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GordonMasson

So who has been to Egypt on holiday then?

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We booked a holiday to Egypt at the weekend and I am interested in any thoughts from people who have been there before on the do’s and don’ts etc.

The holiday is for a week and its intended to be a chill out job.

The hotel looks very nice Jaz Mirabel Beach in Sharm El Sheikh http://www.jaz.travel/destinations/egypt/sharm_el_sheikh/jaz_mirabel_beach.asp#Overview and we have gone for an all in package. Never done that before but it should be good having all food and drink included :thumbsup:

I would love to go and see the pyramids ( I think there is a day trip where you fly there and back from Sharm El Sheikh) but I heard that it was a bit of a trek and a very long day so perhaps its best to give it a miss?

So any thoughts and tips, please let me know.

Thanks

Edited by GordonMasson

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Never been there, (my father was raised there as a child). I hope to go in 2011, but I'll say this, if you've been to Egypt and not seen the pyramids or the syphinx, then you haven't been to Egypt.


Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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Been planning to go for the last two years, but cost and oppertunity have stopped us.

We are going to do the 10 day thing:

two nights in cairo hotel, museums, pyramids.

7 nights on cruise boat down the nile, sailing at night and stopping at temples on the way.

1 night in Luxor.

Home.

This package really appeals to me as you only move your stuff once and you keep a room for seven days. Plus moving by the nile and not road is part of the holiday and more relaxing to me than connecting flights, coaches and trains.

:sofa:

Thing is, the last two years the time i NEED to go was not possible for us. I hate being hot so i absolutely HAVE to do it in Jan-Feb when it's only mid twenties there. From april on it's mid thirties and May-sept it's around 40 which i'd not go near if i was paid to.

:thumbsup:

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Cancel the holiday if you are not going to book up for the Pyramids!

Once you've been you will realise that you would have kicked yourself if you hadn't done it. (of course you wouldn't know... but you'd be constantly reminded of the missed opportunity when talking to people who had done it)

Internal viewing of the pyramid(s) is hot and arduous but well worth doing.


In theory there is no difference between theory and practice.<br />

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In practice, there is!

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Cancel the holiday if you are not going to book up for the Pyramids!

I'm with you mate as i feel the same and would want to see karnak, theebs, luxor, abu simbl (all spelt wrong!) as well (hence the cruise).

But some folk are not fussed. My apprentice spend two weeks in Eygpt without leaving the resort. He still enjoyed his break and TBH has no interest in ancient eygpt anyway.

A break is a break i guess, you can't lose if you enjoy it.

:thumbsup:

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Egypt is lovely and particularly cheap with the conversion rate for the Egyptian pound. The people are very friendly and the place is great for families as children are well catered for.

If your going to the Pyramids from Sharm, its a flight or coach trip of 5 hours, so be prepared for an earky start either way and allow for an over nighter if you can. It is not particularly cheap from Sharm though so take a deep breath on the cost.

The nights draw in quickly. Expect it to be dark around 17:00-17:30 in Sharm.

Dont miss out on the snorkelling.

Plenty of Brits. But, plenty of noisy and boisterous Russians and Checnyians depending on your hotel.

Barter lots and dont take the first price.

A flat wage in Sharm is really low and tipping your chosen waiters and hosts will see absolute loyalty and looking afterness.

I am sure you will have a fabulous time.


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I have spent many a day working in Egypt. Mainly Cairo. The first 16 trips I drove past the Great Pyramids without the chance of stopping in due to scheduling issues. Finally had some time and spent several days, with bodyguard and interpreter, exploring the Pyramids, the Sphinx, and also the Valley of the Kings with a bit of behind the scenes touring.

Well worth the time spent especially if already in the region and you know you are not getting back any time soon.

As Paul said, the people are great. Though I have noticed that the love to barter and haggle over the price of everything. Contract negotiations were actually quite humourous. Also as noted, tipping and making sure those in service to you are taken care of, leads to a great loyalty and opens up more opportunities for a glimpse of the local culture.

Have a RAF friend of mine whom has biked the Nile all through Egypt.

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I stayed at the Luxor earlier this year but that was in Las Vegas. I think the only member of my family who has been to Egypt is my dad and he was too busy fighting Rommel to do much sight-seeing. But I think he still managed a quick look at the pyramids. I don't see how any sensible person can go there and not take in those old, pointy things. You will probably never get the chance again.

It would be a bit like being offered the first Esprit off the line and not buying it because it was a bit of a jaunt to look at it.


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Lucky enough to have been 4 times to Egypt. 3 on business (3 months) and once with the family. I believe it's one of the the best places in the world to visit. Standing at the base of the Pyramids and looking up is just awe inspiring, climbing up a few levels is amazing and going inside is an experience you'll never forget. Take a camel ride around the Pyramids - takes around an hour. Enjoy. :-)


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The Pyramids are astounding, but overexploited by money-grabbing opportunists and surrounded by fast food detrirus that never seems to get cleared away. Caution - if you're female, expect 'attention' during any camel ride. The owner will insist on sitting behind you. That said, Giza remains unmissable.

If you want to go off the beaten track, grab a taxi to Abu Sir, approx 20-30 mins from Giza, where much older and virtually unknown pyramids exist. Drop a bit of baksheesh with the caretaker and maybe he'll give you a tour, including allowing you to shimmy down a shaft to a tomb, then climbing with you to the top of one of the pyramids where you can watch the sun set over the Sahara with the Great Pyramids on the horizon. Tracy and I were the only people there during our 3 hour visit, culminating in a glass of Egyptian Whisky (incredibly strong tea) at the invite of the caretaker.

Cairo was probably the greatest assault on my senses of any city I've ever visited. Amazing.


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Thanks for the info guys.

The main reason for this holiday was to chill out. It’s been a hard year one way and another and we just wanted somewhere hot and luxurious.

Egypt looked a good choice and value for money but we didn’t go there with a view to looking at the pyramids.

As for me, being that close, I would like to go but since we are only there for a week I will make the decision while we are there.

I think it’s about £180 each by plane for a planned trip.

If I do go it may be me or all of us.

Must admit the cruise does sound like a good option.

May do that later on …. Without the kids ;)

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Been to Sharm several times for holidays, mainly because I dive and the Red sea is is a paradise for me and Anne is happy to stay around the pool with a book or join me on the dive boats. I have never felt the need to jump on another plane to Cairo to see the Pyramids although a visit is on my things to do list, but will do a boat trip down the Nile and see all the sights!

The hotels in Sharm are mostly very good with all inclusive a great invention for me as I think I can eat and drink far more than I ever pay for the holiday although the food can become a little boring and I often feel the need to eat out in town, great choice of the usual Mc Donalds, KFC etc, even found a traditional english fish and chip shop! A couple of very good Indian, Chinese and Thai restaurants in the main centre.

Staff and the locals are all very friendly and will treat you like royalty for a small tip, make a point of becoming friends with the head barman and restaurant manager and I guarantee you will never have to wait for a table or service 50 Egyptian pounds (about £5) tip will make you a King for the week.

The hotels are safe and secure apart from the drunken Russians but keep your wits about you when venturing out of the hotel complex and Never accept the first price for anything, always be prepared to haggle to the point of being insulting with your offers, its what they expect and a compromise is usually agreed, they all like cash in any form, I carry sterling, dollars, euros and egyptian, On my last trip I made a purchase in a chemists with euros and got change in New Zealand dollars!!

Take a trip into the desert, I find it amazing.

Enjoy your holiday, go with an open mind and remember it is a very different culture to ours although i think in the last few years Sharm is becoming more and more European.

Martin


Dont worry,be happy.............

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Hi Gordon,

I've just returned from Egypt last month on first holiday to this country. Sounds like madness but i didn't bother doing the pyramid trip. I went for the very same reason as you want to go, just to chill out. It was a fantastic holiday! My tips are:-

1. Try and get a hotel that has it's own beach. Buy a snorkle and go and swim with the fish. This alone will make your holiday!

2. Book a snorkling trip or small family sized glass bottom boat trip (not a boat, it's too big and not individual enough).

3. When you get there, pick out your towel attendant, waiter in resturant and waiter at bar or lobby. Tip early but not too much all they'll all be hovering round you wanting more.

4. Exchange about £20-30 GBP into pound coins for tipping, they appreciate pound coins more the Egyptian Pounds.

5. When you are on friendly terms with a waiter or towel guy then when they go home to Cairo for 2 weeks off, they like to change 20 pounds coins for a 20 pound note. Even this simple swap go a long way. Some families there were trying to rip the waiters off by only swapping 25 pounds coins for a £20 knowing that they can only bank notes. I thought this little stunt was a bit off.

6. If going for all inclusive, change your meal times around to find the best times to suit your family and also work out the quieter times. We never had any problems getting a table even on busy times as we got friendly with a waiter there pretty early on. It may also pay to have another waiter tipped incase the usual one is not working at that resturant that particular night.

7. Use bottled water for brushing teeth, don't use the tap whatsoever.

8. On your way home at the airport at egypt end, the locals wait at the airport wanting to help you carry you suitcases or offer to give you a trolley. Don't accept unless you are prepared to give them a tip.

9. We were told not to use the blue and white taxis as they really rip you off and pick up other passengers on the way, even making detors and charging for it. They really hassle you, pulling up when you just walking down the road. You get used to it after a bit. We were told to use the hotel free shuttle bus only.

10. Only go into shops that you want to go in and not when the locals invite you in. They are quite pushy but again, you get used to it. Once in a shop, watch out that they don't close the door behind you or you'll find yourself trying to buy your way to get out of the door. We stayed at hotel most of the 2 weeks and only went to shops about 3 times. We met up with a family who had been there a few times. We went out with them. We felt safer in a group rather than me, the wife and my 11 year old daughter.

I really enjoyed my holiday and the country depsite what I've said above. I suppose it's just a culture shock at first. This is the way most of these type of countries operate and it's normal to them. I would definately go back again and next time, I would do the pyramid trip. I don't regret not having done it this year, I really relaxed and chilled out for the entire 2 weeks!

Hope some of this helps,

David Walters

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HI Dave

Thanks for that.

I think thats exactly what we are looking to do..... Mega chill out and i doubt if we will leave the hotel complex.

I would like to do the pyramids but perhaps thats for another time..... minus the kids perhaps.

Soon be ready for the off now .......jus 9 more days, but who's counting? ME ;)

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I absolutely cannot understand going to Egypt (esp if it might be the only time you go) and not visiting the Giza plateau. I have not yet made it to Egypt but plan on the longest possible trip as someone previously mentioned to include a long cruise. Mine may be my only chance and I plan to hit as much as possible from Abu Simbel to Giza.

Wonder how it is for people going solo.....my wife refuses to set foot anywhere near (more like anywhere within 1000 miles of.....) an Arab country. So I'll be going it alone.


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A few years back we did a week in a luxury golf hotel complex in Soma Bay near Hurghada - I think it was called Cascades. It was a bit odd - an idyllic break with great golf and great snorkling straight off the private beach but it could have been anywhere, nothing Egyption about it at all. So great for a chill out but hopeless for those who like to immerse themselves into other cultures.

The transfer from the airport was a bit inimidating, stopped at two checkpoints on the roads through the desert with armed guards being a bit boisterous. Once in the hotel complex it was entirely westernised luxury with armed guards constantly patrolling the perimeter to keep us safe and isolated. This actually wasn't intrusive cos it was a big place - included a very good golf course and a very large private beach. Snorkling off the beach was awesome and there were boats to take you further out if you wanted. Everything was included in the package so no difficulties with tips or anything. Did one trip into Hurghada - big mistake, very rough and lots of annoying, persistent and worrying attention but maybe a useful taster for what a holiday in Luxor might be like.


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Love the place, been to Egypt and Cario a few times and want to go again soon. Took the kids to Sharm and flew them to Cario for the day,

something that they will always remember...dont miss out on this, you will regret it mate.

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I visited Egypt back in 2001. I did a cruise on the Nile based around Luxor. There are plenty of different temples around the Luxor area as well as the Valley of the Kings, so we lived on the cruiser & travelled each night. Luxor is several hundred miles south of Cairo. I was only there for a week & did not get a chance to see the Pyramids. I was a little disappointed with this, but there was loads to see around Luxor.

I did an extra plane trip to see Abu Simbel which was pretty special.

If you've not had a good look at a map, Egypt is virtually all desert with a small habitable area each side of the Nile. Cairo is near the Nile delta & Luxor is several hundred miles South (about 500 IIRC). Sharm is away on the East coast, so nowhere near either Cairo or Luxor.

Egypt was hotter than I could have imagined. The temperature was over 50c every day and even at night was still above 30c. That was inland, so it may well be cooler on the coast.

The culture is very different too. Egyptians tip (baksheesh) for everything. Even if you ask directions, you should expect to pay for it. They are even very keen to sell you things while you are standing in a queue & are so pushy about it that it may get on your nerves. The best way to stop this is to politely say 'no' in their language (Leh).

Things are different on the road too: drivers do not turn their lights on at night because it runs the battery down:tumbleweed:, they only observe a red light if a police car is visible close by, passengers ride the bumpers of vans & best of all, if you are on a single-carriageway (dusty) road & want to overtake, you sit there beeping your horn at the car in your way!

After a week there, I really felt like I had been away somewhere very, very different. Surely that is what a holiday is all about?

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Well thats us ready to go.

Down in Glasgow at our Sister in Laws and we fly out tomorrow in teh afternoon.

I will let you know how it went when we get back.

Thanks for all you advice guys.

Cheers

Gordon

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Have a good one!


Dont worry,be happy.............

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