Getting Stiffed in Selcuk

Trip Start May 22, 2009
Trip End Feb 16, 2010

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Flag of Turkey  , Izmir,
Saturday, December 5, 2009

Funny how perspectives are different.  The LP guide says that Selcuk is not a 'tourist' town despite the ruins of Ephesus being so close, and that some travelers may be disappointed in the lack of services.  To me, it was very touristy!

Here carpet salesmen (the first we've seen) woo you with cay, backgammon and pleasant conversation while trying to get you to buy a carpet. 

Men in the street tell you stories of their archaeological career and try to sell you ancient coins they've found at Efes.  Authentic, but the museum doesn't want them - they have too many already.  Good price. 

Water pipes are 1/2 price - just for you!  And include free carrying case and tobacco.

Every restaurateur calls to you in the street while you pass by, and all of the menus are in English. 

Walk up to a ruin and you're mobbed by people trying to sell you guides and postcards.

"Tip Boxes" are everywhere and are clearly marked in English.

You can even pay for things in Euro (however, the price is significantly hiked for those travelers).

What is NOT touristy about this?  I have to wonder what the travelers who are looking for 'touristy' places are really looking for?

Tried to get away from some of the hype by going to the local bazaar.  Wandering among the 100's of stalls selling a plethora of fruits and vegetables while locals did their weekly shopping was refreshing.  But even when we started looking for clothing there were calls from the shops and pushy sales tactics. 

Here's looking forward to moving away and seeing some 'real' Turkey again. 

We had a great time going through the museum and seeing some interesting sites.  As well, the food's still amazing here and we've had the chance to sample many different dishes and even try some raki!  However, the adventures of choosing food at a place where you cannot read the menu or speak with the waiter will need to wait a few more days.
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Bron on

If you went to neighbouring Kusadasi, you would find Selcuk comparatively untouched. I lived in Selcuk for many years and saw a lot of change - from a fairly untouched, somewhat primitive place to what you saw. ALL tourism-based development was fuelled by the wants and expectations of ... tourists. Most people will not put up with any less.

2totango on

I realize that Selcuk is by far not one of the most touristy places out there! I guess it's just not something that I'm used to, usually camping in places away from the 'scene'. It must have been strange for you to live there and see the changes taking place.

Jen Artan on

I have to agree with you - when I first ended up in Selcuk I was floored by how touristy it was. The touts were incredible. I was a little annoyed, so annoyed that I swore off cab drivers and hiked to and from Efes. It was in August, so it was very nice weather and I had plenty of water. Outside town a bit, the real Turkey comes back. I loved Efes, but would likely not go back to Selcuk.

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