I have recently been to Hatay, a city located in the very south of Turkey. It is well-known for its history with being home to civilizations created by Christians and Muslims as well as its so-called mind-blowing food. Let us see whether my expectations have been met or not.
Expensive shuttle bus, I landed on Hatay Airport very early in the morning and took the Havas bus to travel to the city centre and had a breakfast there. The travel cost is 12 TL which was more than I’d expect to be honest as you only travel 20 km from airport to the city centre and also comparatively, the same travel is 10 TL in Ankara, i.e., I paid through the nose.
After having breakfast with poacas (A type of Turkish sandwich) and juice, I set foot to sightseeing in the city centre. It is noteworthy to say that there are not many places to have a good breakfast or I was not able to find one since I did not look for enough. I assume one need to have a car to be to those special places or I was not good enough to find one as said. Who knows.
After spending couple of hours in the city center I decided to have a haircut for my long hair. I have been to a barber shop which is in the very central location(The name of the owner is Arif and forgot his surname). The guy seemed ok in terms of personality but once again it has been proven that unfortunately one should never trust an artisan in Turkey. I know it is a little bit harsh to say and also I do not like generalizations but this is true for my country. He charged me 40 TL although he should have charged 30 TL at most. He even tried to sell me a shampoo which he claimed so organic and also eggplant and walnut jam. To all Turkish artisans, especially to artisans who sells services: please do not try to overcharge tourists like me as in the long run you will not be the looser. I will think twice (even more) and will ask for price before getting the service.
Another story is with Hatay Künefe where I had lunch. They tried to charge me for the water I did not drink. They rearranged the price after I warned them but I certainly believe they did it intentionally.
Last but not the least, I got back to the airport and I aimed to do so with a Havas shuttle bus. I have been to Turkish Airlines sales office and asked whether it was the correct place to wait for the shuttle and I was told so. Unfortunately, it was an absolute lie and they event tried to overcharge me with 15 TL (Havas Shuttle price is 12 TL). I learnt thru by chance that it was not the official bus. They operated their own car with saying it was the official one taking passengers to the airport…. Do not worry! I let Turkish Arlines know about it for sure and they also told me they faced this problem quite often.
What I can say as a last remark, although Hatay seemed to be a perfect place in terms of its hisory and cuisine, to me, it is not the case. Be careful about your money and artisans in Hatay when you are there. People there are not that honest.