Turkish Delights

Turkish Delights

TRAVEL

TURKISH DELIGHTS

Christophe Chommeloux

2 July 2019

Collecting rewards, repeatedly named Best Airline in Europe, Turkish Airlines imposes itself more and more as obvious choice, especially for flights between Bangkok and Europe. With a plus: a free stay in Istanbul.

Turkish Airlines has gone a long way since 1933 when it started with 5 planes. Today, Turkey’s “rising star” boasts a fleet of 336 aircrafts and opens the doors of the world to nearly 70 million passengers with world record 309 destinations, in 124 countries.

Turkish Airlines’ quality goals are clear: to bring the passenger experience to a new level, and, in keeping with the brand’s motto “Widen Your World”, aiming to make passengers feel valued and special while enable them to see the whole world, as well as surprise them through its innovative services at every stage of their journey.

That is particularly true in Business class…

The Fast Track saving tons of time to pass through immigration and formalities, the almost outrageous space on board to spend your journey, the topnotch equipment like these awesome Denon noise-canceling headphones, or the champagne served by a friendly and professional cabin crew only add to the ultimate experience of a good sleep in the flatbed, which will allow your Highness to arrive fresh and ignore the jet lag.

Now having the largest airport hub in the world in Istanbul, which extends over a larger area than Manhattan and will accommodate 200 million annual passengers in a few years, Turkish Airlines allows for one stop connections between virtually any two cities on earth and constitues an increasingly relevant choice for traveling between Southeast Asia and Europe. Especially since it offers a package still too little known, the free Stop Over in Istanbul. A unique opportunity to discover the “Gates of Felicity”.

Indeed, the airline picks up the tab on your hotel, Economy passengers receiving one complimentary night at a 4* hotel, when Business class receives two complimentary nights at a 5* hotel. As we were lucky enough to fly Business, we were entitled to stay 2 nights at the mighty Hilton Bomonti, on the hills of Beyoglu, overlooking the European side of the Bosphorus, just separated from the historic peninsula of Constantinople by the Golden Horn. From Hilton’s executive room, in great comfort, the view of the city is breathtaking. While enjoying delicious oriental pastries offered by the house, one can observe the Bosphorus or the ultramodern minarets that dominate the oriental part of the city.

A few minutes by taxi, Taksim Square, the center of the modern city and seat of Cumhuryet Aniti, the monument celebrating the creation of the Republic of Turkey, offers an ideal starting point for a stroll. Just walk down Istiklal Caddesi, a lively pedestrian street with a very European feel. Along its countless trendy shops and cafés, its alleys where you can enjoy a Turkish coffee or a nargile on the terrace, follow the yellow tram railway that goes down to Old Istanbul and the Galata Tower. From the top the medieval monument, you will enjoy a privileged 360 ° view of the whole city.

Then walk down a few lanes dotted with musical instrument shops and small art galleries and cross the Galata Bridge below, to the Egyptian bazaar and its spice market at the foot of the New Mosque. There the Orient and its intoxicating scents are offered to you. Istanbul’s second largest covered market after the Grand Bazaar, it is surrounded by a maze of shopping streets where it is good to get lost in a colorful crowd of Istanbulites and tourists. Some have come to queue for a package of the best coffee in the city, or stock up on fresh fish, the others get away from it all and fill up on delicious baklava or bargain a finely crafted teapot. A quarter of an hour walk are the tourist treasures whose names evoke the charms and beauty of Byzantium by themselves, the Blue mosque, St. Sophia, the cistern of the basilica and the Topkapi Palace…

Unanimously hailed for the originality of its communication, Turkish airlines makes a brilliant demonstration of its modernity and attention to detail through two stunning productions: the hilarious video projected before takeoff, where Batman and his LEGO acolytes take charge of safety instructions, and The Journey, a mini-thriller shot by Ridley Scott in the most beautiful spots of the Turkish capital, that will instantly give you the desire to take (again?) a business ticket Bangkok – Paris, and fly to Istanbul…

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