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well, maybe it was the weather or i was blur, i was 'short-changed' about 2 times in Egypt.
Look carefully at the egyptian dollar notes you are holding. The word Piastres means Cents, not dollars nor pounds. So look carefully when someone returns you your change, dun mistake a 50 Piastres or a 25 Piastres as 50 or 25 egyptian pound. (Although there are no 25 EP. =) ..., yes i was blur...=(
Fun Alternatives: Try to give or bargain til the exact amount that you can give.
Updated Dec 2, 2004
If you want to go somewhere using a caleshe, be vey specific about where you want to go. If you want to go shopping you should state where you want to shop or you will be taken all round luxor to the drivers brothers, uncles, cousins or friends shops. Then you will be talked into buying payrus, alabaster or gallabayas that you didn't really want. The line when he stops outside a shop may be that it's very hot and the horse needs a rest for ten minutes so why don't you go in this shop while you're waiting.
Written Aug 24, 2004
In a place like this, how can it not be? I never came across the 'got any change' scam, the 'you have to pay the tourist rate' scam or any other. I DID get the offer of a piece of granite off of a Karnak temple wall. PLEASE refuse - however tempting it is to take a piece of ancient history home. Yeah, people have been taking chippings for thousands of years and the temple's still standing, but it's the principle....isn't it? You can also take as many flash photos as you want - even where it says you can't. Again, try to resist the temptation. It's hard. But afterwards you have the right to be self-righteous and proud!
Unique Suggestions: Enjoy it. Yes, there are lots of other people there. But you can easily disappear behind a pillar in the Hippostolic Hall in Karnak for a couple of seconds before someone comes round the corner. And the expanse of the tomb valleys and Karnak are so great that you can find a quiet corner if you look. Otherwise go in June - the tourist traps weren't empty, but they were no-where near full, either.
Fun Alternatives: You can see Luxor temple from the corniche - so if you want to skip a temple skip that one.
Alternatively, go to the stables on the west bank, hire a horse, and get them to take you along the Nile, away from the township and into the villages. You'll pass sheep, ducks, egrets, palm trees, open fields, donkeys pulling carts and whitewashed, box-like houses with skinny chickens rushing around - which can't look much different from the time the tombs were being carved....so you get a sense of history without the crowds.
Updated Jul 25, 2004
Just stop being polite and talking. These guys do not want to talk, they do not want to practise english, they do not have letters to translate. If anybody talks to you he is either trying to sell you something or con you. Some will be very nice (but there every day) others will become more direct. Do not bother trying La Shukran jsu don't bother to engage. It's sad i know and very unlike me but...... If you do want to chat (and I did) pick your time and at your convenience.
Written Apr 15, 2004
they'll try every trick in the book so remember whatever they say it's a trick. Just enjoy haggling and don;t pay what it's not worth to you. Sounds obvious doesn't it!
Unique Suggestions: Be friendly and polite but practice saying "no thank you" or "la shukran" in Arabic. Polite but firm is best way. Regular running the gauntlet routes will remember you if you are friendly and leave you alone more than if you are hassled or rude.
Worth knowing the government prices. For example we agreed £10E for Caleche ride but at the end he said "no £10 English", I mentioned the government price and he backed away as though I were a Cobra.
Fun Alternatives: Fixed price shops and get a good guide book. Itook Rough Guide and it was excellent and more than paid for itself whilst I was there.
Written Jan 27, 2004
Nubian Tattoos or henna tattoos are a big con!!!!
Anyone remember the hair wrapping craze a few years ago...well this is the new one.
The tattoos are not pure henna as they are black...henna is dark brown/red. They also fade really quicky and are grossly overpriced.
They seem to be everywhere in Luxor, even at the airport.
The tattoo artist at the hotel was over chargin but putting a smaller amount in his receipt book for the hotel. He mispelled my daughters name (Naomi) in arabic so that it read Nomi, a name she hates and was called by all and sundry who read her arm. She also had a dagger through a rose that looked like a skewer through a cabbage...all for £7.50/75LE. Another girl was charged £30/300LE for a large unwanted tattoo which faded the next day. The 2 girls had also been forced to put their hands on the mans thigh, the boys got to put theirs on the table!
After complaining to the manager, the man was fired, especially in light of his fiddling the books and inappropriate behaivour.
Unique Suggestions: Easiest thing to do......dont get a tattoo.
This is a lesson we should have learnt but we repeated our mistake at the airport on our journey home and got conned again!!! Having agreed to pay £3/30LE, the artist drew a large cobra in black paint as requested and then announced that it would be £5/50LE as it was a 'new design' then he started to repaint the faded henna tattoo without us asking...and demanded another £5/50LE!!!!!! i paid a further £3 and shouted at him!!!!
This put off several people who had been waiting for their turn....hehehehe
Fun Alternatives: Get a friend to use a marker pen
Written Aug 8, 2003
Well the sound and light show at the Karnak temple didnt impress me at all.
I have seen other Luxor pages that rate this as a must-see activity, and maybe the show has imporved in the six years since I visited it. When i was there, the show was expensive, and really boring. Ok, it lit up different parts of the temple, and Ok, sometimes the narrators voice changed to make it more spooky, but still it didnt provide almost any information and it was very short.
The idea is great, and I really hope that the show has evolved, if not - don't bother. Have a stroll in the town instead.
Written Mar 3, 2003
Our friend (on the pic) tried to take a pic with her mobile phone. The guard knew for that and it made us a problem. Ah, globalization, globalization.
Updated Apr 1, 2004
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