First Impression

My knowledge of Turkey was pretty much limited to the reviews on Tripadvisor, most of which are more factual than descriptive, so I had no idea what to expect upon arrival in Istanbul.

Having just flown from LA airport a week ago, I was surprised that there wasn’t a long queue at the customs and tons of people crowding around conveyor belts; There were no stringent security checks or severe looking officials eyeing you and your baggage; Someone gave us 1 Turkish Lira for the luggage trolley and didn’t ask for it back.

As I took in the sights of Istanbul from the window of our minivan, I realized that Turkey is not just culturally rich because it is geographically located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, but also naturally beautiful with the harmonious co-existence of sea, rocks, flora and fauna.

I spent my first day taking in the sights and sounds, exploring Sultanahmet and we even tried the squeezing with the locals on the electric trams, with the help of our friendly guide.

21 responses to “First Impression

  1. Joanne, I would be always admired u..

  2. Hi Joanne,
    Wow. The place looks nice! I should ask my parents to bring me there too. Hm. May i know what’s the weather like there? Thanks.
    Love you always,
    Li Qin.

    • Hi Liqin,

      I can’t tell u the weather exactly. As we travelled from Istanbul down to Cappodacia, it got colder, and then when we travelled to Konya and Pamukkale, it got so hot! I think it depends on which part u are going and when. But it is a very interesting country to visit. It’s so big!

  3. Hello 😀
    Looks like you’re having an enjoyable trip 😉
    Anyway, may I know what app did you use to take pics? They’re beautiful!!

    take good care =)

  4. I like the photos that you have taken. 🙂 Pretty.

  5. Hi Joanne,

    Don’t forget to try the belly-dancing in Turkey.

    The ladies are great belly dancers. A good way to burn off the calories after all the delicious makan! 🙂


  6. hi joanne!
    I’m now in the midst of planning my forthcoming trip to Turkey. But I have yet to decide which tour operator to engage. Which tour operator did you choose? Are they good? Hope to get some tips from you 😀

    Thanks! Enjoy your holiday.

    • Hi Loh,

      When are u planning to arrive? I am still in the midst of my tour so I can’t say for sure. It’s a beautiful country but I must say there are a lot of ruins, so u must be prepared to use your imagination and bear with the heat of walking. I didn’t go with a Sg travel agency. What are you planning to do?

  7. Hi Joanne! My traveling period will be from 10th-17th Sept. The weather would be quite cool then 😀 Actually i have a Turkish travel agency in mind. But there were lots of negative comments about the tour operator when i googled it. Hence not too sure if should book with them. I plan to go to Istanbul-Ephesus-Pamukkale-Cappadocia
    Can’t wait to see Pamukkale! Is it really that enchanting?

    • Hi Loh,

      Which agency is that? I won’t approve ur comment for privacy purposes. Yes, Pamukkale is gorgeous, the travertines are quite spectacular. I like Cappodacia because the weather is cool and it’s a very peaceful, fuss-free town. Even with the frequent power cuts while we were there, it sort of makes the place more endearing. It isn’t a perfect place but you see how everyone there lives with it.

      You might want to drop by Kusadasi too. It’s by the Agean Sea, very pretty town, sort of reminds me of Cape Town a bit, but slightly less developed.

      Alternatively if budget and timing permits, check out cruises u can take where they will stop at certain ports for you to do a day tour, you cover more places too and can even visit Greece!

      • Thanks for the tips Joanne!! After you have completed your tour, and finds it satisfactory, pls recommend to me ya.


      • Hi Loh,

        I’m nearing the end of my trip and I must say if are interested in ancient history, might be good to read up on it first, so when u come and visit, the places will hold greater significance. Otherwise after a while, for me, it’s information overload and everywhere looks the same.

        It is quite expensive to eat and drink here. We are spending about 13TRY on average for lunches and dinners at regular cafes and restaurants. Even McDonalds set meal cost about 7TRY. This is not a place to shop unless u are looking for souvenirs, but depending on what u want, u can only find certain things in certain areas.

        Otherwise it is quite an experience and Turkey is not how it’s described on some of the websites. It is not an extremely dangerous place but of course that doesn’t mean u should let ur guard down. Istanbul is probably the place to be more careful, all other areas are great. People are friendly and helpful as long as you are sincere and put on a smile.

      • Joanne,
        I am suffering from severe hearing loss and I love the show “Your Hand in Mine” but I am always working overtime in Burger King , therefore I cannot watch the show.

        However, I come to know of Catch Up TV online where I can watch this show on Sundays.
        I am very frustated when there are no subtitles on the dramas,especially on Friday espsiodes.

        Can you help talking to Mediacorps staffs regarding this?

        I found that you always go online. more often than other artistes.


  8. hi joanne jiejie
    am fanclub joanne in thailand

    i love you joanne peh ~~

  9. Hello Joanne,
    Okay! Will ask my parents to bring me there. 🙂 Looking at the nice pictures that you’ve taken, i’m sure that if my parents bring me there, i’ll have fun! Thanks for sharing with me the weather!
    Love you always,
    Li Qin

    • Hi Liqin,

      It’s a good place to put your geography knowledge to practice, explaining the formations of plateaus and valleys, erosion, abrasion etc…I think it’s a good field trip to take to help u better understand what you learn in school. Maybe that would be a good reason to convince your parents! 😉

      Let me know if u are going!

  10. Hi Joanne, wondering what is the brand of bag you are carrying? It looks light and is good for travelling.

  11. halo Joanne . very excited can visit you blog .that place was very nice!
    take care =)

  12. Hi Joanne,
    Thanks fr sharing the travel tips to Turkey, it’s a very nice place. However, I wish to as much places as you did. How ,any days did you spend over there? what is the minimum Pax to form a group?

    Oh ya, like your black colour bag. May I know where did you get it?

    Have a good day.

  13. May i know how’s the weather there?

  14. Hi , i am eyeing on ur bag too. what brand? pls tell us…

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