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.
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 !
Well would you trust what i say?? i have read good reviews here about how to deal with people ask persistantly in luxor and even Cairo for tipping,
First of all where can you meet these kind of people?
it is the first place where you will find yourself surrounded by many people who say:TAXI TAXI,if you didn't organize your tour with compnay or local office so best thing is to hurry up away from the station and look for your company bus.
they will be around and try to buy you some thing,evenif you say thank you they will follow you trying to persuade you,just say thank you and keep walking around,they will give up when see you aren't really interested!!!
this is the hardest part because you can meet various kinds of people,one try to sell some thing and others try to tell they can organize you tour and some others say just they want to be friend with you!! ALL types trying finally to get money from you so you have to pretend you are really offended and want to leave quickly,they will give up at you and look for some one else ; )
If you have further questions please don't hesitate to ask me or send e-mail.
Baksheesh (Arabic word for tips) is a way of life in Luxor - and that is understandable considering more than 60% of the people depend on tourism for their livelihood. But I never imagined it could be practiced in such an undignified and demeaning way - until I met the baksheesh monster at the mosque near the Luxor Temple.
Those who've been to Luxor would have noticed the beautiful mosque on the main square beside the Luxor Temple complex. An attraction in its own right, it was the object of my shutter-happy mood one afternoon. As I was happily taking pictures of this beautiful piece of Islamic architecture, a smiling man beckoned me to enter the mosque and take more pictures. True enough, he showed me the beautiful interiors with the grand chandelier and intricately-carved wooden mihrab (the niche that points to the direction of Makkah). I was having a grand time - enjoying the friendliness and kind gesture of this man - until I was about to take out my wallet and give a donation (which was the norm).
Before I could say my shukran (thank you) and give him my donation, he demanded 20 pounds (~USD 3.50) as baksheesh. I was taken aback. Yes, I was planning to give him 5 pounds (~USD 0.90), but more than the amount itself, I didn't feel good being squeezed for a "donation." It just didn't feel right. So I gave him a 5 pound bill and said my thank you, and that's when he metamorphosed into a ravenous baksheesh monster and went ballistic shouting who knows what (in Arabic), while at the same time shoving me out of mosque just stopping short of hurling me out with my shoes (I still had to put them on). It was a horrible, humiliating experience. And one that left a very bad taste.
As I was leaving, I can't help but wonder, if the money was for the mosque, why did he put it inside his pocket and left the mosque, too? I can only say "bless him!"
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.
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...
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 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.
Coping with hassle and harassment in Luxor is an ongoing daily problem for me as I live here.
When I look around I realise that the majority of Egyptians are kind and polite, I would say 95% are. There is a problem though with a minority.
Each and every day some fool will ask me where I am going, what I am looking for. A good idea is to turn around and say 'Please don't follow me' They are terrified of being accused of following for some reason. There will be times when you have to be more than firm. Bear in mind that an Egyptian would not dare to ask another Egyptian for their name, where they are from or where they are going. This would be considered the height of bad manners, so don't fall into the trap of answering them. Tell them it is rude to their face and they will agree with you. If you are followed or hassled in any of the temples or museums complain to the manager if you have time. People who let this go are making life a misery for countless tourists so address it when it happens.
I deliberately go into shops where they will let you look around and if necessary I will tell them directly not to bother me or I will leave. As always be very firm.
When you get into a Taxi, check the cost of the ride first, if is sounds expensive or worse if he says 'what you like' walk away. They will soon tell you the correct price. 10EGP is the minimum for any journey in the centre of Luxor.
When inside the taxi you do not have to let the driver smoke if you don't want him to. Also many drivers assume that we like Bob Marley or the Koran playing. If you don't like it say, they won't mind.
Contrary to what some may believe though you do no service to yourself or the 12% Christians living here by dressing modestly, donning long skirts or headscarves. Wear what you like and don't bow down to what you may assume to be the culture, Egypt is not a Muslim country, it is a country with a lot of muslims living there, they have no more right to demand respect than the tourists do. In fact it is tourists that are keeping the economy going and they deserve every respect. It is a misnomer that they are expecting you to dress like them, they don't.
If you are a woman of Any Age beware of young egyptian men who will try and flatter you and encourage you to fall into traps. Best is to just not open any conversation with men on the street. They will say they know you from the hotel, say you are beautiful, have lovely body and no end of other compliments just to get something from you whether it is sex or money. Luxor has a long history of ripping off women and there are many men making a living from this. Unless this is something you particularly want to do, be aware of it from the start.
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