Tips for Tourists
Baths are great fun and a visit to one of the ultimate Ottoman pleasures is
a must for any holiday. To take full advantage of the experience, make sure
you go at the beginning of your stay because if you leave it to the end of
the holiday, your tan will be scrubbed away!
- If you're
travelling around with hire car and intend to visit mosques, keep a 'mosque
kit' in the car to avoid embarrasment. Before entering a mosque, the head,
shoulders arms and legs of ladies should be fully covered; this can easily
be accomplished with two large locally made shawls, which can also be used
as beach wraps, picnic tablecloths or sofa throws when you get home. One shawl
tied sarong style over shorts will enable men to enter a mosque without giving
offence (with a shirt, obviously!).
- Mosquito bites
won't give you malaria, but can make you itchy and miserable. Buy an electric
mossie repellent, and the tablets or liquid to go with it as soon as you arrive,and
turn it on before you go out in the evening. Use lots of repellent on any
exposed skin, especially around sunset. If you've forgotten to bring any with
you, the local brand is called KOV and is available at any chemist.
- Before dashing out on a shopping spree, get familiar with the Turkish Lira. Turkey now has a new currency where they have got rid of six zero's. The new currency unit is the New Turkish Lira (Yeni Türk Lirasi-YTL). The sub-unit (coins) of the YTL is the New Kurus (Yeni Kurus-YKr). Whereas before you had millions of Lira in your pocket 1,000,000 TL = 1 YTL. Denominations for YTL Banknotes: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 YTL. Denominations for
coins: 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 YKr and 1YTL. Turkish Lira banknotes and coins will be withdrawn from circulation as of January 1st 2006. They can be converted into new banknotes only by the Central Bank (Türkiye Cumhuriyet Merkez Bankasi-TCMB) for a period of 10 years.
Note that you should not accept old Turkish Lira notes any more. Insist on receiving only New Turkish Lira notes.
- If you want to
take photos of 'cute, ethnic locals', ask permission first. Sign language
works fine, and means that you don't insult anyone unintentionally. Many village
ladies have strong objections to be photographed.
- If your hotel
asks you not to put loo paper down the loo; don't! Some plumbing pipes are
too narrow to cope with paper, and you will then suffer the agonies of having
a blocked loo, which could take some time to sort out.
- Don't encourage
touts who hassle on the street. Ignore them, and make a point of shopping
or eating somewhere else.
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