Photos

Bergama Theatre Bergama Trajan Temple Dalyan Lycian Tombs Kaprulu Kanyon Afrodisias Tetrapylon Demre Beach Ortahisar Volcanic Plug Goreme Sunset View Yoruk Turquoise Treasures and Volcanic Vistas draw Travellers to Turkey
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Travel Tips

Travel Tips

travel tips, can you drink the water in Turkey
This page lists provides tips and ideas from various posts and various days throughout the trip in one easy to find place. Keep coming back as this page will be updated as the trip description gets posted. See the Getting Started page for advice on currency, hotels and travel mode (car rental).   


Drinking Water


Is the water safe to drink?  We were told by books and other travellers not to drink the water.  During the trip, we realized we were eating the salad that came with our meals.   Having backpacked in developing nations, we can say that if the water is not safe then you cannot eat any raw vegetables, add ice to your drink, or eat watermelon (it is 91% water).  In fact, you can only have hot drinks and food.  You cannot even brush your teeth with tap water.   We have been sick even when we were careful. 

So clearly, the water in Turkey is not that bad.  According to a Mexican-American doctor, it just may have bacteria you are not used to.  Maybe we were more adapted to different bacteria by our travels. However, to be on the safe side, we sterilized the water in our stainless steel water bottle using a UV light called SteriPen, which you can get at Mountain Equipment Coop or your local backpacking store.   It is used by aid workers around the developing world. Ninety seconds of stirring the light wand in your water bottle sterilizes the water, as long as it was clear to begin with.  Do not use this system on dirty or cloudy water from streams, et al. 
   

Istanbul Museum Card

 
This card should be boycotted by all tourists as it is not good value. 
  • You only break even by going to at least the four main places - a card should give a discount.
  • It is limited to three days - most tourists do not want to spend every minute of every day going to museums for three days in a row.
  • You can only go to each museum once - no re-entry: that is too restrictive, especially if you came late and did not finish.  With this rule why is there a limit on the number of days!  Most national park passes throughout the world allow unlimited entry over a certain time period. 
  • It does not include the Basilica Cistern!!

  Photography Tips

  • You should always plan for redundancy: multiple memory cards, multiple batteries, et al. 
  • Back up photos to an on-line site like Dropbox.
  • Most hotels provide low speed internet service.  If you have a DSLR, forget about backing up your RAW files.  Save your picture in both RAW and JPEG formats and only upload JPEGs. 
  • Only upload the best photos that you do not want to lose to reduce the time required.   

Touts


We avid travellers tend to only talk about the positive experiences because travel is exciting and renewing. One thing that is irritating is the attempt to get you the tourist to buy things. It would be acceptable if it was low key. But one problem is the touts that do not give up.

This is not unique to Turkey by any means. One of the worst places is the area around Sultan Ahmed Parki in between the mosques and Aya Sophia. Another place are some of the shops in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. My sister (on a separate trip) gave up on visiting the Grand Bazaar because of the constant haranguing, because they do not take no for an answer.
 
N.B.: Except for Istanbul, you will hardly notice this elsewhere in Turkey. 
 
Some more talented touts try to befriend you, tell you interesting tidbits, and tag along saying look at this feature or that aspect. We got fooled by one such tout because he was so friendly and well spoken. We like meeting the people so one has to be open and friendly. Only later he asked if we would like to visit a carpet factory.  Ouch!

A few times touts said baldly, “let me spend all your money”. I replied “you’ll not get my business with that line”. Having been trained well in India and Egypt, my usual response is to just ignore these people or just gesture no and walk on. I found they learn quickly that I am not interested. A few times when I said nothing, the touts pretended that I replied and carried on an amusing conversation with themselves acting out what they thought I should have said. The best thing is not to get worked up and just take it stride.


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