Finding your Hotel at 6am!
I took the overnight bus to Pamukkale and arrived around 6am. As it was a short walk to our hotel, my wife and I started out through town toward our hotel. Once we turned the corner from the bus station, two happy looking dogs came bounding towards us. Then they started barking. Then their friends - 6 other dogs - came in and started barking. Luckily a local Pide Shop owner heard the commotion and tossed some bricks at the dogs to get them away before they cornered us any more. (No dogs injured)
It's a small town, but you would not want to have a meeting with these dogs without anyone around.
Overnight Bus Drop Off
If you are coming on the overnight bus from Istanbul you may well be dropped off at the ticket office for the Kamil Koc bus company. At 6 am, they may try to tell you that they are the only bus company in the town, but don't believe them! I purchased my bus ticket to Selcuk from them and ended up on minibus that took an extra hour to make the trip. I spoke with 2 other bus companies that offered full services buses for the same route and price as the one I purchased.
Forbidden walk with shoes
Pamukkale went unprotected for decades in the late 20th century and people walked around with shoes, washed themselves with soap and shampoo in the pools and rode bikes and motorbikes up and down the slopes.
The site was losing its attraction. Hot water from the springs was taken to fill the hotel pools and the waste water was spilled over the monument itself, turning it brownish. Officials made attempts to restore the site.
The hotels were demolished, and the road ramp was covered with artificial pools which today are accessible to bare-footed tourists, unlike most other parts of the site. It is forbidden walk through the travertine with shoes.
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IT'S PRETTY BUT IT'S GOING TO HURT!
yes, the whole mountainside of pamukkale looks as soft as cotton but, trust me, it's not. in fact, the whole pathway from the bottom to the top is lined with small and VERY SHARP pebbles - even the pool beds.
why is this important to note? because you're NOT ALLOWED TO WEAR SHOES OR EVEN SLIPPERS once you pay the entrance fee and enter pamukkale. the law requires you climb it BAREFOOT.
let me tell you, the place is absolutely breathtaking - no other place like it in the world. but climbing pamukkale was one of the most painful experiences i've had while traveling.
don't get me wrong though, it's a must to go to the top, DEFINITELY WORTH THE PAIN! just thought i'd warn you.
This isn't a real problem -it isn't what you might think by the title! But many kids are used to sell postcards and other things to tourists, banking on the "cuteness factor" to make the sale. I guess it works. I'm not sure it's good to support the use of kids in this manner, and there's all the usual problems with touts and what can happen, but they're currently harmless and though they can be a bit demanding and even a little pushy (they like to get their way) be strong and pass them up if you don't want anything.
Take care how you walk!
It should be actually no problem to walk bare-footed on the slopes of Pamukkale, but look carefully where you step because sometimes there are sharp parts or small stones that can hurt you feet.
Some parts due to the accumulations can be also slippery.
- National/State Park
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A taxi between Denzli and Pamukkale costs about US$8., but do not take one unless you are sure that the buses have stopped for the day, which is what the taxi driver will probably say to you, they will then try to take you to a hotel where they take a commision.
- Historical Travel
WATCH YOUR STEPS
Take care when you walk around the basins in Pamukkale, it can be quite slippery some places. I managed to fall into one of the first basins on top. It wasn't so deep but really slippery so it was difficult to get up on my feet again.
It wasn't allowed to swim there so of course the guards came running and started shouting at me to get out of there. (Did they really think I was splashing around there with all my clothes on just for fun...?)
Since this happened in the morning I had to walk around the rest of the day in Pamukkale and Hierapolis dripping wet, and also on the bus to the hotel in the evening. At least it was in summer so it was warm, but because of the humidity the clothes didn't dry. It wasn't so funny then, but now it's one of my fondest memories from Pamukkale... :)
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