"Nargile part 1" Nargileh - Hookah Tip by maykal

Nargileh - Hookah, Istanbul: 11 reviews and 13 photos

  Me and my nargile, Tophane, Istanbul
by maykal

As visitors to my other pages on the Middle East may already know, I am rather partial to a nargile from time to time! For those not in the know, what is nargile? Well, maybe you know it as chicha, ma'ada or hubble-bubble, or maybe just plain old water pipe, nargile is one of those unusual-looking things you see men (and in many places, women) puffing huge clouds of smoke from.

A few myths...Nargile uses cannabis: It does NOT! Nargile, in proper hands, is prepared using either plain tobacco (known as sade in Turkish) or tobacco which has been soaked in fruit flavoured water.

Nargile is not addictive: Umm, have to disagree. If there is nicotine, there will be addiction. Some say that because the water acts as a filter, the smoke is purer and less harmful. I've also heard that the fruit-flavoured tobaccos are less harmful and less addictive than the plain tobacco, which may well be true. However, if you indulge in an occasional apple or mint nargile during your holiday, you won't suddenly become a chain smoker.

You should always inhale the smoke: Again, no...you can inhale it if you like, but non-smokers can just breathe the smoke into their mouth and blow it straight out again without letting the smoke enter the lungs...you'll still be able to taste the flavour and enjoy the smell.

Nargile is for old men: Yes, it is for old men, but also for old women, young men, young women and anyone else in between! It has become quite trendy in recent years, and you'll find cafes all over Istanbul where locals and tourists of all shapes and sizes puff happily away on a nargile, pleasant smelling smoke filling the air to the sound of bubbling water.

How does a nargile work? I'm no scientist, but I'll attempt an explanation. The clay top contains the tobacco, which is covered with tinfoil. Charcoal is burned on top, sending smoke down into the glass container at the bottom. When you suck on the pipe, the smoke bubbles through the water before reaching your mouth.


Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Written Feb 21, 2006
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse


maykal Used To Live Here!



Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 2 5 4
Forum Rank:
0 0 1 3 4

Have you been to Istanbul?

  Share Your Travels