Indian Family's Luxury Egypt visit On A medium Budget

Jeevan
Monday, July 23, 2018

Day 5 : When we woke a up at 5 am, in a great calm morning, we could see from balcony , the Hot air balloons flying high in the west bank of Nile. If you needed and ready to pay 80 USD per head you can fly on that., Reservations are available in the reception of hotel. After a relaxing room service breakfast, head out for a visit to the Luxor Museum to admire its impressive collection of antiquities. We spend some time at the pool of our affordable 5-star hotel in early morning. We are totally tired by seeing lot of temples now and wanted to relax in the hotel in afternoon. We again spend time in garden and pool. In evening , we walked on the street on all the way to Karnak temple on the ancient path leading starting from Luxor temple to Karnak Temple. This stone paved road has its own importance in history and guarded by numerous sphinxes on both sides. The road lost some part due to encroachment. The entire path's restoration is going on when we visited there. Near to Karnak temple some sphinxes seen destroyed and the road is blocked by a small village. It was nice to see the UNISEF and a Government try to recoup the encroachments. Alternatively, if you still haven’t gotten your fill of temples, consider taking a jaunt back out to the west to check out Medinat Habu, since that wasn’t already visited. Had nice dinner at hotel and slept neatly.



Day 6: Our tour guide had promised me, that the company driver will arrive at correct time in morning. But I had a doubt on it. He never came. Instead we catch our own taxi to reach Luxor airport. After check in, we used our precious waiting time on packed breakfast boxes from hotel. It have its own experience to eat in a waiting area on airport. There are 4- or 5 flights in the morning all heading to Cairo. I have picked our ticket to Kuwait is routed deliberate through Cairo with a big lay over time of more than 24 hours. As we are considered domestic travelers till Cairo we will have enough time to visit the attractions. Egypt air was correct in time and services. Reached about 10 am, at Cairo airport. Guides, touts and taxi drivers surrounded us but we managed to get an old taxi driver for 100 EGP to Egyptian museum. After we took some fresh juices and tea, we were ready to visit the museum.

Dont worry about your Luggage. You can keep it free of charge near to the front gate, just turn left and next small building have this facility . they will issue a token. small bag, phones, camera(With ticket) water bottles are allowed inside museum. Professional guides will approach. we got an old fellow Claimed as Egyptologist and have doctorate on subject and will charged 200 EGP. He will be good for a group But if you are not so interested in deep history, you can avoid him.



We need at least 2- 2 .30 hours to visit a quick look as there is thousands of artifacts displayed. We avoided Mummy's room,the price we saved , because we saw mummies in Mummification museum for a very normal fee at Luxor. We catch another taxi to Giza hotel for 100 EGP, and on the way I requested our driver to stop at a good restaurant for packed Lunch . He did it splendidly at a Khusheri meal(Egyptian lunch with spices and rice, pasta,and roasted onions) shop. Worth for price. He dropped at Pyramids Inn hotel which is situated at very front of the great Sphinx and Pyramids. After checking in we consumed a quick lunch at our room, because we have to reach at pyramids before 4 pm. Its just a walkable distance and we made it.

First we visited the great sphinx and the proceeded to The great Pyramids. It was very difficult to avoid drivers of horse carriages, and guides as they repeatedly interfere our smooth journey and sight seeing.I think Evening is the best time to visit pyramids and the Plataea.



As I have read, visiting inside of the pyramid can be avoided, as it is claustrophobic and nothing to see inside than empty chambers. Still we wanted to go inside, but for our unluck or luck, the closing time (4pm) blocked that attempt. But for our good thing we could explore the entire pyramids our own. We had enough time to walk around the surrounding area. The sunset near the deserted pyramid was mystical. On the way back to hotel we bought some souvenirs from surrounding shops.



We could clearly see the pyramids and sphinx from our bedroom. this was the main reason for selection of this hotel. Pyramids van be well viewed from as well as top of the hotel, which turned to be a restaurant too.At 7 pm each day there will be a light and sound show in front of this hotel and we could watch it free of cost while having our dinner. I have searched a lot in various travel forums to reach this hotel to book. The hotel was a family owned home converted to a modern hotel, and still the family is running the hotel. Its not a 5 or 4 star hotel but its was really fantastic and value for money.

Day 7: The last day of the tour, enjoyed at beautiful morning sights of pyramids as we could see all the views though our windows and balcony. take wonderful photos and did some shopping. Went back to Cairo airport last leg of journey.



We added some more days of exploration. This will help to modify your travel.

Planning Egypt

I just trying to help your planning of the tour. you can check various forums, as i did, but lately I found the best deals and methods. I just combining all of the tips here

Cruising the Nile River : Luxor to Aswan by Boat

The best way to tour the Nile Valley is by boat! This classic journey runs from Luxor to Aswan and makes the return trip from Aswan to Luxor. The entire experience was our highlight of Egypt and we highly recommend it as part of your two week Egypt itinerary.

It is interesting to note that attempting to see all of these sites as an independent traveler backpacking Egypt would likely end up costing more than the cruise, would be extremely inefficient, and perhaps even impossible to do. These reasonably-priced Nile River cruises are really the way to go and it has been one of our favorite experiences throughout our entire travels.





Pricing and Where to Book Nile Cruise for Cheap

Lock in Your Dates: While planning your budget-friendly Egypt itinerary, we recommend booking your Nile cruise first and planning around that if possible. The ships are scheduled to leave on only certain days, so once you have your Nile cruise agenda, you can then plan your pre- and post-Nile plans after locking in your exact dates. I combined the searching with various airline prices at it was working.

Most websites offer Nile River cruises for prices that run well into the thousands of dollars per person by international tour company In reality it wont. It was a pleasant surprise to find these same exact ships, itineraries, and cabins listed in a few other places for a fraction of the cost. Many prices are further discounted for the Nile cruises offered during summer months, which makes for incredible value.

To find these low Nile cruise prices, we recommend booking through Viator. we booked through that and they give our details to Middle east tour company. In both cases price will be the same. But I think if we negotiated earlier to the local company we could have save some money in the deal.

The absolute best prices for a 5-star Nile River cruise that we tracked down were through Viator was 260 USD per person.(80 Kuwaiti Dinar)

And while a $260(80 KD) trip may not seem like a particularly budget-friendly proposition, you must consider that this breaks down to less than $70 (20KD) per day, which includes all your meals, luxury lodging, transportation down the Nile, (except all entrance fees), and even a personal guide. We think it all adds up to one of the best travel values out there! It’s not possible to organize an independent itinerary over the same route for less than $70 per day.

Seasonal Price Changes: Understand the the lower prices for Nile River cruise deals are only available in summer. Prices fluctuate based on the date you’re booking for. So you’ll be saving about a hundred bucks per person by going in the middle of summer. Although we can tell you from experience of roaming around Egypt in 46 C degree temps that it may be worth the slight splurge to go during this much more comfortable time of year. Prices during shoulder season (e.g., April, May) have both moderate prices and moderate temperatures, so that’s a great consideration.

These Nile Cruises offered on Viator are the best deal you can book online. However, you are limited by your departure dates. check this factor before booking. The 4-Night Cruise from Luxor to Aswan only departs normally on Mondays. The Cruise from Aswan to Luxor only departs on normally Fridays. If you can make those dates work, this is the way to go.

But you’ll definitely save a few hundred bucks per family with Viator, if you’re able to work out a Friday or Monday departure. That’s the Nile cruise we took and would highly recommend it.

Group Tour vs Private Tour

Also understand that all the cruise prices we’ve mentioned are based on touring the sites with a group rather than a private guide. If you noticed that the prices listed were higher than we mentioned, go back and ensure that you changed the pricing to reflect Group Tour.

The difference between group and private tours is about a hundred dollars or so per couple. While it’s actually very affordable to have your own private guide, we recommend choosing the group tour, as it will save you some money that you can spend elsewhere on your Egypt trip. Being part of a group tour will also provide for the chance of meeting & mingling with other passengers. We never saw more than four people to a group anyhow, so you’ll still likely to have a small and intimate tour. We were fortunate to get paired up with some lovely Mexican ladies.



Nile River Cruise Price Inclusions and Exclusions

Prices typically include all of your transfers, taxis, guide service for all days, accommodation and all meals. The only expenses not covered are drinks and tipping on the Nile cruise. we have to pay entrance fees at each sites.



Nile Cruise Price-Cutting Tips

With beverages and tipping being your only added expenses during this portion of your trip to Egypt, there are definitely ways to minimize each.



For water, stock up on plenty of bottled water while on land. You should always be able to find large bottles for 5 LE. Bring this water back onboard with you too, as the savings will add up compared to the 15 LE charged on the ship.

Bring Your Own Alcohol: For booze, bring it with you. Some ships don’t allow outside beverages to be brought on board, so perhaps enquire in advance and plan accordingly. Our Nile voyage on the M/S Gezelle thankfully did permit bringing drinks on board. Your room is equipped with an empty refrigerator to cool down whatever beer, wine, or liquor you may bring. But be warned: it can be difficult to find stores selling alcohol in Egypt, so bring some booze with you from home or stop by the duty-free store when disembarking your flight. Beers onboard our Nile cruise ran 45 LE ($5.75 in 2018)during our trip, so this strategy will save you loads if planning to kick back a few while drifting down the Nile.



Tips on Nile Cruise Tipping: Tipping is a way of life in Egypt and it’s a must on these cruises. For gratuities, recommended tipping on Nile River cruises is 50 LE per couple per day for the guide. It’s also also recommended to tip the service on the boat another 50 LE per couple per night. If you were very pleased with the service, consider being extra kind with the gratuities you leave behind and adjust upward.

You will also run into situations during your daytime excursions on land in which you should tip. Taxi transfers, boat trips, horse carriage rides, or even a quick stop in the bathroom will all require a nominal tip. A 10 LE tip per couple seemed about right for each of most instances. Consider tipping more if a driver was with you all day and kept the A/C cold. Be sure you are prepared with lots of small 10 LE notes. If you only have a 50 or a 100, good luck on getting change.

We would recommend the 4-night Nile Cruise if it weren’t for the awkward onward connection times once in Aswan. So if you can make that work out, do the 4-night cruise. For smoother connections following the rest of this itinerary, the 3-night cruise.

Know Before You Go on the Train from Aswan to Luxor

Unlike the other recommendations in this blog post, don’t expect the train from Aswan to Luxor to be luxurious. It’s not an awful experience either, but we recommend to come with low expectations. If you’re backpacking Egypt, this will be a breeze. The train journey can be compared to Indian railways.





There have been some reports that the train from Cairo to Aswan (and return ) is not safe, as it travels through some supposedly dangerous areas. Despite these generalized warnings, we could not find any major incidents to support the claims. We felt safe the entire time and our cabin steward was pleasant and helpful.

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JEEVAN
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Entering the Pyramids Price-Cutting Tip
Skip the additional 200 LE entrance fee into Khufu (the largest of the three Great Pyramids) and instead go inside whichever of the two other pyramids (Khafre or Menkaure) are currently open. This tradeoff will save a duo traveling together 120 LE.
Many people are underwhelmed by going inside the Great Pyramid, while others rave about it and say it’s totally worth it. For us, it didn’t make sense to pay five times more (200 LE) to go inside the Great Pyramid.


Know Before You Go: Inside the Great Pyramids


Bring bottled water with you. It is triple the cost (and higher) when purchased around Pyramids.
Be aware that the interiors of either Khafre or Menkaure pyramid will be open, but not both.
The interiors of Khafre or Menkaure are a bit smaller than the Great Pyramid, so take this into consideration.
Cameras are not allowed inside any of the pyramids, although guards will watch them (or turn a blind eye) for a tip.
You must buy your ticket at the front gate, not at the actual pyramid.



Know Before You Go: Inside the Great Pyramids
Bring bottled water with you. It is triple the cost (and higher) when purchased around Pyramids.
Be aware that the interiors of either Khafre or Menkaure pyramid will be open, but not both.
The interiors of Khafre or Menkaure are a bit smaller than the Great Pyramid, so take this into consideration.
Cameras are not allowed inside any of the pyramids,but smart people use it although guards will watch them (or turn a blind eye) for a tip.
You must buy your ticket at the front gate, not at the actual pyramid.
Cheops Boat Museum: requires a separate ticket (60 LE) and is a worthwhile detour located behind Khufu. It is here that you will see what is said to be the world’s oldest boat! The Cheops Boat Museum will also give you a break from the heat, as there is a small air conditioner inside.


Camel or horse carriage?
If you want that great photo at the pyramids, expect to pay an additional 20-100 LE for a camel ride, depending on length of time and your haggling skills. We found the pyramid grounds to be very walkable, so we chose to forgo the hassle of dealing with a camel handler. And it is a hassle. They are aggressive. A simple “no” or “la shukraan” (no thank-you in Arabic) is never enough to shake them off. They’ll think you’re just negotiating. It takes several minutes and heavy assertiveness for them to fully understand that you’re not interested. Also, some of the camel handlers are notable scam artists with very deceptive practices, so be extremely careful if choosing to deal with them.
There are also other animals who can take you around the site . We received multiple offers to take quick jaunts in a horse carriage for 100 LE. That may sound like a good option, but also consider the horse’s well-being in the intense heat and know that the 100 LE price is likely a deceptive quote just to get you in their carriage.They will increase the money later.
How To Avoid Being Bothered at the Great Pyramids
There are so many touts all over the Great Pyramids. Many will be persistently hassling you to buy their camel ride. Others may be performing some of the many known scams that occur regularly. You may or may not get scammed, but you’ll certainly be hassled many times throughout the day.


One way to avoid this is to have a guide with you. Unlike most other places around the world, guides are very budget-friendly in Egypt! You can book Egyptologists for half-day tours for about $10-$15 USD (5 KWD = 1100 INR) per person. These guides include hotel pick-up too, so the price of this can often come out even cheaper than taking a taxi from your hotel to the Pyramids and back.
So if you want to be hassle free,make arrangements with a good guide before your day of visiting the Great Pyramids and ensure they have a consistent track record of great reviews.

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