Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page > Am a women going to egypt - has anyone had any problems

Am a women going to egypt - has anyone had any problems

Reply

Feb 12th, 2004, 02:36 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 8
Am a women going to egypt - has anyone had any problems

The tour books all mention problems that single women have in Egypt. Will be with a tour group.Has anyone had any problems?

I've traveled to Asia in the past and you only find trouble there if you look for it. Does the same apply in Egypt. I heard that wearing a weeding ring can help.

Am assuming that if you wear clothes that cover you, there should be no problem. Any thoughts?
Bean5920 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 12th, 2004, 09:01 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,851
We went on a group tour (about 25 of us) April 2001. Few women in our group had any problems. The exception was the couple of teenage girls who dressed and acted like regular US teenage girls. Two other girls of that age in our group who dressed more conservatively and acted a little less attention-seeking, had no problems.

Clothes that "cover you up" is relative. Burka not required. Looser non-clingy clothing that covers at least half of your leg (capri length or longer) and half of your arm is fine. Bring a scarf to cover head - but none was needed, even in mosque or Coptic Christian church (I figured if locals did not cover their head, I did not have to).

Even when I wandered a little afar from the group, I did not get hassled - except to buy lots of souveneirs. I had also heard the wedding ring thing, but I often don't wear mine in very hot weather since my hands swell and there seemed to be no difference ringed or ringless. I think that may apply only to locals.

Read similar guide-book warnings and found them over-rated, although I did choose to dress more conservatively than I would at home. I have a very blond teenage daughter who, other than relatively innocent comments about her hair, also did not get bothered.
gail is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2004, 04:18 AM
  #3
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
As long as you are moderately dressed when walking the streets of Cairo, Luxor and Aswan - no one is going to bother you. Some people might want to see you items they have in their shops and even practice their English with you - but that's the extend of it.

Covered legs and arms and comfortable shoes, a good sense of direction so as not to get lost and you'll have a wonderful time.

Save your walking-length shorts for on your Nile cruise boat and stops along the Nile and visit to Valley of Kings & Queens - your shorter shorts and swimsuits (even 2-pc or bikinis) for the cruise boat or hotel swimming pool.

You'll have a wonderful time.
 
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2004, 04:47 AM
  #4
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sorry - that should read "modestly" dressed.
 
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2004, 06:27 AM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 8
So wearing walking shorts to tour the pyramids and valley of the kings is ok? All the books say that women should not wear shorts of any kind.
Bean5920 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2004, 12:25 PM
  #6
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
That might be what the books say, but it seems that no one has read them.

Not knowing when you will be visiting - it can be HOT in the Cairo area during the day during certain times of the year; and most definitely in Luxor and Aswan and Abu Simbel it is HOT (with few exceptions of weird weather) almost year 'round.

Just about everyone at the Giza, Memphia, Sakkara sites were in either crop pants or long walking shorts.

Because our time in Abu Simbel was only the morning and we were on flights from Cairo and then back to Aswan, we were in crop pants or long slacks (more for the plane) - though it was quite hot there. The temps in Aswan were running close to 90-degrees, and during the time cruising the Nile, likewise the daytime temps were in the mid-80s-90s.

And when finally in Luxor, especially the visit to the Valley of the Kings & Queens which is most often visited at 6:30am - by 9:30am the temps were well in the 90s. Many women, regardless which countries they were from, were wearing shorts and t-shirts - a few even in more abbreviated clothing.

And since this is the desert, be prepared for the night temps to drop by 30-degrees to the mid-50s to low-60s, so a shawl or jacket is a must, especially if outdoors at night - even if only the top deck of your Nile cruise boat.

 
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2004, 07:33 PM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 8
Hey Sandi,

We'll be going the 1st week of March. I think the weather forecast is about 85 degrees. It would be great to wear shorts. So far, I've invested mostly in slacks.

Thanks for the advice. I just did not want to offend anyone. I'm going to make sure to bring some shorts along.

Have you heard of a boat called the Mirage? Can back packs (school size) be taken to most of the sites?

Any advice on things to take that most people might not think of?
Bean5920 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2004, 05:03 AM
  #8
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
There are many Nile cruise boats - some are added, others taken off-line for refurbishing each year. So I cannot comment personally on the Mirage. You should ask your tour operator who owns the ship (can be a hotel or private company) and ask for them so send you brochure or pictures - ask how many cabins, max number of passengers, etc.

Slacks should be fine in almost all situations - touring, relaxing on the boat, going out for dinner.

Shorts will serve best while touring sites along the Nile, especially those in the afternoon when it's hottests and at the VofK&Q early in the day. Also when cruising during the day and you're relaxing on the top deck of the boat.

March might bring sand storms so have a scarf (preferrably a bandana in your backpack) to cover your face if this happens. A hat and sunscreen is recommended as the sun is very strong; comfortable walking shoes as there is often lots of even ground (best w/rubber soles). Plastic bags to protect your camera and do remember to clean your camera at end of day in case there is sand inside. Don't forget lots of film and extra batteries (unless your using digital and I cannot comment on this). I also like to have an extra camera (w/batteries) and even a few disposable, just in case.

Small backpacks are fine, something I always had with me. There are ATMs available at airport and most hotels or around (your guide can advise). We brought & used USD in small denominations $1s, $5s (lots of these) for purchases, but kept the $10s & $20s for guides and boat crew tips. Along your Nile stops between Luxor and Aswan, it's best to use local currency as the vendors don't have as easy access to banks to exchange USD.

Egypt is a fascinating country with amazing sites, warm and welcoming people - you should have a wonderful trip. Enjoy!
 
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2004, 07:04 AM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 8
Sandi,

Here's another question if you don't mind, my Mom is going with me and can't walk up steep inclines. Are there places to sit at Giza and VotK&QS?

Also, can you email me a copy of the address for the shop that carries papyrus (not sure on the spelling). My email address is [email protected]

Thanks!
Bean5920 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2004, 01:47 PM
  #10
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Bean5920 - Are you traveling on an independent or group tour? If independently, your guide should keep with "your" pace; can't comment what pace with a group.

As to places to sit, honestly, I don't recall places to sit at the Giza sites (Pyramids/Sphinx), though there were uneven (not necessarily inclined) ground at places, we took our time just to take it all in. We did not venture into the Great pyramid (grand hall) as neither of us had any intention of the inclined walk and bended back to reach the top.

At the VofK&Q, once you leave your bus or pvt vehicle, they have little choo-choo-type vehicles to take you to the tombs. Most tombs have an incline upon entering (remember these were originally build way under ground); others actually have ladders to climb down into the tombs; others have lots of steps to climb up. I can't say which you will be visiting - it's usually minimum of three and then they give you time to yourself to visit a few other tombs. But, there are seating areas here, and are sheltered from the sun.

When my friend decided to venture down a ladder into a tomb, I took a pass (not very steady on ladders) and just relaxed for a while and even got caught up with a group of French tourists getting an intro by their guide and I actually understood most of what he was saying - surprised the heck out of me, especially when the French tourists started asking me questions in French; at which time I had to admit I only spoke English.

I'll send the map for the Egyptian Art Gallery under separate email.
 
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2004, 04:07 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,851
Sandi gave very accurate and detailed descriptions. Most peole who experience difficulty with steep inclines are not that great on stairs either. They are everywhere.

We did go into Great Pyramid. After having to climb up some very uneven steps made of loose rocks (don't look down - it was creepy) you entered pyramid and followed along a reasonable walkway. Then the fun starts - the narrowest crawlway one could imagine with about a 45 degree incline which you navigate in a stooped over position. Husband and kids did that - I stayed in main part of the pyramid.

Still, it was the most incredible experience of my life to be inside a pyramid - almost made me believe all the spiritual/psychic, etc things that are said about pyramids. So if you have a chance and are not claustrophobic, go inside.

I don't remember a lot of places to sit anywhere.
gail is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2004, 07:57 PM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 8

Sounds fun! I'll have my Mom bring one of those small folding travel chairs that can be put in a back pack.

Is the incline bad going into the great pyramid?

Thank you both so much for the information. It helps to know the basic layout of places we are going to visit.

I'm not a nervous traveler, but I like to be as prepared as possible. I'm really excited about this trip.
Bean5920 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 15th, 2004, 03:06 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 157
THE GREAT PYRAMID IN 2002 WAS OPEN FOR ENTRY TO ONLY 300 PEOPLE PER DAY.THE CLIMB INSIDE WAS DEFINETLY NOT OSHA APPROVED FOR SAFETY,BUT TAKE YOUR TIME AND YOU WILL BE FINE. THE CLIMBTO THE TOMB WILL ALLOW YOU TO SEE THE SARCOFAGUS OF THE PHAROH
pgmargate is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 15th, 2004, 05:21 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,851
Great Pyramid entry was limited by separate ticket purchase - our guide had us there at 6:30 AM so we could get tickets.

In 2001 when husband and kids climbed to burial chamber, there was no sarcofagus of anyone - just an empty burial chamber - contents had either been looted centuries ago or taken to Museum. Did they replace something in 2002?

(To pgmargate - I don't care and it seems silly to me - but my kids tell me that typing in all capital letters means the writer is shouting)
gail is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 15th, 2004, 06:48 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 157
we hired a guide who acquired our tickets early then picked us up at our hotel at0830. to the best of my knowledge the kings coffin, made of solid granite has always remained in the tomb of the great pyarmid.when we went they allowed 150 people in a.m., 150people in p.m.
pgmargate is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:53 PM.