Raw Vegetables! Beware!
The food in Egypt is very good. However, when eating outside of hotels and away from cruise ships be very careful not to eat uncooked vegetables. If you do and get a little tummy bug, most over the counter medications that you would take outside of Egypt may not work. (Trust me I found out the hard way!) If you are with a tour group, or have a tour guide ask he or she to go to one of the local pharmacies and buy Antinal which is a low dose of antibiotics that will help you. It cost a little under 3.00 USD.
- Family Travel
Sadly Missed Landmark
One of the things that Sarah and I did miss on our trip to Aswan was the Mausoleum to the Aga Khan. The reason we were unable to attend this really dates back to previous visitors, and their disrespect for places of history and refusal to follow the rules of the curators and keepers of such rich history. As the story goes, visitors at some point did not respect the rules to remove shoes when entering the tomb area, and to not photograph the inside... which were ignored. Because of the refusal to follow the rules, the widow of the Aga Khan halted all visitors from entering. Before she could re-issue the ability to visit, she died... and therefore out of her wishes, the family has never again opened this mausoleum to the public.
The warning to learn here: Respect History, before you no longer have a history to remember!
Watch Your Money!
Beware of little boys asking you to change their money from coins to paper money. They will quickly change the money you gave them to paper money of a smaller value to get you to give them even more cash. They will argue that you owe them more money. Make sure you know exactly how much cash you give.
- Budget Travel
- Historical Travel
Don't give Children Money....
It was pretty well communicated that giving money to children was a bad thing when over in Egypt. According to the guides, all children are entitled to education and also food and supplies... and therefore do not need to rely on baksheesh or tips from the tourists.
This sets a bad tone for them when they realize they can make more money at 6 years old panhandling than they can going to school and studying.
Beware of these Eveteaser!
These two blokes stopped me as I was walking with the girl and her dad( They were part of my group, her father is a govt servant with Govt. Of India) and asked if I was an Indian and her father? I said no, then he asked very uabashedly how many camels for her marriage? I first, ignored him, when he pressurised, then I said, her father is a minister with Govt of India, if you create trouble, then the Egyptian Govt will put you behind the bars. Not to be deterred, he continued disturbing us... Then we decied to leave the place and sat in our coach.
This incident took place at Unfinished Obelisk, shopping complex. I thought of calling the police, but then the blokes were only using the words. But, there are incidents in Egypt, young female tourist being kidnapped for marriage.
If you get hassled by the locals all you need to do is say firmly and loudly "La Shakrun" (our guide said to say it la shock-run)... We found that most of the time the locals would just joke around with us - "ah, you are so beautiful", "how many camels for your wife", "I have what you want", "you have beautiful eyes" etc...we just laughed it off most of the time and that usually worked. But if someone was pushy then our La Shakrun came in handy.
- Adventure Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Do not visit locals at home
The people of Egypt are very friendly and welcome tourists. You may find that you are invited to peoples homes to meet their family. They mean no harm by this and you should not be in any danger. You will be welcomed into their homes and will be well fed, watered and cared for. You will probably find it a very interesting and enjoyable experience.
You may find it very difficult to get away again though. I met some people who had gone to a house mid morning and had not been able to leave again until early evening! They were not held against their will, but were encouraged to stay with more and more food and felt guilty for trying to leave. Be warned.
It's not a danger but definitely a warning...where ever you go in Egypt make sure you take some toilet paper. ;) I guess around half of the places we went didn't have any toilet paper...some (mostly where you paid to enter) did have toilet paper though, usually handed over by the attendant. Don't expect too much of the toilets in Egypt and you won't be grossed out. ;)
- Road Trip
Just so you are aware...you cannot take photos inside most temples and if you do, you could get caught...we saw plenty of people having their cameras taken off them for trying to take photos inside. We don't know if films were removed or cameras were returned but most of the time the person taking photos left with the camera.
If you are unsure, ask your tour guide if you have one...or ask one of the many tourist police that seem to be all over the place. It's safer to ask first than find out by having your camera taken away.
We asked our doctors about vaccinations for our trip to Egypt. We were told that we would need Hep A, Hep B, Typhoid, Polio, Diptheria and Tetanus vaccinations as well as Malaria tablets (mostly because we were also going to Thailand on our trip).
Make sure you see your doctor very early (at least six months before travelling) because some shots require more than one dose.
- Road Trip
Kissing in Public
As you know, when u r in Rome, Walk like the Romans do. Eventhough Egypt is kind of liberal and a touristic place, still it is part of the arab islamic community. This takes us to the fact that public display of affections is not so much appreciated in the streets. You might not be stopped by the police (it is illegal but they let you go), but you will be harrased for kissing your partner and many will be watching the scene.
Be patient till u r not in public.
Have Fun, kiss much.
- Gay and Lesbian
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Horse Carriages In Aswan Town Proper
Beware of the horse carriages owners. They are very quick with their hands. After handing them your money, they will make that money 'disappear' in a second (a trick they can do)! And will tell you that you gave them a smaller bill. One guy pulled this trick on me but I was pretty sure about my money. I told him that I gave him a bigger bill and that was the only money left in my pocket... and I was just a 'student' :-) He bought it and ended up telling me the truth and 'proudly' showing me the trick.. My advise: walk on foot to the marketplace and around the city.. It is a small place with a lot of tourists walking around and relatively safe... DON'T TAKE ANY OF THOSE CARRIAGES!!!
Ladies. Please Shout when you are touched
Please try to understand what i will say.
In any society there are the goods and bads. In some cases you meet one or both. A European friend of mine (a lady) was travelling to sharm with the bus and when she arrived and we met she was very nervous about something.
Do you want to know what?
She was complaining from a stupid man who was sitting in the seat behind her. the man kept touching her hair and body.
She paniced to the extent that she couldnt handle the situation in the right way.
My advice to her and to you of course is the following: If the above happens to you, please go straight to the bus driver and make your complaint .
If the driver didnt make any firm action, then wait till you reach the police check point (there are many of them on the road and the policemen comes up to the bus to check IDs) and make a report.
The stupid man will be grapped and face problems.
Please dont be silent towards such acts cause your silence can generate real troubles not only to you but to the Egyptian tourism industry.
- Women's Travel
I was caught out on the quayside at Aswan. Two men were touting tours and carriage riders. One held up a £10 note "How much is this in Egyptian?" "80 Egyptian pounds". "Give me 50". We recommended going to a bank but he indicated too much trouble/problems. I assumed he had collected tips to get £10 so I was prepared to do him a favour and have a benefit myself. I handed over a 50LE and was turning away when he said "No, this is 50 piastres". I took my billfold out to check what money I had, because I doubted I had had a 50 piastre note and he starts plucking at it "give me 60". I moved away to the safety of the quay steps (in sight of Tourist Police), checked my money and realised I had been scammed by palming. I had heard of this in shops but at the time, I was set up nicely and pressured and fell for it.
Relating it to fellow travellers, apparently one had survived and threatened them with the police unless they returned his 50LE. ADVICE: don't be alone. Take the £10 note and hand over 50LE showing it and saying it. Or walk away and don't get involved/
Gays and lesbians: Hello
Again. I have to say that if u r in rome then do as the romans do. Egyptians are not comfortable with the idea of men having sex with men neither women with women. If u r so, then try to keep your affections till u r in your rooms otherwise you will be hasseled and loose respect big time.
This is not to say that there are no gays around; but they know this very well and are doing their best to hide it cause it is a shame here.
Sorry but thats how life is.
- Gay and Lesbian
- Women's Travel
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