Egypt travel advice - please share your experiences. Here is what I thought.....

United States
December 8, 2006 8:14am CST
I spent about a week in Egypt this past summer. I took a tour that left from Tel Aviv, Israel. It worked out really well. The name of the tour company is Masada. The cost of the trip was about $500. Here is where I went and what I saw: Thursday: -Left Tel Aviv. Took a bus to Cairo at 8:30pm. Friday: -Crossed the Suez Canal on a ferry- the smallest ferry I have seen. It only held a few cars. -Arrived in Cairo around 7am. -Cairo is a very dirty city. My friend who I traveled with had traveled in many parts of South America and said Cairo was the dirtiest city he has ever seen. -Advice for women: cover as much as you can of your body. I was wearing pants and short sleves and still got rude remarks (mostly from women). -went to the Egyptian museum, a paprus gallery (watched how they made it and then they tried to sell it to us), Pyramids (went inside one), rode a camel, Sphinx (smaller than I thought it would be), and went to a bazar. -things are very cheap in Egypt- food, souveniers hint: it is very easy to bargin too! Saturday: -Left Cairo on a train at 7:30am and arrived in Luxor at 5:45pm. -food was cheap. we ate a nice dinner for 2 for about $5. Sunday: -Luxor -tour of the west bank: Temple of Hatshepsut, Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Another Papyrus store, craft and pottery store -tour of the Temple of Karnak, and the Temple of Luxor. both were amazing Monday: -left Luxor on train at 7:30am and arrived in Aswan at 10:30am. -Aswan is very pretty. It's a nice city along the Nile. There are lots of restaurants and hotels on boats that are docked along the Nile. -Visited the High Dam Tuesday: -took a Falucca (little sail boat) down the Nile to the Botanical Garden. That was beautiful! -visited the market. kinda dirty, but got some great deals. Wednesday: -Went back to Cairo- all day long on the train Thursday: -Took the bus back to Tel Aviv -We got stuck at the border for 3 hours -for who knows why. That was pretty boring. There was nothing to do there. Anyway... Even though Cairo is a dirty city it is still worth visiting for its amazing history. All in all, I recommend taking a trip to Egypt. It was a great learning experience for me.
7 responses
• Philippines
19 Jan 07
Hi there! Egypt is in my "Must Visit" list! I'm so glad I subscribed to MyLot and came across this forum. The info here are really very helpful - coming from real experiences, they beat the 'touristy' travelogues in the internet. Can you also recommend which hotels to stay in Cairo and Giza? Not too pricey, maybe those in the 3-star or 4-star categories? And what is the best month to go there? I'm planning to visit this year. Wowie! :D
• United States
19 Jan 07
I don't remember where I stayed. I'll see if I can find that info. I know when I went to Europe I used to book a hotel. It was great. There is a lot of info and pics on different hotels and users rate them. I'm not sure if Egypt is one of the countries on there or not. it's worth a try.
@oly2006 (948)
• Romania
9 Dec 06
I LOVE THIS PLACE ..i MUST SEE IT URGENTLY.... I'M A FAN OF EGYPT. HERE IT IS A DOCUMENTATION MADE BY ME(copyrighted i can say): The amazing Egypt So, let’s start with the start. Egypt, or officialy the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a Middle Eastern country in North Africa. Egypt is geographically situated in Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula, east of the Suez Canal, connecting as a land bridge to Asia. Covering an area of about 1,001,450 square kilometers (386,560 square miles), Egypt borders Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, and Israel and the Gaza Strip to the northeast; on the north and the east are the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, respectively.Egypt (Misr) is the fifteenth most populous country in the world. Enough with teory, I think your question in mind is what can be better to visit Egypt than other countries, isn’t it? Well most people who think of Egypt think of antiquities, but Egypt offers much more.Certainly the best atraction has their great herit age from the ancient world, including Pyramids and wonderful temples but also offers nature and desert treks, great scuba diving and even golf, fishing and birding expeditions. And not the last thing, Egypt is part of the Holy Land, and tours to Christian and other religious monuments are popular. We’ll take them all in discusion, one by one: 1.Monuments from ancient world 2.Nature 3.Religious monuments. MONUMENTS FROM ANCIENT WORLD » Probably, all you know what are pyramids, and that are no more famous ancient sites within Egypt.They are, without question, the icon most associated with the Egypt. » However, there are over 100 pyramids in Egypt, many of them aren’t known » to anyone who isn’t an ancient enthusiast. All but a very few are grouped around and near the City of Cairo, just south of the Nile Delta. Otherwise, only one royal pyramid is known in southern Egypt (at Abydos), that being the one built by Ahmose, founder of the 18th Dynasty and Egypt’s New Kingdom. It may have also been the last royal pyramid built in Egypt. » Hence the major pyramids weren’t built throughout ancient » history of Egypt.The Age of Pyramid began with a » lot of constructions starting in the third Dynasty reign of Djoser. Some of the early kings, most specifically Snefru, built more than one pyramid. » However, smaller pyramids were constructed, for example in the Deir el-Medina necropolis, by private individuals. » In the world, outside Egypt exists other pyramids, but the purpose of them was different than those of ancient Egypt.One example, the most famous one could be thethose pyramids located in Mexico and to the south of Mexico, but appear to have been built more like temples. 2.Nature Egypt is a country that can offer a lot more that pyramids and sand. It’s a beautiful country full of nature “elixir”. There are more nature reserves, a special one is Abu Galum.Now I’ll give some geographic details:*Location: North east of south Sinai, near by the Gulf of Aqaba Area: 500 km2 Type: Wildlife Reserve Year of establishment: 1992 Objective: Protection of the Coral reefs and Mangroves.Beeing most picturesque Protected areas in Egypt, Abu Galum presents spectacular granite mountains ending abruptly on a narrow coastal plain,high altitude deserts and wadis, flora and fauna that are well adapted to this environment,167 plant species, 44 of these species are beeing seen only this area from the whole world. Coral reef and mangrove areas are considered as distinct coastal ecosystems isolated from island ecosystems. In reality, they are closely linked, dependent on, or affected by natural events or human induced changes taking place inland. Mangroves require the organic and inorganic substances carried to them by rainstorms and floods. The park is also home to important resident bird populations including Grey Heron, Goliath Heron, Reef Heron and their small relative, the Greenback Heron. At least 5 groups pf Osprey (a fish-eating falcon) are resident and breeding annually. In summertime thousands of White Stork stop over in the park during their annual migration to East Africa. 3.Religious monuments In Egypt we can fiind a lot of religious monuments very important for Christians and not just them. Here’s a list with the churches and the monastires from Cairo (and the link to there feature story): » Churches: Abu Serga (St. Sergius), Saint Barbara’s Church (Sitt Barbara) Saint George (Keniset Mari Girgis), Saint George, Church of the at Haret Zuwaila Saint George (Mari Girgis), Greek Church Hanging Church (El Mu’allaqa) Holy Virgin. Church of in Babylon Al-Darag Holy Virgin Mary, Church of the at Haret Zuwaila Saint Mercurius, Saint Mercuris, The Church of at Haret Zuwaila Menas, Church of (with Annexed Churches of Saint Bahnam & Saint George) » Monasteries: The Convent of St. Mary (Haret Zuela) The Convent of St. George (Haret Zuela) Monastery of Saint Menas (Deir Abu Mina) (Old Cairo)
• United States
10 Dec 06
great info. thanks
@ESKARENA1 (18296)
8 Dec 06
ive been to egypt 4 times, its a wonderful place i love it, if there were any place i would live in the world it would be luxor, though i have never visited cairo i have heard from family members that it is not that nice, i agree with you about aswan it is beautiful and the street markets are good, as for advice for travellers i would say wear light loose fitting cotton clothing, long skirts for women. The strangest thing is that i have been out shopping on my own at night and during the day in engypt, and as a woman i actually feel safer there than i do in my home town in england
• United States
18 Jan 07
yeah, I agree about the loose fitting clothes and for women to cover up. It just gets so hot there in the summer.
@mugha007 (17)
• Pakistan
3 Apr 07
hi rachel its a good topic u have selected . i want you to share with me your travel experiences where evr u have visited . i wish i had my own chartered plane and i would visit the whole world . cause this earth is full of excitment and endless possibilities . but i hail from a third world country and i know that this dream of mine cant be fulfilled . but i want to add u as my friend . ihope u wont my mind . waitin for ur early reply thxs mugha share ur travel experiences with me
• United States
2 Apr 07
Whew, a week in the summer? I just got back from Egypt in early March and it was almost too hot at noon there for me! I must agree, Cairo is very dirty. Our tour guide informed us that there is no organized way of getting the trash out... the citizens pretty much decide where they want their dumps and just start piling it up. at times, driving down the street, you'd go minutes with trash lining the street beside your bus. I stayed at a Sofitel Hotel in Cairo. It was VERY nice. I have never been to a nicer hotel. the first night was an adventure, my aunt (who took me as a grad present) and I decided to go adventuring alone... we ended up getting talked into a very ghetto camel ride... and bought cartouches with engravings around the side that mean "enemy of the pharoah" (our tour guide told us the next day)! Since I've been back I've seen several customers that come through my work (I'm a cashier at Wal-mart, glamorous eh?) with the same decoration on their cartouches... so I'm thinking a lot of people wouldn't know that... our tour guide is an Egyptologist. We went to the valley of the kings and queens and I don't know how they even ever found all those tombs out there... it must have been a lucky day for those explorers... the ancient egyptians went from all out luxury tombs to just random holes in the sides of mountains...trips me out. Then we went to an alabaster factory and saw how they work the alabaster. We got on a cruise ship and it wasn't that great of quality. The food is very different. I liked all the fresh fruit but there is no real chocolate flavor to any of the "fine cuisine". It's like American Chinese buffet desert. You can buy your own candy bars and stuff but there were none on the ship. At one point we stopped and vendors actually sailed out to our boat and tried selling things to the people on the deck. I looked out from our little sliding door and someone threw a gallabia (spelling? egyptian traditional outfit) at the window!!! Then they had to throw other things to get it to fall back to them, because I wasn't keeping the window open any longer. I've been to the Mexican markets, and I must say they have nothing on the egyptian merchants!!!! GEEESH!!! My aunt was bogged down. She's a big girl, and I guess that's a sign of wealth to them because she was always getting thrown stuff. at one point I had to take this scarf off of her shoulder because they just threw it on her and wouldn't take it back by hand. On the other hand all of the shops offer you tea if you stay and look and often give you free nick-nacks. She got a BEAUTIFUL scarf for free because we sat and waited for a little boy to run to get another color belly dancing outfit.. turns out their provider didn't have that color but they let her keep the scarf... its black with rich reds and greens and blues with a peacock embroidered on.... Karnak is just tremendous. It's probably the best sight there. Because if only you can imagine what it was like in the hay-day. Philae has been beautified with nice vegetation and the trees were in bloom all around it. It has been moved to another location because it was being drowned by the nile. That sort of took away from the romanticism of it all but I am still so thankful I got to see it. We also went to the pyramids and hatshepsut's temple and one other at night time that I cannot remember. The airports were easy to get through until we were going back. I bought a hooka and there were several things I had to check from it that I was not aware I would have to. It was a mess for a few minutes but soon got on track. They held the plane so we could get food. Egypt Air was a very smooth ride. I wore short sleeved shirts and pants and even capris one day and was not made uncomfortable by any of the Egyptian people. Our tour guide, native egyptian herself, also wore a t-shirt and jeans all days. DON'T DRINK THE TAP WATER unless you are from an area around Egypt and used to that water!! Bottled water is so cheap there. 2 or 3 for 5 EGP (2 bucks American) All the souvenirs from vendors can be talked down for at least half of what they shout at you... I got 150 EGP canoptic jar set for 50 EGP. I also got sick on the last days there... so that sucked. But I've been an admirer of ancient Egypt since I was like 12... during my teenage years my room was decorated in ancient egyptian and my friends would often buy me ancient egyptian stuff for gifts... now I got to get them the real thing in return for putting up with my obsession throughout the years... very memorable and lovely place, all in all...
@ramz78 (463)
• Kuwait
12 Dec 06
I've been there..It is very nice :) Also all what you mentioned in your message I did it..It was a very nice experience.. I'm from Beirut, Lebanon.. Ramzey 28 years old.. Where are you planning to spend your next holiday?
• United States
8 Dec 06
good topic :)