Egypt

Think it’s about time I went and saw dem pyramids

Have heard Cairo is shite though, so what’s good?

(yes I’m aware the pyramids are meant to be underwhelming and dirty and that, but I don’t care I wanna see em)

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I was really underwhelmed by the pyramids and Sphinx in Cairo (I know that sounds weird) but the city itself is absolutely wild.

The stuff in Luxor though (Luxor temple, Karnak, Valley of the Kings) is properly mindblowing however.

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When you’re in Cairo you’ll sometimes get a view of the great pyramid just down a road and that is a bit mindblowing, regardless of they look from up close:

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Might be worth waiting until the new Egyptian museum in Cairo opens - that’s finally supposed to be this year.

Thought Abu Simbel was worth visiting as well as the stuff @lastdino mentions, although it’s a long journey.

Bear in mind there’ll be a lot of upselling and hassling from street vendors to buy stuff wherever you go - it’s all part of the culture, but it can be very tiring at times.

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Went on a package holiday to Sharm once. It was pretty awful. Not saying that it’s an accurate representation of your average trip to Egypt. But I certainly wouldn’t recommend doing that bit of it.

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If you’re up for a bit of diving, far better to fly to Sharm, then head up the coast to Dahab, lovely place!

Went on a boat cruise from Luxor to Aswan a few years back but I refused to accept it was actually happening

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We did a snorkelling trip. Were booked on it with another couple who had two kids, about six and eight. The parents were both experienced divers and had proper kit, so they entrusted their kids to our guide while they went off and did their own thing. The guide basically didn’t give a shit so we found we spent the whole time trying to shepherd around two children who were hell bent on swimming away from the boat (and no fucker on the boat seemed to be taking a head count or making sure people got back okay). Combined with the worst meal I’ve ever been served, it was a fairly rough day out.

Sounds very different to my experience! My diving instructor in Dahab took the whole thing very seriously, pulled someone up mid-dive at one point for touching the coral. Took a trash bag with him each dive to collect any rubbish on the sea floor each time also, was very cool.

Did the same - boat/food was a bit hit and miss, but the scenery on the trip was lovely.

Sorry zeal, I was just trying to make a bad joke about being in denial

Though I did actually do this trip, and had the same experience you had (don’t touch the salad) and while it was great, I was a bit “templed” out by the end

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I went there in 2004 and I didn’t find the Pyramids or anything underwhelming. I’d always loved Egyptian stuff as a kid and if anything I thought they were well cooler than I imagined.

I got to go inside the Great Pyramid and it was utterly incredible (and a bit weird too being under all that stone).

What I would say if that if you can get a trip out to the Red Pyramid which is older and a bit farther out then do it. It was really off the beaten tourist path it seemed and so you got no crowds at all and inside it’s not much different (the insides are all much the same).

Definitely try to see Abu Simbal. That is really amazing to be inside (although try not to read too much about it first).

Also Luxor and/or Edfu (Idfu) just to see some tombs. We didn’t queue up for anything in the valley of the kings and still saw some great stuff. It’s the colours of things that got me. You go to a temple out in the middle of nowhere and then you look up and it’s all still painted in those gaps the sand hasn’t ever blown past.

The Western Deserts are very cool too. There’s chalk in the sand so you get stuff like this

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Yeah, “la shukran” (no thank you) becomes your go-to phrase and I ended up using it so often that when I got back to London I had to struggle not to say it to anyone who tried to get my attention on the tube.

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Oh some other things, assuming it’s still true 20 years later:

If you sit at a café table and there are bottles of water there then you’ll get charged for them if you drink and it’ll be a markup on what you could buy them for. TBF we never attempted to negotiate the time that happened we just got wise and never did it again.

You will be expected to haggle with prices otherwise you’ll pay inflated rates. If I’d gone there with a better wage I wouldn’t have bothered but two of us were strapped for cash so we were all haggling for the prices of stuff. In any case, I seem to recall you’d try to buy a bottle of water and the guy would say it was 10 Egyptian Pounds and you could usually get it down to about 4 fairly easily and it seemed like that was expected. You could tell when you pushed it too far as they’d start getting shirty with you.

the pyramids are dope and worth it

went on a boat all the way from Cairo - Luxor - Aswan (that might not be the correct order) but didn’t see Abu Simbel and I regret it. Also went to Dahab and did some snorkelling and quad biking but I guess you can do that anywhere, it’s all about the pyramids baybeee

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Went during the Arab Spring of 2012 for a) cheap flights and not to be surrounded by tourists and b) to experience a revolution. Was quite an experience.

Cairo is most definitely the worst city I’ve ever been to. The levels of pollution is staggering, the equivalent I was told of smoking 40 cigarettes a day. My throat was so fucked. And the relentless level of hassle is ridiculous. Plus I found it to be the most anti-semitic city I’ve ever been to.

Once you’re out of Cario it’s great though. Took the train from Cairo to Luxor, which is amazing, and then onto Aswan, then took a tour out to the temples at Abu Simbel, which were incredible.

Glad I went but I would never go back.

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You wat m8?

La shukran

I’ve been twice (2002 and 2014), loved it both times - Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan & back twice, the first time with a visit to Denderah and the second to Abu Simbel. The Valley of the Kings is breathtaking, and you could probably spend an entire holiday exploring Karnak Temple alone. Also spent 4 days in Cairo the second time round - the Giza complex is great but heading to Dashur to see the Red & Bent Pyramids was by far the highlight. Just me and my late wife exploring on foot with nobody else but our taxi driver and a couple of guards for miles around. Didn’t do much in Cairo itself except go to the Egyptian Museum; both Aswan and Luxor are lovely towns to just wander around

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