12th February ~ My friend Mr. Razib would be leaving Istanbul in the afternoon as he had to go to work the very next day. We still had a few hours to walk around town before he had to catch his shuttle bus to the airport. So off we went to this one place called the Grand Bazaar. How to get there from Sultanahmet Square? Again, either by walking or taking the tram. And if you walk, you just have to follow the tram line (whereas the opposite direction will take you the Spice Bazaar).
The Grand Bazaar is widely talked about by any travel book and even travel blogs. The building is very big that you will be reminded time and time again to remember the door that you use to get in or else you will not be able to find your way out. It is said that there are 3000 shops selling all kinds of items and is one of the tourist attractions.
|the bazaar entrance|
We arrived there quite early so there were not yet many visitors. HOWEVER, we did not spend a lot of time there most probably because we did not have anything particular to buy. And the most important thing, I was feeling very uncomfortable and insecure, I could suffocate if was to stay there longer. I did not even take a lot of pics here as I could sense the shopkeepers had their eyes set on every movement I made. They were just too friendly, trying to get us into their shops. The items on display had no price tags so we did not know the price, and how low should I go if I was to bargain for it. Once I asked the price of a piece of embroidered shawl and I was told it was 250 lira (which was equivalent to about RM550) which I found a bit too ridiculous.
The Grand Bazaar is one option you have if you want to shop in Istanbul but there are still many other places selling the same items that you could get here. If you are a person who is good at bargaining, perhaps you should hone your skills here.