Egypt Questions...Pyramids and Beaches 31stJan


hello! Me and my mate are going on this…just wondering if anyone else is!?[br]We have a few questions, so please help us if you know?![br][br]What are the best kind of shoes to take?[br][br]How much spending money to take, if we do a few optional tours and scuba etc…?[br][br]Anyone recommend anything to take that isn’t on the pre-departure list?[br][br]If anyone has been on the trip…the best and worst bits??[br][br]Recommend places to eat/ go out in Dahab, is there much of a nightlife?[br][br]Are there other people offering the camel trips and quad bikes etc that are cheaper than topdeck suggest? just thought maybe they were getting some kind of commission for booking us on them?![br][br]Whats the food like…my mate is a very fussy eater, should i get her to stock up!!?[br][br]Thanks in advance!!!


Hey,[br]I have just come back from Ultimate Egypt (LOVED it) so will have a go at answering your questions![br]* Shoes - We wore thongs and joggers the whole time we were over there. I am pretty unco so found it easier to wear my joggers when trekking through the pyramids and stuff (especially if you go inside it because it’s a bit of s teep walk), but most people wore thongs. If you do Mt Sinai you’ll need joggers that have good grip.[br]* $$$ - very much depends on what you want to do options wise. In Dahab we learned at the last minute that there were options to do Jordan and Israel, they were a bit expensive ($US175, and $US225), but if you’re diving then you probably won’t get to do that anyway. All the optional stuff we paid for in English pounds, but you can pay for it in Egyptian pounds. We roughly divided everything in Egyptian pounds by 4 to get aussie equivalent and didn’t think it was too bad. Mind you it was our first trip overseas and I think some of the others in our group thought soem stuff was a bit expensive.[br]* - BEST - Valley of the Kings (we paid the extra to go see tutanhkamen’s body, very cool), quad biking in Hurghada, hot air balloon ride over Luxor, going inside the tomb at the Stepped Pyramid at Saqqara and seeing the walls covered in hieroglyphics. Snorkelling in Hurghada was great too, it was good at the Blue Hole in Dahab but there were a lot of other people there when we were so it got a bit crowded at times, still good though. WORST - easily the dinner cruise we went on in Cairo, it took us 45 minutes to get served 1 drink and that was the only drink we got, and the music was extremely loud and not very good. Food was okay though. The motel at Hurghada was pretty crap and we were the only english speakers there (everyone else was Russian) and the food was crap, but very good at Hard Rock Cafe and an Italian place we went to.[br]* DAHAB - Dahab is freaking awesome, hands down favourite place on the tour!!! We had 5 days there and loved them. The tourist part is fantastic although you wouldn’t go any further than that cos the rest of the town is dodgy as. Lots of restaurants to choose from, we ate at Same Same a lot, the food is excellent there (seafood soup is brilliant, but if you want a seafood platter make your own cos there’s was a bit light on we thought), and for nightlife we went to the Tota Bar which is run by a bloke who used to be a topdeck tour guide so it’s very touristy oriented and has trivia nights, beach volleyball and all sorts of things. And you don’t get hassled at the markets there, very happy with that![br]* camels/quad bikes - I’d say there probably are cheaper options, but you won’t be covered by Topdeck and there’s no guarantee that you’ll get what you pay for (eg they’ll tell you you’ll go for a ride for 2 hrs and do this this and this, but then none of that will happen).[br]* Food - Snackwise they carry a lot fo the same stuff we get over here eg pringles, m&m’s, coke (but no diet coke, only coca-cola light and it’s not the same thing, trust me!!). They serve a lot of western food which is soemtimes hit and miss. If you’re really fussy then you’ll probably be a bit disappointed with the food, but it is a 3rd world country, and once you get to Dahab you’ll be fine! I got sick twice, and I swear the first time was food poisoning rather than my system not being used to it, but that was on the 3 day cruise (not the felucca, we upgraded) and Iknew when I ate it that it wasn’t right (and ate it anyway, I am an idiot!!).[br]Egypt was really awesome, very much enjoyed it, hope you have a great time!!! Hope this helps, don’t let my opinions sway you too much though cos we might like completely different stuff!!![br][br]Ultimate Egypt 19 Oct - 8 Nov 2008


Forgot to mention, in regards to extra stuff to take, hand sanitiser is not a bad idea (not all toilets have running water to wash hands, and I wouldn’t touch the soap if you paid me!!), and a roll of otilet paper (we nicked a roll from our first hotel and it came in handy for the loos that had no toilet paper!!).[br]Also, try to have some 1 egyptian pound notes handy for using the bathrooms (you have to pay to use them, the ones at Abu Simbel are really nice). We stayed at the Swiss Nile Inn on our first night or so so we went to the bank which was just down the street and got some of our money changed into smaller notes. The waiters don’t always bring you your change either, so watch for that!!! And don’t let your mate go anywhere on her own, safety in numbers is always goos. Not sure if you read the Egypt warning post a little while back, but if you’re going on the felucca especially don’t let her go off to the toilet on her own at night.[br][br]Ultimate Egypt 19 Oct - 8 Nov 2008


That is awesome! My partner and I want to go on the egypt explorede next year with some friends of ours. The hotels they show in the catalogue (the one is Aswan and Dahab) are they the same as you stayed at, cause they looked awesome! Also, and you dont have to answer if its too personal, buit how much did you spend on optionals and how much did you spend on souveniers? I am trying to work out a budget causer there is a few of us going and we all want to take enough. I said abour 500 aus for optionals and aboput 1,500 aus for spending? My partner and I just go back from Europe and having a budget over there was a god send! Thanks heaps!Jo


At Aswan we stayed at El Basma or soemthing like that and it was fabulous, best motel we stayed at easily. In Dahab it got changed and we ended up at Miami Beach which had rck hard beds and pillows and a shower that flooded the bathroom, but we didn’t spend much time in our room so it wasokay (the air con worked which was great!). I am not sure how much we would’ve spent, we budgeted to do every single optional on the 21 day tour and came back with change! Maybe $1000, but that was for 21 days. Souvenir wise we didn’tgo to crazy. We bought stuff at the papyrus factory, and perfume factory, and got little things for others at the markets (waay cheaper than motel prices and you can haggle!!). Souvenirs we would’ve psent maybe $400-$500, but like I said we didn’t go crazy at all. If you do decide to buy perfume bottles at the perfume lae, dont buy the taller bottles, a little piece broke off one of mine, as you would expect being in my suitcase for 3 weeks!! The smaller ones (one shaped like an elephant, camel, and another one) all survived unscathed. Food over there isn’t too badly priced. All up I reckon we would’ve spent $3000-$4000 for 2 of us for 3 weeks, but we weren’t really too concerned so didn’t keep a really close eye on the spending because we only bought stuff when we really eally liked it and tried not to buy every pyramid shaped thing in site (I wanted to though!!!). In one place there’s an opportunity to buy gold and silver. some of the girls got their names done on a chain in Arabic, looked really cool, I think maybe cost US$100 but that was also including a ring with their and their boyfirned’s names in hieroglyphis.[br][br]Ultimate Egypt 19 Oct - 8 Nov 2008


Thankyou so much for that! We spent heaps in Europe so we didnt want to go too ballistic on this trip! We are going on the Egypt explored for two weeks, no sleeping on felluca sails! cant wait, but we’re not going till next Oct so I should probably curve the excitment! did you get very sick? Im a little worried cause I dont want to be stuck to a toliet sat most of the trip, or wanting to be like that while on a bus? Ill stock up on immodium and stay away from dodgy stuff!


I managed to get sick twice in the 21 days we were there. The first time was on the 3 day cruise and I swear it was food poisoning, was really unwell for four hours and then fine after that. The second time I was sick was our extra day/night in Cairo (which sucked cos my husband and another guy got to go tot he Sheraton casino and eat great club sandwiches for free while iw as throwing up). Everybody else on the tour said their systems were working much faster than they normally would, and most of us had 1 or 2 days where we weren’t that great. If you take Immodium just remember that it’s likely to make you throw up (or throw up more if you’re already throwing up!) because whilst it stops diarrohea it doesn’t stop vomiting and your body is likely to use vomiting to get rid of whatever is upsetting it. I didn’t take anything the first time cos i figured i wasn’t doing anything anyway (stuck on a boat, cloe to a bathroom!) so I’d let my body get rid of it.[br]If you get Immodium, get the Advaned stuff it has the extra advantage of relieving the tummy cramps, which is always a good thing!! Oh, and I thought of soemthing else extra to take with you maybe. Insect repellent, we got eaten in Hurghada by soemthing like mozzies[br][br]Ultimate Egypt 19 Oct - 8 Nov 2008


Awesome, ill buy the advance stuff and generally stay away from dodgy food! I cant wait!did you go to any of the light shows? was it good? oh i always think of a million questions but then when I get on here I forget them! thankyou for all your help! Jo[br]


we were meant to do the Pyramids sound and light show on the last night, but I was sick and we didn’t want to go anyway so we skipped it. Another girl on the tour meant though and she said it was fantastic, however she was also really into the history of Egypt and knew a lot about it so that was pssibly what made it really good for her (her photos of it are pretty darn cool though, to see the Sphinx lit up like pure gold was amazing!)[br][br]Ultimate Egypt 19 Oct - 8 Nov 2008


yeah we might do that one, there were a few other options to do it at other places but seeing the sphinx lit up would be cool! Me and my friend have decided to pack lots of le snacks and 2 minute noodle in our bag to beat the food problem! Im paranoid - but I got really bad gastro in the middle of the year and its still fresh in my mind how sick I was!! going to put our deposit on our trip next week!! cant wait. Oh I was reading in our local paper in SA and this guy came back from egypt a few weeks ago, he caught one of those super bugs over there and he just died! Its spooking our friends a bit, hopefully they forget about it soon![br]


Hi there[br][br]Thanks for all the info on here, it has been very useful! My partner and I are off on the Pyramids and Beaches tour on 20 Dec.[br]I just wondered if anyone had any advice about the trains (we are going second class, down with the cattle and chickens hahaha) and is there always the option to upgrade to a cruise boat rather than do the felucca sail? After all the comments about how rough and dangerous it can be on the felucca it’s sounding alot less enticing![br][br]Thank you in advance![br]Carolyn


I was in a first class train and it was HORRIBLE. [br]As long as you don’t need to go to the bathroom and you manage to have your whole group together (which probably won’t happen,) it will be an experience, for sure![br][br]Best of luck to you!


Haha, thanks for the reply - yes I’ve heard that the trains are pretty awful! Not looking forward to that bit - how come you shouldn’t use the toilets? I think we may have to if we’re going overnight, not sure I could hold it that long![br]Any other hints/tips?[br]Thank you!


My husband managed to hold on for the 14 hrs we were on train (after telling me it was physically impossible to!!!). He drank very very little and made it through so you might be okay. The train is pretty groos, I was in 1st class and had a bloke behind me who spat on the floor for the whole trip! The toilets are foul, go early or hold it, seriously they are REVOLTING![br][br]Ultimate Egypt 19 Oct - 8 Nov 2008