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Monday, 5 August 2013

Istanbul, Part III

The Bazaars and Caravansarayi

Baklava kiosk in the middle
When I was in Istanbul, I had visited three bazaars that lies within Fatih district. The biggest and most famous was The Grand Bazaar. The second bazaar was the Spice Bazaar and the third one was the Arasta Bazaar. The Grand bazaar (GB) is located adjacent the Beyazid tram station (blue line T1). This bazaar really reminiscent me the James Bond film, Skyfall in 2012. Remember the chasing scene using motorcycle on the roof top of the bazaar? If you want to know this is the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th century Oxford street, Wang Fu Jing and 5th Avenue! Wow! The aisle is fully covered with roof so it shouldn't be a problem if winter comes. One more thing, you could get free fresh water to drink at few locations. Interesting isn't it? GB project was launched by Sultan Muhammad II just after the fall of Constatinople. The construction completed in 1461 and it is believed that most of the project cost was sponsored by donation gained from the Aya Sofya Mosque. What do they have there inside the GB? Factory outlets, boutiques, restaurants, jewelers, spice shops, leather shops and antique shops, all are here. You'll find quality linens, blankets, fine jeweleries, outstanding metalwork of tea set, leather hand bags, porcelains nd ceramic products, clothes and many more. Fine quality and a lot of choices. And when I pass through the walkways, I heard the sellers called; "Mari beli", "Murah...Murah...", "Apa khabar? Malaysia baguuusss". What? How many Malaysians had taught them malay I guess. Ok, fine, so I answered, "Lain kalilah ye!". Hahhahah.

The Grand Bazaar entrance, Beyazid gate: Gate 7

Inside GB

Outside GB

See? Established since 1461
Spice Bazaar
The Spice Bazaar (SB) was initially famous for spices and that's how SB get its name. However, now you could find other stuffs here, but what can I say those stuffs are more to food based articles. The location? Just behind the Yeni Camii (New Mosque - Yeni means new). If you take the blue line tram-T1, stop at Eminonu station, near the Yeni Camii. Then walk to the right of the mosque and turn left. Do not across the open area on your right. The brownish brick building is the SB. The size is smaller compared to the GB, but I still had fun here.I bought the thing that I like - what else? Baklava and nuts. You might get various nuts such as cashew, almond and hazel at the price of RM 25-30 per kilo. The spice is quite expensive - because I am from Malaysia. You should be proud and grateful if you're from Malaysia or Indonesia where the spice can be grown easily at the backyard (if you have enough space). I wanted to buy some cheese but it wasn't practical to travel with the bulky cheese and new clothes in one bag.

One of the entrance of Spice Bazaar
You're nuts! heheheh
Soap? Hmmm, from olive fat ya....
Ok, this one will increase your fat. I loiyke it. Oh my cheeeeezy, LOL!

Chocolate too?
Also the hardware and clothes
Yeni Camii from the Galata Bridge/Koprusu, the SB is located at the back of this mosque
Arasta Bazaar
Arasta Bazaar (AB) is another bazaar in the heart of Istanbul. The smallest among the three, what I can say about AB is, this bazaar is more likely to the GB but in a smaller scale. Compared to GB which has a 'labyrinth' inside it, this bazaar is just one straight line with shops on both sides. You could find clothes, spices, metal dining sets, shirts, souvenirs and leather products here. It is located just 50 to 100 meter away from the Blue Mosque (Ahmed Mosque). Though it this AB is quite simple, this place is a lively place, surrounded with shops, restaurants and hotels. What'ta bout the caravansarayi? Caravan means a group of traders who bring their merchandize to trade (which I think where the caravan get its name) and sarayi means palace. In Turkish, caravansarayi means a place for traders to stay for a moment while trading at the nearby bazaar/market. Just like the motel in the USA. There are rooms for rent, fresh water source and place for horses/camels. It is quite difficult to find caravansarayi in Istanbul now because many of the building had been converted into shops. However, you might find it in Cappadocia district.

Inside Arasta Bazaar

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