CategoryTravel Tips

30 Things I Learned About Turkey During My Recent Trip

Turkey is a pretty interesting place to say the least.

Here are a few things I learned whilst staying in the tourist resort of Olüdeniz, also visiting a few surrounding towns, including Hisaronü and Fethiye.

 

1. Turkish roads are a free-for-all. You basically do as you wish. It’s very common to see drunk drivers and drivers using their mobile phones too. Imagine a combination of New York City and Bangladesh.

Health and safety doesn’t exist either. You wouldn’t see a bin lorry like this back home!

Bin lorry, Fethiye, Turkey

2. Buses are called Dolmuş’, which are basically minibuses packed to the brim with tourists. You pay the driver at the start or end of your journey.

Dolmus Bus, Oludeniz, Hisaronu, Fethiye, Turkey

They give you your change whilst they’re driving, so you’ll likely have more chance of arriving at your destination if you pay when you get off.

3. If you’d rather take the Taxi/Taksi, look out for a couple of garden chairs under a parasol at the side of a roundabout. Yeah, really.

Taxi Office roundabout, Hisaronu, Turkey

4. Their equivalent of the Police are called ‘Jandarma’. From what I’ve seen, they basically sit around on garden chairs all day until something happens.

Jandarma - Image credit - http://www.adana.gov.tr

Oh and they wear those terrible hi-vis tabards.

5. Disabled people get their own lane on roads.

Disabled lane road, Fethiye, Turkey

6. The roads are generally in terrible condition, so good luck.

Poor road condition, Hisaronu, Turkey

7. Their mosques are well signposted. Clearly a quality job.

Mosque sign, Fethiye, Turkey Mosque sign closeup, Fethiye, Turkey

8. They have fold out seating with a view of.. a road. Bit close, too.

Bench by road, Hisaronu, Turkey

9. You get freebies with most multipacks, such as Coca Cola and Domestos.

Considered buying the Domestos for the toy and just throwing away the two bottles. Regrets.

Domestos toy, TurkeyCoca Cola free tray, Turkey

10. Most biscuits and chocolate are made by Ülker. Including this pack of incredibly boring-looking dry biscuits.

Ulker Petit Beurre Biscuits, Turkey

11. But these look more appealing. Want a negro?

Negro biscuits

12. They have much more interesting varieties of Magnums. Such as this double-layered raspberry and chocolate one.

Magnum Raspberry Turkey

13. There are carts in most areas during the afternoon selling grilled sweetcorn, which seems to be a popular snack for the locals.

Grilled sweetcorn stand, Oludeniz, Turkey

Though I actually tried some, and it wasn’t bad.

Grilled sweetcorn, Oludeniz, Turkey

14. Efes is the local beer everywhere.

Efes Beer, Turkey

Image credit – worldfolio.co.uk

15. Turkish people drink these, even the cool kids. It reminded me of cottage cheese for some reason, so I gave it a miss.

Gurler Ayran drink, Turkey

16. They seem to like this weird powdered ‘apple aroma’ drink. Sometimes, it even comes complete with a set of glasses. Classy.

Balsan apple glass set, Turkey

17. This is their equivalent of Red Bull, though I was too scared to drink it.

Burn Energy Drink, Turkey

18. They also like this weird lemon drink which reminded me of Christmas and vodka.

Camlica drink, Turkey

19. Whilst on the topic of vodka, in AZDA, they light up the vodka aisle with flashing lights. Party time.

AZDA vodka aisle, Turkey

Here’s a video if you’re feeling in the party mood.

20. They’re obsessed with this symbol. It seems it’s called “Nazar” or the ‘evil eye’, supposedly keeping evil away.

Nazar evil eye, Turkey Nazar evil eye, Turkey

21. WiFi in most places is slow. I mean, painfully slow. This is one of the best speedtest results.

WiFi Speedtest Oludeniz Turkey22. If you ask for the WiFi password, many bars give you a receipt with a unique WiFi login too. What happened to just giving out the password?

WiFi password receipt, Turkey

23. To attract the British tourists, many stores are similar or identical to stores we have in the UK.

For example, they have ‘AZDA’ and ‘SPAR’ supermarkets, in addition to others such as ‘TK Maxx’.

AZDA Supermarket, Hisaronu, Turkey

SPAR Shop, Hisaronu, Turkey

Here’s my AZDA card too. Wonder if they’ll take it back home?

AZDA Card, Turkey

24. They’ve truly mastered the art of outdoor dining.

(We definitely didn’t eat here)

Outdoor seating, Fethiye, Turkey

25. They’re really skilled too.

I Can Carve Anything On Slate sign

26. I found this lovely clock at a store in Hisaronü. Lovely.

Lovely Clock, Turkey

27. ‘Cushion world’ sounds a bit more exciting than it actually is. Don’t get your hopes up.

Cushion World sign, Turkey

28. They even have a few markets selling more dangerous items..

Gun Market - Hisaronu, Turkey

29. Their bins are quite.. rustic.

Metal Bin, Fethiye, Turkey

30. There are pictures of authoritative-looking men everywhere.

Picture in Fethiye, Turkey

So yeah, that’s Turkey.

Google Translate’s Offline feature is perfect

Ever found yourself in an awkward situation where you need to ask a question but are faced with a language barrier?

I was recently in Turkey and ended up exploring Fethiye market.  I also feel it’s more respectful to at least attempt to speak Turkish where possible.

Anyway, to the point. I’d used the Google Translate app on my Galaxy S3 before, but didn’t realise until recently that you could download languages.

To download languages for offline translation:

1. Hit the menu button in the top right (or use the hardware menu button if your Android device has one).
2. Select ‘Settings’.
3. Select ‘Offline Languages’.
4. To download a language for offline translation, hit the pin next to the respective language.
5. Your selected language pack(s) will now be downloaded.

My Top 5 London Travel Apps

If you’re like me, your phone is packed with apps. I could do with having a clear out actually..!

Anyway, I’m often down in London and when I am I usually rely on apps to help me on my way around the City. Although I’m an Android guy, all of the below apps are also available from the Apple App Store.

1. Google Maps

Google Maps app logo
Google Maps is an ‘all-in-one’ app, not just acting as a map with GPS pinpointing, but you can also see local businesses, hotels and restaurants and reviews (thanks to Google+ integration).
It is perfect for tourists and visitors new to the area.

Google Maps comes as standard with Android devices. To download it for iOS, click here.

2. Tube Map:

Tube Map london app logo

This is a must in my opinion and cam save you a fair amount of time figuring out where you need to be. Rather than the app just showing a static map or image, you can tap on individual stations to see the service status and when the next train is arriving/departing. You can also view the status of each Tube line:

Tube map london androidTube map london line status androidTube map london android

Download:

You can download the Tube Map app from one of the following links:
iOS / Android

You can also find out more info by visiting their website here.

3. London Oyster Balance:

London Oyster balance app logo

This is a must for travellers who have an Oyster Card and visit London regularly.

It has a number of features including balance, and also shows your journey history.
There is a free trial version which works for 21 days. But the full version is only £1.99, so worth upgrading to.

You can download the Oyster Master app from one of the following links:
iOS:
FREE / PAID

Android:
FREE / PAID

4. TripAdvisor:

tripadvisor

Looking for somewhere to eat? In my opinion, you can rarely trust what a

You can download the TripAdvisor app from one of the following links:
iOS / Android

5. Airbnb:

airbnb

Airbnb is a new way of booking overnight accommodation, where instead of staying in a hotel you stay in the spare room of somewhere.

Rather than booking a traditional hotel, I’ll often use Airbnb to book a last-minute room.

Also, the app has a handy “Help, I need a place to stay tonight!” feature which can be a lifesaver if you get stuck somewhere with nowhere to sleep.

You can download the Airbnb app from one of the following links:
iOS / Android

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