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Old 10-31-2009, 04:33 PM   #1
MargueriteBee
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Join Date: Sep 2008
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Default Egypt

After much prompting by my higher self I have decided to go to Egypt. Has anyone gone? Could you recommend a tour group? Any suggestions or advice? Thank you.
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:20 AM   #2
artvision
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Default Re: Egypt

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Originally Posted by MargueriteBee View Post
After much prompting by my higher self I have decided to go to Egypt. Has anyone gone? Could you recommend a tour group? Any suggestions or advice? Thank you.
Hi MargueriteBee,

Here are some recommendations for Egypt after worked and lived there close to 9 months.

1. Do not drink water that is bottled by big westerner companies such Coca-Cola or Pepsi, etc. Just try and find local good branch of bottled water ( I do not remember any brand that I might recommend, just go in a Carrefour and try find brands something written in Arabic and has no Pepsi or Coca Cola on it) . This I found out on my own skin, by going out , with a rate of 5 minutes, without knowing the cause. An egyptian colleague told me, that the western companies just bottle tap water which is infested, of course. After listening his advice I finished with diarrhea for the rest of my period. Also avoid anything with ice. Ice might be produce from tap water (more than sure!)

2. Avoid to eat everything dairy or containing dairy products; wether is milk, ice-cream, sour cream, sweet cream; also the white sauces supposedly made with cream (like carbonara, etc). Being very hot and lacking most of the hygienic conditions, you may consume something very dangerous. Just if you want be in the safe side.

3. I never have problems with meat there, but just ask the meat be well done, just in case. Do not eat sub products of meat such minced meat or meatballs, or other issues. For the meat in muslim countries is of good quality and is considered halal (no pork and special handling issues when animal s sacrificed, etc). Usually in muslim countries is given a high regard to cleanliness, especially for food and when handling food. But there in Egypt, are many issues, because do not forget, even Egypt is a touristic country, is still Africa and also this current crisis just making things worst. By no means eat there clamshell or fish, because these could deteriorate very quickly in a hot environment, just maybe in high end restaurants (auxiliary of 5 star hotels)

4. Try to avoid the trips made by tourism companies, by buses. Try, if is affordable to you to have a private driver rented along with car (you cannot drive in Egypt, even is not recommended) Should I tell you that every week appears in the local newspapers, announcements of the burned tourist buses, because the drivers being overworked they are asleep while driving, or because the bad infrastructure the bus went out from road, exploded tires, other irrational drivers collide into, etc. Try to rent for the whole period a driver with car and just be nice with driver, give him a Coca-Cola or some fizzy drink once i a while, buy him a tea or something, just try to not be very invasive or too authoritarian. They are nice people but forced by bad economic conditions

5. People are nice, but do not forget the majority will live at the edge between sheer poverty; they will try to trick you sometime, getting some money off you. You can give them, just pretend you are not understand their tricks, if small amounts. Do not argue with them, just because the harsh economic conditions could make anyone be violent. Have with you some small change, bills of 1 USD, will be fine; give them when they serve you with information or with some services. Some of the hotel stuff, will have monthly pays of 150 EGP lira, which is a cost of two plates with good hotel food for westerners. Imagine if something he drops down from carried plates, will be reimbursed from his salary, then imagine what will happen. Is better to eat in very clean restaurants (difficult to find) just ask other people where you go. Have with you some medicine for stomach problems, anti-diarrhea, etc.

6. Never pay anything in advance. It happened to me in some high level corporate places, where I paid for something for food and when came back to actually receive my order, they seems not recognizing me. Do not base on trust, just pay when receive the issue you pay for. Never advancing on anything. They have to provide you first, then you are paying. Also, when checking in hotel, do not let them make a security deposit on your credit card. Say, I will stay in your hotel 3 days, for example, and give them as security a few hundred dollars, which they will be giving back when you check out and paying your bill. By this advice, you should not imagine I stayed in cheap hotels. In Egypt, an untrained with Africa westerner, should stay in minimum 4 stars hotels (by local egyptian categorization), which according with west countries is hardly to categorize with 3 starts (4 stars egyptian, meaning that some services or conditions lacking, to be considered even 3 stars). This is telling you a guy traveled all over world, even in Africa. Cloned credit cards story appeared in the news when I've been there. I think with this crisis will be even worse. Egypt is not Dubai, or Abu Dhabi, or Doha, etc

7. Whatever you need, bring along with you, do not rely in buying or procuring there, even they have nice an modern malls, but there are missing special things or are very expensive. Be on the safe side, especially for hygiene, specially cosmetics, medicine, sun screen, etc, etc. Be vary of counterfeit brands, etc. Take care is very hot there during year (not in this period, now is nice, sometime is chilling in the nights in late November and December) and sun is very dangerous. A large hat and sun screen cream is a must, especially for blond persons, with sensitive skin. The african sun is very tricky, you will not feel burning hot, just you will wake up with a skin burned as you say 1-2-3. Always carry with you bottled water when going out. I used to keep in the hotel freezer and it frozen over night. Morning, I put the iced bottle, in two plastic bags, one inside the other (like a Dewar thermos) and kept the water ice cold all the day in my backpack. NEVER GO OUTSIDE THERE WITHOUT WATER AND HAT! Keep with you aside water, always, a Leatherman multitool, some band-aid (for sore foot from hot and moisture) some medicines, such aspirin, Panadol, ibuprofen, antihistaminic (very important), a small LED flash light, a small notebook and pen for different notes; would be good always before leave for some destination to check on Google and print out a map (save it as Jpeg from laptop and then send to hotel fax, as for guest in your room (YOU); the fax will be printed automatically and you will pickup from reception on your name and room; do such with everything need to be printed; you can use a web service mail-to-fax), have bought there a local SIMM card for you and all the companions to keep in touch (very cheap) but take care you need some local to come with you to buy on his name, etc

8. DO NOT BUY SOUVENIRS in the place you visit!

DO NOT BUY SOUVENIRS in the place you visit!

DO NOT BUY SOUVENIRS in the place you visit! They are 10 to 40 times more expensive than in normal shops for these kind of issues. Many will come to you with hallucinate offers, such papyrus from Pharaoh times. All is BS... They will try to get your credit card. DO NOT PAY ANYTHING TO THEM BY ELECTRONIC CREDIT CARD. Pay by cash, if you really want, or you think is cheap. Do not buy anything offered by them what is over 15 USD. Everything more expensive you should be vary about, anyhow go in special shops in Cairo or Alexandria, all over is same merchandise, you will find there same things offered to you in the visited objectives but maybe 20 times more cheaper. For example they asked for such papyrus an equivalent of 2000 EURO!!! Then they dropped to 1000 then to 500 EURO, just lastly offered for 100 EURO, until I get bored by playing with those un-honest "businessmen".

9. By any means try to avoid going in their hospitals and by any means do not go there for dentist jobs. Even living daily with Panadol is wiser, if you keep dear for your life, do not go there.

10. Always announce where you will go, to your family, local companions, friends Keep in touch by SMS (short message services, which are funny and cheap). Communication is very important. Try always hire cars with drivers from respectable companies. Is better have your dedicated car+driver than taking cabs, besides you will not get along with them only if speak arabic, is also safer. Do no go alone anywhere if lonely woman, some man or group of men, may harass you. Supposedly should not happened that, for is a muslim country and man should not harass women as prohibit by religion, but there in Egypt they seems to take it more lightly. This has been much reported in their news, lots of women complaining of harass, abuses or even rape. That not mean that this happen all over, but maybe is not good just you to be the exception of the rule. If feel menaced in anyway, please appeal, by desperate gesture any first policeman you see available (they have a sort of uniform, there are many, some are normal police, some are touristic police-those with much white in their uniform) they are very helpful usually as their entire tourism industry is dea for them so government take very good care to train their law protecting.

Anyhow be very cautious, carefully, try no to drink alcoholic drinks , do not go eat every where just trusted places and enjoy the stay. Avoid any conflicts, even let it be if it's not affecting you too much. You are going in vacation and try to enjoy, just take care for the small things I mentioned. Wish you a happy trip, maybe you will tell us later how it was.

Last edited by artvision; 11-01-2009 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:22 PM   #3
MargueriteBee
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Posts: 216
Default Re: Egypt

Thank you, thank you Artvision. I printed this and put in my Egypt folder. This is wonderful advise thanks so much.
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