2015 Europe Trip: Charms of Istanbul & Safety

Practically the only place in this world that you could cross continents in a min! If you are looking for such fun. Istanbul is the place for you. Frankly speaking, I am not really a good person to go to for tips in this city, since this part of the trip turn out to be sort of a surprise for me! The answer to your question being the only country where the doubt to associate it being Asia or Europe would be Istanbul. Haha, you could definitely tell your friend that you are coming from Asia side to meet up in Europe.

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Charming, historically and impressively full of past empires, Istanbul has much for travellers to enjoy. Especially they are a super power of the past, definitely can be say as the US of A of the heydays. The Ottoman Empire were a huge thing, their land and control spread much of southern Europe, Middle East, Africa and even Asia. Personally I feel, the attractions of Istanbul is definitely the charms, which I had also feel to experience this time during my stay here! 😦

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Perhaps due to the unconsidered and fail research of mine, I had already been creeped out by the hotel and all I was looking forward to was the amazing flight on Business back to Singapore! This trip was by far the longest trip I had ever taken, 20 days in total, so maybe I was already pretty missing my home at this moment of time. Something positive that I have taken out of this trip was being so much appreciative of the safeness we enjoyed in Singapore! That’s why people always say, travelling is an enjoyable way of learning! I was pretty scared of Istanbul. Probably too much of ISIL watching, the feeling just makes me too scared and overrun all my adventures cells. Especially after my encounter during my very first night in this city. Till today, this story still remain one of my top few when sharing about my adventures and travels! Perhaps, you get a great story in exchange for some safeness!  While out of my hotel during the first night, heading towards Taksim Square some guy in a tshirt and black suit just approach me, at first I thought that it was some scams or people trying to get donation like in Europe, but they he say something to me and hold up his passport, the only thing that I hear is Syria! That just gave me creeps man! Making all of us believe that this place is unsafe at all! At first in doubt, this just makes us certain. Still angry that I miss out on all the great places in Istanbul. Damn! At least I will have a good story to tell right?

Anyway, currently I am still very excited and interested in this city and I would love to return one day! Hopefully I would have more guts to say! Let’s just say I would not recommend this destination for the family but a rather more adventurous one! Another issue is also the landscape of this place. Istanbul is actually quite hilly and there are many cobbled walking pathway and slope, certainly not suitable for the young and elderly. A good pair of walking shoes will definitely be recommended. It would also be good to go during the chilly season too. Definitely can’t imagine how it would be like to explore this area under the hot sun!

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About Istanbul, I didn’t really go to many places except for Taksim Square and Istiklal Street, this street is known to be the most famous one in the city, full of people and shops, just like the Gran Via in Madrid. However despite it’s charms, it’s so crowded and frankly speaking, not maintained at all. Although I did get one good picture from this trip. The trams are a known thing here, although poorly maintained and way too overcrowded!

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Ahha, then let’s talk about the food in Istanbul, almost miss out on this! Although Istanbul might be aligned with the west these days, it is still a pre-dominative Muslim country, which means that you can’t find pork in this city. The main food of Istanbul revolves around Chicken or Lamb. The Kebabs are a must try, the wraps are also nice. However given that we don’t eat Lamb, chicken is all what we have throughout our stay in Istanbul, which makes it kind of sian. Although Fish is another popular choice here, given the close proximity to the Sea, it is an pricey option. I definitely love the wrap during my first few meals here. Next up, Turkish delights. This is the local delicacy and a great souvenir for tourists, although not a fan of it, I did try and love it. The nuts and sugar blend well and when it’s warm, it just pairs so well with another favourite, Turkish Ice Cream. The ice cream here is different as it’s more sticky than usual with some spices they add into the mixture! For those with a sweet tooth, this will be your love here!

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I shall just let some pictures make up for this post, not really a good review in my view, but hope you guys will enjoy the Charms.

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Next up, I will be finishing this whole series with the last two posts, review of the best business class lounge in the world and also a great flight back to my home. I would also share with you guys my thoughts in the last post. Anw, for those readers whom have been to Istanbul, do drop me a comment and let me know what have I miss out on.

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