Seriously all this info on here is so out of date l,its 2012 not 2005 iv been to sharm 5 years on the trott we had lovely times..all this scare mongering is affecting the local people who relie on tourists for there income...all the troulble is in cairo not sharm..my only advise is to stay on resort and dont wonder off outside on your own
The local people will advise you and tell you where to go and what to do...i get fedup with people who say ill return when the trouble has stopped..well you will never go then.
Please dont let all this scare mongering put you off its the most beautiful place iv ever been to and believe me iv seen most of the world..
Would you not go to london because of trouble...no..i didnt think so..
So please go and enjoy
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Beware of Mozzies!!
Both Mrs B and myselg gave up counting the bites at 50! not just ourselves though - must be a good year for them. Fortunately not malarial in this part of the world, yet!
Try any sort of protection against them, maybe something will work!
Visas - Free or Pay?
When you arrive at the airport in Sharm el Sheikh, most nationalities can apply for a free Sinai visa. This free visa is good for 14-days but you are restricted to travel to Sharm, Taba, and St. Catherine's Monastery.
If you will be traveling to Ras Mohammed or elsewhere in Egypt, you will need to purchase a regular Egyptian visa which costs approximately US$15.
For anyone transiting Cairo, you will have to go through passport control when you land and you will need to purchase stamps from one of the bank windows before you get to passport control. These stamps act as your visa.
Off the main street
When staying in Egypt we wanted to get hold of our family back in England. We didn't want to use our moblies so we wanted a phone card. Our hotel didn't have any phones so when we went to Naama Bay shopping we found a shop that did them. We couldn't find a phone though so we asked an police man who we see. We followed him for 2 minutes and he pointed down a lane of the main street saying the phone was down there. He was right the phone was down there but 4 or 5 lads came around us and took the phone card out of our hands and started putting any numbers in on the phone. This went on for around 5 minutes while i tried to get the card back. I got it back by snatching it of them and we walked back to the main road while they was shouting something at us. My misses was abit shuck up about it all but the lane was pretty dark with all small lights and very quite. Just where possible stick up to busy area's.
When shopping in Egypt the shop owners become very boring and very pushey. When shopping in the main area every shop owner wants you to come into their shop and buy some thing. Some of them can be rude, handle you and even stand in your way at the door till you buy something. It becomes very very boring after the first few, it puts you off shopping and i really couldn't be bothered doing any more. People had told us they had been locked into shops till they bought an item. Just some thing to watch out for when shopping.
Lion fish do have poisenous spines on their dorsal fin. However they do not attack or act aggressively at all the only possible danger is if you jumpon them. They will still do their bestto get out of your way. If they are in your way on steps etc simply waft them along and they will move.
Also they will NOT kill you the sting is equivalent to being hit really hard with a lump hammer. Horrible but not fatal. First step is hand in hot water then medical treatment. The only person I know to be stung/spiked worked in the aquarium trade and handled fish all day.
Please respect sealife not fear it!!!
- Diving and Snorkeling
Visa, divers you do need one!
There are a lot of warnings regarding not needing a visa, please be aware that if you intend to scuba dive you will need one. This is because all centres will go to Ras Mohamed national park at least one a week and you may end up intentionally or otherwise on one of these boats, they pass out of the 'free visa' zone and clients are expected to have their passport/visa with them as the boats are subject to frequent checks from the authorities.
- Diving and Snorkeling
Dodgy Tour Operators
*When we went Quad Biking a second time there was 6 of us, we was walking along the Public Beach and someone stopped us, and offered us a price (we was going to go back with Uncle Sam - see Quad Biking 1 tip) but he offered us it far cheaper, we took his number saying that we was going to be in a group of 6 (there was only 4 of us at there at the time) so we would have to speak tothe others and see what they say. When we arranged to go with them at the hotel, my Dad went to phone and he couldnt understand him due to the phone reception around the area, so he got the receptionist at the hotel to speak to him for him. The receptionist then turned round saying that he refuses to speak to him and passed the phone back to my Dad, my add managed to get through to him on the phone and booked to go the following day. When he got off the phone the receptionist told him that he should watch all what hes doing with him becuase the hotels know all the local tour operators and excursion operators, andt hey've never heard of this person before. We was ok as we hadnt payed yet becuase of the fact on the beach all 6 of us wasnt there. So when you get offered these cheaper deals by people who look like they could get your money and then just pack up and never be seen again then always ask for they're number, name and company name and take it back to your hotel and ask them if they have heard of them. If they refuse to give you any of them then carry on walking and find somewhere else to go to.
While we had our weeks stay in Sharm, we heard that a couple who had been and left before i'd arrived had been looking in the shop keeper managed to get them into his shop and he locked them in until they had bought something, to avoid this situation happening to you i suggest you go with a large group or stick to the busiest shops like in Na'ama Bay. That way you will have more people around to try and help you if you get stuck in this situation.
Its illegal to feed the fish of the Red Sea, we heard (im not 100% sure) that if you try and take bread or some kind of food into the Sea to feed and atrract the fish and you get caught you can be fined 2000 GBP
If you happen to be out and about and they come up to you and ask you your name, if you tell them they will take this as an oppurtunity to invite you into their shop, if you don't want no further questions or don't want to go into that shop at that particular time then in a firm and friendly mannner say 'la shokran' which means no thanks
Don't touch and you will not regret!
as it was said before, the Red Sea creatures, whether fish or corals, not matter how small they are and harmless they might look, can be quite dangerous. there are some common sense tips that will minimize the danger:
- get a book to learn "who is who" in the Red Sea
- get a pair of rubber sneakers to get into water especially if you are entering it in "a wild" site
- avoid sea urchins, jelly fish as well taking a rest on corals
the bottom line - don't touch them, and they will not touch you.
- Diving and Snorkeling
Protection against the sun
When you go to the beach, on the sea or into the desert, bring something to cover your head and shoulders. I always bring a thin multipurpose scarf, everywhere I go. To be able to catch some shade during your walk can be a delight. Don't forget to bring enough water.
When you go snorkeling, bring a shirt to cover your shoulders against the sun, especially when the sun is high in the sky. Luckily I didnt need it in november, because the sun was standing low.
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Hiking and Walking
Some points to help you in the rite direction.
Bedouin taxi drivers can always try to claim they haven't got any change to try to keep it, so always take small change for the taxis, and arrange your fee before you get into the taxi. There are actual rates that the taxi drivers should stick to but feel free to haggle. Be careful on the roads, or crossings if you've been drinking or have kids with you as the Egyptians drive like i've never seen before, and the only way to describe it is they drive to survive. If you're at the beach the entrance can be a bit rocky and sharp in some of the bays so take care or wear water shoes from the diving shops. When snorkelling be aware of the red coral as it can sting and some of the fish and jellyfish can be venomous, so look out for the lionfish, which can give a nasty spine from there dorsal fin, but in general most of the fish are harmless. Don't be worried to go into the water as i did lots and struggled to find some of the more dangerous fish as i wanted some underwater pics. If at all worried just buy a book with all the species of the fish out there and it will warn you of what to look out for. The locals will be happy to tell you too. Out and about the locals can be a bit pushy and take some getting used to. Don't feel intimidated, just say no thank you, don't stop or say where you're from, just walk on and they'll leave you be. If you say your name or where you're from they'll hassle you into buying from there shops. They are a bit more extreme with blonde women so i suggest you stay in groups, and this applies to all women when out and about but especially blondes.
Dolphinella - dolphin hell!
Dolphinella is a captive dolphin facility in sharm. These dolphins are very poorly treated and you should avoid visiting this place at all costs. Swimming with the dolphins is offered here which at first may seem like a fun idea to take to kids but you could infact be putting your health at serious risk as the tiny pool is rarely cleaned and the water full of excrement, never mind what the dolphins are putting up with. Marine connections are working hard to stamp out this cruelty. two beluga wales were being held in captivity here also but after a lot of hard work fighting to have them freed they were eventually taken out of the facility. unfortunately this was just too late for one of the beluga wales which died not long after as a result of its poor upkeep.
Dolphinella's false claims are obsurd and untrue, with signs that read "Our sweet dolphins were born in a pool and they have never known sea life. They are like indoor pussy cats and if we tried to put them in the sea, they will die because now they are used to have consistent human care." It is FACT that at least one of these dolphins was WILD CAUGHT, not born in captivity as they state.
The conditions these poor dolphins are kept in breach just about every regulation in the book.
Most european travel companies have boycotted Dolphinella as it has been pointed out to them the extreme conditions, but as yet there is still a fight to have this place closed for good.
You can help by avoiding Dolphinella. If your travel company is advertising trips to dolphinella do not be afraid to bring up these problems in your meeting with the travel rep, as they may be unaware. The more people who tell, the more companies will avoid.
I am not saying this to tell people what they should and shouldnt do, obviously the choice is yours in the end, but i hope that i have made you more aware of what goes on in this place.
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