Egypt - Abu Simbal - worth it?

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Mar 17th, 2005, 11:39 AM
  #1
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Egypt - Abu Simbal - worth it?

I'm booking a tour in Egypt. We are given the option to add Abu Simbal for $180 extra. Do you recommend doing it?

Thanks for the assistance...
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Mar 17th, 2005, 11:05 PM
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Yes it is. The best way is by boat. It looks great has the sun comes up and goes down.
Richard,
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Photos of our trip to Egypt and a few other places.
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Mar 18th, 2005, 01:29 AM
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Definitely visit Abu Simbel, it is a must see! As the previous person said by boat is best.......you will love it. Enjoy.
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Mar 18th, 2005, 03:05 AM
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Definitely!

By boat certainly sounds more cumfy than my experience which was getting up seriously early to be driven from Aswan. You see sunrise over the desert. It was still worth it.

Amazing - made a much deeper impression on me than the temples of Luxor. The Valley of the Kings, though, is special - ditto St Catherine's monastery in the Sinai, and others in the Eastern desert. If you have time in Cairo after the Pyramids and the Museum, don't miss the Coptic part of town.
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Mar 18th, 2005, 03:40 AM
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Do not miss it - highpoint of a trip. Some tours offer option of flying from Aswan. It is very easy and surprisingly quick - only a portion of one day. You get on plane at Aswan, take very short flight. After getting off plane you are whisked away on busses to Abu Simbel (maybe a 10-15 minute ride), usually stay a few hours (enough), and reverse the process. We left Aswan early AM and were back shortly after lunch.
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Mar 18th, 2005, 03:51 AM
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Yes, definitely go. It was one of my Egypt highlights last September.

The cost you have looks high to me though. What transport option is that for? I flew round-trip from Aswan and the trip cost including flights, transfers and tour guide at Abu Simbel was around $120 from memory.
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Mar 18th, 2005, 04:11 AM
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The price of $180 might indicate flight from Cairo (via Aswan) onto Abu Simbel (transfers, tour, transfers) and return to Aswan where jill picks up her Nile Cruise boat. If flying from Aswan/AbuSimbel/Aswan, the price will, of course, be less.

jill - determine whether Abu Simbel option is prior cruise or after cruise and flights from where-to-where.
 
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Mar 19th, 2005, 11:26 PM
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I visited Abu Simbel in Jan 05. $180 was worth every cent. The early departure (2.30am) from our comfy boat and our journey to get there by plane, was rewarded with a crisp crystal clear sunrise. We had the site all to ourselves. Had plenty of time to look around before the buses arrived. We were back in Aswan in plenty of time to look through the Nubian Museum and have cocktails on the terrace the Old Cataract Hotel.

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Mar 20th, 2005, 04:09 PM
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I am planning to visit Egypt in January 2006 and I was debating whether or not to spend the money on Abu Simbal. Thanks for tipping the scales for me.

And thanks to jill9876 for posting this question.

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Mar 22nd, 2005, 03:17 AM
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I too have also been debating whether or not to go to Abu Simbel rather than spend the entire afternoon in Aswan (my flight still leaves almost at midnight!).

Now my question is, if we do get a flight to Abu Simbel, what's the process in going to the site? Do we just hop on any bus? Where do we pay for the bus ticket? What about the bus trip going back?

Leaving in two days!!
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Mar 22nd, 2005, 03:32 AM
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Your fee, whatever, is may be should include the air, bus transfers to/fr the airport and tour guide at the site. When you depart the terminal someone will guide you to the proper bus and you will likely have the same bus return you to the terminal... but it's not a good idea to leave anything on the bus. At the site, there are guides, who will take a group through the area. At the conclusion, it is expected to tip the guide a few dollars. The tour with time to take photos is about 1-1/2 hrs. to 2 hrs. You'll then get on you bus for return to airport and your ongoing flight. All very simple and quite organized in a disorganized sort of way. But it's definitely worth the stop here. Amazing site.
 
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Mar 22nd, 2005, 03:33 AM
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Although we were told that we had a "reservation" on a specific bus at a specific time, that seemed to be nonsense. We were just herded to bus, got on - same on return trip. We bought Abu Simbel as add-on to our tour, and other than plane tickets, there were no other vouchers, nor any money exchanged - so I have no idea about cost/paying for bus.

When you get off bus there are all sorts of vendors lined up. Surprisingly, on the way into site (about a 5 minute walk) they were the least aggressive vendors we encountered. Then on the way out, we found out why - they know people are more likely to buy their stuff on the way out than the way in.

No words can describe how hot it is at Abu Simbel - and the strength of the sun. There is absolutely no shade and few places to sit down. Dress accordingly and make sure you have plenty of water. They were also very strict about flash cameras. That said, do not miss going there - I found it more incredible and memorable than anything else, even pyramids.
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Mar 22nd, 2005, 07:43 AM
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Sandi's description was the way it was explained to me, but it was not at all that way for me.

There was no way to tell which bus I was to take to get there and I was not allowed on some buses. There was to be a an English speaking guide standing on the way to the tickets, but it was very disorganized & I couldn't find one. The ticket booth said that there would be one at the temple, but there was none. I had been told that this guide would tell me when to get on the bus back to the airport, so I had to guess what time and which bus to take.

And when I got back to the airport it was chaos. At 9:30 the people who were to be on the 9:15 plane were still waiting to get past security & into the airport.

Coupled with getting up at 4 a.m., it made for an unpleasant experience and I did not appreciate the site as much as I should have. It is better thinking about it in retrospect.

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Mar 22nd, 2005, 01:01 PM
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sandi
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Of course it's hectic, but that's Egypt. We too didn't have any vouchers, so we were winging it once we deplaned in Abu Simbel. As to the buses, apparently, specific buses were for "tour groups" versus us who were individual visitors. So all the individual visitors were on the same bus, and all the same individuals hooked up with the same guide at the site.

Maybe we lucked out with a good guide, but he seemed to have everything times well, and on the return to the airport, the bus we came to the site on, was there to return us to the airport.

Yes, there was chaos at the airport... again, that's Egypt, but we boarded with no problem (in fact on the same plane, wih the same crew, that brought us in from Cairo) back to Aswan - right on time. In Aswan we were met for our transfer and off we went to board our Nile cruise.

Look at the confusion as part of the adventure. Regardless, Abu Simbel is definitely worth the visit.
 
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Mar 22nd, 2005, 02:49 PM
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everyone is saying abu simbel is worth it but now am worried that the domestic flights are notorious for always being delayed. we finally got confirms for 7.30 am Aswan/Cairo, should we stick to 11.55pm Aswan/Cairo flight to go to Abu Simbel? I'm scared of missing our flight and getting stranded there etc.
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Mar 27th, 2005, 02:40 PM
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I just returned on Friday afternoon and Abu Simbel is a must see. I can't comment on the price as it was included in my tour with Isram.
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Apr 1st, 2005, 08:43 PM
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I would go again but it is expensive for the short time you are there. I would not likely go back a second time but as a once in your lifetime opportunity I'd spend the money
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Sep 19th, 2005, 12:14 PM
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i would be very appreciative if Jill or any other who are working with a tour group for Abu would give me their recommendations. what is included in the $180??
by the way is there anyway to contact posters by private messaging with this forum?
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Sep 21st, 2005, 08:16 AM
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Okay - I have to be honest - I have visited Abu Simbel twice and I came away with mixed feelings.

The first time was with my in-laws, flying from Aswan following a Nile cruise. We arrived just fine, but had no idea what bus we were to get on to get to the site. After a 40 minute wait in the heat, we were on our way. I have to admit, I was UNDER-whelmed. Part of the problem involved logistics. We got inside the temple area and our 8 year old needed to go to the bathroom. I had my husband check out the WC and he came back so horrified he refused to let our son go. Also, there are no drink stands (ie - water) inside the turnstyle to the site, so we were absolutely parched in the early October heat. In the end, my husband and his family stayed for the whole tour and I took the kids out to find decent bathrooms and something to drink, eat. Then, we got back to the airport to discover our plane was delayed - 4 hours! We "lunched" on chocolate bars, chips, and sodas - since that was all that was available. NOT the best part of our trip.

A month later, we did the Lake Nasser cruise - which started with a tour of Abu Simbel and then the evening sound and light show. Because we arrived in the late afternoon, the crowds were much less (almost gone) and we knew to get water ahead of time. It was much more enjoyable! And I have to admit, the sound and light show was one of the best I have seen.

Were I to recommend a strategy - assuming one had the time - I would suggest spending the night in town, enjoying the site in the late afternoon, and then doing the evening S&L show. An extra night -sure - but SO much more enjoyable.

Keep in mind, we lived in Egypt for 4 years and were quite used to (and even enjoyed) the chaos and confusion. But our first "post-cruise" trip to Abu Simbel was miserable.
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