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.
Beware of the guards at the Temple of Hatshepsut! They will try to follow you around offerring to take pictures with you, for money.