Announcement: Kabataş Pier in Construction

Hey guys, I just want to inform you that Kabataş Pier is currently under construction for the Metro M7 Line (Kabataş – Mahmutbey) which will connect Kabataş to Mecediyekoy onwards directly. What’s in Mecediyekoy? One of my favourite shopping mall in Istanbul, Cevahir Shopping Mall! It used to be the biggest shopping mall in Europe.

For those who had been in Istanbul, and had experienced the Tramvay, Funikuler & Metro M2 (Yenikapi – Hacisoman Line), there is no direct metro from Sultanhamet to Mecediyekoy, in fact you have to make the interchange in Kabataş; from tramvay to funikuler, and from funikuler to metro. So the governement decided to build a new metro line in Kabataş and make it easier and faster for the folks to travel (and save more money of course, yay!)

Because of the construction, Kabataş Pier had been closed to public and it will only be opened again once it is finished. The metro line is expected to complete by 2018. The new Metro M7 Line (Kabataş – Mahmutbey) stations will be as follows:

  • Kabataş (transfer to: T1, F1, İDO)
  • Beşiktaş
  • Darphane
  • Fulya
  • Mecidiyeköy (transfer to: Metrobüs, M2)
  • Çağlayan
  • Kağıthane
  • Nurtepe
  • Alibeyköy
  • Yeşilpınar
  • Veysel Karani
  • Akşemsettin
  • Kazım Karabekir
  • Yenimahalle
  • Karadeniz Mahallesi (transfer to: T4)
  • Tekstilkent
  • Yüzyıl
  • Göztepe
  • Mahmutbey (transfer to: M3)

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So guys,  again please be reminded that if you wish to visit Princes’ Island, you will need to take the boat from Eminönü instead from now, since Kabataş Pier is closed. Hope this helps. Adiós!

#island #istanbul #travelblog #backpacking #budgettravel

Caravanserai: The Hans of Grand Bazaar And Where To Find Them

Caravanserai, the 1st time I’ve heard this word was in 2008 when I came to Turkey for touristic purposes (gosh I sound like I am applying for residence permit!). It was the name of one of few well known restaurant which offers you marvelous belly dancing & other folks’ dances and songs performances while you indulge in your delicious meal. (God, now I sound like I’m selling tours, lol!) 

Back then I didn’t know much about the Silk Road, Turkish culture nor Seljuk history. I didn’t even bother to ask what is caravanserai. I am ashamed to say that I was indeed – ignorant. After living in Istanbul for quite some times, I realized that caravanserai plays an important part in Turkish history. There are many caravanserais all over Turkey, and the biggest one in Turkey is the Sultanhani in Aksaray, which is located on the old Silk Road, heading to Konya.

Okay, what do we know about hans aka caravanserai? They are actually inns for traveling merchants in the olden days. Caravanserai were available everywhere, covering North Africa, Asia, and Southeastern Europe especially along the Silk Road. So basically, in modern day han or caravanserai would be known as roadside motels but with more sophisticated functions, there are rooms to sleep, free services to look after the animals and feed them and also open flea market at the same time. In Turkey itself there were hundreds of caravanserai along the Silk Road and they were all free of charge for the 1st 3 days only. All caravanserais have the same architecture, they all look like a castle, with tall wall surrounding it and there’s always one pavillion mosque for the travelers to perform their prayers in. The government will provide all security guards, imam (for prayers), and general workers to keep the caravanserai running for free. Of course these people got paid by the government, but the government were not making money from the caravanserai itself.

So caravanserai, han, which is which? Well, they are basically the same thing. Caravanserai (Kervansaray in Turkish) is a word originating from Persian language and it was used for huge inn, served as road station outside of towns. However, the smaller inn built inside a town is called by its Turko-Mogolian name, Khan. As time goes by the Turks also started calling it as Han. Since there is no such letter as ‘Kh’ in Turkish language, the Turks find it hard to pronounce it; thus the omission of the 1st letter, ‘K’.

One of many interesting things I have heard about caravanserai or han in the olden days, traveling merchants will drop in, keep their donkey or other animals and belongings there while they have their goodnight rest, but still thievery was something very uncommon. Interesting right? We are now living in a world where we have our doors and gates locked but still people break into your house to rob – Tsk, shame.

Septa Unella Game of Thrones

During Seljuk time, the government assured all people that they can stay in the caravanserai safely, without having to worry if their belongings will be stolen. Sort of like insurance guarantee I must say. It was so safe that the people during those time used to say, ‘nothing will happen to you even if you travel from Izmir to Van with a pot of gold on your head’. ‘Aw, come on! There must be some cases?’ I know some of you will probably be saying this, but as part of the insurance for staying in the caravanserai, if such cases occur, the government will gather all the people from that particular area (to which the caravanserai belongs to) and collect money from everyone to reimburse the person whom his belongings or animals got stolen. But of course, in case of fatality, then there’s nothing can be done for the reimbursement apart from catching the killer. But until now, no such cases had been documented. Cool system I must say.

Okay, end of Caravanserai 101 – Introduction. Let’s move on to Caravanserai: The Hans of Grand Bazaar and Where to Find Them. Okay for those who don’t know what is a Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi), it’s one of the famous closed bazaar in Istanbul. There are approximately around 4000 shops in Grand Bazaar, along with its hidden hans.

Many of them are dedicated to particular staff, small and most are run-downs. However there are few that you still can visit safely. Below is the simplified map of Grand Bazaar along with the hans that I found online.

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Istanbul Grand Bazaar Map (credit to original owner)

So, go ahead, try the map and enjoy exploring the hans of Grand Bazaar! Till we meet again next time, and – out!

Madame Tussauds Made Its Way To Istanbul

Hi guys! Great news! The famous Madame Tussauds has finally made its way to Istanbul, Turkey! Located at one of the most happening spot in Istanbul, Taksim is sure not just home to Madame Tusssauds Istanbul but also a home to hundreds of famous brand stores such as Mango, H&M, Zara and many more!

For those who didn’t know, Madame Tussauds is a wax museum in London with branches in a number of major cities. Madame Tussaud’s is famous for displaying waxworks of famous people from all around the world. Founded by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud, It used to be known as “Madame Tussaud’s”. Now, Madame Tussaud’s is a major tourist attraction in not just in London, but also in many big cities around the world. displaying waxworks of famous people. Now, Madame Tussaud’s is not just available in London, but it has its branches in all over the world.

Apart from this, all hotels in Istanbul are currently having a major discounts in their price. So now is your chance! Grab your suitcase and come and join us in Istanbul!

 

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brad-and-angelina

 

madam-tussauds

Senarai Pengiktirafan Kelayakan University Antarabangsa

Salam to all! Baru2 ni ramai orang tanya, macam mana nak semak status pengiktirafan sesebuah university di luar negara, especially Turkey. Tak kurang jugak yang nak tahu kot2 ada course2 baru yang ditambah ke list asal seperti yang saya share di blog lama saya sebelum ni. Maklumlah, ramai yang teringin nak belajar di bumi Turki, tapi seperti yang saya beritahu sebelum ini, x semua course yang ditawarkan di negara ini di iktiraf oleh kerajaan kita.

Berdasarkan pengamatan saya, x kurang juga dengan yang nak sambung belajar dalam bidang agama. Sesetengah tu pulak rasa negara Arab dah x cool so Turkey nampak lebih cool untuk di war-war kan kepada sanak saudara handai di waktu raya nanti. Boleh la buat modal kembang hidung di kenduri kahwin atau waktu open house hari raya nanti. Di sini saya nak jelaskan, walaupun bumi Turki pernah agung dengan kerajaan Uthmaniyyah satu masa dahulu, ianya kekal sejarah semata2. Kalau nak kata pasal agama, orang Malaysia jauh lebih Islamic berbanding orang Turki sendiri dalam lebih kurang 2-3 kali ganda. Jadi kepada yang betul2 nak belajar pasal agama tu, saya cadangkan sila pergi ke negara2 seperti Jordan, Madinah, Mesir dan sebagainya, tapi bukan Turki! Orang Turki cakap Arab pun x reti! Jangan kata cakap Arab, yang pandai baca Quran pun berapa kerat je yang ada :(. Jadi memang sangat2 tidak relevant. Tarikat yang merepek2 banyak lah!

Tapi, apa yang lebih penting saya ingin tekankan di sini, takkan nak gadaikan masa depan semata2 nak nampak cool dan ikut trend orang belajar kat luar negeri kan? Saya sure adik2 dan mak bapak sekalian berfikiran jauh lebih matang dari itu. Ye la, xkan nak berhabis duit beribu riban hantar anak ke Turki dan habis masa 4-5 tahun belajar lepas tu balik Malaysia degree x laku ye x?

Oleh itu di sini saya nak share link yang akan menunjukkan semua list2 university yang diiktiraf di Turki berserta dengan kursus yang diiktiraf sahaja. Kepada yang berminat, boleh layari link terbabit, tapi saya harap saya x lagi dihujani pertanyaan2 seperti “kalau course ‘x’, iktiraf x?” Kalau selepas melayari link terbabit, dan adik2 masih lagi ada rasa untuk bertanyakan soalan seperti di atas atau yang sewaktu dengannya, maka akak boleh beritahu adik, duduk je di Malaysia belajar, x yah susah2 habis duit mak bapak pergi belajar di luar negara, sebab salah satu cabaran utama belajar di luar negara ni adalah kena pandai berdikari.

 

Sistem Pengiktirafan Kelayakan

 

Victor Wooten

Victor Wooten Trio

Love for Bass: Victor Wooten Trio

Are you in Istanbul and happened to be a lover of bass music? Now here’s your chance.
Victor Wooten is coming! Featuring Dennis Chambers and Bob Franceschini, the talented bass virtuoso will be giving out their performance together in Istanbul. It will be held at Zorlu PSM on November 11-12. Famous for his melodic bass style, Wooten had shared the stage with bass legends such as Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller. Wooten has also branched out into bluegrass-influenced jazz with banjo legend Bela Fleck. Check the Biletix website for ticket details.
Vivaldianno City of Mirrors

Vivaldianno City of Mirrors Concert

Vivaldianno City of Mirrors

Looking for something fresh? Grab this chance to experience this magnificent concert 1st class. By mixing the classical works of Vivaldi and combining it with 3D film technology and vibrant workmanship, Vivaldianno bills the concert as an “incredible 3D concert story”. Performed by master musicians from three continents, sit back and learn the story of Vivaldi’s life through his incredible music. Will be held at 21:00 on November 5 at Ülker Sports Arena. Please visit Biletix for tickets.

35th International Istanbul Book Fair

35th International Istanbul Book Fair @Tüyap Fuar ve Kongre Merkezi

Love to read?

The International Istanbul Book Fair is back for its 35th year on November 12-15 at the TÜYAP Fair and Congress Center. Their selected theme for this year will be “Philosophy and human”. Take this chance to meet this year’s writer of honor, the philosopher Prof. Dr. Ioanna Kuçuradi. Germany, as the guest of honor for this year, will be organizing events under the theme of “The power of words” at the festival. Find more details on the festival’s website.