For brits and others who need to buy a visa at the airport, make sure you dont take the sharm visa - it means you cant leave sharm el sheikh and cant go to cairo or luxor for the day, which is really cheap. our visa was ridiculously cheap.
Beware of the sea
It may look nice with the fish but some are not very nice also some of the coral too. I got a rash the first day i went in from either a passing fish or some coral , and when your on the jetty use the stairs because the fish in the picture hides underneath and is not very friendly if approached.
Fleeced by Beautician
In Sharm on my most recent trip I needed to get the roots of my hair coloured and decided to use the hairdresser in the hotel. I was travelling with my elderly Mother and she said she'd get her hair done, also.
They took Mum first as her hair is short. When she was finished she sat waiting for me. A beautician from the concession next door came in and started doing something to mum's face. To me it looked as if she was massaging it and rubbingh in cream. I thought "How nice, they are looking after the elderly lady". In Egypt in general I find people very respectful of older folk.
When they rinsed the colour out of my hair they explained to me that they could not blow dry it as it would alter the colour, and I was satisfied with this. However, at this point the hairdresser produced a spool of thick white thread and, without asking, started to use it to shape my eyebrows and give me what he called an Egyptian facial. It transpired that this was what the beautician had done to Mum. It hurt so much that I started crying and asked him to stop. He did not stop until I asked him several times.
I stood up to leave and asked what my bill was. Here in Ireland my local hairdresser charges €40.00 for colouring my roots. This guy charged me €130.00!!!!!! He said that this included a charge for the unrequested "facial." I was so shocked that I just paid up and left. My Mum had to pay €90.00.
Never again! Be wary of anyone offering you what appears to be a free additional service.
- Business Travel
- Spa and Resort
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
rocks and fish
if you are swimming in naama bay make sure you buy a pair of those swim shoes you see everywhere. you can poke yourself with a bit of coral or a rock and it hurts like mad. i didnt have shoes because i wanted to buy an icecream instead .
also, dont feed the fish. we nearly got arrested. apparently they're protected or something.
now, we were very silly and drank some local water and ate a lot of local veg and fruit with dinner etc. and we were punished with the McGurgles from hell. i mean seriously bad stomach cramps i must have lost about a stone (sorry if thats too graphic) anyway, what im getting at is that you shouldnt drink the water, especially if you have kids.
so we went to the naama centre one day to buy some art. we got to the front door and couldnt walk any further. we needed the toilet. could we find one anywhere? the toilets in the naama centre wanted to charge us a fiver FOR A PIECE OF TOILET PAPER. so we refused and went to the tourist police public toilets but the sheer LEERING of the tourist police made us change our minds and we had to run up the 50 bazillion steps to our hotel (halomy hotel) to use our own toilet. grr
shops and people
if youre coming for the first time be careful at the airports for people taking your luggage to the coachs and asking for tips you dont have to pay them also when you are in the resorts watch put for shopkeepers who ask you to come in and you could be there for a few hours at least you will learn every thing about him and his extended family and you wil have told him of your life wherever youre from
Beware of taxidrivers trying to get a little ekstra out of the trip. We took a taxi late at night from La Dolce Vita, the desert party. Underway to Naama we felt hungry and asked the driver to take us somewhere to get some food. Claiming there were no open places in Naama he took us to Old Market. Fair enough, we didn't mind. When we got there the driver followed us, disregarding our wish that he just waited in the car. To our big surprise he ordered a big meal on our tab. As we were surrounded by his pals, we chose not to do anything about it there and then, but instead asked the help of the securityguards at the hotel. It all worked out ok, since the guards are really great. Might seems a bit petty, but we didn't wanna spend the same amount on his food as we did on the fare.
Women & Clothes
On an evening I covered up (not totally - but longer skirts, cut offs, 3/4 sleaves - and didn't get any uncomfortable stares or hassle. Plenty of people had loads of flesh on show, and maybe they did get some problems. I've heard mixed messages. At the end of the day, you need to decide how respectful you are going to be.
During the day, shorts & t shirts or a vest would be fine in Naama Bay, maybe you would want to pur a shirt in in Sharm.
Taxi's in Sharm El Sheikh will try to ask you for alot of money even though a certain ticket from the government is on the taxi .
So take care only pay like that ticket says i took a photo for the ticket for all of you to see and know it .
If he asked for more just tell him that the police asked you to pay only like on the ticket.
If you need to know some certain words to say in that situation in Arabic just drop me a message on VT
- Road Trip
As the weather is so hot please drink LOTS of water to avoid dehydration. The notice in our hotel advised 20 glasses of water per day and almost double that if you go diving!
To be fair, we didn't drink quite so much but were probably averaging around about a couple of litres a day and we were ok with that. We also made sure we drank loads before leaving our hotel and again in the evening.
Dehydration / heat stroke is not pleasant and might ruin your holiday!
Use a reputable dive school, take your time in choosing it and please do not go with one if you have any concerns at all.
I learnt this the hard way... on an introductory dive with by boyfriend I ran out of air at the bottom of the ocean! Very scary! All was ok in the end as I shared air with my instructor but this should NOT have happened in the first place. I had concerns to begin with but put these to the back of my mind..
Make sure your dive school has all equipment stored safely (not left out in the sun), use the correct equipment (including a wet suit - I dived in my bikini!) and most of all make sure your instructor goes through all the safety procedures and speaks your languge well.
I know for a fact that MOST dive schools are really good and reputable, so don't be put off by the above!
These are prevalent in Ras Um Sid, but no doubt in other places too. We didn't realise that most people wore flippers or shoes to swim in and unfortunately we also didn't know if was low tide.....
So I trod on a sea urchin and it HURT. My foot throbbed and I couldn't move my toes......At the time I didn't know what it was, but the barman was very helpful and ordered me to immerse my foot in some boiling water - apparently that brings the poison out.
Half an hour later I was fine! So if it does happen to you, don't worry too much, just find some boiling water!
- Diving and Snorkeling
Beware of strong current!
The current could be quite strong @ your Red Sea divespot.
Always enquire the sea condition before to swim or dive. Agree with the boat captain the pickup point after your dive to avoid to be lost in the middle of nowhere.
Never try to swim against a strong current. You will easily tire and soon be exhausted. To get out of a current swim straight across it or diagonally across it.
- Diving and Snorkeling
Good Chemist/pharmacist if you need one!!
I was unfortunate enough to get stung by coral whilst in Sharm. Not dreadfully painful at the time(short lived nettle sting) but 24 hours later it had come up rather alarmingly. There is a pharmacist on King of Bahrain Street called Omar & Omar who were knowledgeable and tremendously helpful and sold me some excellent anti-inflammatory/anti-histamine cream.
(Also the only place we could find tampons, but take these with you as they're expensive!!)
Situated near the Daneer Steakhouse on the same side of the road. Open 9am - 3am.
Dive Day Trip
Sharm is hot (45 C), but out at sea you don't feel it at all. You will burn (I got sunstroke). Stay covered, sit inside the boat. If you want a tan, you will still catch the sun but without the ilness that I experienced
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