The best time in year to go to Egypt is the
Winter, this means from end of September to early May. In summer
one can save a little money, but even the Egyptians call
summer-tourists crazy -- it is simply too hot!
We were within the first tourists to visit Egypt after Bush
junior had his Gulf War too. Tourism in Egypt is down by about
75% because of September 11., world economy crisis and Gulf War
II, good for tourists, bad for the Egyptians. Therefore RIGHT
NOW is the time to visit Egypt! (of course I mean during the
Guide book: Lonely Planet Egypt
There are so many security checks that it becomes annoying!
If one wants to go into a museum, official building or a big
hotel, one has to go through a metal detector first and bags
will be scanned and/or searched. In front of such buildings and
others where many tourists go to there are heavily armed
policemen, often behind bullet proof walls. They really do a lot
to make you feel safe, but it doesn't work with me, because I
get nervous with so many armed people (policemen) around.
The official language is Arab, but most Egyptians speak at
least a minimum of English, even most signs are in Arab and
English. Price tags are usually only in Arab and tourists get
always told a higher price. For that and other reasons I think
it is important to learn the Arab numbers, best already before
you start your trip.
Important Arab terms:
La, La -- no, no
Hallass (but the "Ha" should be sound from the back
of the throat, which isn't found in the English language)
-- enough, finished
Show-krawn (krawn rhymes with prawn) -- thanks
La Show-krawn -- no thanks
Prices, Bargaining, Bakshish:
For cab rides it's recommendable first to ask at the hotel
how much the ride should be, even if you probably won't get it
for this price, but at least you've got a lead. Bargain first,
then get into the cab! If the price is too much, then just
leave, the driver will follow you with an better offer!
You have to pay Bakshish always, everywhere and for
everything! For this you best keep all the 1 pound bills you can