Istanbul Top Pick: The Basilica Cistern

Of the many, many places to see in Istanbul, The Basilica Cistern (or Yerebatan Sarnıcı in Turkish) is my favourite.  It’s the largest of the several hundred ancient sub-terranean cisterns in Istanbul, and I absolutely love how it’s so different from all other top attractions in Istanbul. Unlike the grand mosques with minarets that soar …

5 Things to See & Do in Istanbul

I confess: We did not have a long list of reasons to visit Istanbul. As an architecture aficionado, sure, I’ve long wanted to see Hagia Sophia and its legendary dome. But apart from this, the real reason we booked our first trip to Istanbul in 2012 is—get ready—sheer convenience.  It was Easter weekend and we anticipated …

Melrose House Hotel in Pamukkale

As a town known for day trips, Pamukkale does not have a big range of hotel options for those who choose to spend a night or two. My (rigorous) research led me to Melrose House Hotel—a boutique, family-run hotel located but a 10-minute walk from the travertines. Melrose House Hotel has a score of 8.4 …

Swimming in the Antique Pools of Hierapolis

Apart from the legendary travertines and terraced pools, tourists flock to Pamukkale also to see the ancient city of Hierapolis.  Built in the early 2nd century BC, Hierapolis’ ruins sit in the hills of Pamukkale—scattered across a grassy field at the end of the 1km climb up the white, terraced travertines. Visitors will need to …

Walking on cotton in Pamukkale

Pamukkale had been in my bucket list for many years.  It’s taken us a while to visit because unlike other Turkish destinations in our list (i.e. Istanbul, Cappadocia), planning a trip to Pamukkale had been a bit more on the challenging side.  Its location, for example, is not as convenient as Istanbul which gets direct …