Abu Simbel - A Must?


Sep 24th, 2012, 09:38 PM
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Abu Simbel - A Must?

Hey everyone,

Sorry I have so many questions
Wondered if anyone could share why exactly Abu Simbel is considered by many as one of THE best, not-to-be-missed sites of Egypt? I came across lots of raves about it, but they did not exactly say why. Does Abu Simbel offers something different compared to the Luxor sites? What can one see in the monument? Paintings? Tombs? We would be visiting some of the must-see's in Luxor including Karnak, VoQ, VoK, Medinat Habu and the likes, as well as an excursion to Abydos & Dendera. Would adding Abu Simbel into the equations means we would be templed-out by then?

Just a curiousity does anyone of you do feel templed out after visiting these sites?

Would be grateful for any thoughts or recommendations. Thanks again!
aravalli is offline  
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Sep 25th, 2012, 02:42 AM
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Absolutely you might feel "templed out". I get that way. I am not that keen on Abu Simbal. It's nice, but not the be-all end-all of a trip to Egypt, IMHO. I've been there twice since being here, and neither time made me think WOW - EVERYONE MUST SEE THIS! It's nice, but I like the VOK better and prefer to save my time and money by staying in Luxor to see more. I know I'm in the minority on this subject, but I wanted you to know that there are some of us that feel this way.
For me, the best part of Abu Simbal was staying over night on one of the trips down there and seeing the Sound and Light show. Now, that was memorable. It was really good, I thought. My background is more in Engineering, so the story of moving the temple is more interesting to me than the actual temple.
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Sep 25th, 2012, 05:44 AM
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I only visited Egypt once, this April. We spent 17 days (including side trip to Petra) and I think that was not enough either.

I suppose it is a must-see mainly because it is unique and, from being saved from the lake, special. Besides the pyramics, it is one of the ìconic`sights of Egypt. But... It is remote, will take a whole day of your limited time. Other than the colossal statues, it is not extremely notable as an example of Egyptian works, in my totally un-expert opinion.

If you have only a few days, certainly spend the time in Luxor and area where the sites are literaly built on top of each other and there is a wide example of New Kingdom and Ptolomeic works to see.

I enjoyed the trip to Abydos and Dendara also for the slice of life you see driving through the countryside...
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Sep 26th, 2012, 07:18 AM
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I personally loved Abu Simbel, I think because of the sheer size and structure of it and the fact of it being saved from the water. If you haven't seen it already then I think it is a must see if you are going all the way to Aswan anyway. But, if you are only going as far as Luxor then a temple that I really really liked was Habu Temple over near the Valley of the Kings area.

It's not one of those temples on every travel agent's standard tour programme but we have been to it a couple of times because it is huge and very very nice to see, and even better that it is hardly visited by tourists and so only us and a couple of other people were there each time we have visited it. So if you get a chance to see that one - add that too.
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Sep 26th, 2012, 09:47 AM
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Abu Simbel temples are wonderful and unforgettable temples, can't miss it
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Sep 27th, 2012, 06:30 AM
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I just visited it and I thought it was amazing. IMHO, it was worth the extra effort to go "out of the way"..if for no other reason-we had the entire site to ourselves for about 20 minutes. Literally, to ourselves...I have more pictures from that site with not one single other person in view than any other. Also, the setting is so serene...the lake is beautiful and to quietly explore such a testament to love was really awesome after Cairo! Of course, I am a hopeless romantic so I just loved Abu Simbel...If you can make it happen, I would.
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Sep 28th, 2012, 04:54 AM
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I had about 20 days in Egypt. I loved Abu Simbel and wouldn't miss it.
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Sep 28th, 2012, 09:08 PM
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Thanks all so much for the wonderful and valuable pieces of advices. I have a huge problem now - looks like I might have to consider Abu Simbel in my Aswan trip
aravalli is offline  
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Sep 30th, 2012, 12:14 PM
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I also had doubts due to the cost. I went back and forth, and eventually I decided that if I didn't go, I would regret that as I would think I missed something special. IMO it was absolutely the right decision. It was an expensive excursion but for me it was a highlight of my trip. I vote yes.
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Oct 1st, 2012, 01:33 PM
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This is a hard question to answer because it's tied up with time and money trade-offs. But I thought it was very gratifying to see. Reading about the project of moving it up to save it from the lake is one thing. Seeing it accomplished and walking through the site and feeling the scale of it is quite another.

As others have said though, if time and money were short, I would skip it.
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Oct 1st, 2012, 05:37 PM
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I would not miss it.

To go all the way to Egypt and do the Nile Cruise and get as far as Aswan and not make the effort to get to Abu Simble....is

something you could regret after getting back home.

It is really something the way they saved it from the water and reconstructed it further back.

Read about Abu Simble....the History of it and the Flooding of it,and you will appreciate it more ,
Percy is online now  
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Oct 2nd, 2012, 10:36 AM
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Agree with Percy and the others, Abu Simbel was one of the many highlights of Egypt trip. The sheer size of the temple and the colossal statues, plus the way it was moved, the sound and light show, all make for an incredible experience. IMHO you must go, but then I loved all the temples and never once felt it got to be too much
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Oct 4th, 2012, 09:43 AM
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I love the Sound & Light show at Abu Simbel. I wish I had allocated 2 nights to see it. It's also gorgeously lit in the evening and early in the morning. While I don't think the site itself is very attractive during the day time - the monuments take on a dull greyish tone and you'll see pigeon poops all over and the crowd, but if you can see it at night and the next morning for the sunrise then you'll like/love it.
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Oct 8th, 2012, 11:53 AM
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Another vote for Abu Simbel if you can manage it. Since we went to Egypt a few months after the revolution my husband and I had the site to ourselves for over an hour. Our guide picked us up around 3:30pm when all the day trippers had left. We opted to fly in, stay overnight, and road convoy back. At our hotel there were only 2 other couples. Only 6 of us were overnight in the entire town. They arrived at the site as we were finishing so they also got to see the site by themselves. IMO the extra cost was worth it. It is an UNESCO World Heritage site. Built by Ramses II to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. The other is dedicated to Nefertari-chief consort/wife of Ramses. This shows his love for her.
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Oct 11th, 2012, 06:42 AM
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You should defitely visit Abu Simbel. Plus to what the others users said, Abu Simbel was carved in a perfect angle, in order to allow sunlight's entrance twice a year, according to birth andreign of Ramesses II. On 22nd October, Abu Simbel will feast the Sun Festival...If you had the chance to go, you should take it...
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Oct 14th, 2012, 11:00 AM
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Abu Simbel was amazing. It was worth the time and effort. I particularly loved how it overlooks beautiful Lake Nasser and marvelled that both are creations of man... If I had to choose between it and Abydos/Dendera, which we also enjoyed visiting, I'd choose Abu Simbel.
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