Saturday, October 20, 2018

Things to take note before you visit Cappadocia

The hot air balloon and mystifying landscape in Cappadocia has become very popular in recent years thanks to Instagram! It's been on my bucket lists for ages, and finally is now off my bucket list. Woohooo. Here's a few things I wish I knew before visiting Cappadocia, so you can refer to them to avoid same mistake. 
What to know before you go?

Best time to travel: April-June OR September-October 
During this period, it isn't peak season and the weather is moderate ( Just nice for a hot air balloon ride). June-August falls in summer can get pretty hot-up to 32'C, also the busiest time of the year flocking with many tourists, while December-February falls in Winter can be bitingly cold as the temperatures is going down to -6'C. 
How to get there:

Cappadocia is most easily accessible by plane and there are 2 major airports : Kayseri Erkilet Airport ( ASR) in Kayseri (about an hour drive to the city) and Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport ( Nav) in Nevsehir. We flew with Peagrus airline, a local flight from Kusadasi to Kayseri with RM176 and we were transferred to our hotel upon arrival. 

About hot air ballon 

1. The hot air balloon don't fly everyday 
Yes! The ride is very much depending on that day's weather and wind condition. The local Turkish holds the authorities to decide today's weather is it suitable for a balloon ride. As you know weather can be very unpredictable and if it's windy, the ride may be cancelled at anytime. Nothing can be done. So if balloon ride is one of your ' must-do list', I recommend spending a few days in Cappadocia as occasionally balloon ride are cancelled due to the weather. 

2. Many photos had been photoshopped
Many of the photos you see on Instagram are photoshopped with many more balloons than they are in reality. Only about 100-150 balloons fly each day and they do spread out to different direction depending on the wind, so it's difficult for you to get a perfect shot with the skies completely filled with balloon. Somehow you may try your luck and be ready before the balloon launching, you'll see them more densely!

3. Hot air ballon only fly on 6.00-8.00am
Let me warn you if you're not a morning person, it's earlyyyyyy! The local will pick you up at approximately 4.30am or maybe earlier, so you can witness the balloon launching and soon the ballon started to lift off. It's amazing!! 



Where to stay?

One of the most frequent question I got is: Are those hotels in Cappadocia very crowded/ touristy? Maybe, but at least not mine. The best thing about Cappadocia is the unique experience of staying in a cave hotel, isn't? I've chosen Cappadocia Cave Suites in Goreme, and this was the last room when I booked. Phewwww I nearly missed the chance. lol. So if I were you, I will make sure to book in advance because this Instagram places are likely to fill up first. The reason I booked CCS is because they offer large bedroom, and the bathroom is a treat! There's a jacuzzi bathtub which is perfect for relaxation. Perfect? I know right. 

And the rooftop terrace is filled with nice carpet, tables and many props that you can take photo with. It wasn't crowded as I thought, it was totally empty by time I arrived. How is that possible? You don't even need to get up earlier to avoid the crowd, is all yours! Best place you could ever imagine. 




How to pronounce Cappadocia?

Its not Cah-Pah-Do-Siah or Capa-Doc-Ia ( Oops...This was how I pronounced it earlier, awkward....) The correct pronunciation is Can-Pah-Doh-Kia. 


What mistake I made? 

I went in early October and it was fairly chilly at night and reasonably warm during the day time. We never expected raining day. But here's the unlucky thing, we were told by the locals that the weather was really bad and balloon ride were cancelled the day before we arrived in Cappadocia. It was pouring rain and I was worried that I barely got any sleep that night. I just had one day in Cappadocia. JEEZZZZZ the biggest mistake I've ever made...T.T So please make your stay for at least 2-3 days to avoid disappointment or pick the right month for the least likely chance of rain. 


What to see and do

If you think hot air ballon are all what Cappadocia is, you are completely wrong. Cappadocia has numerous attractions and activities to do, which are worth exploring. 

1. ATV Tour
If you're an adventure junkie, an Atv tour is a must! You get to explore many different valleys. But most impressively, you get the opportunity to watch the sunrise as roughly 100-150 balloons flying up to the sky, it was a magical experience indeed. Prices are affordable, and there's a local named Osman who will help sort out your booking if you hit him up! Add him on WeChat: osmanwolf. 



2. Camel ride 
My first experience on a camel. Head down the hill at the Goreme open air museum where you can find 4 camels sitting there.  TIPS: Confirm the price before you agree to take the camel ride! We thought it was 30 TL as written on the board ( Actually that's the actual price), and did not ask any further question but straight went for the ride. At last the man actually charged us 30 USD. WHATTTTTT? 



3. Hot air balloon ride 
Like I mentioned above, riding a hot air ballon is often the most popular activity to do in Goreme, so you really want to book in advance as the price is cheaper online about 130-140 Euro. Here I would like to recommend a few hot air balloon companies: Royal Balloon, Voyager Balloons, Kapadokya Balloons, and Butterfly balloons. Your flight will begin at sunrise, where your pilot will climb about 3000 feet above ground level. It is from this elevation that you will marvel at the beauty of Cappadocia below you. The standard flight is a total of 60 fascinating minutes. There will be a champagne celebration at the end of the flight, and you will be presented with a flight certificate. 

4. Shop at Grand Bazaar
One of the highlight was shopping in the grand bazaar. With it's colourful lamps, nice carpet, ceramic dishes and its maze of hallway, grand bazaar is definitely a joy to explore. You will be asked " Where are you from?", "Hello beautiful", "What can I help you?" more than 10 times. Anyhow if you would like to get something from their shop, you can always start bargain with them and you'll be surprise that you can get the item with very low price. 

It was truly an amazing experience that I hope I could stay longer. I'll be posting more about my experience in Turkey so stay tuned! >>>

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