What a pity, but photo and video sometimes are forbidden while visiting tourist sights in Egypt and Alexandria. For example - in Catacombs of Kom el-Shukafa. What should I say? !!!….!!! You understand me! I would prefer to pay a considerable sum than to watch at the Catacombs sadly sighing and muttering damnations…
It reminds me a holiday supper without wine in the restaurant.
Our grand-daughter of 3 was insistent about going on a horse, so we agreed with a hantour driver to take us from Saad zaghloul to Qait Bey for 10 LE. He was very friendly and pointed out places of interest. Before we reached Qait bey he said he'd take us to Ras el Teen and then Qait Bey. But when it came to paying the driver he refused the 20LE my husband offered and said as we had foreigners with us he expected a hundred LE. He was still shouting abuse when my husband gave him 25LE.
Unique Suggestions: So don't allow any diversions to be made or you'll end up in a humiliating situation like we did.
Fun Alternatives: Avoid being trapped into taking a hantour altogether, though when children are involved it is difficult to deny their wishes!Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Possible camera failure
I have got into the following trap in Alexandria. Usually I’m equipped with a photo camera and a video camera for taking pics and clips in my trips. I’ve changed my Sony video camera in 2004. I used my previous camera during 10 years since 1994… But I didn’t expect that my not so old camera would fail so quickly only in three years after it was bought… But it happened in Alexandria. And I’ve learnt about it only when came back home. That’s why I have only a half of a video film which I took in Alexandria.
Since that time I take two video cameras and two photo cameras for my trips and don't bother about their possible failures.
Agressive street vendors
Some street vendors can be aggressive on asking you to buy items in the markets of Alexandria. Of course, this could be said of a few cities, but if you are unassuming and look like an easy target, you may get asked to buy some items more than just a couple of times. I even had a man grab my arm to try and get me to buy something. It was not forceful, so I just told him I wasn't interested and he didn't bother me any more. It's not a difficult or dangerous situation, just annoying.
Unique Suggestions: If you want to visit the markets, just be prepared to haggle if you want to buy. Don't go with the price being asked. If you feel pressured by market salesmen, simply wave them off and be stern. You shouldn't have any problems if you stand firm.
Fun Alternatives: If you want to visit markets, there are many without pushy sales people. Just ignore the pushy people and you'll find the same thing at another tent or shop just down the street!
Pretending to be gays
Khawal, metnak, 2olla are different names for describing a homosexual man. If you are one then i have to warn you from the trap.
You might find guys who pretend they are gays and will lead u to believe so till u r inside a room or so and they will start the blackmail game. They might rip you off of your money and still wont give you what you want.
Unique Suggestions: Dont show you are a gay and wait till you know what's going on around.
Fun Alternatives: Get to know the person very well before getting involved. Many murders happens around gay community in Egypt.Related to:
- School Holidays
- Gay and Lesbian
Local Scarf Vendor
Many scarves to choose from
Unique Suggestions: Sammy "attached" himself to our group after leaving the protected port area. He saw us coming out of the ships port area and started telling us about the street bazaar. He had a tag on saying tour guide. He was a self appointed tour guide and was with us like glue. He of course wanted to show us the city streets and said he was not expecting anything. Don't be fooled. He truly wanted a tip and when one of the men in our group gave him no tip - he raised his voice and called him names.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
One Pound Toilets
Strangly enough, when you come out of toilets in egypt, there will be a person or lady to ask for 1 pound for using the FREE service. Please be aware that almost all this is just way to take money and public toilets are really FREE.
Unique Suggestions: Dont give money to encourage this trend. Ask for the reason for the money. And ask for the authorization of taking money (If they understand your language, which is another issue)
Fun Alternatives: File a complaint and dont pay.
I really enjoy visiting museums ---but this recently restored museum was not good!
There really weren't enough exhibits and some of those that were on display were labelled incorrectly! I'm not an expert ---but a sword is a sword not a dish. Well, perhaps the errors weren't quite that obvious.
If you're only in the city for a day or so I would visit other places of interest.
Will I visit this museum again if I return to Alex? No!
Shopping Mall cuurency!
On the way back to the ship, our coach was taken to a shopping mall way out of the city! This was an unscheduled stop.
I had Egyptian currency and so I paid the local prices ---about 30 cents. The Americans who were also on the coach paid $4 for a can of fizzy drink.
Okay, if you're just using local currencies for just a can of drink then it's not worth paying the currency conversion commission but if you're buying a few things...
The people in the photo may not have been the purchasers of the refreshments.
When going to most touristic sites you will be followed and surrounded by lots of men offering you to buy their original papyrus papers. It is not an original papyrus they are liers.
Unique Suggestions: If he is offering you a papyrus as an original one tell him No this is not Original and that you are the brother of picaso or leonardo Da vinchi and that you cant be decieved by this.
Fun Alternatives: If you are stuck by his hassle then give him a 3-5 egyptian pounds (less than 1 dollar). and ask him to give you the papyrus.
Dont buy papyrus from the streets cause they are not for real but a sketchy.
There are special places to buy them from. ask you tour operator.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- School Holidays
- Arts and Culture
Once in Alexandria, you will want to eat fresh fish. Word of caution: when a restaurant says: market price, make sure you get the price before you eat. Make sure you know the price of everything before you eat, drink, use.
Unique Suggestions: If you forget, negotiate. Saying that you will call the police will not help you.Related to:
- Food and Dining
Shady Tourist Police
Be aware of the tourist police ......sometimes. Most of the time they will leave you alone, but occasional these guys aren't "on the up and up". While visiting the catacombs, one of the tourist police offered to sell my friend some roman bones for 20 US dollars. While the thought of owning such an unusual souvenir might be tempting, you can get thrown in jail if you are caught with something like this. Not to mention, it's probably not authentic to begin with (although it was CLEARLY a HUMAN bone offered to my friend).
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