Egypt - is it a good vacation destination?

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Nov 30th, 2003, 02:22 AM
  #1
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Egypt - is it a good vacation destination?

Hi

For some time now I've been wanting to go on vacation to Egypt. I have always had the desire to see the pyramids, go snorkeling in the Red sea, visit the Egyptian museum in Cairo and so on. But yesterday I talked to some friends of mine that went to Egypt recently (to Hurghada) and they said that the vacation wasn't all that great. It seemed like everywhere they went they had to pay extra..when they went from the hotel that they were staying in to the beach they had to pay to get into the beach...and on the beach there were lots of different vendors that were bugging them until they want to buy a camel ride or get a fake tattoo or something like that. My friends also said that they were bugged by lots of different people that wanted to take pictures with them...what is the point of that? Well, I'm just wondering if anyone else has gone to Egypt and what impression you were left with.

Regards
Gard
www.gardkarlsen.com
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Nov 30th, 2003, 06:15 AM
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sandi
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Gard -
Egypt is a wonderful destination, but you will find "touts" in many countries trying to make a quick buck from tourists (Kenya, Tanzania, SEAsia, etc.) Not unusual! You either ignore it, send them away, or laugh at it. In your friend's case, it might also have been Hurghada that was more problematic than say Sharm might be. One should not have to pay to go onto a beach if your hotel is already on a beach. But there are plenty of places right here in the States where one has to pay to go onto some beaches - again, not unusual.

But going to a beach and diving wouldn't be my first consideration for a trip to Egypt. Rather, the Pyramids and Sphinx, Museum, Cruise on the Nile, visits to the Valley of Kings & Queens, Luxor and Karnak, Abu Simbel, etc. And the Egyptian people are very friendly and welcoming.

Do give more thought to a trip to Egypt - it's well worth the experience.


 
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Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:36 AM
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In fact most americans see unreal picture about egypt because of unclear stories they hear. I was with a group of Americans who asked me 2 work as a guide 4 them in cairo..they didn't believe that this is egypt which they heard about. they were very fascinated by it.
Just try and then Judge urself.
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Dec 3rd, 2003, 12:50 AM
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Gard,

We're leaving for the Red Sea (Sharm El Sheikh) in three days. This
is our 4th or 5th time to Egypt.

When you visit Egypt (or any other North African country in fact) you
should be aware of the fact that people overthere have a very
different mentality, a very different way of life. Most of them are
poor, at least, poorer than the 'rich tourists' who they think we
are. Especially in tourist places it looks as if they want to take
advantage of these 'rich' tourists. They will indeed try to get your
money everywhere you go! I really can't remember how many times we've
heard 'I poor man, I have 14 children ... You rich tourist, you give
me money ...' Even if we had agreed on a price beforehand (for a taxi
ride) the driver still tried to renegotiate while driving. Ignoring,
and not giving in, is the best you can do.
They can also be very persistent (even sticky, sometimes) and may get
rude when they don't get what they want. Especially those people
whose knowledge of the English language is only basic and who can't
express themselves very well. Of course, vendors and shopkeepers can
express themselves VERY well in English and in every other language
that may be to their advantage!!

Also, make sure that you know what you book and what you have paid
for. For instance, a hotel with a private beach will never charge
extra for using the beach. At public beaches you may have to pay a
fee (like this is also the case in Italy, for instance). You won't be
bothered by vendors on a private beach.
Same for a Nile cruise: we had booked a cruise including entrance
fees for all the sites. We didn't have to pay any extras.
As for the pictures: people will ask you to take their picture. Once
the picture taken, they will require money from you.
Of course, these things only happen once. You learn from your
experiences!

If you know what to expect, you can prepare yourself and experience
the beauty of this country. I will never forget the breathtaking
views on the Nile, the magnificent temples and archeological sites,
the clear and deepblue Red Sea with its amazing amount of fish and
the most beautiful (intact) coral, the huge Sinai desert, etc.

Going to the beach and diving/snorkeling are the perfect way to end an active sightseeing vacation. We love it!

Hope this helps!
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Dec 13th, 2003, 04:53 PM
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What months have the best weather for visiting Egypt?
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Dec 14th, 2003, 07:29 AM
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JaneB,
Depends:
1) from where you're going. Temp in Cairo is always lower than in the south or at the Red Sea.
2) what is best for YOU. I like warm (not hot) days and cooler nights. So November upto March are perfect for me.

We're just back from the Red Sea and average day temp was 25-28?C (77-82F). Of course, at this time of the year the temperature drops as soon as the sun sets (5 pm). However, all we needed at night was a light sweater and we've always been able to dine outside.
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Dec 14th, 2003, 10:56 AM
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Thank you, MyriamC. Were you on a tour? We usually travel independently, but are seriously considering a tour to Egypt and maybe Jordan if we can find one that suits us.
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Dec 14th, 2003, 07:57 PM
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Gard,

I have traveled to many places but will always remember Egypt as the most awesome place on earth to visit. When you visit the temples and monuments and think that these structures have stood there for over 5000 years, it will overwhelm you! Egypt is the oldest great civilization and to say that you have seen the only remaining 7 wonders of the world (Pyramid) is a subject you will recant for a lifetime. Egypt is not without its faults as they are a poor nation but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. I thought the Egyptian people are generally nice and felt safe. However, they did often tried to negotiate to try to rip you off but if you are aware of it then you simply adjust your behavior accordingly. A travel guide recommended that you start your negotiations by counteroffering at 10% of whatever they offered and go from there. When it came down to it, these people were only trying to get about $1 more from you generally. Taxi rides should always be prenegotiated. Definitely take cruise along the Nile as this is the most efficient and luxurious way to see all the temples. Another reason to go is that Egypt is relatively inexpensive due to the poverty of the nation.
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Dec 15th, 2003, 01:18 AM
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JaneB,
We bought a package tour that included flight and all inclusive resort. This was my husband's diving holiday so we really had no intention to do real sightseeing this time. We booked an excursion to the Colored Canyon with a local agent because traveling on your own is not really easy. There are a lot of checkpoints in the Sinai and the policemen don't speak/understand English.
From what I understood you can fairly easily travel by boat from Nuweiba Port (Sinai) to Aqaba (Jordan) without having to go through Israel. Controls at the Israeli/Jordanian border used to take hours and hours of waiting!!
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