Egypt questions

Nov 11th, 2009, 12:09 PM
  #1  
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Egypt questions

My wife and I are going to egypt for a 6day trip from the 19th november to the 26th. We are spending 3 days in cairo and 2 days in luxor. I had a few questions and was hoping the members here could help me out!

1. We are reaching cairo late in the night at 11:30 PM. How easy is it get a taxi to cairo downtown around that time in the night? Should I make arrangements before I reach there?

2. I had called Abela Egypt office for tickets on the overnight train from Cairo to Luxor. The person I spoke to took my name down and told me to pick up the tickets on the day before the journey, no payment or anything. Can I assume I have seats reserved on the train for the trip?

3. I have a DSLR camera with a couple of lenses. Are we allowed the take the cameras inside the pyramids or at other locations at luxor? If not, is there some place secure where we can leave the camera if we are going inside a monument?

Thanks in advance.
wildcats is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 01:05 PM
  #2  
 
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The only place in Egypt I remember not being able to take a camera was the Egyptian Museum in Cairo - and they check the cameras for you at the entrance gate.

Sorry, can't address your other questions.

Egypt is wonderful. Have a great time!
althom1122 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 01:41 PM
  #3  
 
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More and more they're limiting being able to take photos, whether the Museum, Pyramids, temples/tombs in Luxor at Valley of K&Q. Some places require you check cameras, other allow you to take-in, but don't let the "eyes" catch you taking photos. You can take plenty of outside pics, but not inside... why there are some lovely post cards to purchase!

Thank goodness I visited when I did. The only place we couldn't take photos was in the Tomb of Nefretari (now closed)... at Luxor... had to check camera outside.
sandi is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 02:31 PM
  #4  
P_M
 
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Many flights come into Egypt late at night so you will have no trouble finding a cab. I also remember checking my camera at the musuem but nowhere else. I hope you are on the sleeper train and not the one with chairs only. Don't get me started on the chair train.
P_M is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 02:44 PM
  #5  
 
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Hi Wildcats

Think most of it's been covered above. this is my thoughts

1. There is an information desk when you arrive into the arrivals main concourse, head for there, there are plenty of airport drivers just desperately waiting for you to look them in the eye

2. Never assume call them back, double check, ask for the name of the person you are speaking to and get your reference number etc. and definately as PM says to you, check if its a seat or a bed

3. Cameras - if you arent allowed to take them in somewhere then they give you a little ticket or plastic number etc and keep them safe for you until you come out of the sight / tomb etc. Ive done it a number of times with no probs.

Have a wonderful time!!! Egypt is superb

Scotsgirl
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Nov 11th, 2009, 03:31 PM
  #6  
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

I heard that the tickets to get in to the pyramids are limited in number. Do we have to buy them before we get there?

scotsgirl,

the guy i talked to gave me a reference number for the booking, i will call again tonight to confirm.

Following is our itenerary, please feel free to give me suggestions:

Arrive in cairo on 19th night.
Go to the giza pyramids on the 20th.
Go to the museum on the 21st.
Take the overnight train to luxor on the 21st night.
Go to the valley of kings on the 22nd. Catch the lights show in the evening.
we have the 23rd open in luxor.
take the train back to cairo in the 23rd night.
Do some local shopping and relax in cairo on the 24th.
Flying out on the 25th morning from cairo.

Can we cover abu simbel on the 23rd? (taking the train from luxor to abu simbel on the 23rd morning and catching the train back to cairo in the evening)

Also, we have not made any arrangements for a tour guide. How easy/difficult is it find one once we get there? Can we make do without a tour guide?

thanks for all the help again.
wildcats is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 03:43 PM
  #7  
P_M
 
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I strongly recommend flying to Abu Simbel instead of the train. It can be done as a day trip if you fly. Most people do Abu Simbel from Aswan but surely they have flights from Luxor also. Perhaps you could fly to Abu Simbel then fly to Cairo instead of the train. In case you haven't noticed I don't like Egyptian trains.

The Giza Pyramids are fascinating but not an all day event. I recommend visiting Sakkara later that day. Tickets for going inside a pyramid are indeed limited so you must arrive early. If you miss the chance to go inside a pyramid then don't be disappointed, there is absolutely nothing to see inside the pyramids. They do not compare in any way to what you will see in the tombs at the Valley of the Kings.
P_M is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 07:08 PM
  #8  
 
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I will stress again, as P_M has done, don't even consider the overnight "sitting" train -- take the sleeper train or fly.
sf7307 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2009, 09:49 AM
  #9  
Sai
 
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I would recommend seeing the Giza Pyramid and Spinx in the morning. Don't waste time going inside the great pyramid - it is crowded and the passageway smaller. As P_M recommends go to Sakkara and Dashur. In Dashur you can go inside the red Pyramid - way less crowded and lots of room to go inside if you like.
If you want to do Abu Simbel ( highly recommended) to see Ramses the great , take the SLEEPING train to Aswan which is past Luxor ( it also reaches Luxor at an ungodly hr of 3 or 4am) and you reach Aswan at 5:30-6a.m Visit Aswan or fly to Abu Simbel . From Abu Simbel you can fly to Luxor and spend 2 days in Luxor.
If taking the Sleeper train better to book thru an agent if Abela cannot confirm . Reservation is a must - otherwise you will be sitting the entire night. The sleeping train is very comfortable
On the 24th I would recommend Old Cairo and shopping in the afternoon/evening. Khan El Kalili is open late
Have a safe trip.
Sai is offline  
Nov 12th, 2009, 11:51 AM
  #10  
 
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One caution regarding the overnight train to Aswan - ours was several hours late, so if we'd had a flight booked to Abu Simbel for that morning, we'd have missed it. Our tour guide told us the train schedules are not very reliable and it's not unusual to be somewhat late. That said, Abu Simbel is wonderful and worth including in your schedule if possible. If you decide not to include it (or even if you do), try to add Karnak to your Luxor time. It's fabulous. If you're at all into museums, the Luxor Museum is wonderful.
If you don't work Aswan into the itinerary, I'd recommend a felucca ride in Cairo. Agree with including Old Cairo and the Khan bazaar - the Citadel, in particular, is worthwhile.

Have you looked at some of the trip reports here? If interested, mine's at:
http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...ly-dancing.cfm
althom1122 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2009, 12:12 PM
  #11  
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

It looks like we will not have enough time to do Abu simbel. We will spend 2 days in luxor, sounds like there is enough to do in luxor for 2 days.

Has any one been to the lights show in luxor? Is it worth it?
wildcats is offline  
Nov 12th, 2009, 03:13 PM
  #12  
P_M
 
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The light show in Luxor is OK but you will get herded around a lot. The first half of the show involves walking around the ruins, then the second part is where you are sitting. I was able to stay in front of the crowd to get a get good views but people who aren't as agile found it disappointing.
P_M is offline  
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