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...
While travelling in Luxor I met a few girls were harrassed by local men after sunset especially near some hostels and near the Nile River. Females should exercise extreme caution when looking for a place to stay in Luxor. Several people I met said they heard of some women being sexually assaulted after being given spiked drinks by hotel staff. I recommend Happy Land Hotel and Fontana Hotel.
On the whole Luxor is safe and the hassle you encounter is primarily from people begging or looking to sell you something. The only thing that is hassle is their incredible PERSISTANCE. You have to match this by being really firm, respectful and as suggested by others calm.
We were approached by a small boy about 10 / 11 years of age near the market in Luxor. He had a small packet of paper tissues and appeared to be trying to sell them to us. One of our group felt sorry for him and gave him some money but did not take the packet of tissues from him (on basis that the boy could sell them to someone else). The child followed us for nearly a mile dragging out of each of us in turn and whining but we could not understand him. We were not sure whether he wanted us to take the tissues or give him more money or what ! We did a complete loop around Luxor and it wasn't until we passed the Museum that an Egyptian lady doing a guided tour spoke to him and sent him home. It turned out he wanted more money for us to buy the tissues and was holding out for the price. Be firm but polite is the main advice. Say no thank and please go away...and all the better if you can say them in Arabic.
Apart for the usual Felucca and private tour sales touts and the usual pressure at the souks to bargain we did not encounter any major issues. The advice here is say you are going home the following day and you don't have any money left. They will try to engage you in conversation...remember they are expert salespeople ...don't tell them where you are staying, what trips you are doing or any information they will be able to use to attract your attention when they see you again. However, do avoid being rude., arrogant or condesending....they are just doing their job the way they do it...its not personal !
We went to Luxor in August, low season, which meant that as well as oppressive heat (54 degrees at times) there were not that many tourists, so every fare/ customer counted. We were hassled constantly! To the point where it became unbearable and we stopped leaving the hotel in the evening. My friend and I (we are 27 and 32) have been to several countries where hassle has supposedly been a problem (e.g. Gambia) and we have never had a problem but we occasionally felt quite unsafe here. My friend was even propositioned in the street and he didn't leave until we reached a tourist policeman. I would not reccommend female travellers to visit Luxor, particularly in low season
In some cultures women are not allowed to go out without a male relative or companion. This is largely the case in Egypt, and a woman on her own is likely to attract unwanted attention. Even a pair or group of girls can face inappropriate remarks and possibly worse. I found this to be the case especially at night, and even when I was out walking in the evening with my parents, I was accused of being my father's second wife! I met girls travelling in pairs in Egypt who had experienced nothing worse than a lecherous waiter or two, but it is best to be wary. If anyone asks you to go and watch bellydancing, see their 'brother's farm / market' or anything similar, I would advise you to politely, but firmly, decline.
I have often found that the first few days in luxor can be hard to cope with if you are a woman travelling alone or in the company of another woman, because of the persistant attention of many egyptian men once you leave the confines of your hotel.
I went on holiday with my daughter one year and I have learned that when politeness fails my daughters attitude resolves the situation.
As we walked past the caleeches at the side of Luxor temple towards the shops and Bazaar a young egyptian man followed my daughter and pestered her all the way up the street, three times she said No thank you, but he continued to pester her, suddenly to my surprise she stopped , turned and faced him and then held her fist up to him and said' see this ? want some?'
I don't know who was the most shocked or surprised , the man or me, but he immediately made a hasty exit.
I told my daughter 'I don't believe you just did that !'
her response was 'Well it worked didn't it '
And to be honest If a firm but polite resonse dosn't work, trust me this one does.
In the street some egyptian men can be extremly forward and quite offensive towards non muslem women.
you step off the plane, you have no tan all the localsknow you are fresh meat.
the street traders will be quite persistent, so la shakran means no thankyou, sometimes however that is not enough, we were told to say imshee which means p**s off by the people at the hotel and only used it once but it worked.
thought the lov=cals are very friendly the traders are after your money and haggling is taken to a new level. Be firm and be sure to shop around.
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.
In Luxor you cannot escape the hawkers wanting you to part with your money. It can get to you, if you let it, as some are really persistant. They are mostly found along the stretch of the Nile by the Old Winter Palace, where they will have their Felucca sailing boats or motor boats waiting. Some try to find out exactly where you are going, why you are going and what you will be doing tomorrow so they can see if they are in with a chance of selling something to you. It can get annoying when all you want to do is stroll along in private.
Just keep saying no thank you and keep walking, or say that it is your last day and you have done everything, as most of the time, if they try and sell you one thing, and that didn’t work, they will move onto something else that they could offer you! Obviously you can listen to them and see if you can haggle a reasonable price eg we wanted to go to Valley of the Kings, privately, and not on a tour, so when one of the hawkers approached us we got him to give us a price for return transport to the West Bank by motor boat, and a taxi for the main part of the day to the Valley of the Kings, Temple of Hatchepsut and Colossi of Memnon. You can always walk away if they don’t come down to a reasonable price. Sometimes, you are not always sure if you are being ripped off, but enjoy it, you are on holiday! The best thing to do is pay what you think something is worth. It is best not to get too hung up on money.
When approached by merchants, touts or other unsavoury characters....a smile and a firm 'la shukran' (no thankyou) usually work.
If they persist, try 'ishmi' (go away).
if all else fails..'la fuluss' (no money)
a sense of humour is necessary.
no physical harm will befall you but your ears drums may take a battering.
i felt safer walking around luxor in the dark than i have ever felt in daylight in london.
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