Egypt veterans.. please help me..

Jul 5th, 2000, 10:51 PM
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Egypt veterans.. please help me..


I'm heavily considering shelving my Euro plans this September in favor of a shorter, more concise trip to Egypt and the Pyramids.

Is anyone out there familiar with Cairo, Luxor, and the main attractions? I am 25 and my girlfriend is 19. We are both students with about 4500 dollars U.S. to spend between us. We are experienced travelers but are intimidated with Egypt.

What should we expect? Can we do it independently on a whim or should we go in a tour group? Is it expensive? I am a Holiday Inn employee and get huge discounts on rooms in Intercontinental and Crowne Plaza hotels? So minus the hotel, how much can we expect to spend each day?

How many days do we need? Should we look at Egypt in seperate jaunts: Luxor, Cairo, Pyramids, Dams; or as everything together?

We live in Seattle so the airfare will be as bad as it gets. Any ideas here?

Or altogether, should we just consider Hong Kong?

A big thank you in advance.
Jul 6th, 2000, 06:51 AM
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Yes, the airfare will be expensive (we saved about $300 each by buying from Magical Holidays (800-228-2208), they are a discounter specializing in Africa, recommended by Frommer's. We flew DFW-Frankfurt-Cairo on Lufthansa and had nice, on-time service.

We went on our own, booked a tour once we were there from our hotel (the Windsor). Here's what we got: Overnight train (1st class) Cairo-Luxor; 2 nights in Shady or Windsor Hotel in Luxor w/continental breakfast; guide/tour to Karnack Temple, Luxor Temple; guide/tour to Temple of Hatshepsut, Valley of the Kings & Queens; cruise on 5* Nile Spendor (3 days/2 nights) w/stops at Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo; 1 night in Ramses Hotel in Aswan; 2-hr felucca ride to Kitchener and Elephantine Islands; guide/tour to low dam, high dam, Philae Temple; round-trip flight to Abu Simbel; overnight train (1st class) from Aswan-Cairo, $370. This did not include admission to the sites. It was not an organized group and we had lots of free time.

We thought Egypt was very inexpensive but you do have to bargain for everything and that gets tiring after a while.

The sites are incredible, go and have a great time. It's a very safe place to travel.

Jul 6th, 2000, 09:30 AM
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Hi, Matt - not much help from here because we are in the planning stages. But, BA has a pretty good fare right now Seattle-London-Cairo for $l,038.
Jul 6th, 2000, 04:13 PM
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Go to Egypt. We're going in Aug (the only time we can all get off for a long trip). My daughter & I went to Hong Kong last year for our yearly trip, it was ok, but a little boring at least compared to what we're used to. Shopping everywhere (& not inexpensive), and temples etc were hard to find in Hong Kong.
Jul 13th, 2000, 11:35 AM
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I think you should go to Asia - - some place like Bali or Bangkok with a stopover for a few days in Hong Kong. Or go to Hong Kong and use part of your time to travel in China. That will give you a chance to see some very interesting sites, and then unwind in a modern, great city. Save Egypt for a time when you are visiting other areas in that part of the world anyway. I wouldn't want to fly all that distance and spend all that money just for Egypt.
Jul 19th, 2000, 07:33 AM
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i live in cairo, i cannot tell u much about the airfares. the food here is inexpensive. but it depends on where u want to eat. there are many fast food chains here (macdonlads, arby's, hardees..) a meal there cost u around 3$ if are looking for something fancier, in an average restaurant or hotel ecspect to spend around (10-20 $) each. i would recommend that u come with a group, because transportation means are not very pleasant here if u are on yr own. also there are many, many places to visit, so it is better if u ahve a guided tour.
Jul 19th, 2000, 12:40 PM
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We loved Egypt. You need at least a couple of days in Luxor to tour the temples, the museum and the Valley of the Kings & Queens. Check out the cost of doing a Nile cruise, it's a great way to see lots of sites. In Cairo we stayed at the Intercontinental. The location was very convenient to various sites. We spend almost a full day at the Cairo Museum. The bazaar at night was a real treat, the Egyptians love to barter. We travelled with Insight Tours and had a wonderful guide. He was able to give us a great deal of information on not only the history of Egypt but, on what it is like to live there now. I would not recommend trying to do Egypt on your own. Number one getting around is not easy, rental cars are pretty much unheard of and the drivers in Egypt are wild, no headlights at night!

As to Hong Kong, we have been there several times on our way to or from other destinations. It is has changed a great deal in the last 15 years. The last time we were there we were a bit disappointed in the changes. A lot of the charm it had is gone. If you are travelling to mainland China or someplace in the general area a stop for a few days in Hong Kong is fine but we wouldn't recommend it as a trip in itself.
Aug 9th, 2000, 11:29 AM
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Matt -

I am travelling to Cairo with my boyfriend in October for 2 weeks to visit my American aunt, who has lived there for 4 years and loves it. We were able to book a direct flight from NYC on TWA for $890 p/p. I don't have much info on Egypt as I have never been there, but I heard it is very cheap and safe and there is tons to do. We are spending a week in Cairo and then flying to Luxor for a few days and to Sharm El Shek (snorkeling, diving, hiking) for a few days.

We went to Hong Kong for 2 weeks last July and it was an amazing trip. Both Northwest and United offer packages with hotel/flight for around $1100; however, HK can be expensive. Getting around the area is easy and cheap (ferries, walk, bus) but if you want to tarvel to the other islands or to China, you'll be paying for transportation there - I recommend you travel to the isaldns and to China for a day, as you'll tire of the shopping and crowds. The city is very metroplitan (like a clean, chic NYC) - completely the opposite from Cairo, I imagine. Meals are expensive, but you can get some cheap gifts (or bargain for high quality items like watches, cameras, diamonds, gold).

Hope this helps. Good luck!
Aug 13th, 2000, 11:25 AM
Maria Braucht
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Absolutely GO to Egypt. And don't listen to the fuddy-duddies who tell you to
go on organized tours. Wing
it, if you want to see the real
Egypt. It's absolutely safe -
whoa, a LOT safer than the U.S.
in any given city. The kindest
people, great sense of humor,
generous with both spirit and
worldly goods. Barter for everything, though. Well, not
established-fare tickets and such, but certainly everything
in a market. And your girlfriend should dress modestly and conservatively to
gain respect.

I'd do 2 days in Alexandria,
2 in Cairo, and fly to Luxor,
get a Nile cruise down to
Aswan (takes about 5 days),
seeing all the major sites and
tombs along the way...tour
guided group from the boat
included, so when you need
the guidance in this situation,
it's there. Go on a day trip
from Aswan to Abu Simbel. And
fly back to Cairo from Aswan.

This will give you the highlights of Egypt in as
condensed a version as possible.

And you've got LOTS of money
to cover it. Egypt is inexpensive by our standards.
I'd even splurge on staying
at the Old Cataract Hotel in the movie Death
On the Nile (Agatha Christie)
and see it. Glorious.

Bon Voyage, and have fun.
Aug 13th, 2000, 01:17 PM
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Hands down, I'd pick Egypt over Hong Kong, unless you could go into China or other areas. Hong Kong is just a resting place after other places for a night or two before returning home. Since you have great Holiday Inn connections, I'd go on your on and book arrangements when you get there. There's help in all major hotels. For Cairo, Luxor, Karnak and Aswan, five days in country would be very minimum. More if you want to go to Abu Simbel.

Sep 1st, 2000, 06:44 PM
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GO TO EGYPT! Sure you can do it by yourself but for the first trip(and you will go back) a tour will save you lots of time trying to figure out what to do and they will pave the way. Go on the Nile and do what other people have suggested in their postings. It all seems to be good thoughts. Its inexpensive, safe, and SUCH nice people you will never meet again. Not even in Seattle. Jodi

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