Clothing and shoe suggestions for Egypt in October?

Aug 27th, 2006, 06:45 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,282
Clothing and shoe suggestions for Egypt in October?

My husband and I will be spending two weeks in Egypt in October. We are trying to figure out what our best options are for clothing, not only what's comfortable for the weather but to be culturally respectful as well. Any suggestions? And what kind of footwear is recommended for traveling in the areas like the Pyramids and such? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
heymo is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 07:05 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 94
October will still be fairly warm, so plan or bringing light, cool things. If you have comfortable sandals (you'll do ALOT of walking), wear those, otherwise, tennis shoes are fine. As far as respectable clothing goes, tourists wear almost anything, but you will receive far less harrassment if you dress modestly. Tunics tops are big in Cairo, but just avoid tank tops, sleeveless tops, and and any gap between your shirt and bottom. Any loose, short-to long-sleeved shirt will be entirely acceptable. Long skirts ar probably the most popular bottoms, but these can pose a challenge when climbing onto a camel ;-) Plenty of Egyptian women wear pants and capris, so, for the sake of coolness, I would suggest several pairs of capris and a few long skirts. If you plan on visiting a mosque, they require you to wear a hooded robe. If you are uncomforable sharing headwear, I would suggest throwing a scarf into your daypack so you can wrap it around your hair in the mosque. You'll still have to wear the robe, just not the hood.

Laura
huladolphin is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 07:46 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,282
Thank you Laura for your helpful suggestions. The girl who booked our tour is actually buying me a scarf for the mosques, but I was unaware of the robe issue. I knew you had to remove your shoes...I had considered taking a skirt or two, but I agree, camel riding in a skirt would not be a good idea!

When did you travel there?
heymo is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 01:20 PM
  #4  
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
A hooded robe? I saw those given to anyone who appeared at a mosque in shorts, halter tops, bare arms, etc. Those green robes were sure embarassing and serves the wearer right for showing little respect (these were Americans, Europeans and Aussies and Kiwis... none were immune from the "green monster.")

As long as your arms are covered, as well, your legs to the ankels, and have a scarf for your head, you won't have to worry about a hooded robe.

We visited in October and you'll find that it is still hot, especially in the Valley or Kings/Queens (Luxor) in Aswan and at Abu Simbel. Cairo was warm, but nowhere as unbearable at the areas in the south. The evenings do tend to cool off and it's not unusual to need a shawl or light weight jacket/sweater in the evening; also while cruising the Nile in the evenings.

And, do have comfortable walking shoes as there are many uneven walkways at temples and other sights. No new shoes.
 
Aug 27th, 2006, 01:28 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,100
In addition to above good suggestions - loose cotton is most comfortable. Woven as opposed to knit fabrics generally are less clingy and more modest, but then you get into the wrinkle issue.

I was told that adult men just don't wear shorts - that is akin to wearing underwear in public. Never saw an Egyptian male with his legs exposed, but plenty of male tourists with longer shorts.

Ground underfoot is often uneven and hot - wear something that will give you good traction and be comfortable. I had sturdy walking sandals, but others prefer a closed shoe.

I also brought a wide-brimmed but crushable hat for sun protection.
gail is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 06:25 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,823
gail - good reminder about men and shorts. During our years in Cairo, my husband never wore shorts at the pyramids or in downtown Cairo (he would in our little area), but he did wear shorts in Luxor and Aswan and at the beach areas.

I let my boys wear shorts around Cairo when they were smaller (7,8,9) but once they hit 10 - they wore long pants whenever Dad did. This even applies to our travels by plane in and out of Cairo.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Aug 28th, 2006, 04:38 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 323
We went in October and the heat was unbearable in Cairo and was 118 in Abul Simbal. My wife almost fainted in the Cairo museum from the unbearable heat.

Sandals/sneakers are good thoughout. Whatever is the coolest.

I wore shorts every day with t-shirts and had no problem and my wife wore lightweight pants and lightweight short sleeved tops and again, we had no problem.
dssxxxx is offline  
Aug 28th, 2006, 06:43 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,100
Regarding heat - we were there several years ago in April (roughly comparable weather to October). You really must pace yourself, drink fluids, try not to get any intestinal ill that will dehydrate you.

One clothing recommendation that I did not think of before - because of the heat, you will sweat a lot. I am usually a light packer and found myself going thru clothing, especially shirts and underwear quickly - often changing mid-day. I ended up rinsing out things in hotel and on Nile cruise - no big deal, but keep it in mind regarding amount and type of clothing you bring.
gail is offline  
Aug 28th, 2006, 03:14 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 867
Just a couple more things. Pack light and use light weight clothes. The 5 stars have laundry/dry cleaning services and/or you can wash them out & dry them overnight. The lesser starred places may have laundry/dry cleaning. My Cruise ship didn't & it was a 5 star.

Re: shoes. I've always worn flip flops in the desert, but it's never been above 90 F, so I'm not sure how your feet will hold up with the sand. Any time you go into a city, you should wear shoes that cover up all of your feet -- I mean, sneakers are OK -- you don't need high rise sneakers or boots -- because the streets are filled with all sorts of gunk & you just never know what the gunk is.

Have a great trip!
sunshine007 is offline  
Aug 28th, 2006, 05:53 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,282
What wonderful suggestions! I bought a couple long-sleeve sun protective shirts and planned to take some cotton shirts and capri's for most of the days. I was told the only place shorts were acceptable was when we will be in Hurghada at the beaches.
I bought a good Tilley hat for sun protection. I may bring a shawl for evenings, especially on the Nile cruise.Did you find that people dressed nicer for the dinners on the Nile cruise? I wasn't really planning to bring dress clothes, but maybe I should reconsider that...
My husband said something about not wanting to wear opened toe sandals in the city, and I thought it was strange. But now that you brought up what might we might be walking through I will have to rethink my sandals!
Gail- You said we must try to avoid getting the intestinal ailment that can dehydrate you...any suggestions on how to avoid it? I know we shouldn't drink the water and not eat fruits and such that have been washed in the water, but anything else? And did anyone eat pigeon while they were there? I'm told it's a delicacy to them like lobster is to us. I'm hoping someone is pulling my leg...
Thanks again for the suggestions. Any other advice will be greatly appreciated. This will be our first time in Egypt. We leave in 41 days!
heymo is offline  
Aug 28th, 2006, 06:08 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,100
We took an ultra-cautious approach to not getting sick and no one in our family of 4 got sick. It was probably over-kill, but we decided we were not in Egypt for the food, did not want to risk missing anything because of illness, and after seeing the scarcity and condition of public bathrooms, did not want to have to rely on them.

So, in addition to the obvious drinking of bottled water, we also avoided all raw veggies, and ate only those fruits we could peel ourselves. We also limited dairy, especially in places where we were not sure of pasteurization of milk.

Buffets were served on Nile cruise, and we eyed suspiciously things like cream pies, etc. We ate plenty of cooked veggies, rice, great bread, meat.

When purchasing bottled water at historic sites, make sure bottle is truly factory bottler sealed - has not been opened and refilled. Ice cubes can be made with questionable water, so avoid. We also were careful about reconstituted fruit juices and lemonades, since we did not know source of water.

As I said, this may have been overkill, but in our group of about 25, we were only family where no one got ill.

Pepto Bismol is great for diarrhea, Immodium for more serious problems. But remember that when your body has diarrhea from food bacteria, the diarrhea is body's way of getting rid of the unfamiliar bacteria.

Did not mean to scare you to death - many here have eaten in lots of places in Egypt and not gotten ill
gail is offline  
Aug 29th, 2006, 03:22 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,282
Gail, no you didn't scare me. This is definitely a concern of mine, so I am most appreciative of the suggestions. Neither my husband or I am very fond of Middle Eastern food, so this in general poses some interesting quandries. But as you said, we aren't going there for the food!
heymo is offline  
Aug 29th, 2006, 04:12 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 323
One observation and one tip:

We used ice in all of our drinks at the Ramses Hilton and on the Nile cruise. We were told that the ice cubes were made from bottled water and we suffered no ill effects.

Now the tip................

Do not buy sealed bottled water from any store, hotel, etc. that has only been refrigerated. Believe me, that within 15 minutes it is warm.

At all sites throughout Egypt, we found vendors that were selling large sealed bottles of water, that were frozen and kept in coolers. We found them to be cheaper than any stores and believe me when I tell you that the ice lasted throughout the duration of the bottle. It seemed that when you took your last drink of water, where was a small bit of ice left in the bottle.

Good luck.
dssxxxx is offline  
Aug 29th, 2006, 06:52 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,227
We had some very good beer in Egypt. It was very low in alcohol and was refreshing without making one tipsy.
kleroux is offline  
Aug 29th, 2006, 12:18 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,282
My husband will be happy to hear about the beer, kleroux! Thanks for the tips about the water. What about other things that are good to drink in Egypt? I am a wine drinker for the most part, is there such a thing as Egyptian wine? I haven't seen anything about it in the books I have read...
heymo is offline  
Aug 29th, 2006, 06:56 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,823
Egyptian beer is definitely better than Egyptian wine. It does exist, and I have heard there is a new wine out that isn't bad (I'll try to find out the name for you). When we lived there I drank Grand Marquis (red or white). Obelisk is not bad, but Ptolomy always gave me a horrible headache. Unfortunately, imported wine is very expensive, so there isn't much choice. However, there is a duty free shop as you come out of the customs area (where all the taxi drivers wait) and you could pick up some bottles there.

As for beer, I liked Saqqara and my husband liked an occasional Saqqara 7 Star (higher alcohol content). There is also Stella and I think Carlsburg is produced locally.

As for water, we preferred to drink Nestle water because I felt the quality control was better and because it was better sealed (sealed plastic cap plus a plastic covering ovr the cap), but there is also Siwa or Baraka. Just make sure the cap is properly sealed and if it tastes funky - pitch it and get another. We sometimes had perfectly sealed bottles that tasted really "off."

As for other things to drink.....my kids loved getting freshly prepared watermelon juice, and I often got freshly made OJ (only at reputable places). But I found that on the cruises and at the various large hotels, the OJ that was available at breakfast tasted like Tang.

Of course, there is also Coke, Coke Light (Diet Coke), Fanta, Sprite, etc. But you really just need to consume LOTS of water!

Oh - I wouldn't go overboard with dressy clothes for the cruise. I wore nice pants or a nice but casual skirt most nights.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 05:19 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,282
I am adding your suggestions to my notebook right now. Fresh watermelon juice sounds interesting! if I didn't think it would immediately shatter I would bring a bottle or two of wine from home. I will be happy to try whatever the local beverages are. And thanks for the help with clothing on the ship, until this week I hadn't even thought of what to wear in the evenings. I planned this trip so far in advance, and now it seems to be coming up so fast!
heymo is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 05:56 AM
  #18  
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Even at home I freeze my bottled water to last once I'm outdoors. In Egypt, whether in hotel or on cruise boat, we always froze bottles in the mini-fridge in rooms and/or cabins.

We knew the wine wasn't the best, and found this out when we dared to order a glass. Don't - is all I can say. Terrible.

Beer on the other hand is great. We drank Saqqara and Stella and I was a happy and refreshed camper.

Juices - on the cruise especially and even on the internal flights, they served mango and papaya juices. Factory produced. These were great returning to boat after being in the hot sun, over ice (yes, ice and no tummy upsets). They even sell the brand we had in Egypt, in our stores here in NYC. I now drink these juices at home.

On the cruise boat and/or in town - nice casual, nothing fancy in the evenings. It's often still warm to hot, but temps can drop 20/30-degrees, so have a shawl or jacket.
 
Aug 30th, 2006, 06:43 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,100
Cruise clothing. I had brought a reversible black and pattern on the other side simple dress from Travelsmith - could actually wear it for 3 nights - one on each side of dress and with a jacket on the black side a third night.
gail is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 04:11 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,282
I will definitely take your advice and avoid the Egyptian wine. Maybe I will just have to go ahead and pick something up at the duty free. As for clothing...a reversible dress is brilliant! I have to admit I am a bit of a clothes horse but usually am good about toning it down for travel. But this trip...I feel like I need at least two or three changes of clothes for each day! This trip is so vastly different than any other we've taken, that's why I am so grateful for all the wonderful suggestions here. Can't wait!
Has anyone gone to Hurghada while they were in Egypt? We're spending three days there toward the end of our trip. Thought it would be good to unwind and relax a little after all the running. I know it's got great scuba and snorkeling there, but is there anything else we shouldn't miss? Our tour company offers a day trip out to a Bedouin village which sounded interesting...
heymo is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:55 PM.