Istanbul: Draft Itinerary

istanbul

So we’ll be here first week of November. But only for 4.5 days. Dont ask me why the short trip unlike our previous adventurous 2-weeks-backpacking-where-you’ll-be-on-trains-for-3-days-without-shower kind of trips, but it happens when now you have to think for three instead of thinking for two :)  It will be our first trip as three, and I’m excited about it. Of course, I could give in and wait for longer and more secured time, but this opportunity is like now or never! Wont go into details about it, but total return flights including 4 nights hotel for THREE of us costs me RM3.4k, so it explains why the sudden plan.

Anyhow. I always become a smart planner who manages to cram alot of places in limited days.

Day 1: Around Sultanahmet (Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, etc), Grand Bazaar, Beyazit

Day 2: Ortakoy to see morning market, Dolmabahce (not entering palace though), Taksim, Istiklal avenue, Galata bridge..

Day 3: Topkapi palace, then take bus to Eyup. OTW back stop at Suleymaniye mosque, Spice Bazaar, etc

Day 4: Take ferry to Uskudar in Asian side, then take bus/whatever to Hyderpasa, Kadikoy. Take ferry back from Kadikoy to Eminonu.

Day 5: Probably manage to do last minute shopping (not much intended) in Grand Bazaar before leaving for airport in the afternoon.

**

I can say it’s the most luxury trip we’ll have so far coz we’ll be staying all nights in 3 star hotel instead of jumping from hostel to CS couch or in trains like last time ;P then again with a baby in tow I’m not sure if it’s manageable at all to stay at CS host, although we’d love to if there exists some family-friendly host.

Well. Let’s see if my itinerary goes as planned or not.

Draft itinerary: China Silk Road

day 0 – arrive Chengdu at night
day 1 – Chengdu full day, take sleeper train to Lanzhou
day 2 – arrive Lanzhou, change train to Turpan
day 3 – arrive Turpan. 1.5 days in Turpan
day 4 – take evening train to Kuqa
day 5 – Kuqa full day, take midnight train to Kashgar
day 6 – Arrive Kashgar, visit old town
day 7 – Kashgar Id Kah mosque and around
day 8 – Kashgar – Yarkand – Karghilik
day 9 – Kashgar Sunday market and Animal market
day 10 – Go to Karakul Lake, overnight in Kyrgyz yurt
day 11 – Proceed to Tashkurgan, overnight there.
day 12 – Take bus back to Kashgar.
day 13 – Fly to Urumqi, visit museum, bazar
day 14 – Day trip to Nanshan pasture
day 15 – Go to Tianchi lake, maybe stay at Kazakh yurt there
day 16 – Back to Urumqi
day 17 – Fly back to Chengdu (flight back to Kuala Lumpur at midnight).

That was our itinerary after 100th time of revising :) Funny to announce that I initially purchased AirAsia ticket for Chengdu aiming to visit Xian, but after like 38th time revising, apparently Xian is nowhere to be seen in the itinerary now. Az wanted to put Lhasa, but it would be different path than Xinjiang. I wanted to put Kanas Lake and it’s like in the other edge of China when we’re heading to Kashgar. I once managed to put in Xining, Linxia and Xiahe and I realized I’m actually good at finding out new small places to stop by, and if it’s not because Az stopped me  I would have tried to cram all China in 17 days itinerary. Oh well. Finally we both agreed to stick to Silk road path for this trip. And it was before I added Kuqa in the trip.

While I’m doubting if I can get ready by 13 April with workloads killing me and I’m on my own new big project to finish before April, and at-work exam on 10 May afterward when we come back (how am I supposed to bring the thoughts and worries for exam all the way to China?? I know we’ll be spending time in a 24-hour train and are likely to die bored but the time is NOT meant for studying the exam notes! Ugh).