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Is it easy to travel to Turkey without joining a travel package?

Is it easy to travel to Turkey without joining a travel package?

Old Feb 11th, 2008, 12:43 PM
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Is it easy to travel to Turkey without joining a travel package?

Hi,

Is it easy to travel for English speaker without participating a tour? I am concerning it will be hard since I don't speak Turkey language. However, I don't like to participate the tour. I would like to have my own flexibility while I am traveling. Thanks!

Jane
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 05:00 PM
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You don't need a tour. Just a few words. Write them down if you think that will help, Please, Thank you, Where is, How much, the toilet. You say alot with hand signals, and people are so friendly, you should have no problems.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 06:21 PM
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If you need some Turkish. Here is my Turkish podcast.
This may help your trip in Turkey.

Have a nice trip in Turkey

Sinan Akdeniz

http://www.sinanakdeniz.com/turkce/

or

http://www.sinanakdeniz.com/podcast.html
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 06:54 PM
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It's very easy. I did it last year. I went from Bodrum to Selcuk (Ephesus)by public bus. Then to Izmir by train. From there I did a day trip to Bergama. Back to Izmir, bus to Cesme, ferry to Chios and ferry back from Chios to Athens. If you have specific questions, please ask. Sinan is an expert. You can manage perfectly well in English, all the people dealing with tourists speak good English.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 07:05 PM
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My husband and I went to Turkey for 10 days in September 05. We arrived in Istanbul, flew to Izmir, where we rented a car, and drove to Kusadasi. We stayed for 4 nights at the Kismet hotel. From there we visited Ephesus, drove to Didyma to see the Temple of Apollo, took an all-day boat cruise on the Aegean sea,and spent a day around Kusadasi with a stop at Turkish baths.

We then drove back to Izmir, and flew to Istanbul, where we stayed for 5 nights at The Celal Sultan Hotel in Sultanahmet. We joined a full day tour that took us in the Blue Mosque, the Aya Sofia, a drive all around the historic section, lunch at a restaurant near the water, and an afternoon at Topkapi Palace. On other days we visited the Grand Bazaar, The Church in Chora, the Spice Market, the Cistern, and Dolmabahce Palace.
We did enjoy our 1 day tour with the bus to take us around, but we did a lot of sightseeing on our own.

I recommend www.turkeytravelplanner.com for good suggestions on planning a trip yourself. We did use a Turkish travel agent recommended on that website to book our stay at the Kismet and our intra-Turkey flights, as they were able to secure better prices than I found on my own.
Don't feel you will have a problem with English, as we felt that the tourist areas we visited had sufficient number of English speakers to assist. I did make a point to learn a few phrases--good morning, hello, goodbye, please, thank you, where are the toilets, and a few numbers and food words. It was one of our most memorable trips ever!
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 07:46 PM
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I first came to Fodor's when I was searching for tour information for going to Turkey. I was convinced it would be too difficult on our own, but people here convinced me it wouldn't be. They were so right. We even ended up renting a car and driving from Cappadocia to Antalya and all the way up the coast to Kusadasi. The only language "problem" we had was staying a night in Konya. The hotel was no issue, nor was driving, but we struck out on our own and found an offbeat place for dinner where no one spoke a word of English. Through charades, gestures, and pointing, and saying "shish kebob" a lot, we had a wonderful dinner and enough memories of an adventure to last a lifetime.

And driving was amazing. There was far less traffic than anywhere we've driven in Europe, the roads were better, often better marked, and frankly they were simply wonderful. The only problem there was looking out for the occasional donkey cart wandering down the highway.
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 11:51 AM
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As everyone agreed, yes you can travel Turkey totaly independently. If you feel you need to join a tour or take a private one which does not compares buying a travel package. You can visit Ephesus alone especially with a bit of study prior to travel date. Having said that also nice to be with a guide he knows the site well and hear stories and get deeper in history is an issue which can be fun and education. Someone answering your questions and giving interesting facts on spot. So you are still not on a package tour but decide your own way.....

Turkey is one of the easiest countries where even people does not speak your native language you will be able to communicate farely. People are willing to communicate with you......body language, pigeon English or no English. Or they will try to communicate in broken German or fluently in French.

Like NeoPatrick's experience, being a traveler helps a lot.....

Happy traveling,
Murat
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 12:46 PM
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I am always amazed when someone suggests you learn to say "Where is ...?" and "How much is ...?" in a foreign language. That's just great, but how do you understand the answer? Therein lies a problem. JMHO
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 01:10 PM
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Kristinelaine, I've been asking that same question for years. I can learn to speak a few phrases in a foreign language, but I NEVER understand the answer I get.

And does anyone believe that even the most uneducated of "sellers" in the most remote third world country doesn't understand the phrase "how much" spoken in English? They learn that before they learn mama in their native language!!!
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 01:27 PM
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It's all about context. If you are asking a question, presumably you know the various alternative answers to expect and know what to listen for.
Numbers are good to learn if you want to understand prices of course.
If asking "where" you may be given street names, cardinal directions, or most likely pantomimed directions.
It's more about politeness than communication, but if you know what to listen for you can sometimes understand.
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