Cairo simple sights

Apr 14th, 2009, 10:04 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 179
Cairo simple sights

As most people we like being independent but don't want to get it just as easy to get to Giza on our own from the hotel on the Nile and do the pyramids (we are not interested in going in any)..a camel ride then return to town..I mean are there taxis at the Pyramids? Also is it just as easy to go to the Khan bazaar with taxi on our own and browse islamic Cairo and back by hailing a taxi?
chnaman is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 10:42 AM
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We had a guide/driver for all the usual sightseeing in/around Cairo and out to Saqqara/Memphis and the bazaar, which worked out wonderfully. Even the Opera at the Pyramids where our guide/driver waited till midnight.

However, after our Nile cruise, visit to Abu Simbel and return to Cairo, we had two days. So walked outside hotel, got into a taxi and off to the hailed a taxi (it was metered and quite reasonably priced for the short drive) to the museum on one morning, then walked to restaurant along the river for lunch and hailed a taxi back to hotel.

On the last day we "needed" to do some more shopping, so again took a taxi from the hotel, spent hours wandering around, spending $$$, having lunch... when finished, hailed a taxi back to our hotel.

We were two women and never felt unsafe, nor were we really bothered by shopkeepers, in fact we stopped to have tea with many of them. Actually found a unique shop on our own when asked by a young boy to follow him... ugh! We did, and what a find! You just never know!

So, it's doable. If you only want to visit the Giza area for a short time, you can arrange for the taxi to wait to take you back, but settle on a fee especially for his waiting. But don't be surprised if he wants to take you to "an uncle who owns a rug shop!"
sandi is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 11:06 AM
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You must have gotten the only working meter in Cairo!!!!

I would suggest having someone at your hotel help get you a taxi and agree upon a price BEFORE getting into it. You will - of course - be expected to add to that agreed amount for a tip, but at least you'll have an idea of what you'll be charged before heading off.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 01:30 PM
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I would like to advise you to be very careful taking a camel ride at the pyramids. I gather you are often quoted a price that does not allow you to get off of the camel without paying more money. We did go for a camel ride at the pyramids but it was arranged and supervised by our tour guide who warned us to be wary of the camel owners. Two men in our group went off on their own and had trouble making the camel owners bring them back to the pyramids. They wanted to lead them far off into the desert. Just be careful.
jerseysusan is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 02:44 PM
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>>You must have gotten the only working meter in Cairo!!!! <<

... and in both directions
sandi is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 03:18 PM
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Seriously, metered taxis are rare in Cairo. You MUST agree in advance on the fare, or you will be sorry!
sf7307 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 11:18 PM
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HMmmm....guess this is all one big adventure.LOL..!! Or maybe I won't be laughing if I am not careful....darn if you and don't kinda situation for camle irdes...if you have aguide it cost more..if we go on our own..we get taken..literally for a ride..!!!
chnaman is offline  
Apr 15th, 2009, 12:00 AM
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1 - Keep in mind that they call the Giza Plateau a plateau for a reason. If you only take the car to the entrance there is a hill ahead of you to climb. If you are here in the heat, this is going to be a hot climb and if you don't take your own water with you, you will be asked for a great deal of money for a small amount of water when you get to the top. Unless you are really strapped for cash, I would hire a car to take you in, and drive you around. A good driver will let you do things as you please instead of hurry you to get you through it so he can take you papyrus or carpet shopping. Good drivers cost more.

2 - Camel riding - The first thing to do is take a photo of your camel driver with his camel. Make it a fun picture so he doesn't suspect why you took it - although that really won't matter. But, you want a photo of him (make certain his face is clear so he can be identified) to take to the police if he pulls something stupid like the more money to make the camel lay down trick. These boys are well known to the police around Giza and if you have a photo to show them, they can probably go directly to his house and collect your money for you. The police station I think you'd want to go to is pretty much directly across the street from the Mena House hotel - it says Tourist Police on the building.
I recommend taking pictures of all the touts so you can do this if you need to. You can even try telling him that it is your insurance that he will behave himself and treat you with the respect you deserve, or you will be showing the picture to the police. If the camel comes from some specific stable, find out which one too. The stables are responsible for these men's behavior to some degree. I think it will be difficult to associate a camel with a stable though, but if you pay to ride a horse, the horses usually have a blanket under the saddle with the stable name on it, like MB or AA. Get that photo too.

That is the best way to protect yourself from being taken for a ride (so to speak) that I can think of, short of using a good guide to protect you.
Casual_Cairo is offline  
Apr 15th, 2009, 12:01 AM
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ADVICE - NOT ADVISE Dangit! I know how to spell it!
Casual_Cairo is offline  
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