Turkey – part 1: Selcuk & Ephesus

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It was a great time in Turkey, and off-season travelling was a good choice for us. Even it’s a bit cold, but there were not many people, and we did enjoy 4 weeks in this charming country.

Landing Ataturk airport at mid-night, and sleeping at airport is always convenient, money-and-time saving 🙂

sleeping @ Ataturk airport

sleeping @ Ataturk airport

We took the early flight to Izmir next morning, then moved ahead to Selcuk by train.

This small square really impressed us: blue sky, ancient pillar, and many locals gathered for coffee and tea.

Selcuk square

Selcuk square

There are also many restaurants around here, with good price and good food.

14-km far from Selcuk is Sirince village, where we could get there by bus (there are many buses, hourly, to connect these 2 points).
The ambiance here was great, and we felt relax wandering there in the afternoon.

Sirince corner

Sirince corner

On the way moving from Selcuk to Ephesus, we would pass-by the Temple of Artemis (Artemision), one of the Seven Ancient Wonders. But all available today is here, unfortunately, because of arson by Herostratus and plundering.

Temple of Artemis

Temple of Artemis

 

And Ancient City of Ephesus was very worthy spending a day, especially for ones who love ruin sites.

Walking through/across Arcadian Way and Curetes Street, we could see the Ephesus Theatre. I think it’s less monumental then arenas in Italy, but this was the first of this type I’ve ever seen.

Ephesus theatre

Ephesus theatre

Selcuk Library is the 3rd biggest library in the ancient time. We stood there wondering how people could build it from the stone, and imagined how was the atmosphere when people came there to study/read.

Selcuk Library

Selcuk Library

There are 4 statues in front of the gates of the Library, who are: Sophia (Wisdom), Arete (Virtue), Ennoia (Intelligence), and Episteme (Knowledge).

Sophia (Wisdom)

Sophia (Wisdom)

Arete (Virtue)

Arete (Virtue)

Ennoia (Intelligence)

Ennoia (Intelligence)

Episteme (Knowledge)

Episteme (Knowledge)

Next by the Library, there is an ancient market, where the trading rules were set in stone.

Ancient market in Ephesus

Ancient market in Ephesus

And we wish to have time-travel-machine, in order to see how ancient people exchanged goods at least once in our lives ^^

(to be continued)

Vietnam Beauty – Hoi An

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Chùa Cầu (Japanese Pagoda, Bridge Pagoda)

Chùa Cầu (Japanese Bridge, Bridge Pagoda)

There is one place in which travelers/backpackers should not miss when visiting Hoi An ancient town: Chùa Cầu (the Japanese Bridge, or the Bridge Pagoda).

It is the icon/symbol of the ancient town, and first built in 17th-century by the Japanese (this is why we have the name Japanese Pagoda).
The legendary story said that: there was a dragon with its head in Japan, body in China, and tail in Hoi An – Vietnam. Whenever the dragon wriggled violently its tail, there was an earthquake in Japan. By building this bridge to keep the dragon’s tail , the Japanese believed that there was no more earthquake in their country.
Later, people built the pagoda on top of this bridge, and we have the name Bridge Pagoda.
If you are interested in its architecture, here is the good link for reference: http://www.orientalarchitecture.com/vietnam/hoian/japanesebridge.php

Cycling the in old town

Cycling the in old town

The Hoi An government & people preserve the old town very well. The street: Bach Dang (the Hoai river’s bank), Nguyen Thai Hoc, Bach Dang, Le Loi, ect.. are reserved for only walking people and bicyclists on some days of every month. And it does look & sound peaceful.

DSC_2221I don’t know how to express my though about this photo but the young baby girl’s eyes and emotional face.

For more information about Hoi An, you can visit my previous post: Hoi An ancient town

Hoian ancient town

This my beloved hometown, my memorial childhood  (happy)
One of the best ancient towns in Vietnam.

Hoian ancient town – Hoai river view

Hoian (to be precise: Hoi An), the name means “Peace Place”.
It was a luxuriant seaport in 16th-18th century, where lots of traders from all over the world (Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, China, Japan, Britain , etc…) arrived. Then had turned into a sleepy town till 1990s. And now wakes up to become one of the most attractive World Heritage ancient places.

Here, you can find:
– very well preserved old houses, which mix the Chinese-Japanese-Vietnamese architect.
– the Japanese Pagoda (another name is Bridge Pagoda) which (in legend) keeps the tail of the dragon, in order to prevent the earthquake in China (the body of the dragon) and Japan (the head of the dragon). This is the symbol of Hoian.
– small & nice painting galleries, in front of old houses.
– farmers with their buffaloes in the rice-field, which easily observed in all other countrysides of Vietnam. You can ask to stay in their house (home-stay), then harvest like a farmer, cook Vietnamese food and enjoy your work (it more or less relates to WWOOF if you know about this)
– people on many boats … on the street during the flood season (from Oct to Nov).
lanterns at weekend nights, and there is also a lantern festival in the middle of July of Lunar Calendar.
– extremely beautiful seaside (Cua Dai beach)
– fantastic Cham island (5km far from the seaside, by boat on the sea)

– many special-traditional food: Pho, Cao Lau (noodle boiled with astray water), Mi Quang (Quang yellow noodle), Banh dap (cracked rice paper), together with total fresh sea-food … We need at least 1 day to list out all the delicious dishes in Hoian.
– and … very cheap beer (around 20 US cent for 1 glass of 300ml).

Come, and experience yourself 🙂

Along with the bible for backpackers/free-travelers Lonely Planet, here in below you can find some other info:

Hoian wikipedia
Photos of Hoian ancient town (from Google)
Photos of Cham island (from Google)