Friday 31 January 2014

Nargile smoking in Istanbul

If you are wondering what Nargile could be, let me tell you it is a word widely used in Turkey for a water-pipe, hookah-pipe or shisha (whichever expression you might find familiar).

There are countless places offering nargile smoking to tourists and locals alike. Obviously not all of them are equally good. You can expect cheaper tobacco varieties in those places catering mainly to tourists. How water pipes are maintained also varies from place to place.

If the place is serious about their Nargile experience, they should have different equipment for each variety and they should clean it as often as possible.

Obviously places specialised in nargile smoking are generally more professional but you can also expect them to be a bit more expensive.

You can order nargile with tobacco in a variety of flavours, apple being the most popular. You can also try cherry, banana, coffee, orange or melon flavours, in addition to many others.

However, if you are in search for the real deal, try locating a place that offers Al Fakher or Nakhla molasses. They are stronger and are often not mixed with fruity flavours. They might be a bit hard to find, but worth the effort in my opinion.

Apart from those I really liked apple with mint and also melon flavours.

Many claim Erenler Nargile (located on the Yeniçeriler Cd, near the Grand Bazaar) to be the best place for a proper nargile experience and suggest one should order Double Apple to get a taste of the real thing.
We also found a great place specialised in nargile smoking on the Asian side of the city and another decent place on the Akbıyık Caddesi near Sultanahmet (rougly in the middle section of the street). It is called Mitani.

If you are thinking of buying Al Fakher or Nakhla molasses for home use, you are up for a challenge. Since a lot of the stuff on the market is fake you can never tell whether it is original until you smoke it. If you look like a tourist, your chances for a good deal are even slimmer.


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