Monday, March 4, 2013

THE SPICE BAZAAR IN ISTANBUL

One of the attractions of Istanbul is its Spice Bazaar. From Sultanahmet Square, you could take a tram but we chose just to walk. We just had to walk along the rows of shops which led us straight to the market and we took about 15 minutes to arrive to our destination. Right beside the bazaar is this huge mosque and I later found out the name of this building is New Mosque.

the New Mosque

We spotted some stalls outside the main building so we went there first to have a look at what was on sale. And it was very interesting indeed. 


variety of spices


baby leeches, anybody?


one of the many pet shops

blooming flowers


very small shallots



more spices



seashells and even starfish
Once inside the Spice Bazaar building, we saw rows of shops selling variety of items but too bad, I was already traumatized to be in such a place. The shopkeepers seemed to be calling you (even by saying loudly "Malaysia? Apa khabar?"). While they were trying to attract, I found myself distracted. They would ask you to taste the candy or preserved fruits but I would refuse the offer because I did not want to get trapped in the net they were casting. Nevertheless, if you would love to shop and get something home from Istanbul, this market would be one option that you have. And you must always try to bargain for the best price.



Turkish delights


Turkish candy




variety of pickles

I only bought dates and dried apricots from here, a kilogramme each, and they were cheaper from the prices I would get in Malaysia.

selling flags outside the market


a building beside the bazaar

TRAVELLING TIP: While we were looking at the map mounted on a board at a tram station, someone approached us and told us the direction to the Spice Bazaar. He sounded friendly but he actually was trying to get us visit his family-owned carpet shop and luckily he just dismissed us when we rejected his idea. So be careful if someone offered his help to take you to a certain place because you might end up in a carpet shop or warehouse, like what I have read of someone's experience in her blog. Malaysians seem to be the main target of these carpet sellers most probably because we Malaysians are the ones who buy a lot of carpets from Istanbul. (I didn't.)