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Be aware of the people selling souvenirs round the pyramids! They'll try to sell you anything 'for a good price'. And the price isn't good at all. They'll even ask to take a look in your wallet. Don't let them!
Also, try to resist the camel-men here, because their only wish is to get you on the camel. Getting down is a totally different story. No matter how much money you want to give them is not enough, and you'll soon be screaming for help!
Updated Jan 14, 2008
You know they will be everywhere, and you know they are simply making a living. That's ok, and inevitable.
But you also don't want to be hassled (and some were extremely persistent with members of my party).
Don't make eye contact, don't stop walking, make a dismissive hand gesture and say 'No, thank you'. Worked for me.
The Arabic for 'no' sounds like 'ley'. 'Imshi' means 'go away', which is a bit stronger but not really rude.
Written Jan 5, 2008
I was told that they may ask for money if you take, or try to take, a photo.
Don't know how true this is, or whether it is true of all of the guards, but discretion may be the better part of valour in this case.
I was discreet.
Written Jan 5, 2008
I wrote a similar tip of this in the general 'Egypt' page, but I will mention it again here. Of course if you read my tip for riding camels/horses you already have an idea what this means.
Okay the pyramids get loads of tourists every day.. because of that there are
always going to be touts doing what else... touting you (is that a real word?)
So if you really don't have an interest in purchasing anything the best thing is too keep walking and say no, thank you.
Updated Jan 19, 2007
When getting in and out of a felucca, you'll be met by a group of young boys or men ready to extend their hands and help you out of the wobbly little boat you've just been riding on.
To the novice, they may appear employees or members of the crew...
Guess what?!? They've jumped in at the last moment, with the knowledge and even blessing of the boat captain and for their "trouble" of helping you out - something you can manage on your own - they'll demand money! Quite brazenly in fact!
They may chase you down, repeatedly jumping in front of you, reminding you they just helped you out and all the while waving their greedy little hands in front of your face while rubbing two fingers together. The universal sign for "Give me money"!
Written Nov 6, 2006
One of the customs we found odd in Egypt was that more than any place else we've traveled to, people in Egypt seem to have gotten accustomed to automatically asking (often demanding) a hand out for practically no service rendered.
For us westerns who may not think twice about offering gratuitous advice, we may find this behaviour rather confictive.
Example: If you ask for directions from someone, although readily given, their next action may be to extend their hand and rub fingers together indicating desire to get paid for their "trouble".
In a restroom, although the person (doorman) may just stand there - even outside the actual restroom - they'll readily extend their hand for a tip when you exit.
Under clear view of a "NO TIPPING SIGN" at the airport, while following the clearly marked signs indicating restrooms, our women had 1st one gentleman, then another jump in front of them, point out the obviously labeled door with the universal sillouhette symbol indicating that it was a woman's bathroom then demand payment for pointing it out!
Only after I stepped in, asked in a stern voice if anything was the matter did he leave them alone.
Another time, while confirming my plane reservations between Aswan and Cairo (I'm a travel agent mind you and quite able to perform this simple task), a representative from our ship jumped in, grabbed up my tickets, continued the confirmation process for me and then demanded payment first from me, then later that night, from my women friends!
DO NOT ENCOURAGE BEGGING OR FREE RIDES! Tell them to pound sand up the galabeas and continue walking!
Written Nov 6, 2006
There are many tips devoted to this subject, but of course I must add my two cents :) Yes, they are there. Yet, there are ways to ensure that they will not bother you to the point where you cannot enjoy a visit here. First and foremost, they generally hang out where most of the tourists are likely to be. Such places would be the Sphinx or directly in front of the pyramids. They will be on camels, on horses, or on foot. If you do not wish to buy anything and do not want to ride a camel or a horse, there are several people that you are going to have to ignore. It is highly advisable to not make eye contact. If you look at one of them, they are likely to approach you. Of course, many will come to you no matter what. Therefore, you must ignore them no matter how rude it may seem to you. I did not make eye contact and ignored them for the most part, and they all gave up. The best time to be out on the pyramids seems to be first thing in the morning. There will be some touts there, but not nearly as many as later. Most touts had approached already by the first 10-20 minutes after the gate opened. After that, I was considered "tapped out" and was left alone to enjoy the place on my own for a couple of memorable hours. When I walked to some viewpoints, no one followed me to them.
If you do want to ride a horse or camel, then be prepared to negotiate and rejoice in the plentiful supply of such animals.
Being with a tour guide can help too, because they will often quickly recognize that the guide has your attention rather than they do.
In all honesty, it is not really too bad. If for some reason, you believe a tout is harassing you, there are plenty of tourist police around. They wear the white uniforms as in the photo.
Written Jul 9, 2006
The tomb within the Pyramid of Kheops, which is the most interesting is only open to a limited number of visitors. It opens for a few hours in the morning, than closes during lunchtime and reopens at 1. However, the opening hours of the two periods depends on the number of people, as they limit the maximum number of tickets sold for each period. (We didn't get in the first round so we had to hang around 'til 1 o'clock).
Buy it in the morning, or right at 1, as the ticket counter opens at the same time as the tomb. No advanced purchase is available, the price is EGP 100.
The ticket booth is located on the Eastern side of the Pyramid of Kheops (the side facing the city, and where the central parking lot is located).
Updated Feb 24, 2006
It is not allowed to climb up the pyramids.
The blocks are very large, and although in the past it was permitted, there were accidents when people fell to their death.
Go up close, climb to the entry, but no further
Written Jun 29, 2005
The heat is so punishing around The Giza Plateau ! It also depends on what time of the year you are here. I was there in end of April ! So bloody hot !
Wear a hat, bring lots of mineral waters !
watch your money as well !
Written Jun 25, 2005