Bus Travel In Turkey

Feb 26th, 1998, 04:24 PM
Joseph Kimble
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Bus Travel In Turkey

Going to Turkey in September. Would appreciate comments by persons who have used inter-city buses to travel independently in Turkey. Safe, comfortable, easy to buy tickets, etc.?
Mar 6th, 1998, 06:34 AM
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buses are definitely the way to travel in turkey.
services are pretty frequent, and competition is
fierce, so prices are very low for the comfort you
get. most cities (including istanbul, finally) have
a central bus terminal where all buses leave from.
you can buy tickets either at the station or from
the company's downtown offices. the second option
is better, cause that'll include free transfer to
the bus terminal which is usually outside the city.
anyway,if you mail me your specific itinerary, i can
recommend several good/safe companies doing that
May 25th, 1998, 09:56 AM
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I have been to Turkey 4 times already and take at least two over-night buses each time. Buses are a great and very inexpensive way to travel around Turkey (approx. $20-30 Canadian, vs flying at $100-150 Cnd per person), and quite safe. However, they usually tend to be over-night affairs - so taking an (inflatable) pillow will really help. Also sitting for a very long time means your feet will swell a bit - walk around when the bus stops (and it will a couple of times during the night for food, washroom, etc.) and wear very comfortable shoes. Make sure you have a little bit of change with you - you may need to pay for washrooms along the way (and take a few kleenex - just in case). Most of the people riding and working on the buses are VERY helpful, and many are excited to get the change to practice their English (lots of students who's English is quite good). e-mail me if you have any other questions.
Aug 19th, 1998, 10:06 AM
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Joe-- We only had two problems with buses. 1)The smoking. (We read recently that Turkey has since passed a law, making buses No Smoking zones.) 2) A very religious driver, one Friday, who delayed his schedule by stopping for prayers at every mosque! We had a great time on the buses. They are extremely comfortable, especially the double-deckers. The food at the stops was quite good, and reasonably priced. The restaurants at the bus stops were usually immaculate. Then, there's the additional asset of the other passengers. We met a lot of really nice people on the buses; usually, they were quite well educated. (Very poor Turkish people can seldom afford to travel.) Women often welcomed me by slipping me home-baked goodies; the men practically fought for a chance to talk to my husband, especially when he travelled alone. Bring a phrasebook and Turkish/English dictionary, and learn the standard, polite phrases in Turkish. If you know a little German, that's useful, too, since many Turks were guest workers in Germany. The buses are a chance to get a real glimpse into another culture-- without giving up comfort and safety. I can only hope that you enjoy them as much as we have.
Aug 24th, 1998, 08:02 AM
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Joseph - I've just returned from my latest trip to Turkey. Here are a couple of notes on bus travel in Turkey. Varan is the best company to travel with, yes most expensive ($40Cnd Bodrum to Istanbul, not that that is expensive, esp in US $ these days!!!), but always non-smoking, often at least one of the hosts speaks some English, they depart on time, very comfortable and safe (both the in terms of the quality of the buses and the people on them). Almost all bus companies take VISA. As well Varan will often have a service bus in Istanbul that can take you closer to your destination in the city, or in other cities, i.e. Bodrum they my take you on to the next village - if that is really your destination - do ask though and be clear on where you want to get off. I've travelled by bus and plane within Turkey and would actually chose the bus - you get to see more, they leave on time, which is more than I can say for the planes sometimes and it is cheaper. One word of warning though - the buses all make 2-3 stops during the trip: take kleenex for the washroom and a bit of food if you can - some of the restaurants they stop at can be expensive (i.e. cost equals what you would pay at home). Lastly, even though they are safe, esp Varan, do take your "carry-on" with you when the bus stops.

If you have any more questions feel free to e-mail me.

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