BODRUM FOR PARTY ANIMALS AND GLAMOUR BY THE SEA
- Published:02 Kasım 2010, Salı
- Updated:19 Ocak 2011, Çarşamba
First impressions are often misleading and this applies to the laid-back Turkish resort of Bodrum. Glancing at the six T-shirted youngsters wearing the slogan 'Bodrum pub crawl 2010' visitors at the airport might find themselves bracing for the worse tourist excesses.
'We heard that Bodrum is a really wild place,' said one of the group, a young ethnic Turk from Germany. Pals at home had assured him that the action is in Bodrum these days and since he and his friends have already been to the resort of Antalya several times they decided to come here for a change.
Look a little closer though and you will spot the expensively made-over long hair of the three girls in the group and their 10 cm stiletto shoes as they hobble off to collect their suitcases from the conveyor belt.
Yes, it is party time but with a degree of sophistication. That is certainly what Turkey's bright young things are looking for when they flock to the south from Istanbul and Ankara year in, year out.
They head for the attractive bays with their turquoise-coloured waves and trendy open-air clubs. The exodus is led by a whole raft of well-known Turkish popular singers and TV soap opera stars and starlets. The Istanbul in-crowd decamps to Bodrum for the summer and those with more disposable income usually maintain a second-home there too.
Such popularity is reflected in the hotel tariffs. According to a room price index on the internet platform trivago, a double room in Alanya anytime during July will set back the holidaymaker on average the equivalent of 91 euros (126 dollars) a night. In Bodrum that rises to 160 euros.
Sunburned, overweight men do not bare their chests on the promenade at Bodrum where elegantly-dressed young ladies in fashionable summer dresses stroll alongside young men with figure-hugging shirts. They ply along the front between palm trees and endless rows of traditional two-masted schooners called gulets.
The gulets are used to ferry fun-lovers to daytime barbecues at the numerous local bays although one of the chief reasons for visiting Bodrum in the summer is the lively nightlife on offer.
When the sun sinks behind the old fort built by the Crusaders, the sound of Turkish pop music fills the bars which line the narrow, stony beaches. The young Turks are joined by foreign guests, people from Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands. All hop from one bar to the other as the night progresses.
None of these establishments charge an entry fee - unlike the top address in town located at the end of the promenade. It is impossible not to see and hear the Halikarnas, which named after the title given to Bodrum in ancient times.
This huge open-air club has been drowning out the competition for more than 20 years, the sound of its loudspeakers booming out across the two bays.
For 40 Lira, around 20 euros, visitors can dance the night away and enjoy a lavish programme as go-go dancers egg on the thousands of youngsters who congregate here for a good time. There are giant video screens, laser shows, foam parties and lashings of bottled spirits.
At the other end of the bay, just beyond the McDonald's burger bar, is the Club Catamaran which aims to give its main rival a good for run for its money.
As many as 1,500 guests can crowd onto the glass dance floor here although the music is scarcely different from the fare on offer at Halikarnas. On Fridays and Saturdays the cost of spending an evening or longer here is also 40 Lira.
To find a more upmarket and intimate location would-be partygoers must brave the busy Cumhuriyet Street where hawkers try to foist off everything they think holidaymakers desire. The range on offer includes all manner of bikinis, sunshades, handbags, jewellery and tattoos.
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