So I wrote about my visit to a Turkish hamam (bath) and I was introduced to the peştamal (peshtamal).
This is a traditional Turkish towel made of cotton. They are quite lightweight and not looped like Western towels. They also come in a wide variety of patterns and colours. As a matter of fact, the patterns often represent the region in Turkey from which they were made. Peştamals are used in all baths and widely available throughout Turkey.
So my visit to Istanbul would not be complete without a visit to a Turkish bath and after a day of sightseeing and shopping, 3 friends and I decided to visit the historical Çemberlitaş Hamami which is located just off of Divan Yolu (Divanyolu) Caddesi in Old Historic Istanbul. It is nestled right in the middle of some the most historical sites in Istanbul. The Vezirhan Monument (build by Constantinople I) is right across the street and the tombs of Sultan Mahmut II and Ali Baba are right nearby.
So the entrance is kinda non descript, look out for the steady treaffic going in and out. By the way, this is a unisex bath, but I think that there are separate areas for men and women. Once inside, we were presented with a list of services and I got the traditional style bath, which cost 69TL (Turkish Lira) (about US$35). The traditional style bath consists of steam and a bubble bath. So we paid and received our keys for the lockers and our peştamals. What’s a peştamal? It’s a traditional cotton Turkish towel! There is no pressure to go completely naked, you could wear a bathing suit during your service, or just panties or nothing at all. Your choice!
We were led into the sıcaklık, which is the large main bathing area. What a beautiful place! High vaulted ceilings made of what looks like terracotta with venting holes arranged in a pattern.