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So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

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Gothenburg, Sweden
posts: 3
So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

I hope I do not offend anybody by asking this. I ask because I am seeking knowledge, not because I have a lot of prejudices or anything like that :)

I'm getting married, and we're thinking of a Nile cruise for our honeymoon. We haven't decided on the ship just yet, but it'll be the normal package with excursions etc.

We're both unfamiliar with Egypt. We've travelled a bit before, but mainly within Europe and the US. Having said that, I'd like to think we're both knowledgeable, open minded, non-judgemental people that certainly have no plans of being any kind of hillbilly-esque tourists that complain because things aren't like they are at home ;)

The thing is - I find myself a bit insecure and unsure of what to expect. I'm certainly not going to be surprised by an atmosphere that is a lot more noisy, chaotic, etc. etc. that in - say - London. I'm aware of naggy salesmen and pickpockets. I know, and have no problem with, that this is a completely different culture. I plan to act according to local customs, that includes dress. What has got me thinking is all the comments I've read in here about females getting hassled a lot - no matter what they wear.

This, I don't know what to think about. I'm not really good with that sort of stuff. AND I know that people online tend to exaggerate, I can deal with a few lines being shouted here and there, but how often does it really happen? And what sorts of things do they say? How about groping? (I feel like an ignorant person just for asking, but I really don't know what to expect...) Will it help being with a man and in a group? And how to deal?

We want a relaxing, fun-filled, completely chilled out honeymoon, and worrying about this has actually got me thinking that it could partly ruin the trip. I hope I'm wrong :-/

London, United...
posts: 3,210
1. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

I suspect that you may get a wide range of opinions on how degrading, insulting, offensive, annoying, etc the general street hassle and/or 'inappropriate' remarks may or may not be and in my opinion, it has FAR more to do with how YOU handle it, than how bad (or not) it may or may not be.

If it were THAT bad, then none of us would ever go there more than once, yet as you will see from reading these forums, there are a great many repeat visitors, many of them 'lone women' travelers.

Being with a male companion, or in a group won't really make much difference but the best thing to do is to have a sense of humour about it, ignore it and laugh it off, as if you let it get to you then you will become a 'prisoner' on your cruise boat and it will surely ruin your holiday.

I have only ever heard of very few instances of 'groping' or touching, so you should not worry on that score.

There will only be a variety of lewd or sexist comments, which are pretty harmless if ignored and by far the most annoying thing is to be persistantly hassled to buy things that you don't want.

Relax,don't worry, ignore it all and enjoy your honeymoon and above all just laugh about it.

Somerset
Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
posts: 10,940
reviews: 78
2. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

On a Nile Cruise, especially if you are going to the sights with the boats tour guide you should get very little hassle. The guide will give you advice & for his own interest protect you from the worst. I have had unpleasant experiences and funny ones, met some lovely people and some that were a pain in the neck, but keep going back.

In a market or shop tell no one your name as the whole road will know it in minutes adn you will hear it called from everywhere simply as a way to try and get you into a shop.

Dress & behave with respect. Public displays of affection are not expected in public even from the newlyweds ;-)

Luxor, Egypt
posts: 1,103
reviews: 9
3. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

I think by the sound of your approach to your planned visit you should be fine. You are on a cruise boat with organised tours which should help with any possible hassle at the sites. It sounds like you will not be moving around alone so this will help with any hassle in the streets.

A lot of the problem with hassle is not being prepared for it and how you deal with it.

R

London, United...
posts: 5,337
reviews: 34
4. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

Hi Lissa B, welcome to the Luxor forum.

The fact that you are asking the questions and have thought about the potential for any problems of hassle has already given you some protection! Not that it's going to stop any particular hassle, but it is obviously not going to be such a shock to you if it does happen!

It is interesting that some people can visit Luxor and feel it has been just one constant pressure of hassle of one form or another, and yet others have no problem. That's not so say they've not had local traders - shops keepers, calleche, fellucca men etc - trying to sell their wares and services, but they have been able to cope with some of the more persistant ones.

I have visited Luxor many times now as a single female traveller and (with only one very unusual situation) have not really had a problem. I do always suggest to people that they remember 3 things - don't leave your common sense or your sense of humour at the airport, and carry a big bag of salt as you'll have to take a lot of things with a big pinch of it! ;-)

You say you are thinking of going on a cruise. This is actually probably one of the most protected forms of travel when it comes to encountering any form of hassle. Most people choose to take the inclusive and extra organised excursions so you are rarely alone or far from your tour leader/guide. That being said, if time allows and your boat is conveniently placed I would encourage you to do a little bit of exploring on your own - this is very easy in Luxor and Aswan. Be prepared to take a few steps away from the main Corniche areas and you begin to see a different Luxor.

Go to Egypt, relax and enjoy all it has to offer.

Bedfordshire
Destination Expert
for Luxor
posts: 2,162
reviews: 20
5. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

As others have said the Nile Cruise is the best way to see the Nile Valley for the first time visitor as when you go off ship on you trips you have you guide and the protection of your group. But, the guide will take you to some factories, i.e papyrus, alabaster, perfume and maybe gold shops, do not expect his protection in these establishments as he or his company will get a percentage of your sales. I have known guides to disappear just when you want them for advice or to help with a pushy sales person. I personally would also not buy anything from these places as you then know the prices will be much more.

Phi

London, United...
posts: 3,210
6. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

And on the point made by 'Phi' (Phil900), many cruise boat guides are very polished and accomplished conmen themselves, who will deliberately take you to where you WILL be hassled, just so that they can then 'save you' from that hassle and ensure you will pay them a big tip and think they are wonderful. It is all part of a much rehearsed 'act' to fool tourists and seperate them from as much of their cash as possible.

Quite often in Egypt, those that should be there to protect you from the 'conmen' and the scammers, are the worst conmen and scammers of all, so be aware and don't be taken in (as many are) too much by it all.

Edinburgh, United...
Destination Expert
for Luxor
posts: 3,975
reviews: 114
7. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

Please also take time to read the top questions about Luxor which you will find written in blue down the right hand side of this forum page. Yes, it's quite a daunting task, but there is loads of information there about tipping, dress codes, how to avoid tummy bugs, currency and much much more.

This link is to my own tips which you might also find useful

tripadvisor.co.uk/GoListDetail-i19636-My_Top…

U.K.
Destination Expert
for Avebury, Egypt
posts: 4,675
reviews: 77
8. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

"..... what sorts of things do they say? How about groping? ..... Will it help being with a man and in a group? And how to deal?"

Your husband may well be offered a number of camels in exchange for you - this is harmless, friendly banter, just smile and walk on.

Men get groped, too!

Being one of a couple/group will certainly insulate you but the pressure to buy goods, take a caleche/taxi/felucca ride or simply to be taken round the corner to see some marvel is incessant - do not respond at all, just ignore the salesman/driver/guardian and keep walking .....

Berkshire, UK
posts: 1
reviews: 4
9. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

I have just come back from Luxor (Jan 2013) with my husband and I would never go back again, purely down to the hassle from the locals!

As soon as we stepped out of the hotel we would be bombarded by taxi drivers, calesh drivers, tour operators and just pure scammers (claiming to work at your hotel, and having seen you at breakfast / lunch / dinner and offering to take you to the market or to buy cheap spices!)

I have been to Turkey Morroco and Sharm El Sheikh but the locals have never been as bad as they were in Luxor. We were getting our camera grabbed of us by guides to take pictures of us and then they would ask for money, we had the armed guards ask us if we wanted a picture with them and then they would ask for money! the calesh drivers (horse and carriage) would agree a price for a trip before we got on and then afterwards increase the amount owed 10 times and deny the lower price was ever agreed!

They know the exact worth of one english pound to us and everything is priced accordingly, gone are the times when you go to a country where the currency is weaker so you get things at local prices. Our tour operator said to us that a good office job in Luxor would give somone approx 600 egyptian pounds a month as income, thats around £60 - they charge these sort of prices as a minimum per excursion per person! Our tour operator also said that the locals make out that they are poor and have no money but they make it their business to look the part when they come touting for tourists.

I have never written a holiday review about a place before, but coming back from Luxor I felt I had to. To Lissa B who started this blog, if it was my honeymoon I would choose some other place!

UK
posts: 810
reviews: 10
10. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

"Your husband may well be offered a number of camels in exchange for you - this is harmless, friendly banter, just smile and walk on." Pausilypon

I would suggest not smiling. The more tourists encourage the 'Lucky Man' , "A thousand camels" nonsense the more women have to endure it. Egyptian men would be insulted if men commented on their wives when they are innocently going about normal activities like shopping. They certainly wouldn't smile or laugh about it.

Having a sense of humour and laughing when appropriate is good advice in Egypt. Egyptians love to laugh and have a great sense of fun. Just avoid any subjects that are remotely flirtatiious or make you or your husband uncomfortable.