Tuesday, 29 July 2008

FuFu World Tour

Turkiye 7th - 22nd May 2007
Pamukkale -
Part Four

After five days in Istanbul, after visiting all the tourist spots in Istanbul, after having dinner with Necla`s family, Necla and i headed to Denizli Province, southwestern part of Turkey by the express bus. Out of my expectation, the bus service in Turkey is so unsual. They served hot coffee, hot tea, snacks, wet tissue, the staff would spray the air freshener and clean the bus throughout the journey. The ever world`s best express bus service you could find in Turkey.

After ten hours travelling by bus, we finally arrived Denizli safely. After keeping our stuff in Necla friend`s apartment, we took minibus to Pamukkale, one of the places i was expecting to take those impressive pictures as seen in the magazines and websites promoting Turkey.

Simit, a circular Turkish bread with sesame seeds, would be our lunch.

The downtown, at the foot of the hot springs, Pamukkale.

View of Pamukkale, from the bus stop.

Oh my god, it is a cotton castle.

Pamukkale (cotton castle in Turkish) is a natural site and attraction in southwestern Turkey in Denizli Province. Pamukkale is located in Turkey`s Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley, which enjoys a temperate climate over the year.

Here is not just a cotton castle, it is a heaven.

It looks so good with nice white travertine pools and blue waters cascading down. When warm mineral water flows down the edge of a cliff, it cools down and deposits its calcium content which will form the pools, terraces and stalacites that you see. Nothing like it elsewhere in the world. That is the reason why tonnes of tourists head there.

The view is just magnificently stunning.

Tourists were swimming and dipping in the mineral water.

Meanwhile, AhFu and Necla are enjoying the sunshine.

I have a calcium mask.

It feels so good even only dipping my foot.

Necla told me my face would be smoothened if putting the calcium powder on for five minutes. I followed. She took picture of that. But once i started, other began to follow. I later found out she just simply mentioned it. Anyway, i enjoyed it.

I dont even care this sign. Did any tourist notice this?

The limestone wall, Pamukkale.

I still enjoyed being there though.

I wish to stay here for a while.

She didnt put on the sunblock.

Due to the restoration construction work, some of the places were fenced off but we could still go walking on the calcium terraces and take a dip in the pools at the designated sites. Well, remember to take your shoes off though this may be a bit painful as the ridges of the calcium cuts into your soles. I was then told the place is opened all day long, so you can go for those spectacular photo shots during sunset or sunrise.

Hi can i join you girls?

Obviously, she is getting tanned.

Not man-made, it is all naturally formed.

The view of the plains as the background.

The view took my breath away.

The Pamukkale thermal pool.

If you really wanna go dipping or swimming in the mineral water, then head towards Pamukkale thermal pool which is situated nearby the cotton castle.

Hierapolis Musuem.

Lunch time.

Entrance of Hierapolis

We both had a simit while enjoying the great view of Pamukkale. Well, Pamukkale is a famous tourist attraction of Turkey and also recognized as a World Heritage sites together with the Hierapolis. Thus we continued walking to the Hierapolis.

Follow the sign to the Roman Theatre.

Remains of tombs.

Roman Theatre at Hierapolis.

Pamukkale is surrounded by the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis. The site is still being excavated and certain areas are roped off. From the top of the Roman Theatre, you will have a stunning view of Pamukkale over the plains.

The Domitian(Northern) Gate.

Columns at Frontinus Street.

Necropolis of Hierapolis.

After exploring the entire area of Pamukkale, we went back Denizli. Lunch was only Turkish bread. So both of us decided to had a great one for dinner. What we had was Lahmacun, meat with dough known as Turkish pizza, eaten after filled with lettuce, red cabbage, tomatoes, onions and others and topped off with kebab meat and a sauce (usually spicy on a tomato base or mild on a yogurt base).

Dinner, Lahmacun.

We then stepped in the local famous dessert restaurant, Bolili Hasan Usta. I ordered Kazzandibi, a Turkish version of tiramisu. Still the original one rocks. Turkish one is too sweet. Necla had Profiterol, a turkish syle pudding topped off with cream and nuts. She couldnt finished it. Guess too sweet for her as well. We later went to meet Ceyda, Necla`s sister.

My Kazzandibi (left) and her Profiterol (right).

Ceyda is studying in Pamukkale University as well. She was taking education, majoring in mathematics, holding her thick calculus textbook when i first met her. I could tell that she is a smart and pretty girl. I followed them back to their campus and we chatted at the park for quite a while with Ceyda`s friends. Later, we went back to Necla friend`s apartment to rest for the next day.

Both Necla and FuFu look so tanned.

Necla, Ceyda and her friends.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

German was in Town III

So, finally it was her last day in Singapore. It was unbelievable that she couldnt explore the whole island since Singapore is known as one of the smallest countries in the world. She still hasnt been to the East Coast, Sentosa, Kallang, and etc. This proved that Singapore has a lot more attractions worth you to pay a visit.

She likes water, i prefer milk.

I would prefer to have an authentic local breakfast at the hawker stall or local restaurant instead of hotel unless it is totally free. Food served at the hotel will always look extremely and perfectly good but what a glutton professional traveller concerns more is the taste.

My first round.

My second round.

My third round.

Ops, i still havent brought her see the merlion. Thus, soon after the buffet style breakfast at InterContinental Hotel, we headed to the most well-known tourist icon of Singapore.

Esplanade, or casually called as the durian.

The merlion that fronts Marina Bay and back the financial district.

Singapore flyer is not in this picture!

Hey, stop going away from us. We will look super tiny then.

I am superb thirsty.

She wants to get the water back to Hong Kong.

This tourist takes good picture.

A short rest under the Esplanade Bridge.

She likes the old colonial architectural buildings.

Me : What you miss the most? (Deciding where to have our lunch.)
Her : ViVo City! (Apparently, she likes shopping there.)
Me : Okay, but how about food? (Hoping to hear the right answer.)
Her : Erm, well i guess Ya-kun and the noodle. (Yosh!)
Me : Oh, really? Let`s go have what you wish to eat on your last day. ('Bingo' sign flashes over my head.)

Ya-kun Kaya Toast next wanna-be-model.

Enjoying Ya-kun`s teh tarik.

The toasted kaya bread was very crunchy while the teh tarik was perfectly smooth with a heavenly aroma even though it didnt have the frothy top to crown it.

Crunchies munchies toast, here i come.

The bus was full of passengers.

After the early teatime, we hung out around a small shopping mall for a while before hopping on a bus back to Bugis. There we went for our late lunch at the same restaurant and ordered what we each had on the first day. I seriously heart the fishball noodle.

Her mushroom minced meat noodle.

What attract me most was the texture of the fishball, it differs significantly to what i have been eating so far. Instead of grinding and forming, meats used for making the fishball is pounded that lends the texture more consistently firm and smooth. A bowl of fishball noodle only costs $3. Incredibly cheap.

My favourite fishball soup noodle.

She purposely waited for my noodle to come, just for the shot.

In front of the hotel.

Taxi driver was waiting for us.

The departure hall, Terminal 1, Changi International Airport

Wish i had done my job well. The 5 days 4 nights trip for Singapore was certainly not enough. Guess she gonna be back again for food, Sentonsa and more shopping. Anyway, i believe by the next time, i would be able to make my own diverse list for the good food as well as nice places to hang out that not written on Lonely Planet.

Welcome back to Singapore, German.

The feedback i got back from German and Agnes was pretty good. Guess the next time i back to Hong Kong again, i may be treated like a VIP. They promised to bring me out for nice Cantonese cuisine at the reputable restaurant. I am so looking forwards to it.