Travelogue

Top Adventures in Turkey

Top Adventures in Turkey

Any adventure travellers out there? You will definitely love Turkey! There are just so many exciting activities to choose from that you’ll end up being spoilt for choice! Here are our favourite top adventures in Turkey.

1. Wind surfing in Alacati

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Learning the basics on land first

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Look how shallow the water is!

Alacati is one of the best place in the world for learning how to windsurf. Think constantly steady winds, shallow waters (the water level is only up to our hips!) and clear blue skies. This was our first time windsurfing and compared to wakeboarding, kite-boarding or surfing, this is definitely the hardest to pick up. Although the winds are not that strong, but the strong waves from the nearby passing boats still made it challenging trying to balance on the board. Apart from maintaining your balance, you still have to pull up the sail (which can be quite heavy especially as you get more tired) and quickly regain the correct position to catch the wind.

Tip: Please learn from our mistake. Never ever go downstream (in the same direction of the wind), it’s gonna be extremely difficult to make your way back to the starting point again! Always go upstream when surfing! Or if you find that you’re drifting too far from the starting point, jump off your board and walk back to where you started.

Where you can learn it: Alacati Surf Paradise Club (ASPC)

We took up a beginner course with ASPC which consisted of 5 modules over 2 days. The time needed really depends on your learning speed and also the wind strength. If the wind is too strong, it’s not advisable for beginners to surf. So usually it’s recommended to set aside 3-5 days when taking this course in case you’re not able to surf on certain days due to strong winds. Our very experienced instructor, Abdurrahim, was very patient with us and did a great job at explaining the basics to us! We can proudly say that we managed to learn windsurfing in just 1 day! Thanks to our awesome instructor!

Cost: 210€ per person (please contact ASPC for updated rates)

Where to stay in Alacati: Ciprika Pension, 120TL (during off peak season). Very beautiful, cozy and clean rooms! With shower and free wifi in the room too! Alternatively, you can also choose to stay at Cesme (20 mins bus ride away) where the accommodation there is much cheaper!

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Spacious changing area and plenty of lockers at ASPC!

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Latest 2014 windsurf and kitesurf equipment

2. Rock climbing at Olympos

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We’ve tried indoor rock climbing before but we’ve never really tried real natural rock climbing before! This was my first actually! It’s really very very fun (albeit tiring), we couldn’t feel our arms the next day! The rock wall here at Olympos is perfect for beginners, very easy to grip with lots of grooves and cracks. For the more advanced climbers, fret not, there are different walls with differing levels of difficulty.

Tip: We would highly advise you to wear a light windbreaker or long sleeved top while climbing as the rocks can be quite sharp and we’ve ended up with some battle scars after climbing.

Where to do it: Climb in Turkey

Yildirim is the founder of Climb in Turkey and he was also our guide for the rock climbing. With more than 20 years experience of mountaineering and climbing, we definitely felt very safe under his guidance. Olympos is a very popular place for rock climbing and there are numerous walls of different difficulty levels for all sorts of climbers.

Where to stay in Olympos: Bayrams, 40TL ($20) for a double room. We requested to stay in a tree house (but don’t bother in winter, it’s too cold and there’s no heater!) which looked like any ordinary hut made out of planks of wood. Very nice garden with a campfire in the middle. Wifi only available in the garden.

3. Diving at Kas

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We had the opportunity to do a plane wreck dive at Kas and by far this was one of the coolest that we’ve experienced! It was so cool seeing an entire huge plane submerged underwater! We could take a peek inside the cockpit as well as enter the cargo area which was much more spacious than we expected.

This was our first time diving in Mediterranean waters and we were quite shocked at how different it is from tropical waters! We’ve dived several times and all were in tropical waters where we were constantly surrounded by an array of colourful corals and fishes. But in the mediterranean sea, it’s a whole world of difference. It’s mostly sandy bottom without any corals or colourful fishes. But having said that, mediterranean waters is good for seeing larger fishes such as Jackfish, Barracudas and even sea turtles if you’re in the right season.

Tip: If you’re planning on diving during winter or even spring (we were there in April), brave yourself for the extreme cold! Best if you are trained to wear a dry suit. We were shivering uncontrollably underwater the entire time, it was simply too cold for us to bear!

Where to do it: Dragoman

We dived with Dragoman and Elif arranged for us the dive session. Elif was very pleasant to work with and overall, we had a great time diving with Dragoman!

Where to stay in Kas: Santosa Pension, 60TL for a double room with shower, wifi and free breakfast. Bonus – kitchen available for travellers to use! Friendly and helpful owner, beautiful rooftop terrace with an amazing view of the harbour.

4. Cycling in Chios (Greece)

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If you have enough time to spare and you’re around the easter coast of Turkey, you can consider taking a ferry across to one of the Greek islands which is only an hour boat ride away! There’s honestly not much to do in Chios and so we only stayed 1 night and returned back to Turkey the next day. Everything is significantly more expensive in Chios as compared to Greece. We rented bicycles from the 0-Point stations (there’s one near the marina) for 1 Euro per hour. The windmills here were very pretty!

Tip: Only Euros is accepted in Chios and there are no money changers around. So do bring along your ATM card to withdraw some Euros while you’re there!

How to get to Chios: We took a ferry from the Cesme Marina to Chios. The ticket booth at Cesme Marina only opens at 4pm and the ferry leaves at 6pm. Each one way ticket costs 20 Euros.

Where to stay in Chios: Amalia rooms, walking distance from the harbour. Very basic small rooms without toilet and breakfast. Cost us 20 Euros for a double room. Free wifi available.

5. Hiking the Lycian Way

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We’ve done quite a number of hikes before and we must say, this is one of the most beautiful hikes that we’ve ever done in our lives! The entire hike is along the coast and the view is fantastic! Just look at the unbelievable azure sea in the photo above! The entire hike is a loooong 500km but you can always choose to do a sample of it like we did. We only hiked 3 days of it and we had one of the best times of our lives! Who knows, maybe one day we’ll be back to hike the entire 500km!

Tip: Bring along enough snacks and water for the journey if you’re hiking during off peak! We went around mid April and there were hardly any shops along the way!

Our route for hiking the Lycian Way in 3 days: Start at Oludeniz – Kabak Beach – Alinca Village – Gey – End at Patara Beach

*We’ll be doing a more detailed post on the Lycian Way hike soon!

6. Paragliding in Oludeniz

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Yes, finally we get to tick paragliding off our bucket list! Oludeniz is a very popular place for paragliding and we can understand why. The views from way above were extraordinary! Especially when you overlook the picturesque blue sea and butterfly valley. Note that the photo is unedited and without filter! No kidding! It’s that perfect! In terms of fear factor, compared to sky diving or bungee, this is nothing! Unless you have a phobia of height, you should definitely give this a try!

Where to do it: We did our flight with Focus Paragliding and we were very satisfied with their service! All of their instructors were well trained and experienced. Your instructor will have his own GoPro and will take all of the photos and videos for you. You’re not allowed to bring your own camera. After the flight you can view all of your photos and videos taken and then decide if it’s worth paying additional for it. Well we did and we felt that it’s definitely worth the extra bucks! 🙂

We hope you’ve enjoyed our adventures! Now it’s your turn to try out the above activities!

Have you tried any of the above activities before? Share with us your experience by commenting below!

Things to do in Isfahan – Our favourite city in Iran

Things to do in Isfahan – Our favourite city in Iran

There are so many beautiful places in Iran, but Isfahan wins the place in both our hearts. There’s just something so magical and sublime about this mesmerising city. From the mosques’ intricately painted mosaic pieces, the bustling historic bazaar to the picturesque bridges and central square, we were held spellbound for the entire time that we were there. Here are our suggestions on amazing things to do in Isfahan!

Kakh-e Chehel Sotun

If you look closely at the building behind us in the photo,  you can see some long slender columns holding up the ceiling and the pavilion. There are actually 20 of those columns. Interestingly, the name “Chehel Sotun’ means 40 pillars and the reasons being the reflection of the pillars in the long pool in front of the pavilion.

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At the grand Chehel Sotun Palace of Isfahan!

The entrance of the Great Hall (Throne Hall) cannot be grander than this. Look at it, entirely covered with shiny gold reflective mirrors! It was so beautiful!

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Wait till you see the inside of the Great Hall, we were blown away by the historical colourful frescoes that depict stories of the court life and past battle glories.

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Mesmerised by the beautiful array of frescoes inside the Great Hall of the Chehel Sotun Palace.

Naqsh-e Jahan Square (Central Square)

This square, has got to be one of the most beautiful squares in the world! Naqsh-e Jahan actually means ‘pattern of the world’ and this picturesque place definitely give full credits to its name! All 4 sides of the square were impressive in their own ways and you definitely have to dedicate at least 1 full day to exploring this awesome place! This square is also the second largest in the world (after Beijing’s Tiananmen Sq).

Tip: Visit this beautiful square twice. At night, the entire place transforms into a totally different place! Also, the fountains only turned on at night, we’re not sure why either.

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The majestic and tranquil Naqsh-e Jahan square of Isfahan

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Naqsh-e Jahan square at night, a totally transformed place!

Masjed-e Sheikh Lotfollah

This has got to be one of the most interesting mosques that we’ve ever been to, albeit it being very small and unusual (without the usual capacious courtyards or minarets) The reason being that this mosque was meant to be a private worship place for the royal family. The entire mosque is made up of a hallway that leads to the main prayer hall and a study at the basement of the building.

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The grand entrance of Masjed-e Sheikh Lotfollah

The interior of the Masjed-e Sheikh Lotfollah is being lit up by the sun rays that shine through the latticed windows, there are no artificial lights at all inside the mosque.

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The amazingly beautiful and mind blowing ceiling patterns of Masjed-e Sheikh Lotfollah.

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And for those that have been to Iran and used the Lonely Planet guide to get around, ever wondered why this place looked so familiar? Welllllll….cos it’s where the cover photo was taken at! Check out the photo on the right below!

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Masjed-e Shah (Masjed-e Immam)

Another sublime example of the splendid architectural talent of the skilled artists in the 16th century. Check out the geometric symmetry of the patterned mosaic tiles! Each individual mosaic piece was hand painted and then carefully pieced together to form this perfect masterpiece.

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The majestic entrance of Masjed-e Shah

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Marvelling at the stunning architecture and details of the Masjed-e Shah’s courtyard

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Admiring the impressive mosaic arches of Masjed-e Shah

Bazar-e Bozorg

We have been to a million and one bazaars since we started on our 9 months Footprints Across Asia travel but this particular bazaar in Isfahan has been one of our favourites so far! The setting of the bazaar in the beautiful courtyard alleys, the wide array of souvenirs, carpet products (I bought a carpet backpack from here!) and a million other random things!

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Qeysarieh Portal – the entrance to the bazaar

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The “copper tin man” of the Grand Bazaar in Isfahan!

Masjed-e Jameh

The Jameh mosque is one of the biggest and oldest surviving mosques in Iran. This mosque is not located at the square and it’s located quite a distance from it. You can walk via the bazaar to get to the Jameh Mosque, it’s definitely worth the effort!

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The ablutions fountain in the middle of the courtyard was designed to imitate the kaaba at Mecca. Devotees come here to practise their rituals before heading for their pilgrimage at Mecca.

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Captivated by the detailed brickwork of the Taj al-Molk Dome, one of the finest brick dome ever built in Persia. This dome might be small, but it’s said to be extremely hardy and has survived numerous earthquakes for the past 900 years! Also, the placement of every single brick is said to be mathematically perfect!

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Impressed by the mathematically perfect and sturdy Taj al-Molk Dome

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Vank Cathedral

This Armenian cathedral is quite a far walk from the main city centre though, but we highly recommend it! The beautifully painted frescoes inside of the cathedral certainly made the walk worth while! It’s also in the same direction as the Pol-e si-i-seh bridge so you can visit both attractions in the same day.

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Exterior of the Vank Cathedral, looks simple but wait till you enter it, you will be amazed!

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And here it is, the stunning frescoes on the walls inside of Vank Cathedral!

Pol-e si-i-seh bridge

This used to be one of the most beautiful bridges in the world but it has since become a bridge over troubled water. Ok joke aside, to provide more water for in the increasing population in Isfahan, the government built a dam which resulted in the diminishing water supply on the other side of the bridge. Even from the photo below, if you look closely, you can actually see the river bed, that’s how shallow it is!

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Picturesque Pol-e si-i-seh bridge of Isfahan

Isfahan’s really pretty amazing huh? Now you understand why it has become one of our favourite cities in Iran?

Essential Information

Where we stayed
Amir Kabir Hostel
250,000 Rial (US$8) for a single dorm bed (3 beds in 1 room)
With breakfast, wifi (reception area only), shared toilets

Pros
Cheap, suitable for budget backpackers
Good location, walking distance to main sights
Basin in the room

Cons
Very small room, crammed with 3 beds
No toilet in the room, shared toilet not very clean
Simple breakfast
Wifi available only in the reception area.

Have you been to Iran before? Which city is your favourite? Share with us your views by commenting below! 🙂 Also if you’re heading to Shiraz, do check out our post on Things to do in Shiraz – the land of poetry, nightingales, wine & flowers

Things to do in Shiraz – the land of poetry, nightingales, wine & flowers

Things to do in Shiraz – the land of poetry, nightingales, wine & flowers

Shiraz, also known as the land of poetry, nightingales, wine and flowers, has always been the heartland of the Persian culture and also once the capital of Iran. Here are our suggestions on things to do in Shiraz as well as the places around it.

Arg-e Karim Khan

A huge medieval fortress right in the middle of the city, once used as a prison, is now a museum which contains some art paintings and old photographs of what Shiraz used to be.

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The majestic Arg-e Karim Khan citadel of Shiraz

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We were exploring the museum when we came across a group of young students and their teacher who was very excited to see us. She immediately asked her students to take turns posing for photos with us. In particular, she asked us to take a photo of this very sweet girl (photo on the right below) as her eyes were a very beautiful shade of blue.

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Aramgah-e Hafez (Tomb of Hafez)

Hafez was a renowned and well loved poet of Iran and almost every Iranian is able to quote his works. But the photo below pretty much sums up this place, the tomb is the main attraction. We feel that you can give this place a miss if you do not have the time.

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Aramgah-e Hafez (Tomb of Hafez)

Impressive street art

While exploring the streets, don’t forget to admire the creative art expressions on the walls. We were really impressed by some of them.

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Bishapur

The ruins of an ancient city of Iran, once a grand city that defeated the Romans, but today here’s all that’s left. Unfortunately we were here without a guide and we couldn’t really make out most of the ruins. Probably this place would be more interesting with a guide explaining to us.

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The remains of the once magnificent Bishapur

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Chogan Gorge

A short distance from Bishapur, the Chogan Gorge has 6 huge bas-reliefs carved out of the steep rocky limestone cliff. The reliefs are mostly engravings of horsemen which depict their victory over the Roman invaders.

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Bas-reliefs of the victory over Roman invaders at the Chogan Gorge

Persepolis

The name Persepolis also means “City of Persians” and its current state is a mere shadow of its former days glory. It was believed that Persepolis was built on the slopes of Mt Rahmat to showcase its magnificence and grandiosity to its visitors, especially during their New Year celebrations (Newroz). We feel that this place is definitely one of the highlights of Shiraz, a must visit if you’re coming to Iran.

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Breathtaking Persepolis – the city of Persians

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You might not be able to tell from the photos, but this place is huge! Back in its heyday, it was more than 125 sq km! If you’re wondering how come it’s all only pillars left (like in the photo below), it’s believed that this entire place was burnt down by Alexander in 330BC. The roofs were made of timber and after being burnt, it melted the iron bolts that held the structures together. Hence causing the ceilings to collapse, leaving behind only the stone columns.

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Parsagade

The main highlight of the Parsagade would be the Tomb of Cyrus, as shown in the photo below. We didn’t take much photos of this place as we decided to give it a miss as there was nothing else to see besides this tomb. Ps. we took this photo from outside the fence of the complex.

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Tomb of Cyrus at Parsagade

Naqsh-e Rostam and Naqsh-e Rajab

We only saw these attractions from outside as we felt that they were very similar to what we’ve seen previously at the Chogan Gorge (scroll up), which were basically bas-reliefs (rock engravings).

Essential Information

Where we stayed
Niayesh Boutique Hotel, US$10 for a single dorm bed with breakfast
Not bad, value for money. Dorm room was quite cozy, albeit very narrow. Good location, walking distance to most of the attractions in the city. Relatively strong & fast wifi connection available in the rooms.

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How we got around
We booked a 3 days tour with Masoud (fravahar_m@yahoo.com) which included a driver and vehicle to bring us to the places above as well as around Yazd. We had 2 different drivers, one for the first day and the other for the second & third day. Overall it was quite well organised, but as we wanted to cut cost, we omitted the guide services. 

Have you been to Shiraz before? Do you feel that it’s worth it to check out the attractions around Shiraz or to give them a miss? Share with us your views by commenting below! 🙂

A must-visit in Iran, Qeshm Island

A must-visit in Iran, Qeshm Island

Even if you’re not a geology buff, you will still be in awe of the unbelievably stunning natural landforms at Qeshm Island in Iran. The dramatic jagged canyon ridge lines, longest salt cave in the world and the photogenic fishing village are definitely a must see!

We were very fortunate to have met a local family in Qeshm Island and to spend 3 days 2 nights there with them. True to the genuine hospitality of Iranians, this family was very kind to host us and to even bring us around! Otherwise, it would be quite hard to travel around Qeshm Island without our own transport as there was no public transport at all 🙁

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A sumptuous feast prepared by the mother of the family

We have always enjoyed interacting with the local people and to experience their way of living to really feel immersed in their local culture. I was very fortunate to have been able to attend a pre-wedding celebration with the ladies of the family! Only females were allowed at this ceremony and it was such an interesting experience! No photos of the wedding ceremony though as the ladies were apparently very camera shy.

After taking almost an hour to put on their best dress (after switching between numerous outfits), they wrapped themselves up entirely in a colourful patterned chador that hid their shimmery tightly fitted dresses. At first I thought that they will remove the chador after arriving at the party, but strangely, their beautiful dresses remain hidden under their chador the entire time and left without anyone even seeing what they wore to the party.

The ceremony was held at a court yard of the bride’s house where her family, relatives and friends sat along the walls on a carpeted floor. The empty space in the middle was ostensibly a dance floor and a place for the bride to ‘show off’ her prenuptial gifts from her husband’s family. The gifts will then be passed around and the ladies took turns admiring and gazing covetously at them. Loud music blared at the same time and in between the gifts presentation, some of the ladies grooved to the music on the dance floor. Although most were too shy to dance, especially the older ladies. No photos at the actual party though as they ladies didn’t like having their photos taken!

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All wrapped up in our colourful chador ready to attend a local wedding celebration together with the ladies!

The next day we were all hyped up and excited to explore the amazing geology of the island!

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Off we went on our little road trip around Qeshm Island!

There are still 60 Bandari villages at Qeshm island and you will be able to see some of the older generation women wearing a traditional mask that covers the top half of their face. These ‘masked ladies’ can only be seen here in the south of Iran, mainly Bandar Abbas and Qeshm Island.

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With a masked Bandari lady at Qeshm Island

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Trying on a Bandari mask at a shop in Qeshm Island

The ladies of Qeshm Island were well known for their expertise in golabtoun douzi, the sewing of colourful designs on fabric. They even sell handmade masked dolls that symbolise the masked Bandari ladies! These ladies were part of the “Art for Conservation” project where the income made from selling these handicrafts to tourists goes back to them as well as local conservation projects. We feel that this is a really great project as it helped achieve economic independence for the local women who have to otherwise stay at home and depend on their husband financially.

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The handmade masked dolls

The Laft fishing village is part of the very fast disappearing traditional culture of the Persian Gulf. The Laft is very photogenic especially during sunset.

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Near the Laft, you can also visit the lenge-building yard where you can witness many huge traditional cargo ships in the making. These ships were being used to ferry goods along the gulf.

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At the lenge-building yard near Laft in Qeshm Island

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Our first time witnessing a humongous ship being rolled out into the sea!

Next up, the highlight of the day – Qeshm Island Geopark! There are 2 main sights here, the Namakdan Cave and the Chahkooh Canyon. We visited the Namakdan Cave first which was the world’s longest salt cave (6.8m) and it was such an unexpectedly adventurous experience for us! At first we thought that it would be like the usual commercialised salt caves with its stalagmites and stalactites, but hey, we were so so wrong!

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Checking out the hardened salt lake!

Lo and behold, this was the entrance to the Namakdan Cave! Not kidding! The cave’s entrance was probably only around 1 meter or less and we had to bend our knees and lower our bodies to enter the cave! We definitely weren’t expecting to enter a cave with such a narrow entrance and filled with water that reached up to above our ankles and even knees in the inner part of the cave! Also, there wasn’t any formal ticket booth or something, or maybe our host family brought us to another entrance of the cave, we would never know.

Tip: If you’re visiting the Namakdan cave, bring a pair of flip flops along! Unless you want to crawl around the cave in uncomfortable wet shoes filled with salt crystals that will rub painfully against your feet.

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The unbelievably narrow entrance of Namakdan Cave in Qeshm Island

We were already not so tall and we found it rather challenging and tiring to bend our bodies at an almost 90 degrees angle for quite a distance before it opens up to a larger part of the cave where we could stand up straight. Can’t imagine for the bigger and taller people, probably a torturous experience!

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That’s me! Struggling to stay low to prevent my head from getting scraped by the cave’s ceiling!

Here’s our very tall friend, Hiro, struggling to keep himself safe while crawling through the cave! As he was much taller than all of us, he had to clamour around on his hands and knees, thus you can see that his slippers were on his hands instead of his feet!

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Our very tall friend struggling inside the cave!

Finally after some back breaking moments, we reached the inner larger part of the cave where we could stand up comfortable without hitting our heads against the rocks! By the way, the cave was HUMONGOUS! The salt formations inside of the cave were sublime, untouched and surreal! Somehow this experience felt really different from the other commercialised caves that we’ve been to. We really enjoyed exploring this cave very much!

Tip: Make sure your guide or yourself bring along a high luminance torch! The cave is practically pitch dark and without the light, it’s impossible to find your way around. Though there’s a string that leads you all the way into the cave and out.

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All of us inside of Namakdan Cave

Also, be prepared for your entire body, hair and clothes to be covered in salt crystals! Look at our crystallised pants, the aftermath of exploring the Namakdan Cave!

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Our pants covered with white salt crystals after exploring the Namakdan Cave

The drive to the Chahkooh Canyon was so picturesque! The landscape here at Qeshm Island is really unique and different from others, its sand ridges were spectacular.

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If you think the above was amazing, wait till you see the Chahkooh Canyon, it was mind blowing! Just look at the dramatic layered ridge lines of the canyon, it was so picturesque!

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The ever incredible Chahkooh Canyon of Qeshm Island!

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We definitely highly recommend Qeshm Island to travellers coming to Iran, it’s worth the time and effort to get there! This mesmerising island is certainly one of our favourite places in Iran.

Essential Information

How to get here
We took a ferry from Bandar Abbas, 10,000 Rial per person.

How to get around Qeshm Island
No public transport available to the attractions, you’ll have to hire a private taxi to bring you around.

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At the ferry terminal to Qeshm Island

Have you been to Qeshm Island before? What was your experience like? Share it with us in the comments below!

Our Experience on Hitchhiking in Turkmenistan

Our Experience on Hitchhiking in Turkmenistan

Hitchhiking in Turkmenistan is challenging and for us, it ended up as an arduous journey from Darvaza to Ashgabat. So here’s how our little adventure went…

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Hitch hiking in the crazy blizzard at Altyn Arashan in Kyrgyzstan!

Thankfully our hitch hiking experience was nothing like the above cold journey! Okay, so we were sort of stranded in Darvaza after seeing the gates of hell as there was supposed to be a bus to Ashgabat at 11am but in the end we found out that the bus was only coming at 4 or 5pm. We didn’t want to wait that long as we only had limited time in Turkmenistan, so we decided to find another way out.

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Stranded at our chaikhanas in Darvaza after visiting the Gates of Hell

Coincidentally, there was a bunch of people having lunch at our chaikhanahs and they happened to be heading to Ashgabat too. They drove a huge blue truck with a large open-aired container at the back and they said we could get a lift from them. We were excited as it was our first time getting driven in such a huge truck!

We happily hopped on the truck with them and we were intrigued to see how cozy and capacious it was inside the truck. There were 2 beds, one above the other, behind the front seats. The 4 of us (including our 2 Japanese friends that we met on the way) squeezed together on the lower bed. It was very comfortable actually. There was a curtain separating the beds and the front seats and we were instructed to draw the curtains whenever there was any sighting of police.

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Our driver, which also happened to be the youngest amongst them (looked like he was 18 or younger), was high and crazy! He kept singing (out of tune) at the top of his lungs and talked loudly non-stop! Half the time he kept turning back to make conversation with us and it got us quite worried as he was obviously not paying much attention to the road. Thankfully they spotted a policeman ahead of the road and the young driver immediately swopped seats with another older rotund fella which seemed more appropriate to me.

Unfortunately in Central Asia, the concept of hitchhiking isn’t quite established yet and drivers will still expect you to pay. Mid way, our driver suddenly asked for Manat from us to pump petrol and at first, they asked for 100M (25M each) which was way too costly! The public bus only cost 10M per person. So we agreed to give only 10M each and the driver reluctantly accepted the money. Though he did try to ask for an additional 10M but we again politely rejected and used the student excuse (which always works) on him.

The funny thing was when we were almost nearing Ashgabat (about 20km away), the driver suddenly turned into a smaller lane and the truck started to slow down and eventually came to a stop. The driver claimed that the truck ran out of petrol! You mean they pumped the petrol with only the 40 Manat from us? And so now we’re paying for the price of it because the truck has come to a stop. The driver got out of the truck and found us another car to send us to Ashgabat. That would cost us another 4M which was reasonable, or so we though.

So we got off the truck and entered the other car which was in the worst conditions ever. Its left passenger door was stuck, its back boot couldn’t close properly, the front seats were fully inclined backwards which made it very difficult for people to sit at the back. We were surprised that the car could actually still function properly when it was almost falling apart! But after 5 minutes, for some unknown reason, he told us to alight and he found us another taxi. He didn’t charge us for that short distance. But this new taxi wanted 20M from us which was too expensive. So we decided to wait by the road for another car, bus or to try hitch hiking again.

Fortunately, a marshuka (mini public van) heading towards Ashgabat promptly arrived and we quickly got on it. But once again, we were faced with another problem. Our baggage was just too bulky for this small van! We had a difficult time squeezing into the van and the driver was quite agitated with us. Despite the van being so full already, he still continued to accept more passengers! And in the end, he collected double the fee from us as he claimed it was for our baggage.

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Finally, after several long draggy hours, we’re here at modern Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan!

After alighting from the marshuka at Tekke Bazaar, we had to take another public bus before finally reaching our hotel. Sometimes we wonder if it was easier to just hail a cab right from the start which will bring us directly to our hotel. Might be costlier, but at least it’ll save us all these inconveniences. But then again, what’s the fun of travelling if not for all these inconveniences?

Check out our other post on things to do in Turkmenistan with a 5 days transit visa!

So, what’s your take on this? Would you rather take the easy way out and pay more for a cab at the start, or take the longer route not knowing what might be the outcome?

Inevitable Culture Shocks in Iran

Inevitable Culture Shocks in Iran

There have been so many recurring praises about this beautiful country from fellow travellers and it was definitely one of the countries that we looked forward to visiting the most. But on the other hand, people whom have yet to visit Iran have the common mindset that Iran is dangerous and that we were crazy to even think of visiting this country. Well, this made us even more curious to find out and to experience Iran for ourselves.

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Our first stop in Iran was at the holiest city, Mashhad, where we had our first biggest culture shock. Firstly, the ladies here dressed very very differently from where we came from. They had to wear a black chador (literally translates as “tent” in English) which is basically this large loose piece of cloth that they use to cover their entire body.

Almost all the ladies were wearing a black chador, which made us wonder if black was a holy colour. But later we found out that they usually wear black as it was presumably the least attractive colour and also, it allowed them to look the same.

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At the renowned Haram-e-Razavi of Mashhad, the holiest city in Iran

The women in Iran were also not allowed to show their hair, skin and body contours in public. We knew about this beforehand, but we did not realize that it was that strict. Even if you’re a foreigner, you will also not be spared. Police will stop and warn you if you do not abide by their moral rules.

On my second day in Iran, I took off my scarf for a short while in public to retie my hair, a police car stopped by the road shortly and warned my guesthouse owner, Vali, who was with us at that point of time that I should cover my hair. There were also times when I forgot to wear my scarf and had to run back to the guesthouse to retrieve it.

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In public buses and trains, women also have to be separated from the men. Women have to sit at the back of the bus and there are special train cabins just for women only. It was strange sitting at the back of the bus together with the rest of the women in black chador and Daniel sitting at the front of the bus together with the men. Also, we felt kind of out of place with our striking jackets that made us stand out from the ubiquitous sea of black.

In the southern regions of Iran, the ladies there dressed differently. Their chadors are usually more colourful and patterned and some could be seen wearing a fabric niqab that covers the top half of their face.

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With a masked lady in Qeshm Island

We felt like celebrities when in Iran as the Iranians were just so friendly! Almost every Iranian greeted us exuberantly as we walked past them and some even wanted to have their photo taken together with us. We were definitely not used to this overwhelming attention and adulation!

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Swarmed with curious and friendly locals who took turns taking photos with us!

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Couch surfing is also a big thing here in Iran as the locals are so eager to practice their English and to meet people from other countries. No wonder they say that the Iranians are the epitome of genuine hospitality. In fact, we had one of our best couch surfing experiences in Iran.

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Staying together with a local family at Qeshm Island, what an incredibly warm experience!

Next up, getting shocked by the local cuisine! Well, for a starter, here’s what we have on the menu. Your choice please? heh (in case you’re wondering, we settled for sausage pizza in the end…haha)

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So here’s how the sheep brain looks like…and guess what, we actually did try one of these delicacies! The size of 1 brain is around the size of your fist, or maybe even smaller. Well, we were surprised that it actually tasted quite nice! The texture is almost similar to egg white and it taste quite salty and delicious! (That’s if you can stomach it down without thinking that it’s a brain!) We had it with tomato sausage spaghetti (yeah we know, what a weird combi…tomato sausage spaghetti plus 1 fried sheep brain) and it was quite a good mix. You should try it too if you get the chance to! 😉

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Anyone fancy some delicious fried sheep brain? Taste great! really!

Okay, another popular local delicacy. Sheep head stew, complete with the eyeballs, ears and tongue. Okay, this, we did not try 🙁 Although our Japanese friend tried it and told us that it was delicious! Haha, maybe if you’re game enough to try it, do share your experience with us!

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Sheep head stew…..yum yum, any takers?

Lastly, we were also surprised to see how modern Iran is, or at least her capital Tehran. It was quite a beautiful mix actually, from beautiful ancient buildings with years of history to modern skyscrapers! Very impressive!

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At the ancient Tomb of Sultan Mahmod in Yazd

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At the splendid Azadi Tower of Tehran

After awhile, we got used to the Iranian’s culture and customs and we started to fit in more comfortably. It soon became a habit for me to put on my headscarf before heading out. Overall, we really enjoyed Iran thoroughly and our final verdict is that Iran is safe for travel and we’ll definitely recommend this sublime country to any open-minded traveller who’s looking for a fresh and interesting travel experience.

Have you travelled to Iran before? Did you get any culture shock like we did? Share them with us in the comments below! 🙂

Mashhad – The holiest city in Iran

Mashhad – The holiest city in Iran

After crossing the border from Turkmenistan into Iran, our first stop was Mashhad, the holiest city in Iran. It was definitely an eye opener for us, from the over pouring attention of the locals, women clad in black chadors to the genuine hospitality of our local friends.

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With the friendly locals of Iran!

Our first place of visit in Mashad was its grand Haram-e-Razavi (Haram in short) shrine, which was a beautiful complex of dazzling gold domes and courtyards full of pilgrims who were here to pay their respect to their holy leader, Imam Reza.

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At the renowned Haram-e-Razavi in Mashhad

When we first arrived at the main entrance of the Haram, the guard called for a guide to escort us in. This guide service is completely free and our guide spoke fluent English. We stopped by the Foreign Pilgrims Association Office where they played a 10 minutes long video about the Haram and gave us each a bag of souvenirs which consisted of a brochure and a stack of picturesque postcards of Mashad. Also, strictly no cameras or bags allowed inside the Haram. But strangely, camera phones were allowed. Their body checks were very thorough and we even had to empty out all of our pockets! All women also had to wear a chardoh when entering the Haram. I borrowed mine from the guesthouse that we stayed at. Sadly, non-muslims were only allowed in the outer courtyards.

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I had no idea how to wear a chador and these helpful ladies kindly assisted me with it!

We went again during the night as the entire place will be lit up and it would be a different experience for us. We were denied entry at first as perhaps the guides have gone home already and it was supposedly impossible to explore the Haram without a guide. But we pleaded with them to grant us entry and after some long discussion amongst themselves, they managed to find one of the staff (who couldn’t speak English) to bring us in. We were delighted and as we wandered through the dwindling crowd, our guide suddenly led us into one of the holy buildings! Non-muslims were not allowed entry usually and hence it was such a privilege for us to be able to enter.

Tip: Visit the Haram at night around 7-8pm again for a totally different experience of the holy place. If you’re denied entry like us at the beginning, try pleading with them and assure them that you will not take too long and that you really want to see this place at night. Who knows, you might be lucky like us and get to be one of the privileged few to enter the golden dome!

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We were so amazed by the dazzling interior and its grandiosity! The stunning canopy was bejewelled with tiny polished mirrors and sparkling chandeliers in every section. There were also a lot of pilgrims praying and meditating inside and the atmosphere was so intense. Especially when we were inside the golden dome where the Imam Reza’s tomb was, there were so many devotees shedding tears for their revered leader and kissing and touching the zarih (the gold cage where the tomb was) We were not allowed to take any photo of the cage though.

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The dazzling interior of the holy golden dome of Haram-e-Razavi

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Mashad was no doubt an interesting and wonderful experience for us. The people were so amicable and we received so many greetings and smiles as we walked down the streets. Definitely a good start to our 1 month trip in Iran!

Essential Information

Where to stay
Vali Non-Smoking Homestay, $10 for a dorm bed. Free wifi and free flow of Vali’s unique mountain tea.

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By the way, you have to at least try the cooking of Vali’s wife once if you’re staying at his homestay. His wife’s cooking is delectable! We really loved the classic Fesenjun which is a local dish of rice with roast chicken savoured in pomegranate sauce, walnuts and cinnamon. It cost $5 for each meal.

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Our favourite Iranian dish – Fesenjun!

Vali was an exceptionally friendly extrovert who made us feel very welcomed in his country. Some people might be put off by his over friendliness, but we felt that he was just being extremely helpful and also a very straight forward person who speaks his mind. He also gave us a free introductory tour around his carpet factory and provided lots of interesting information about the different types of carpets and its origins.

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How to get here
Do note that the information on Lonely Planet is outdated. The correct address:
No. 277, 38th Malekoshoara Bahar, Chaharahe Lashgar, Mashhad, Iran
We took a cab from the border of Turkmenistan-Iran, cost us around US$40.

Ps. Important advice to fellow travellers
Beware of Vali’s extremely outspoken tour partner, Rafi, whom we had a very very nasty experience with after rejecting his unethically priced tours. Besides hard selling, he also showed us horrible attitude after we declined his offer and even wrote us long ridiculous messages on our Facebook page and website. If you wish to know the full story, you can drop us a message and we will personally share with you our bad experience with this person. To be safe, go for the Kang village tour with Vali instead who’s more genuine as he was the pioneer in conducting tours in Kang village and he’s doing it more for his passion rather than for the money. If you’re wondering who he is, you will definitely meet him if you’re staying at Vali’s homestay. He’s the other Iranian who speaks fluent British english.

Have you ever been to Iran before? What are your views about travelling to Iran? Share them with us in the comments below! 🙂

Visiting the Kaluts of Shahad Desert in Kerman

Visiting the Kaluts of Shahad Desert in Kerman

Highlight of our time in Kerman was visiting the Kaluts and camping at the Shad desert with Mosslem. It was so fun walking across the desert barefooted, feeling the cooling soft sand rubbing against our feet. The desert was so peaceful and devoid of tourists when we were there (probably because it was winter). We managed to find great solace in the silence of the empty Shahad desert.

As we walked through the vast tranquil desert, we were impressed bt the amazing huge naturally formed yardangs (sand castles) of over 5 to 10 storeys high that towered over all of us. These natural landforms are made of sand and have been sculpted by the wind and elements over the years, resulting in these impressive towering  sculptures.

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The kalut desert is also known to be one of the hottest desrets in the world, with temperatures soraing to as high as 70 degrees celcius during summer. Because we went during winter, the sand was cooling enough to walk on barefooted.

Tip: Avoid coming here during summer, the heat would be too unbearable! Spring would be the best time to visit this amazing place.

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Before heading to our campsite, we stopped by this ancient fortress which was quite interesting and its watch towers and main entrance arch were still intact.

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Before the sun set, we quickly adjourned off to our campsite to set up our tent. There was actually a proper campsite there at the desert with huts made up of dried date tree leaves. Some of the huts were lopsided though possible due to the strong winds. Check out our cozy crib for the night! There was even electricity points here, no joke!

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After setting up the tents, Mosslem proceeded to prepare our dinner where he expertly tore apart the whole chicken, marinated it with the Iranian spices, and then cooked it over charcoal fire. The end product was delectable! The meat was so succulent, juicy and tasty! So yummy that I’m almost salivating as I’m typing this!

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Delicious tender chicken kebab cooked over charcoal fire!

After dinner, it was chilling time, just sitting by the fire under the beautiful starry night sky, sipping a cup of hot chai and enjoying each other’s company as we share our different travel experiences. The guys even went to climb up the hill in the middle of the night while Daniel and I stayed behind to look after our belongings. From the top of the hill, the guys used their torch to signal to us and it was funny seeing the blinking dancing lights at the top.

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The day before at the desert, Mosslem was trying to explain to us through his drawing how a date tree leaves look like.

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And true enough, it really does quite look like the real thing! The sunset here was really beautiful, We woke up early to catch the sunrise by the river and it was one of the most beautiful sunrises that we have ever witnessed.

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Visiting the kaluts in Kerman is definitely recommended if you’re travelling to Kerman in iran! But unfortunately it’s not easily accessible without your own car as there’s no public transport to the desert. You have to either hire a taxi or rent a car to get there. We would say it’s worth it though!

Have you seen the Kaluts before? What do you think about the natural sand castles of over 5-10 storeys high? Share with us your comments below 🙂

12 Interesting Facts About Armenia That You Might Not Know

12 Interesting Facts About Armenia That You Might Not Know

Recently we traveled to Armenia and discovered so many interesting things about this beautiful country! Here are some interesting things about Armenia that you might not know.

1. Chess is a compulsory subject in schools

Interesting huh? All students have to take chess as a compulsory subject in school and there are even exams for it! The photo below shows the renowned Tigran Petrosian Chess House in Yerevan where many huge international chess tournaments have been held.

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Can you spot those chess pieces?

2. Armenia was the first country to have adopted Christianity as its state religion

Today, 97% of the population today are Christians and Armenia has one of the most beautiful churches in the world. Check out our post on the 10 most beautiful Armenian churches that you must visit. The country was converted to Christianity back in 301AD by St Gregory Illuminator and since then, many churches have been built under his name. There are so many beautiful churches in Armenia and we have come up with our own list of the top 10 most beautiful churches in Armenia.

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Khor Virap Monastery

3. Armenia is one of the only mono ethnic countries in the world

97% of the people living in Armenia are Armenians and the remaining small percentage is made up of different ethnic minorities such as the Yazidis, Russians, Ukranians, Kurds, and more.

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4. The first church in the world was built in Armenia

Holy Etchimiadzin was the first state church built in the world back in the early 4th century. This place is also the headquarter of all the churches in Armenia and it’s one of the most visited pilgrimage site in the world. Unfortunately this beautiful building has been under construction for the past few years and we were unable to capture a nice shot of it.

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5. An estimated 1.5 million Armenians were killed during the Genocide

The genocide refers to the mass killings of Armenians that began under Ottoman rule in 1915. Coincidentally, this year 24th April 2015 marks the 100th year anniversary of the genocide. The Genocide museum was closed for a year for thorough restoration and will only be opened 2 days before its 100th anniversary. The genocide happened during and after first world war where more than 1.5million Armenians were brutally killed without any mercy by her enemy. The genocide happened in 3 phases, the first was when all the men were being called out to join the army and then killed (so that the rest of the population will not have any males to protect them), then next was the killing of all women, elderly and children, and the last was the intellectuals.

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Photo credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nersess/2137880081/ (genocide)

6. Armenia is one of the oldest wine producing country in the world

Armenia is one of the oldest country that has produced wine in the world. It’s attributed to its blessed location of being on the fertile valleys of Mt Ararat where high quality grapes could be grown.

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Enjoying the different fruit flavoured wines at Areni Wine

7. Armenians bake their lavash underground in a tonir

A tonir basically refers to an underground earth oven as shown in the photo below. Armenians love to eat lavash which is this thin layer of flat chewy bread that’s made from flour, salt and water and baked in a tonir. Lavash can be kept for 1 year without turning bad. So usually the local women will bake the lavash in bulk and then store them to eat slowly for the next few months. Armenians cannot imagine having their meals without bread! (Even if they’re eating rice, they’ll need to have bread with it too!)

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An example of an ancient underground tunir at the Geghard Monastery

8. The entire country worships Mt Ararat which is also the national symbol of Armenia

According to our guide, Mt Ararat protected Armenia from a super strong earthquake! They also believe that the peak of Mt Ararat was where Noah’s ark was found. But sadly, Mt Ararat is not even within the territory of Armenia at the moment.

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The majestic Mt Ararat acting as a backdrop for the stunning Khor Virap

9. The apricot is one of the symbols of Armenia

The flag on the right in the photo below belongs to Armenia and the orange colour of the flag actually symbolises the apricot! That’s how significant apricots are to Armenia! And when you walk through the markets, you’ll find vendors selling apricots of all sort from dried apricot, fresh apricot, apricot flavoured wine, apricot juice and anything else that you can think of!

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10. Yerevan is also known as the “pink city”

Yerevan is one of the most beautiful “pink city’ that we’ve ever been to, her buildings were all made of naturally coloured volcanic rocks of varying shades of pink, hence giving her the name “pink city”.

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11. There’s a ‘stork village’ here in Armenia!

We were on our way to the Noravank Church when we passed by this village with a whole row of long wooden poles lined up neatly along the road and a huge stork’s nest on the top of each pole! It was so amazing! These storks migrate to Africa every year before the winter arrives and returns when it’s spring! We happened to be there when it was almost spring and some of the storks have already arrived back home to their nest. It was such a cute sight! Also, the nests were so huge that some other smaller birds such as the sparrows have made their own little nest out of the huge stork’s nest! (From the photo on the right below, you can see a few sparrows happily making their home in the stork’s nest)

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12. There is no discrimination between tourists and locals in Armenia

This has gotta be one of our favourite points. We really like how there’s no discrimination between tourists and the locals here in Armenia! Tickets to all attractions in Armenia were priced the same for both locals and tourists, unlike in some other countries such as Iran where the tourist price is almost 10 times more expensive than the local’s price. Actually, it’s free entry to all the churches in Armenia, which is pretty amazing actually. In Central Asia and Iran, we had to pay entrance fees to enter their mosques. Only certain attractions such as the Garni Temple below requires a small fee for the entrance ticket.

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Breathtaking Garni Temple, the only surviving Pagan Temple left in Armenia

Hope you enjoyed our post about the interesting facts about Armenia that you might not know! Do drop us a comment if you have any other suggestion on interesting facts about Armenia to add to our post! You might also wish to check out our post on top 8 things to do in Armenia.

Exploring Georgia Part 2

Exploring Georgia Part 2

Here’s Part 2 of things to do in Georgia, where our travel in Georgia got even more exciting and interesting! We visited the enormous cave city Uplistsikhe, Sapara Monastery, an even larger 13 stories cave city Vardzia, the amazing stalactites and stalagmites formation inside of the Prometheus Cave and witnessed a real dinosaur footprint at the Sataplia National Forest!

Click here if you missed Exploring Georgia Part 1 where we explored Tbilisi, visited the David Gareja Monastery, Ananuri Fortress, Signagi, Bodbe Monastery, enjoyed an evening of traditional Georgian folk dance performance while we had our dinner and more!

Marvel at the enormous cave city, Uplistsikhe

This was the first cave city that we’ve ever visited in our lives and it was amazing! Uplistsikhe was one of the oldest urban settlement in Georgia. Can you imagine, this place used to be able to host 20,000 people! Sadly, what’s left is only less than half of the original city as most of it was destroyed during a major earthquake in the 19th century.

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Gazing at the patterned ceiling of what was once part of a concert hall

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Standing right where the throne of Queen Tamar used to be. Look at the grand arches of her room!

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Tip: Don’t miss out on this secret tunnel that takes you right back to the entrance of the cave city!

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The stairs down to the secret tunnel of Uplistsikhe

Admire the high quality frescoes of the Sapara monastery

This monastery is one of the oldest in Georgia and in it, its intricately detailed and high quality frescoes displays the highest standard of Georgian art. It was a super winding and bumpy uphill ride to the monastery though, just be prepared for it, it’s worth it though! 🙂

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The amazing high quality frescoes inside of the Sapara Monastery

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The exterior of the Sapara Monastery, not as impressive as its interior though

Lose yourself in the fascinating 13 storeys carved cave city, Vardzia

Again, a lot of it has been destroyed by the major earthquake. But still, our jaws dropped as we approached closer to the carved city. It was incredibly amazing! This definitely wins hands down for being the main highlight of our travel in Georgia!

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The amazing 13 storeys cave city, Vardzia.

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Spotted a “Gum” tree as we walked up to the caves

It was super fun exploring the caves and entering narrow tunnels that lead you out to the other side of the caves. As you can see from the photo, I’m already not so tall and still, I have to bend down slightly to avoid scraping my head against the ceiling! Can’t imagine for the taller folks! We felt like ants crawling through a maze tunnel.

Tip: If you’re claustrophobic, it’s best to avoid the tunnels as it’s quite a long way out and if there’s a crowd, it’s gonna be hard to reverse back to where you entered from.

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Here’s how a cave looked like. This was the room of Queen Tamar.

Immersing ourselves in the second largest city of Georgia – Kutaisi

If you’re planning on coming to Kutaisi, do stay at least for 1 night here and take your time to explore the different interesting sights of Kutaisi.

Where we stayed at in Kutaisu – Hotel Gora. The rooms were super beautifully decorated and we felt like a king/queen! There’s also fast wifi connection in the room. Both dinner and breakfast were included in the price too. And the dinner was delicious! Location was great too, near Bagreti Church. Highly recommended!

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Bagreti church

We like how this church stands out because of its distinct turquoise tiled roofs which you will be able to spot easily from afar. Also, this church is huge! Most people come to Kutaisi city to visit this church. This church is also walking distance from Hotel Gora.

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Gelati church

Unfortunately when we visited Gelati Church, there was some restoration work going on, as you can see from the photo below. Its interior was definitely more impressive than its exterior though.

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Check out the crazily beautiful frescoes inside of the Gelati Church! All walls inside of the church were covered with colourful intricately detailed paintings and it was an incredible experience admiring all of the beautiful artworks!

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Sataplia National Reserve and Cave

So yes, we spotted a real preserved dinosaur footprint right here in the Sataplia National Forest! How cool is that!?

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Fun to know: Sataplia also means “place of honey” and the reason why they named this place Sataplia was because the largest population of bees can be found here! There’s a lot of honey stored in the rock crevices and the locals eat honey as food. I hate bees though, thankfully we didn’t encounter any during our trip there!

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We can imagine this place to be even more beautiful during summer when it’s all lush and green!

Another highlight of the Sataplia National Reserve is the Sataplia Cave which spans over 900m and contains some really beautifully lit stalagmites and stalactites. But when being compared to the much larger and impressive Prometheus Cave, the Sataplia Cave paled in comparison in our opinion.

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Prometheus Cave

This was definitely one of the most impressive and humongous caves that we’ve ever visited! The natural formations of the stalagmites and stalacmites were stunning! We also like the way they played with the lighting colours, it really illuminated the caves well and enhanced its overall natural beauty!

Tip: Choose this over Sataplia Cave if you cannot afford the time to visit both attractions. In our opinion, the Prometheus Cave was definitely more impressive than the Sataplia Cave which was more like a sample of the Prometheus cave.

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There was also supposed to be a boat ride available inside of the cave itself which we think was quite interesting actually. But unfortunately it was under renovation when we were there and will only open in April/May 2015.

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Our last destination in Georgia was actually Batumi before heading to the Sarpi border where we will be entering Turkey from. Sad to say, we were during the wrong season and it was all too cold, cloudy, rainy and foggy at Batumi 🙁 We heard that in summer, Batumi’s very beautiful and thriving with throngs of tourists!

Crossing the Sarpi border into Turkey was definitely an easy and fast process! It took us less than 15 minutes to exit Georgia and enter Turkey! So for now, it’s goodbye Georgia, and hello TURKEY! 😀

Essential Information

We visited most of the places above together with Exotour, a reputable tour agency in Georgia. Overall, we had a fabulous time and we would recommend Exotour to any traveller who’s looking for a trustworthy tour agency in Georgia. Do note that public transport to most of the attractions listed above is very limited and it’s really a lot more convenient and fuss free to join a tour instead. But do be prepared to be stuck in the car for long hours though. We had an average of 4-5 hours drive almost everyday! But thankfully, the car was a comfortable 4WD which made our long rides so much more tolerable and enjoyable 🙂 Not forgetting the amazing scenery as we drove along!

Hope you enjoyed our post about our suggestions on things to do in Georgia!

Many thanks to Exotour for hosting us in Georgia!

Sunrise Odyssey