Posts for Turkey

Burj Al Babas – The Lost City

Travel Tips - Ross French - July 5, 2021

Burj Al Babas

A twist in the classic fables. Instead of a princess, a city is lost and forgotten. Nestling in Turkey, 3 hours (approx.) from Istanbul, is the beautiful expanse of Burj Al Babas. But alas, there is no one there to admire.

Built to resemble a Disney castle, Burj Al Babas residential development was started in 2014 with great pomp. The construction came to a mighty halt when the developer went bankrupt in 2015.

Every house was designed to resemble a small castle in itself. There was also a massive entertainment center, movie centers, a mosque, lavish Turkish baths and an artificial lake. Each castle has three floors and has an area of 350 m.sq.

Just imagine living in such royalty. The houses were meant to be sold at $400,000 each. Now, unfortunately, it is a ghost city. Hundreds of castles lay deserted in a colossal wreck.

Do You Know Burj Al Babas Was a Doomed Wreck?

Even before its construction, the inhabitants of Mudurnu, the town nearby, were against the idea. They believed that incorporating Disney-style castles would be opposite to their culture and history.

Turkey is known for its ottoman-style houses, and a Disney-styled city would even look phony. However, the Turkish government favored such a city. They believed it would attract a lot of foreign investment. Even now, there are plans for its revival.

This is a perfect example of not very diligent planning and dreaming of success where it was not very feasible. The fall of the economy and internal political conflict was also a major contributor to its fall.

The investors and developers faced bankruptcy in 2015 and finally filed for it in 2019. The government is still hopeful of reviving the ruins of Burj Al Babas. They want to make it fit and flourishing – just like in the fairy tales.

Burj Al BabasThe Tragic Story of Burj Al Babas

  • Lined with hundreds of Disney-themed castles and would-be entertainment centers, there lies in Turkey, the ghost town of Burj Al Babas. Now abandoned, it rests without any inhabitants.
  • It would have been a state-of-the-art place to live in. There were to be luxurious amenities and beautiful expanses. It was attracting customers from worldwide towards its royalty. One castle was to be sold for $400,000-500,000.
  • Construction started in 2014, and about 587 of the proposed buildings were completed. The developers soon faced bankruptcy, and further construction was stopped in 2015. It was a loss of over $200 million.
  • It could have been a dream city. Now, it stands as the colossal ruin of a castle city. The constructed houses are falling apart. It is a very dismal state.

Not much action has taken place. The government proposed reconstruction to be started in 2019. The place attracts tourists from all over. They are curious to know about this place’s tragic past.

Burj Al BabasFrequently Asked Questions:

Why is Burj Al Babas abandoned?

Ans: Bankruptcy and the downfall of the economy was the main reason why Burj Al Babas is one of the most expensive ghost towns.

Does anyone live in Burj al Babas?

Ans: No! Burj Al Babas is an inhabited town, and therefore, it is completely abandoned.

Where are the Disney castles in Turkey?

Ans: In the Turkish town of Mudurnu, hidden away in the middle of a forest, is a $200 million ghost town called Burj al Babas. There are rows and rows of Disney-style castles with elaborate French architecture just lying abandoned. There are no inhabitants, but this place attracts curious tourists.

Can Burj Al Babas be saved?

Ans: Yes! Burj Al Babas could be saved. The Turkey government is doing everything for its revival.


Miracles do happen, and that might be the case with this residential development. One can only hope that not all royalty leads to ruins. Burj Al Babas is the symbol of Turkish economic plight. It also gives us a lesson that greed, without careful planning, can lead to a mighty fall. It is attracting tourists, and the government aims to capitalize on this fact. Meanwhile, the castles stand hopeful, eagerly waiting for their knight in shining armor.

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Top Destinations to Visit in the Middle East

Middle East - Ross French - May 7, 2020

Most people think of the Middle East as just a place with sun, sand, and shriveled land, but there is much more in this enchanting land. From majestic historical ruins, magnificent architectural treasures to exquisite beaches, man-made marvel, and gastronomical delights, the Middle East is a treasure trove of beautiful destinations that should definitely be a part of any traveler’s bucket list. And what’s more, travel to most of the places is easy with frequent flights operating through Saudi Airlines. Here is a list of places that you should definitely consider while planning your next vacation to this mystical, ancient region of the Middle East.

Top Destinations to Visit in the Middle East

1. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

The historic city of Jeddah was the capital of Saudi Arabia till 1982 when it was moved to Riyadh. Today, this culturally rich and beguiling city is the melting pot of all the races of the Red Sea. Often dubbed as the gateway for pilgrimages to Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the city has a lot to offer to tourists. Take a trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Gate to Mecca, be mesmerized by King Fahd’s fountain, claimed to be the tallest fountain in the world, or simply soak in the balmy weather at the beach resorts up the coast.

2. Madinah, Saudi Arabia

Madinah, also known as Medina, is part of Saudi Arabia’s expansive desert terrain. It is second only to Mecca in terms of religious significance for Muslims, but it is one of the best to showcase the culture and traditions of Saudi Arabia. The city has a lot to offer to travelers – from ancient monuments to the cultural traditions of the land. A must-visit is the Masjid-e-Nabawi, where the Prophet has been laid to rest. The 7-mosques is also a place worth visiting. A small complex of six small mosques, it depicts the history of the place.

3. Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia, one of the most traveled destinations in Turkey, is straight out of a fairy tale where natural beauty blends beautifully with stunning historical monuments. Most popular for unique geological features called fairy tale chimneys, these swirling volcanic-rock landscapes swoon in tourists from all over the world. Some of the must-see places in this enchanting city are villages carved out of the hillsides, Byzantine-era rock-cut churches with magnificent frescoes, and a labyrinth of underground cities. A must-do while here is the hot air balloon ride to get a bird’s-eye view of the valleys and the incredible rock formations.

4. Cairo, Egypt

Cairo has millions of visitors all year round, tempting them with breathtaking architecture, grand historical monuments, and myriad archaeological sites. The Sphinx and the iconic Pyramids are a must-do when you are in the sprawling capital of Egypt. A visit to the vast Egyptian Museum, treasure trove of antiquities is a must-visit too. Also, be ready to be charmed by Midan Tahrir, called the “Paris on the Nile” and enchanted by Old Cairo, home to Egypt’s Coptic Christian community. The best part is that there are many cheap flights operating from all over the world to Egypt, making traveling easy.


Whenever traveling to the Middle East, remember to carry the required travel gear to make your holiday comfortable and hassle-free. The Middle East is a cradle of civilizations, home to some of the most spectacular places. Here, history is not written in books but littered in places all around. From the ancient relics found in Cairo, to the tombs and mosques in Madinah and Jeddah, and the volcanic-rock landscapes in Cappadocia, here is where you will find that the past is always present as history and is the heart and soul of the land.

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Turkey’s Aegean Sea

Turkey - Ross French - October 24, 2016

The Aegean Sea is a stretch of water that lies between Greece and Turkey. It is a beautiful part of the Mediterranean area, which is very popular for tourists from all over the world. The Greek islands probably get the most publicity, but you can have an equally good vacation on the Turkish side, and often pay a bit less for it.

The largest Turkish city in the area is Izmir, which now has a population of about 4 million – a big increase from its ancient beginnings as the city of Smyrna. With a history going back thousands of years, there is plenty of interest to see around Izmir – the local transport system is pretty good, or you can take a walking tour of the city.

Walking along the promenade, the Kordon, you can admire the apartments and palm trees on one side, and the beautiful Aegean Sea on the other. If you want to do a bit of shopping, head for the Kemeralti bazaar, where you’ll find lots of great shops, coffee houses, and craftsmen. A perfect place to find some local souvenirs, and then take a breather and soak up the atmosphere.

Kusadasi is a little bit south of Izmir, which has become the second-busiest port for cruise liners in Turkey after Istanbul. One big reason for this is Ephesus’s amazing historical site, which is not far from Kusadasi. The ancient remains make the site a really interesting destination for a day trip, or several days if you’re very keen on your history. It is probably the best site for Roman remains in the whole of Turkey. Also near Kusadasi is the Greek island of Samos, and there are regular daily ferry services.

Carry on further south: Bodrum is a popular resort which is also the site of an ancient city – Halikarnassus, famous for the tomb of Mausolus. Bodrum has attractions for different types of visitors; the castle and the other monuments will interest those who like history; the marina will please the sailing enthusiasts, and the beach with its bars will satisfy people who want just to enjoy themselves in the sunshine. Bodrum also has many accommodation options from cheap B&Bs to Luxury hotels.

Obviously, these coastal resorts are very busy during the summer, but you don’t have to go very far to find a bit of peace and quiet. Dilek Peninsula National Park is only 30km (19 miles) from Kusadasi, where you can catch a bus. The peninsula has lush forests, rare animals, and some quiet beaches. There is no accommodation or legal camping in the Park, but it makes a wonderful day trip and a nice break from the built-up resorts and busy beaches.

The Turkish Aegean local airports have flights from some European cities, but travelers from further away will usually arrive in Istanbul or Antalya. Istanbul is a 10 hour drive from Izmir, but if you have the time, it’s a great way to see a bit more of this fascinating country on the edge of Asia.

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Holidays In Turkey

Turkey - Ross French - March 5, 2012


Turkey Holidays are perfect for anyone who enjoys year-round sunshine and beautiful beaches. From the sandy to the pebbled, the beaches offer the opportunity to parasail, water ski, jet ski, and snorkel.

Turkey is where Europe and Asia collide, and both continents have had strong influences on the country.

For holidaymakers who enjoy the culture and good food, You will find delicious and exquisite local cuisine. There are also plenty of museums and old ruins to visit and explore.

Many tourists love to holiday in the Dalaman Region. There are plenty of lovely accommodations and many things to do. The nightlife is very exciting, with many different options. There is nearly something for everyone to enjoy.

Some popular stops in Turkey are the tomb of King Mausolous, which is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. St. Peterís 15th century castle is also a draw. The city of Izmir is also a hot destination for individuals who enjoy holidaying in Turkey. Izmire was totally rebuilt after the 1922 fire destroyed it, so it is a very modern city with modern architecture. Those who enjoy partying can party at night, while those who prefer to take it easy and enjoy the scenery can relax at the parks, or on the beach.

Between the months of April and October, you will be able to most enjoy Turkey outdoors. So if you like adventure, this period would be the best time to visit. However, if you can have just as much fun indoors, it’s important to note that Turkey is a good place to visit during both the summer and winter seasons.

Just to give you an idea of what you can do in Turkey, here is a short list of the best experiences:

  • Relax as you try an infamous Turkish bath.
  • Bargain for souvenirs in the Grand Bazaar or other similar markets.
  • Eat delicious sesame covered simit (some of the best simit comes from local street vendors).
  • Take a boat cruise on the Bosphorus (Istanbul) or experience a traditional wooden Gulet (Aegean).
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