A Steamy Turkish Bath Experience

“You don’t leave Turkey without going to a hamam.”

I was told by everyone from travel guides, hotel staffs to newly-made friends that a hamam (Turkish bath) experience is not to be missed. It’s a cultural thing—some of the hamams in Istanbul even date back to the Empire days.

Sadly, I missed the historical hamams in Istanbul. But I quickly made up for it with not just one, but two Turkish bath visits in my next Turk cities.

Continue reading

The Surreal Landscape & Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia

From Day 1 to Day 6, mountains, oceans, deserts, glaciers and waterfalls were created.

On Day 7, Mother Nature went batshit insane, replicated the hardcore landscape of Mars and named them “fairy chimneys” for the lulz. That’s the only logical hypothesis I can think of, because NO other place on Earth looks remotely like Cappadocia!!!

Continue reading

Ephesus & Library of Celsus: How I Fell in Love with Ruins

I hate ruins.

OK, let me rephrase that—I thought I would hate ruins.

I don’t fly half way around the globe to be roasted under the sun and stare at shapeless rubble. If it wasn’t for the Temple of Artemis hype, I wouldn’t have bothered at all. Which is funny, because my Temple of Artemis expectation crumbled quickly and Ephesus emerged as the true highlight of Selcuk.

Continue reading

Are the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World Worth Visiting? My Temple of Artemis Experience

No, I’m not talking about the Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal or Colosseum.

I’m talking about the original list that was made by early wanderers back in 140 BC—not one of the many recent reincarnations that tourist operators and destination marketers tried to shove down our throat. Continue reading

Istanbul Historical Sites: Palaces, Mosques & More

“I only have two afternoons to explore the whole of Istanbul!”

I was a complete fool who booked an Emirates flight to Turkey to accommodate for nothing more than a busy one-week conference.

“One week is more than enough,” I told myself. I don’t think there’s anything much to see there—the sooner I return home, the better. Right? Continue reading