the wrong outfit! So I had to go barefoot and put my sandals in the corner :)

Place was cold and windy, but the spring water was warm. Some people came here in bikinis to make it all the more instagenic!

Just to get to this place, I put a lot of effort since place was so slippery. It looks laid back, but there have been a lot of people slipped down here, the guide said.

Here's another viewing angle. Just like I said, place is gigantic. It's near the cliff so place is less crowded, and the area is also guarded by a security for safety measures!

Still in Pamukkale, within the same complex. This beauty is called the CLEOPATRA'S POOL. You don't need to pay to go in, but to swim there you have to, so I didn't. What's breathtaking about this pool is the turquoise colored warm water! I wish I had enough time to swim in, but we got in there a bit late.

Place kinda reminds me of waterboom, in the edge of the pool there are some snack kiosks (ice cream, hot dogs, nachos and the likes), but it was pricey knowing this is a tourist spot.

Hotel bound! It was a mere 10-15 mins ride from Cleopatra's Pool. We stayed in Hotel Colossae Thermal for the night in Pamukkale. Since it's the hill area, place is freezing, and I couldn't find coffee shops since the area is kinda rural. Soo I just hung out at the hotel, and thankfully the hotel's land is BIG.

The beautiful outdoor pool is freezing, but thankfully they have a warm indoor pool. You're required to wear swimsuit and headgear to swim there though.

Here's the indoor pool! Closed at 10pm, and around 9pm it was still crowded. The room is kinda humid and hot thanks to the hot water, so I sweated a little when I was taking photos.

Again, we always have dinner at the hotel, except later at Istanbul. However, food here is actually great and came in choices. Also, it's all you can eat! YAY!

I just knew in the morning, getting out the hotel to witness this majestic field view! Everyone literally took photo here. This day, the itinerary was to go to Konya to visit Mevlana Museum and Caravanserai, thennnn the long awaited Cappadocia! Pamukkale to Konya took 5hrs of bus trip, and it's a daily thing here! It's tiring sometimes, especially packing and unpacking every single night. But worth the adventure trip! 

During the trip, I found some hot air balloons as well at Pamukkale, but there weren't as many as Cappadocia's. It served well as a sneak peek for me and I couldn't wait to get to Cappadocia though! 

Since it was a 5hrs bus ride, we got into some stops. In this one I bought yoghurt with honey and opium (YES, OPIUM). Initially, I wasn't that interested at first, but it turned out good thanks to the honey! The opium tasted like sesames, in case you're wondering.

Here's my lunch that didn't turn out to be buffet style this time. Not sure why the cheese pizza was a bit sour, but their chicken wings are to die for! I forgot the restaurant's name, but I guess this place is pretty generic for tour takers. 

Here we are in KONYA! This is a mosque made a museum. I saw people still doing their prayers here. I didn't explore much, again, because historical buildings aren't really my thing, and ended up sitting in a corner of a coffee shop inside this museum. We had to take 10mins walk from the parking lot to this MEVLANA MUSEUM.

The outer part is just so beautiful for taking photos, thanks to Turkey's exotic architecture. 

They said these are grave pillars...

Spot for wudhu~

This is weird because we can see the hermit's beard cut... When the doors are open you can even enter, but it was closed when I was there. The box was transparent, and there was this small opening where some people could even smell it.... WHICH IS TOTALLY WEIRD FOR ME. Anyway, to enter the place you need to get your feet plastic-wrapped, to preserve hygiene, I guess.

Here's the interior, well I guess it's attractive enough for moslems and history enthusiasts?

It's crazy that every time I move to another city, the temperature drops, and after checking, I found out that I was visiting during winter! Well it could even snow in some areas, and despite the temperature being still around 15 degrees Celcius, the wind is what thrusts you to the bones! Before going, I only checked Istanbul's temperature, which was FRIENDLIER. As a result, I only brought spring/summer clothes with me and boy was I so wrong.

Here's the CARAVANSERAI in Konya. Back then it used to be the dwellings for merchants. To get in here you get to pay an additional fee, and we didn't go in because we peeked inside and there was this major construction project going on inside. All I saw was these bulldozers!

That's it for Konya! Then we rode the bus to Cappadocia for another 3hrs bus ride. You might have started thinking that this trip is really exhausting, but well the thing with joining a tour is that you get to visit as many places as possible during a limited time window. Kinda sucks that I didn't get to explore by feet much, but this tour itself covers half of Turkey! That's what makes the journey worthwhile, and besides, view was amazing so I ain't complaining!

In Cappadocia, I chose to stay at a regular 5-star hotel since it was cheaper compared to the infamous Fossil Cave Hotel. We stayed in this Ramada Hotel, the same brand as the one in Kusadasi that comes in a better version here! The place is so crowded with tourists here and there were even students doing field trip! Anyway, I really love the food in this hotel and it felt like nutrition replenishment! They also offer buffet selection with a really wide variety of menus!

Woke at 4:30 in the morning just for the hot air balloon ride! YAYY! Well it's 8.30am in Jakarta time so it didn't feel that early. I feel super blessed to be able to get in this ride because it hugely depends on the weather and wind. I have a friend who went here 2 times just for the balloon ride and both FAILED. I can't even imagine coming here for naught! Thank God! I'll be honest with you, this is my MAIN reason to visit Turkey. No kidding!

In order to get here, we got picked up at the hotel with a minivan from the company that offered the balloon ride, 15mins from the hotel. It costs UDS 220 per person, which was around IDR 3,000,000 during my stay here. It varies for different tours though! An acquaintance said that other tours could also offer price around USD 250-300, so I consider myself lucky!

One basket could fit in 15 people. The basket is tall so we climbed a ladder to get into it. There were this briefing regarding safety and landing. WEAR WINDBREAKER! I wore clothing as if I'd go to the malls in Jakarta and it was one of the worst decisions in my life (hyperbolic HAHA).

1 pilot per basket, and what's awesome is that you could actually set the height and make turns with this balloon! So cool huh?! The ride took around 1 hour of feeling being in paradise. Wind was so calm you could even set your hair and makeup in that height!

Let's go UPPPPP!!!!! enjoy the view <3

They also have their own cameras that can take video and photos, hung on the balloon to record the whole journey. You gotta pay to get the files though. So what we did was... Getting someone to buy and share the fee XD

We were brought really high and it was foggy everywhere, and here I was tested for my endurance to cold :')

But hey, aren't you wearing a sweater? No I'm not. This is the typical thin fabric sweater that is only for style despite its furry looks. Now I know that visuals aren't everything!

When you're about to land, they will tell you where to face and you had to squat to brace for impact. The impact wasn't much, but you just need to be safe. When we landed, a car was already on standby for pickup, including for the balloon's basket. Salute to those people who can just aim the landing so precisely on the car.

Here's the basket where we stood, above.


Anyway you even got a certificate for having participated on the ride. Not useful for your professional CV, but certainly is for your personal CV :) It's about living life!

You get complimentary champagne, with a tip box for some appreciation to the great service!

Cheers for...ME MYSELF AND I!!!!

NAH here's the famous FOSIL CAVE HOTEL where some of the tour members stayed in! The place is less crowded and price might be the factor, also the food here is on set, not buffet.

It really is a unique place to take photos in. Too bad my outfits were limited, so I couldn't take that many ootd varieties!

It's the view, and imagine the lights until the hills getting LIT at night time! That's the view you're paying for! Google it if you're curious :P

Room tour! as big as the one in Ramada, but it has more of a Cappadocia feel in it!

After the balloon ride, we had breakfast in the hotel and then some time to break before exploring Cappadocia later in the afternoon. What I love about Cappadocia is LOTS of beautiful sites to visit in short distance, making the visit worthwhile. But I didn't get to catch on some sleep during the long bus ride as I usually did!

Traveling Cappadocia, you'll see this brown ish hills of Cappadocia with pale sky that gives off pretty melancholic vibe.


The hills here are going ups and downs and you gotta be careful when being here! When I visited this place, there was a tourist that broke his leg and got carried away with a stretcher. It all happened because this place seemed harmless while it's actually slippery and sandy.

Place is also huge so you can climb around and explore it to the back, but since I haven't climbed for a long time, I didn't have the guts to hike.

We went to PASABAG (VALLEY OF THE MONKS) right after Camel Valley. So here's the village that is shaped like a mushroom, or penis, however you'd want to view it. Well, seeing is believing!

They got a cafe across the street, in case you're too tired or bored to take a walk around town.

See? This is as far as I can see! 

Place is so crowded with a diverse type of people. Some people even approached me to take photos together. Weird, I felt like a celebrity! male, female, old, or young, they love taking photos with you! I was so confused if I was the only person or is this a culture here, but it only happened in Cappadocia. They are so casual in asking to take pictures though, like old friends!

It's me again...... hello XD

Another bucket list checked? The cost to ride a camel for one is more expensive compared to the couple price. 1 camel per person was 20 lira, while if you share it for 2, it costed 30 lira.

It's a church that is shaped in caves, made a museum now. I swear this place was SO crowded I couldn't even take many photos. So the story was that Catholicism used to be strong here until the age of Ottoman, converted everyone into Islam. Every photo inside this church is painted white by the emperor due to his hatred towards Catholicism. To see some of the painting, you have to enter the caves, a lot of them, which I didn't do.

Since I'm not a history person, I took pictures of the exteriors, which was dazzling just look at that!

Here's the church more or less! It's unique, huh? I didn't go up there since they didn't allow photo taking anyway.

As usual, you had to take walk around 10mins from the bus parking. The road was smooth and not that steep though, and you'd find a lot of kids selling souvenirs here.

Here it is! It used to be used to take shelters so everything is made of rocks and the wonderful thing about this place is that the temperature inside is always stable, no matter the season! Ain't it great?

Not all of the items here are real relic of the past, but are samples of the authentic. In this underground city, they have kitchen, winery, bedroom, etc except for toilets. They didn't know for how long should they stay in the hideout, so they purposely didn't build the toilet to avoid bacteria growth inside.

This is also one of the mandatory itinerary from the tour. I quite love this place since the items here weren't that pricey and also really good to be bought as souvenirs! All of them are also personal since they were hand painted!

The trip to this place was real brief since it rained down, so we only peeked to the place then got back to the bus. The front part was already really good though! Also saw a tree with the blue evil eyes (again).

There were lots of pigeons here and I'm happy to have captured the moment perfectly <3

I keep saying it but... the view here is just majestic. You can see the hills of Cappadocia in panoramic view where you can visit cafes and shops on the streets. There are also camels to ride if you'd want to!

The Turkish ice cream is already a part of the tour so I had no idea of its actual price! What I love about Turkish ice cream is their chewy and soft texture, and takes long for them to melt. Also, we got a photoshoot session with traditional Ottoman dynasty outfits as part of the tour. I didn't upload mine because I looked horrendous in it HAHAHAHAHAH :(

Here's the panoramic view of Pigeon Valley! Ain't it beautiful?

Maybe you can see the balloons fly in the morning here :))) Too bad I was IN the balloon, so I didn't get to take the picture of drinking coffee with the balloons in the background!

Here's what I said, this family asked me to take picture together! I'm touched though, love you guyss!!

After exploring Cappadocia, we watched BELLY DANCE in the evening in YASSAR BABA RESTAURANT. No idea about the price since it was part of the tour. The place offered a lot of refillable nuts, beers, wine, raki, etc. Heavenly, huh? It's kinda like a night club but you got to sit on a long table with the dance floor at the center. Anyway, how they dance is really different than we do!! The crowd got into it at around 10pm though! Well since I'm a woman, obviously the belly dance wasn't my thing.

The morning in Cappadocia we went to a jewelry shop called Goreme Onyx, welcomed with this blue sky in Pigeon Valley! So happy! 

Another blue evil eye! I found the most of these in Cappadocia. Obsessed.

Leaving Cappadocia, we were heading to Bolu. However, we had to transit in the capital of Turkey: ANKARA! We had to visit Ataturk Museum (Anitkabir) for 3hrs bus ride. Here's one of our toilet stop view:

The one on the left is Meillisah Budiman, my tour guide from Indonesia! View is pretty with lavenders!

Here's another picture of Ahmet, my local guide. He looked old thanks to his hair, but he said he was only 36! Still love this guy though!

The journey to Ankara was through the highway with the view of LAKE TUZ, the second largest salt lake in Turkey. Anywayy we got to stop there to take a view. From afar the color looked purple-pinkish, although approaching it closer it turned back to blue.

This is in the corner of the street. Cray. Anyway they said that the salt can heal you from itch, and hence you can buy the salt from the local merchants. Oh well.

Another misplaced outfit......

The child of one of my tour members is just so cute!

Here we are in Ankara! In this ATATURK MUSEUM you get to see historical relics and paintings from times old, including Moses' stuff. It kinda served the same purpose as Monas, only much better curated and well taken care of! You can take pictures inside but you're not allowed to use flashlights.

The soldier was guarding the entrance, not allowed to move an inch. The shift is per hour and they had to stay still while tourists take photos with them! Attractive! ...also physically speaking

Here's the museum exterior. Getting in here doesn't cost you and this hall is famous for photos, that even school graduations and weddings use this site for their group photos.

Place is so beautiful, eh? I entered from the left side, and you can walk to the other end to see all the artworks and historical relics.

That's a wrap for Ataturk Museum and off we go to Bolu! Another 2hrs drive with breathtaking views!

Again, it was already late when we got to the hotel so we had dinner here, in Hotel Hampton by Hilton. Bolu is cold, same as Cappadocia. It's under 10 degrees celcius and we had to stay in Bolu before returning to Istanbul since the journey would be very tiring. Anyway I really love the tour since they manage the time well, and most of the trips were already adjusted so that we wouldn't be that exhausted.

There's a shopping mall near the Hampton named V14 Burda! 15mins walk got us there, although the cold was crazy. We had to walk since we were a big group although we could've booked for a cab. Anyway, we shopped some snacks in the supermarket, called Migros.

Anyway, my recommendation for snacks are here! It's a must since all of us Indonesians love foreign snacks HA! Milka, Eti, Ulker, and Biscolata are the things! Each of them came in different variants though, such as Eti has brownies, chocolate bar, biscuits, etc. Meanwhile Biscolata has something similar to Hello Panda and Pocky. Anyway, those 4 brands are my main recommendation! They also have savory snacks such as lays etc of course, but I prefer these.

In the morning, we left Bolu to go back to Istanbul. Took us around 3hrs by bus, and as usual I skipped my breakfast at the hotel because I chose to have more sleep. Anyway I got starving later that day so I bought Starbucks' pastry at the toilet stop. 

Here's where you get into BOSPHORUS CRUISE! It has a tight schedule so we shouldn't be late. The whole ship was filled by our own group though, which was awesome since the boat wasn't that big either. It's included in the tour so it's hassle free!

The Bosphorus Bridge connects Asia and Europe. Across this was already another continent, and to be honest I forgot in which side did I take this picture...

Here's the cruise! There are 2 stories, indoor and outdoor. Cruise took around 30mins, and we could've taken the bus, but we're here for experience!

Worth the cruise. So beautifully picturesque. It's like a city tour where you can etch its architecture in your heart.

We got off in a port, so we had to walk again to the big roads. There were a lot of merchants since this it already in Istanbul. While in the big city, remember about the pickpockets!

It's you again simittttttttt!

The place where we had lunch is called Sirena, located under a bridge, parallel to other restaurants on the same street. We had seafood at the seashore!

Portion's so small though :(

After lunch, we went to this TOPKAPI PALACE, the sultan's residence. It's closed on Tuesdays, and remember, Istanbul's traffic is also jammed. So if you want to have a city tour, manage your time well!..or walk barefoot like we did!

FYI, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia are all within 1 area, so you can visit all of them if you want. Since we got 2 days in Istanbul, we only went to Topkapi today, the rest will be for tomorrow!

Here's the facade! Buy the entrance ticket here and you'll find some entrances. Sultan must be really rich since palace was huge. Inside there was also a museum, but then again, I'm a visual kinda person.

AAAA look at that rose gardenn!

If you explore much, you can get upstairs to capture this:

Then, we went to visit the GRAND BAZAAR, 20mins walk, since the bus will take longer.

The Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays, so make sure first with your itinerary if you'd wanna visit this place. Place is huge and has thousands of stores with countless entrances and alleys, so... be careful! I didn't really like this place since it kinda reminds me of Mangdu. Also since I'm an Asian, everyone NI HAO-ed me. Annoying.

When everyone was shopping, I hung at this Orient Cafe

Obviously unrelated to the tour, I spent for these with my own money, although my local guide ordered for me. Pretty standard, they sell steaks with fries and yoghurt sauce. Not really my thing though. Also, I got a steak that is a mix of beef and lamb, grounded, that costed me around 50-55 Lira. Overpriced.

Kebab also costed around 50-55 lira. Anyway since I got here I just knew that kebab means meat, not the meat wrapped in tortilla flour. So here's the sliced beef on top of fried bread in cubes with yoghurt sauce. I don't know why they love this yoghurt thingy, not really my thing although this one's still good. I also ordered 1 slice of cheesecake and 1 tortellini pasta for 25 lira.

After that, I went to a baklava shop named Hakki Zade 1864. It's around the corner so even if you sit outside, the pollution won't get to you. Anyway the baklava here is making me kinda addicted. Really different and much better than what I've tried in Jakarta.

You can order per portion of 4 or just a piece. A piece costs around 5 lira, and I ordered walnut flavor. This one is crunchy yet wet on the inside. The sweetness is the same, but I love their contrasting texture. 


It's called Kunefe, and my local guide shouted (paid for) me on this. It's a hot dessert and you get to choose if you'd want ice cream on top. 

The crunchiness came from coconut flakes, and inside there's melted cheese and also cheese ice cream on top. I think it's better to share a portion since the flavor's a bit overwhelming.

Then we went to have Chinese dinner in a place called East and Food Chinese Restaurant. Many tours are going there though, so taste was kinda okay. After that, we went on our way to our place in Istanbul called Radisson Blu Residence. It's a newly built apartment and it was the best place to stay during my trip here! I got a room with 2 bedrooms, one for each person, 2 bathrooms, washing machine, kitchen, and living room for just 2 persons. SUPERB. If you wanna take a look at the photos, you can find it on my story highlights at instagram @cnlulaby HAHAHAHA it's exclusive baby!

We have the whole day to explore Istanbul! Having to go back to Jakarta the day after at 2am, we had to check out from Radisson Blu and pack everything to put it in the bus. Sleeping on the plane!

First one was the BLUE MOSQUE. You can't wear anything tight or revealing here, also not to show your thigh, and to cover our hair with pasminah (kinda like scarf). Thankfully all have been briefed by my tour leader, so we didn't have to rent anything.

The mosque was closed not long before we came here for renovation, and we're grateful it was already open when we came! The building is so beautiful and you'll find out soon!

It's called the Blue Mosque because the ceiling is.. blue. That's it. And btw, you have to wrap your shoes in plastic to go in. Mandatory.


I really love how they do their ceilings with all those ethnic carvings! It's really hard to describe, sometimes you gotta see it for yourselves. The height, the ambiance.

The wudhu place!

Now we're heading to HAGIA SOPHIA (the locals know it as AYASOFYA), which is just across the street. Anyway it was hot that day, but at least the sky is blue, thanks to that! 

Ayasofya has this pink peach color mood. It used to be a chirstian church, but since Ottoman's, it has become a mosque. 

Here's the garden in the entrance. Dazzling. 

Anyway this is also a simit that came in chocolate flavor! love this btw, it's not as hard as the bagel shaped one. It's 3 lira for 1, 5 lira for 2. Promotion!

It's closed on Mondays, so keep that in mind. It's also a museum where you had to go through x-rays to come in. It's included in the tour, and the crowd was crazy.

I have to admit the architecture of this place is the best among the beautiful buildings I've ever seen in Turkey. Luxury and class. Every inch.

Too bad the left wing was being renovated, this one looks kinda like a ballroom, no? 

Here's how you get to level 2: Through the narrow hallway. Beware, it's slippery! 

The square is still within the same area! Fasting period just started here so I saw people breaking the fast in a picnic kinda manner. So cuteee!! 

It's close to Sirena, the restaurant from yesterday. I tried the famous FISH BREAD/ FISH SANDWICH in Cafe Seyr-I Derva today! It was on a street where everyone sold the same stuff, so I just had to get one!

Their kitchen is on the ship, so they grilled it there while we sat on land. Crowd was insane though. Packed.

1 sandwich goes for 10 lira (40k IDR). I got lettuce, onion, and fish with condiments such as lemon juice and salt. Fish was really fresh but I got to season it to gain some taste. 

Here's what they call SPICE BAZAAR. Got here through a tunnel from the fish bread merchant. It looks like the Grand Bazaar, only smaller and has only this hallway. But they sell pretty much similar stuffs with the same ni haos.

So here they got chocolate, nuts, and Turkish Delight. Lovely, but pricey at around hundred of thousand rupiahs. Testers tasted GREAT though! 

Here's for retail shopping, outdoor style! They have the big brands such as Zara, H&M, Adidas, Nike, etc. The downtown!

Didn't get to experience the tram here...

The branded goods have similar price to Jakarta, even pricier, so I ended up in this well known Baklava shop called Mado. Big and luxurious, it reminded me of Paul in Jakarta.

Apart of baklava, they also have ice cream, which are not as chewy as Turkish ice cream. This one was strawberry nutella.

It's called: Dovme Dondurmali Havuc Dilimi 17 lira (almost 70k!). It's basically Baklava made ice cream sandwich. Double sweetness, double happiness, especially that they use pistachio baklava with cheese ice cream. Gosh. Agh. Crunch meets snow.

Store is kinda the relative of Hakki Zade 1864 which I visited at Grand Bazaar yesterday. Logo and everything proved it! I tried chocolate baklava this time, which are as good. Not sure with Indonesians, but you can buy some and bring it home, although they taste really sweet and kinda pricey. 

Next to Hafiz Mustafa Taksim Square, this one is the most average tasting baklava store. Still better than the ones in Jakarta, but this one is not crunchy, more like gooey.

I ordered the one with ice cream called Kesme Dondurma Tabaklari (Hand Churned Ice Cream Plates). Forgot the price, but Mado was more expensive. At least the menu got pictures, which helped a lot! Love their chocolate ice cream, and those white stuffs were cheese and vanilla!

Enough with baklavas! Stopped by at Burger Lab in Istanbul to try something for a change, that costed 49 lira (IDR 200k ish). Overpriced, I know. But at least they came in big size and tasted quite great.

As I said, first and last day were only me sleeping on the plane, so the trip totaled in 8 days! So anyway, here are my main tips for traveling in Turkey:

- Most of the people are moslems, so it's better to wear polite outfits. The caucasians here are kind, but they kind of giving you the stare, so it's kinda annoying. Perhaps because they rarely see women in plain view.
- Bring some floss or crackers if you hate lamb or veggies like me. It helps, and you won't find pork here!
- Check each city's temperature, since the difference is quite extreme!
- Never lose your soft lens like me. It's a lot of hassle and it costs around IDR 600k here.
-You put in your shopping items to your shopping bag every time you shop in a supermarket.
-Turkish mostly don't speak English, prepare some google translate.
-I use telkomsel as my sim card by activating the Umroh package from Jakarta. SUPER RECOMMENDED. Go for *266# and I used the 10GB for IDR 375k. Also prepare some wifi modem if you'd like.
-If you came in April, you can visit Emigran park and see a lot of tulips.
- Just say water when you want still water, because here mineral water means sparkling water. 
- McD only has burgers and ice cream, and BK has slightly different breakfast menu and the rest are the same.

1 comment:

  1. Postingannya seru banget! Jadi pengin balik ke Turkiiii~ (T-T)/