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Egypt

23-Dec-07 to 04-Jan-08


[Egypt] [Cairo] [Luxor] [Aswan]
[About Egypt] [When to Go] [How to go] [What to Wear] [What to take] [Taxi's in Egypt] [Food in Egypt] [Shopping in Egypt]
Cool Summer fares starting from $299 Egypt had been a childhood dream of both of us and it was in early 2007, when we started planning for it.

Going to Egypt from India through a tour operator was an option. So we compared various tour operators and realized all of them followed a fixed path, the only difference being the type of ship they use for Nile Cruise, varying from a three star one to five star ships.

Then we tried to find out the cost of the cruises themselves, directly from websites. What we realized was that these cruises actually sail for not more than 3 to 4 hours every day and the rest of the day were anchored in various cities. Westeners liked the Cruises because they like to sleep in the sun, on a beach style seat next to the ships swimming pool. They spend most of the day like that, going off to see the city for a few hours in between. The actual cruise is only for a few hours. In addition, the rooms in the ship are not very comfortable and if you are unlucky to have a room near the Ship's engine or on the lowest floor, you could have a bad time.

So, we decided to follow the route all cruises take, but ourselves by train / car / plane, sleeping in comfortable hotels and taking short cruises along the Nile. This not only seemed more comfortable but as we later found out, much more economical and being Indians, I dont think we needed any tan!

We bought a book called Lonely Planet Egypt, which is an excellent guide on touring Egypt. In addition, we started interacting with other travellers to Egypt through two travel sites, Trip Advisor and Virtual Tourist. Six months of planning led us to a beautiful, memorable trip down the river Nile in the fabolous land of the Pharohs.

Carry your mobile phone with you. Do not try and get your Indian connection to work on roaming in Egypt. In Egypt it is very easy and cheap to buy a local connection and there are numerous mobile shops all over. Vodaphone connection costs 25LE and there is absolutely no documentation required, unlike India. We bought two connections and charged them with 25LE talk time. Incoming calls are free. It is essential and you need to ring up taxi drivers and your hotels often.

Also, dont forget your overseas travel insurance, just in case. We took ICICI Lombard online, printed it out and that's it!

Final thought, whenever you plan your finances, add an extra 50%, because enterance to all museums , temples and tombs is extremely expensive for non - Egyptians. Average cost is around 350/- INR per person! This took a big chunck out of our budget.
[Egypt] [Cairo] [Luxor] [Aswan]