Istanbul, Turkey again? 7 Reasons Why We Keep Coming Back @inflowtravel #TKMoments

By Kach Umandap - Howe December 2nd, 2016 Posted in Travel Blog 3 Comments

Our original plan after our UK trip was to fly to Turkey and attend the Inflow Travel Summit. So that you know, Inflow Travel Summit in Istanbul was the beginning of the series of Digital Marketing Events held in different international locations. We were looking forward to it because as digital influencers; it’s a great venue to meet different organisations, fellow bloggers, and learn few tricks, tips and trades about our industry. Unfortunately, it got cancelled and rescheduled for April 18th to 19th, 2017.

Istanbul Trip with Shangri La, Inflow Travel Summit and Turkish AirlinesHowever, that didn’t stop us to go back once again to Turkey. After all, it is such a beautiful place – I don’t really care if I keep on revisiting this amazing country. Glad that even if the event has been cancelled, the lovely organisers still arranged our flights (courtesy of Turkish Airlines) for our London – Istanbul – Argentina trip (we even got upgraded to Business Class Flight for our 18-hour long-haul flight!).Istanbul Trip with Inflow Summits, ShangriLa and Turkish Airlines

Maybe you are wondering why I love Istanbul so much. To clarify all your mind’s questions, we have seven reasons to share with you. Actually, we can give you more but that will take days – or even weeks to finish because there is so much to adore here.World Tourism Forum in Istanbul with Two Monkeys Travel Group

Anyway, I think these seven reasons should be enough for you to book already the next flight going to Istanbul, Turkey.

 

1. Because authentic Turkish Food is pure joy!

Of course, the number 1 on my list would be food. 🙂 I know that I am watching my weight, and I try to be picky with what I eat, but goodness – that was a hard task when I stayed in Istanbul. world-tourism-forum-in-istanbul-with-two-monkeys-travel-group (25)

A Savory Journey in Istanbul
Our Delicious Kebab
A Savory Journey in Istanbul
Turkish Coffee

We were so lucky to have tasted Matbah Restaurant’s dishes, which by the are, are of top quality. And you know what – their selection of exclusive dishes were once served to Ottoman sultans! If you want the best traditional Turkish taste during your stay in Istanbul, never miss Mathbah Restaurant.Istanbul Trip with Shangri La, Inflow Travel Summit and Turkish Airlines

2. Their flag carrier, Turkish Airlines, always exceeds our expectations

We tried their Business Class and with such comfort; anyone can sleep soundly. If you are travelling for long hours, their in –flight entertainment will not disappoint. For a TV – addict like me, I was really happy with their movie choices! I tell you, there were a lot. Also, you can comfortably work while you are thousands of feet above the ground. I actually asked Jon to have my laptop and notebook ready because I was some that I could finish few tasks while inside the massive plane.  And let’s not forget their food! I swear by it. D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!Our Business Class Seat from Istanbul to Buenos Aires, ArgentinaI just realised that I mentioned ‘food’ a number of times already – and I’m still at my number 2 reason (maybe I should get something to eat now). Haha!    

If you have been following our journey, you can really tell that ‘dreams do come true’. Imagine, we were just backpackers trying to save on all of our travel costs. And now, we are practically the airline’s ambassadors trying to set our foot in different countries all over the globe.  Wait for our Business Class flight review!5-istanbul-trip-with-shangri-la-inflow-travel-and-turkish-airlines

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Istanbul Trip with Shangri La, Inflow Travel Summit and Turkish Airlines

Just a side note and an exciting news for Filipinos like me. There’s actually a direct flight from Manila to Istanbul via Turkish Airlines. Now, if you want to visit Brazil or Colombia and do not have a visa, then you can just take Turkish Airlines, fly to Istanbul and go to South America.

This is the Istanbul Lounge, Turkish Airlines Lounge!

Turkish Airlines Lounge in Istanbul

Istanbul Trip with Shangri La, Inflow Travel Summit and Turkish Airlines3. The Turkish hospitality is world – class

We stayed at Sura Hotel & Spa while we were in Istanbul, Turkey and I would recommend this property for its amazing interior, perfect location and extremely hospitable staff. Sura Hotel & Spa will take you back in time and will give you a glimpse of Istanbul’s history. But it’s not your usual traditional and old – school hotel. You’d be surprised that their interior has a mixture of modern and trendy pieces which even young travellers would surely fall in love with.Istanbul Trip with Shangri La, Inflow Travel Summit and Turkish Airlines

Istanbul Trip with Shangri La, Inflow Travel Summit and Turkish Airlines4. Istanbul’s tourist spots are for one’s bucket list 

There is so much to see in Istanbul aside from experiencing their popular Turkish Hammam which we usually do when whenever we visit. We usually book it in advance thru Tinggly.com and it’s always been incredible!

After your Hammam, you better prepare your walking shoes as you’d get exhausted yet satisfied each day. Here are some of the must – see places.

Istanbul Trip with Shangri La, Inflow Travel Summit and Turkish Airlines

  • Blue Mosque – Be amazed by the mosque’s pretty blue tiles that were built from 1609 to 1616.
  • Hagia Sophia – This is one of Istanbul’s top tourist destinations which to date, serves as a museum.
  • Topkapi Palace – You need to visit this place not just because of the structure but also for its history and undeniably jaw – dropping treasures.
  • Hippodrome – In the old days, the area was used for chariot and horse races, matches, parades and ceremonies among many others.
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts – Best choice if you want to embrace and understand the Turkish culture.
  • Basilica Cistern – An underground water reservoir which could have hold 100,000 tonnes of water.
  • Grand Bazaar, Buyuk Carsi – Care for some mad shopping? You can find ANYTHING that you need here.
  • Suleiman Mosque – The city’s largest mosque.
  • Dolmabahce Palace – The largest palace in the country which is located on the edge of the European coastline of the Bosphorus strait.
  • Galata Tower – The tower was built to guard the entrance to the Golden Horn.
  • Chora Church – Best known for its beautiful murals.
  • Valens Aqueduct – A water conduit which brought water to Constantinople.

World Tourism Forum in Istanbul with Two Monkeys Travel Group

World Tourism Forum in Istanbul with Two Monkeys Travel Group

World Tourism Forum in Istanbul with Two Monkeys Travel Group

5. The local Turkish people are so lovable

One other major reason why I love going back to Turkey is that the locals are so amazing. They are very friendly, and you will definitely feel at home right away. It’s not hard to make connections, and you can easily ask them for directions and other useful tips for travellers.Istanbul Trip with Shangri La, Inflow Travel Summit and Turkish Airlines

6. It spans two continents, which is awesome!

Istanbul is the only city where you can find a European and an Asian side. It’s as if you have the best of both worlds.

Wandering Off Beaten Track in Istanbul
Overlooking the Bhosporus. The European Side of Istanbul on the left and the Asian side on the right.

7. Istanbul, Turkey, is a perfect mixture of old and the new.

I am always amazed on how Istanbul can preserve its culture even with all the western influences that can ‘dissolve’ the tradition. You can still find a lot of well-kept mosques, traditional shopping districts and people who still value their beliefs. Istanbul Trip with Shangri La, Inflow Travel Summit and Turkish Airlines

istanbul-trip-with-shangri-la-inflow-travel-and-turkish-airlines-7

Istanbul, Turkey, will always be one of my recommended places to visit. It has so much to offer and will give you a deeper perspective on life! It’s a destination healthy for one’s soul.

Note: Our trip to Istanbul, Turkey, was covered and organized by Inflow sponsored. All views and opinions are based on our experience and observation.

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3 thoughts on “Istanbul, Turkey again? 7 Reasons Why We Keep Coming Back @inflowtravel #TKMoments

  1. Hi Kach. I will be going toTurkey this Oct. I will be flying to USA first then fly to Istanbul with layover in London for 3 hours.
    My queries are: 1 . Can I apply an E visa since i have a valid US Visa.
    2. Do I need transient visa in london. American Airlines its a connecting flight.
    Thanks for your reply

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Written by Kach Umandap - Howe

Co-Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group. Since 2013, Kach has visited all the 7 continents (including Antarctica) and 120 countries using her Philippines Passport. In 2016, she got married then a year later bought a sailboat and is now on sailing adventures with her two cats - Captain Ahab & Little Zissou in the Caribbean. She writes about her experiences traveling as a Filipina traveler with a PHL Passport. Also tips on backpacking trips, luxury hotel experiences, product reviews, sailing & adventure travel.

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