Hawkers and hassle, Cairo
When you arrive at the pyramids you will constantly be hassled by people selling postcars, souvenirs and practically telling you to ride their camels and not letting you off their camels until you pay them a certain amount of money. The camels with them are also good to watch out for (hard to miss though!), they get easily annoyed and a tourist may easily get trampled on. There are police to scare off the people but they can be vicious... I witnessed a man being whipped by the police and his camel being taken off of him because he was harrassing tourists, but this isn't always the case!
While in Cairo you will be asked to look inside the shops. They all promise they will not hassle you into buying but it seems that you looking inside there shop is the most important thing that can ever happen for them. It is almost funny that they feel once you are in their shop you will not be able to resist buying. Shame most shops sell the same items as all the other shops.
While attending our first bazaar of the trip, we were approached by many different street vendors, shouting catchy phrases like "How can I take your money this evening?"
One vendor in particular though I must warn you about. His name is Mohammed, and he is 4-6 years old. He rivals the best used car salesmen in all of America if you ask me. This child is a wunderkind of sales, and as a professional salesman, I know a good one when I see it!
Watch out, because he will negotiate you into a price, and then work his way back up to the price he wants by saying things like: "One for 2 US, or 2 for 5!! Good deal, good deal".
Hi there , beaware of anything that doesnt feel right avoid getting into situations where your vulnerable , like back rooms etc where no one will no where you are that sought of thing, avoid smoking hashish in these soughts of places as it makes you more vulnerable, i also heard around the time we flew out of here of a western girl being mugged and shot in the desert so be careful to avoid thoses situations theres alot of desperate people here.
In Egypt learn how to haggle! A great trick what my friend and his wife played in the bazaar. She found a necklace and turned to her husband to ask him for money. He said 'No. We're not buying that!' The merchant kept going down on the price, she kept begging her husband and he kept saying "NO WAY!" Until the price was low enough. This couple plays this trick every time and it just works like a chime!
If you catch a taxi to the pyramids, on the way along pyramids road it is highly likely that the taxi will be flagged down by pyramid guides who have spotted you coming. They will climb in the car and become your 'guides' for the day. They are very persistent and will not leave the car, even if you say no thank you, or shout to tell them to get out. This happened to me twice. The first time I hel the taxi door open, so the taxi driver could not drive off. All the traffic behind started hooting and eventually the guide left the car. The second time I forbid my taxi driver to stop and he swerved round the 'guides'.
At any tourist spot (like this temple near the pyramids in Giza), the lone traveller will be hassled continuously. Everyone will try to sell you something or offer you transportation or accommodation. A lot of times a polite but firm 'no thanks' will do the trick, but if people are persistent, so you will have to be firm in your opinion and tell them to buzz off. This may sound very rude, but I found it the only effective way to deal with annoying salesmen. Of course, people who travel in a group will have less hassle if their tourguide arranges most things.
The locals selling souvenirs near the Pyramids are very importunate, they try to deceive you now and then - they have all necessary skills and extensive practice, believe me!
Tourists are an easy target for hawkers. Hawkers seem to speak all languages and want to become your best friend. 'No hassle' is their favourite phrase, but I don't think they know exactly what it means...
Just ignoring them doesn't work, they're die-hards! Try to get rid of them by telling them firmly that their hassle is not appreciated.
There are some shops around Cairo that will over charge you for your product that you want to buy so remember to hagel with them and you could get for half the price. Below is 20 in Egyptian money.
Pyramids Guides - I would not suggest using their services. Most of them can hardly speak English at all, they will not be able to tell you more than a good guidebook could and will charge quite a sume for their services
What I did find a lot more irritating in Egypt was being constantly badgered to pay small sums of money for things or services that I didn't ask for or wouldn't think of paying for. For instance: the man who leads the way to a taxi in the airport wants money. The little kid in the mosque who watches the shoes wants money. And so on. The sums are not large, and you don't ever actually have to pay if you just say no, but the cumulative effect of being treated like a cow waiting to be milked is mighty annoying.
It is clearly posted - No Climbing. It does not seem to stop children from climbing. This sign/rule is not enforced by the guards walking the area.
Always hold tight of your belongings in touristic areas,although I have never been robbed (thank God)but pocket liffters are everywhere waiting for a tourist pocket full of money.Just take care.
Try to bargain for everything you want to buy,some times salesmen might over prices just beacause you are a tourist!