Alif’s 8th Country = TURKIYE!

Alif will be 9 years old soon (he was born in October 2004). Until August 2013, then he has visited many cities in Indonesia and six countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Macau. I will take him to The Philippines in October 2013 (his 7th country), back to Singapore in November 2013 (actually to go to Legoland in Johor Bahru, Malaysia), then his 8th country will be…TURKIYE!

This morning, I purchased return tickets from Jakarta to Istanbul (via Jeddah/Riyadh) for him, US$680 by Saudi Airlines. Travelling with Alif (until next 2 years) really saved me lots of money because his “child fare” (age 2-11) only cost half or 75% of my (adult) fare. Sometimes, I even got “kids fly free” promo from airlines.

From what I read from (, experiencing Turkiye will be an awesome experience for him.


Turkiye is considered to be one of the richest countries in terms of archaeology and is by far the biggest “open air museum” of the world. It has always been a bridge between the East and West and has been noted by scholars as the “melting pot” of various cultures where classical culture was shaped.

Our first city, Istanbul, is truly a world city, a city which everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. It is an enchanting blend of Eastern and Western culture, a vibrant, modern city, with a unique identity. Its rich past coexists alongside its youthful exuberance. Although no longer the capital of Turkiye, Istanbul still remains the country’s cultural and business centre.

I will take Alif for one whole day of Bosphorous cruise from the state-run company Sehir Hatlari ( which offers a three hour cruise for TL25 (US$12.50, 90 minutes each way with a break of several hours at Anadoli Kavagi) or a shorter non-stop 2 hour cruise for TL10 (US$5). Ferries to the Bosphorus leaves from Eminonu, so take a tram and reach to Eminonu. There are 3 ports at Eminonu and the ones running in the Bosphorus are leaving from number 3 port. Ferries leaves at 10:35, 12:00 and 13,35 in summer. There is also one ferry for night trips. Total travel time including return trip will take around 5-6 hours.

Upon arrival at Anadolu Kavagi (after around 1,5 hours from Eminonu), it’s recommended to climb up to the hill and reach the walls of the fortress to see The Bosphorus meeting with The Black Sea. Would be a very nice panoramic view, and there are many nice fish restaurants to have lunch (prices are relatively cheap, refer to


Other interesting places to go are:
– Ankara (the capital city, must visit the Anatolian Civilizations Museum)
– Cappadocia (the best place for hot balloon tour after visit the location of underground city of Kaymakli, Citadel of Uchisar, valley of Goreme, open air museum, Pasabag and Avanos).
– Pamukkale (the location of the ruins of Hierapolis including the magnificently preserved cemetery Necropolis, also the city of Aphrodite).
– and many more.

I’m so excited!



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