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Thread: Egypt trip

  1. #21

    Default Re: Egypt trip

    Quote Originally Posted by limwhow View Post
    goon, from what you have described, you are strongly suggesting that one should book the flight in from Singapore, and engage the service of a local guide.
    After hearing all those stories on what happened to Stefanie Sun and also anecdotal ones from associates, it perhaps appeared to me that Egypt can be very rowdy and frightening place for the uninitiated.
    Have you any good, reputable local agencies based there in Egypt to recomment?



    Sabrecruz, your account again confirms perhaps the tumultuous mood there (perhaps I have watched too many a Mummy or Indiana Jones...). From your experience what would you recommend a few of us (say, 4 or 5 of us) to engage in for safe and hassle-free trip?

    Thanks to both of you.
    And to TS Oat11, I apologise for the OT.


    Hi LIMWHOW!

    Sorry for the late reply.

    I went to Egypt alone and have three local friends. If you want to go in your own group, I would recommend a local travel agency (one of my local friends). You can book tours and hotel through him. I flew by SQ. Though a little more expensive, the entertainment system and cleanliness of the SQ plane certainly made my 10-hour flight "shorter" as I was watching movie after movie. Since you are going on a tour, you can actually purchase a VISA upon arrival just before the immigration counter. It cost, if I can remember not more than US$20.00. It's best to check with the Egyptian Embassy in Singapore.

    Going to Upper Egypt is a must-see-must-do besides going to the Giza Pyramids and the museum.

    During this period, the nights can be very chilly or cold. So do bring a sweater. While out in the desert eg, Giza Pyramids, do take care of your camera and lens as fine dust will deposit itself on your equipment.

    Here's my my Egyptian friend's travel company details:-

    "GOLDEN SAND TRAVEL"
    32 Pyramid Street
    Betiko City, 37A Giza
    12111 Egypt
    Fax: +2 02 387 8104
    Email: info@goldensandtravel.com

    His name is Mr Hany Ghally (pronounced as "Hunnie Garlie").
    Mobile number is + 2 010 580 5842.

    He is trustworthy, friendly, very accommodating and speaks fluent English.


    I hope you enjoy your trip!

    Do PM should you need more assistance!

    Cheers!
    Last edited by sabrecruz; 22nd October 2009 at 09:33 AM.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Egypt trip

    Hi,

    Just to share some experience.

    1. Prepare lots of loose change for tips. Seems like everyone needs to be tipped for anything they do. It's a culture there.

    I wasn't really used to it in the beginning. Even the locals have to tip for something like someone directing u to a parking space.

    2. Just be careful when buying things. Sometimes they like to tell u "5 pounds", making you think that it's "5 Egyptian Pounds" but they will try to trick u and say it's "5 British pounds" when u want to pay. So always make it point to ask if he meant "Egyptian Pounds."

    3. Cabbies - we took a cab ride into town after agreeing it to be "15 Egyptian Pounds". Halfway thru the ride, he asked for a "50 Egyptian Pounds" note cos he says he has "35 Egyptian Pounds" on hand and it will make it easier for him. (At this pt in time, spider sense ringing. But we shall change to with him to see wat he's up to..hmmm).

    So, we got the change. It's correct and authentic. Hmm...nothing wrong.

    Then comes, the big surprise. He took out and said: "Look, you gave me a 50 piastres note (which is like their 50 cents) not a 50 pound note."

    But...all was good cos he just backed down easily after we insisted we gave him a 50 pound note.

    Lastly, I think having a personal tour was better cos it was just the 2 of us and the guide. We move faster and will have more time to actually admire the structures. And timing's more flexible of cos.

    For the whole trip, I used an 18-200mm lens cos most of the places quite dusty. It was good enough for me.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Egypt trip

    Quote Originally Posted by sadistmeal View Post
    Prepare lots of loose change for tips. Seems like everyone needs to be tipped for anything they do. It's a culture there.

    I wasn't really used to it in the beginning. Even the locals have to tip for something like someone directing u to a parking space.
    hahaha... yeah! they will come "bak sheeh" for everything... be careful taking photos of ppl or little children, they will come after you for tips

    yes, like most folks here recommended, i also paid for a local free & easy package after arriving there. IIRC, i paid only USD200 for a 15-day trip including trips to the desert - Baharia & Siwa (a must-see), a 3-day trip down river nile on a felucca (wind-powered boat). Most of the lodging arrangements were simple and basic.

    one thing great is that they will help you get a student pass for a low fee
    see my portfolio, for your comments.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Egypt trip

    Hi,

    I am going to Egypt too, this Nov. I bought a Tamron 18-270mm for this trip thinking that I may not have the time to change lens and heard the place is dusty for lens changing.

    Like to get some opinions from others whether taking 3x 16GB + 2x 8GB SDHC cards is sufficient?

  5. #25
    Senior Member limwhow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Egypt trip

    Quote Originally Posted by sabrecruz View Post
    Hi LIMWHOW!

    Sorry for the late reply.

    I went to Egypt alone and have three local friends. If you want to go in your own group, I would recommend a local travel agency (one of my local friends). You can book tours and hotel through him. I flew by SQ. Though a little more expensive, the entertainment system and cleanliness of the SQ plane certainly made my 10-hour flight "shorter" as I was watching movie after movie. Since you are going on a tour, you can actually purchase a VISA upon arrival just before the immigration counter. It cost, if I can remember not more than US$20.00. It's best to check with the Egyptian Embassy in Singapore.

    Going to Upper Egypt is a must-see-must-do besides going to the Giza Pyramids and the museum.

    During this period, the nights can be very chilly or cold. So do bring a sweater. While out in the desert eg, Giza Pyramids, do take care of your camera and lens as fine dust will deposit itself on your equipment.

    Here's my my Egyptian friend's travel company details:-

    "GOLDEN SAND TRAVEL"
    32 Pyramid Street
    Betiko City, 37A Giza
    12111 Egypt
    Fax: +2 02 387 8104
    Email: info@goldensandtravel.com

    His name is Mr Hany Ghally (pronounced as "Hunnie Garlie").
    Mobile number is + 2 010 580 5842.

    He is trustworthy, friendly, very accommodating and speaks fluent English.


    I hope you enjoy your trip!

    Do PM should you need more assistance!

    Cheers!
    Hello, sabrecruz. So sorry I just got back Singapore. Thanks so much for your information. Certainly will keep them handy!

  6. #26

    Default Re: Egypt trip

    hi everyone.

    I will be visiting Egypt this coming Nov on the 17th. Based on the previous few comments, I noticed that the people over there will asked for tips when they are being snapped. Just how to handle the situation when being approach by them? Am i obliged to give them or i can choose to walk away without giving them money. Because i was thinking sometimes during travelling, one tends to get carried away snapping without knowing the situation.

    Sidetracking abit, are there any must-buys or good stuff that can be bought over there? Any huge shopping malls for Singaporeans to shop?

    Thanks in advance

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Egypt trip

    Quote Originally Posted by goon View Post
    Currently it's about S$1.1k ++ onwards for a return fare to Cairo. Also check Qatar air,Emirates,Gulf Air,Ethihad,Turkish air for promotions coz they are the regular airlines that fly to Cairo.Prices shoot up in Dec n Jan.
    Serious?!!
    I was checking up on airfare to Israel and on El Al, it costs $1400 ONE WAY and Israel is just next door to Egypt! Overland travel from Egypt to Israel is cheap.
    What airline was it that you found this fare?
    Is Jan also a peak period for travel there? I should not think so.


    Quote Originally Posted by sabrecruz View Post
    While out in the desert eg, Giza Pyramids, do take care of your camera and lens as fine dust will deposit itself on your equipment.
    What should I do to take care not to let the desert sand into it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xing View Post
    IIRC, i paid only USD200 for a 15-day trip including trips to the desert - Baharia & Siwa (a must-see), a 3-day trip down river nile on a felucca (wind-powered boat). Most of the lodging arrangements were simple and basic.

    one thing great is that they will help you get a student pass for a low fee
    Woww! That's really cheap! Do you remember the name of the travel agency and which hostel did u book it?

    Can get a student pass?
    What benefits does the student pass give you?
    The best photographer is one who is inspired by the innate nature of his subjects.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Egypt trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleveland View Post
    hi everyone.

    I will be visiting Egypt this coming Nov on the 17th. Based on the previous few comments, I noticed that the people over there will asked for tips when they are being snapped. Just how to handle the situation when being approach by them? Am i obliged to give them or i can choose to walk away without giving them money. Because i was thinking sometimes during travelling, one tends to get carried away snapping without knowing the situation.

    Sidetracking abit, are there any must-buys or good stuff that can be bought over there? Any huge shopping malls for Singaporeans to shop?

    Thanks in advance
    Well...I tend to shoot from a distance using my zoom lens or shoot them when they are looking elsewhere.

    Shooting from a distance, they can't really tell if u are shooting at them cos you can pretend you are shooting the structure behind them.

    As for shopping malls, didn't go to any as most of our time was spending traveling and sightseeing. And hotel's too far from the nearest mall, costing US$50 for a to and fro trip i think.

    Tried Macs and KFC there...everything is very salty. Although locals don't get paid much, fast food is the same price as back in SG. So you can image it's a luxury food there and it's mostly empty save for tourists...

  9. #29

    Default Re: Egypt trip

    oh i see. did you take the Nile cruise when you were over there? Coz i will be travelling with a tour group. Didnt really expect much from the trip as it will be merely touch and go.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Egypt trip

    hi guys just came back from trip, really enjoyable one, lots of history lesson haha
    the place was pretty dusty and glaring! the sun was damn bright but weather was good, no sweat at all. 17mm on cropped body was wide enough for me, certain sites had to stitch pano. however, areas such as valley of the kings, egyptian museum, inside abu simbel etc no longer allow photography, disappointing

  11. #31
    Senior Member limwhow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Egypt trip

    Quote Originally Posted by oat11 View Post
    hi guys just came back from trip, really enjoyable one, lots of history lesson haha
    the place was pretty dusty and glaring! the sun was damn bright but weather was good, no sweat at all. 17mm on cropped body was wide enough for me, certain sites had to stitch pano. however, areas such as valley of the kings, egyptian museum, inside abu simbel etc no longer allow photography, disappointing
    Good to have you back.
    Dusty .... then how, you managed to change lenses on the move?
    And yeah, like many other countries, there is a tendency for photograph-able destinations to get lesser and lesser... for various reasons.

  12. #32

    Default Re: Egypt trip

    oh i didn't change lens on the move, i stuck to my new tamron 17-50mm, only changed to telephoto on the nile cruise

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Egypt trip

    Quote Originally Posted by goon View Post
    There will be no problems buying from any agents for air tickets but maybe u can browse through the internet 1st to sites like zuji.com.sg or airfares.com.sg and check out the prices before heading to an agency.

    Currently it's about S$1.1k ++ onwards for a return fare to Cairo. Also check Qatar air,Emirates,Gulf Air,Ethihad,Turkish air for promotions coz they are the regular airlines that fly to Cairo.Prices shoot up in Dec n Jan .Sometimes going with an agency will be slightly cheaper but it can be very unsatisfactory coz like I said before they spend very little time at each site n U may end up waiting for your fellow travellers

    If u choose those packages from a hostel ( not 4 or 5 star hotel) ,a 10 day package cld be only about US$350-400++ incl entrance fees,transport but not food.A friend did it this way in April for his 18 day trip n it's less than S$2K according to him but I think he got quite a good price for his flights.This for me is the best coz it;s only U ( or yr friends) and the guide. A guide will be arranged to meet u at every different city.

    The other alternative is to join an international group with a younger more fun kinda crowd like Intrepid ,Gecko's Travel,GAP adventures. They have many options ranging from basic to abit more luxurious . Heard many good things about such trips because it's more fun n itinerary is flexible too .


    Cheers
    Hey, I'm trying to get tickets to Egypt for my family.
    The Gulf Air website doesn't have Singapore as its selection for the countries.
    How did you book it (or has anyone booked it).
    Cheapest of these airlines that I managed to find was Qatar at $1400+ (including taxes and fees).
    When was it you went that you got $1100?
    Last edited by Clown; 11th June 2010 at 02:03 AM.
    The best photographer is one who is inspired by the innate nature of his subjects.

  14. #34

    Default Re: Egypt trip

    Hi

    Anyone use a Local Egyptian tour agency packages? Are they good in the sense that they allow you more time at the attractions as compared to our S'pore agencies where your are rushed from one attraction to another.

    I am interested in going there in March?

    Please advice.

    Thanks

  15. #35

    Default Re: Egypt trip

    Quote Originally Posted by sabrecruz View Post
    Hi!

    I have been to Egypt twice and on both occasions on my own with my Egyptian friends. A wide angle lens is a must have.

    However, do take SERIOUS note that no photography is allowed in the museum. The guards will confiscate your camera and if they are in a bad mood, they will never return your camera.

    Fellow Egyptian tour guides may even make a big fuss by shouting at you or your tour guide and cause a stir.

    Also, never take pictures of an Egyptian lady be it Muslim or Christian without first asking. Their husbands are a real jealous lot. On the flip side, Muslim ladies will gladly shake your hand unlike in Saudi Arabia.

    When you are around the Giza pyramids, do take care of your equipment and the fine desert sand will find its way into anything unless you have a 5DMKII or 1D with a L lens (weatherproof).

    Also, you tend to see scantily dressed ang moh's lady tourists around. Egyptians are used to ang moh tourists. Ang moh's bring in the dollar for their economy.

    December is a great time to go. Weather is fine and the sun sets around 5pm.

    Enjoy!
    I am going next month and oh boy, I am a bit worried when you mentioned "the fine desert sand will find its way into anything", is it that bad? I am using EPL1 btw.

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Egypt trip

    For those looking for F&E, try contacting this guy. He is very good guide and speak good English, not half baked one. Also willing to go out of the way unlike some of the other guides who are only willing to stick to the rigid routine. I met him in Luxor. Not sure if he does Cairo. You will need to check with him. Please note that he is a guide and not travel agency. You'll need a guide to tell you stories else it is quite boring and meaningless looking at the structures.

    Mohammed Abd El Aziz
    email: zizoo2005@yahoo.com
    Tel: (002) 0180646562



    Some experiences shared during my trip to Egypt in this thread here
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=706287
    Last edited by ManWearPants; 25th October 2010 at 10:49 PM.

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Egypt trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleveland View Post
    hi everyone.

    I will be visiting Egypt this coming Nov on the 17th. Based on the previous few comments, I noticed that the people over there will asked for tips when they are being snapped. Just how to handle the situation when being approach by them? Am i obliged to give them or i can choose to walk away without giving them money. Because i was thinking sometimes during travelling, one tends to get carried away snapping without knowing the situation.

    Sidetracking abit, are there any must-buys or good stuff that can be bought over there? Any huge shopping malls for Singaporeans to shop?

    Thanks in advance
    If they see you snapping them, they will ask for 5 EP. Most will follow you to get the money. So if you are not prepared to pay, don't snap. Else like someone mentioned, do it from far with a tele. Of course you can try to ignore and walk away. But it can be quite unpleasant at times. These are the poor people on the street who are survivors and will try to fleece you whenever possible. There is a tendency to photograph woman in hijab (head dress). Remember Egypt is a muslim country. You are not to photograph these woman without consent. If the woman makes a din, the mutaween (religious police) can make trouble for you.

    Also buy drinking water away from tourist spots. There are 2 prices - one for tourist and one for local. I got my innocent guide to buy water for me and when discovered by the vendors, gave him a good dressing down. In the end I paisei, gave him a tip. The price difference is quite substantial, more than double if I didn't remember wrongly. Bottle water cost EP2 but at tourist spot can go up to EP20. A can of coke can cost EP6 but at tourist spot EP30-40. I can't remember for sure if it is so much but I know it is a price I wouldn't pay if I am not dying of thirst.

    Be careful of camel rides. It is better to get your guide to negotiate. I have a friend whom agree for EP20 but at the end of the ride, he was not allowed to come down unless he paid EP50. And camels are much taller than you think. So dun think you can jump down on your own.

    Also be cautious of people who are over friendly. Another friend of mine asked a man for direction. The man ask him to get into his car and make himself comfortable while he explain. After explaining, the man asked for EP50 else will not let him get off the car.

    There is no shopping mall, only a bazaar. IMO, nothing much to buy except souvenirs. Bargain hard if you want to buy anything.

    And finally, I find the cruise a bit of a waste of time. If there are no old people in the group, it may be a good idea to skip the cruise.

    Quote Originally Posted by WuffRuff View Post
    Hey, I'm trying to get tickets to Egypt for my family.
    The Gulf Air website doesn't have Singapore as its selection for the countries.
    How did you book it (or has anyone booked it).
    Cheapest of these airlines that I managed to find was Qatar at $1400+ (including taxes and fees).
    When was it you went that you got $1100?
    if possible, transit via Dubai taking Emirates or Abu Dhabi taking Etihad. If to Dubai, you can take the budget airline Flydubai from Dubai to Cairo. But I see you are travelling with family so it can be a hassle to change airline. The new airport at Doha is not ready so the experience at Doha airport is not so ideal at the moment. You need to alight from plane on taxiway and take a bus to terminal. No aerobridge. The airport terminal is also small and pathetic compared to Dubai International Airport. The stewardess at Emirates and Etihad are also prettier

    www.flydubai.com

    Quote Originally Posted by vainqueur View Post
    I am going next month and oh boy, I am a bit worried when you mentioned "the fine desert sand will find its way into anything", is it that bad? I am using EPL1 btw.
    don't worry about the sand. Just don't change lens when there is a strong wind.
    Last edited by ManWearPants; 25th October 2010 at 11:24 PM.

  18. #38

    Default Re: Egypt trip

    Quote Originally Posted by ManWearPants View Post
    If they see you snapping them, they will ask for 5 EP. Most will follow you to get the money. So if you are not prepared to pay, don't snap. Else like someone mentioned, do it from far with a tele. Of course you can try to ignore and walk away. But it can be quite unpleasant at times. These are the poor people on the street who are survivors and will try to fleece you whenever possible. There is a tendency to photograph woman in hijab (head dress). Remember Egypt is a muslim country. You are not to photograph these woman without consent. If the woman makes a din, the mutaween (religious police) can make trouble for you.

    Also buy drinking water away from tourist spots. There are 2 prices - one for tourist and one for local. I got my innocent guide to buy water for me and when discovered by the vendors, gave him a good dressing down. In the end I paisei, gave him a tip. The price difference is quite substantial, more than double if I didn't remember wrongly. Bottle water cost EP2 but at tourist spot can go up to EP20. A can of coke can cost EP6 but at tourist spot EP30-40. I can't remember for sure if it is so much but I know it is a price I wouldn't pay if I am not dying of thirst.

    Be careful of camel rides. It is better to get your guide to negotiate. I have a friend whom agree for EP20 but at the end of the ride, he was not allowed to come down unless he paid EP50. And camels are much taller than you think. So dun think you can jump down on your own.

    Also be cautious of people who are over friendly. Another friend of mine asked a man for direction. The man ask him to get into his car and make himself comfortable while he explain. After explaining, the man asked for EP50 else will not let him get off the car.

    There is no shopping mall, only a bazaar. IMO, nothing much to buy except souvenirs. Bargain hard if you want to buy anything.

    And finally, I find the cruise a bit of a waste of time. If there are no old people in the group, it may be a good idea to skip the cruise.



    if possible, transit via Dubai taking Emirates or Abu Dhabi taking Etihad. If to Dubai, you can take the budget airline Flydubai from Dubai to Cairo. But I see you are travelling with family so it can be a hassle to change airline. The new airport at Doha is not ready so the experience at Doha airport is not so ideal at the moment. You need to alight from plane on taxiway and take a bus to terminal. No aerobridge. The airport terminal is also small and pathetic compared to Dubai International Airport. The stewardess at Emirates and Etihad are also prettier

    www.flydubai.com



    don't worry about the sand. Just don't change lens when there is a strong wind.
    I got only 1 lens now, so, dont have chance to change lens, haha... I just hope the fine sands dont try to make their way into place like the evf viewing section, the side of the camera between the lens and the body
    Last edited by vainqueur; 29th October 2010 at 07:22 PM.

  19. #39

    Default Re: Egypt trip

    Hi all thanks for all the information... I will be joining a tour group to Egypt this Month...

    I have noticed a few posts mentioning the "fine sand"... I am using a 550D which is not weather sealed... is the sand gonna cost me much problem?

    I don't want anything to happen to my precious....
    Canon 550D|BG-E8|EF S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS|EF 50mm f/1.8 II|EF S10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

  20. #40
    Senior Member SK1968's Avatar
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    Default Re: Egypt trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Hornnie View Post
    Hi all thanks for all the information... I will be joining a tour group to Egypt this Month...

    I have noticed a few posts mentioning the "fine sand"... I am using a 550D which is not weather sealed... is the sand gonna cost me much problem?

    I don't want anything to happen to my precious....
    Hi, I just came back from Northern Xinjiang and the Middle East and the 'fine sand' in those places wasn't too much a problem to me. Of course I was mindful of the environment and took some precautions.
    1. Change lens in as quickly as possible. Check out Youtube for some demo on how to change lens in the shortest possible time.
    2. Turn my body away and block the wind.
    3. Avoid changing lens if it is really too windy.

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