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A short holiday report

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Cardiff
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18 posts
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A short holiday report

We visited Luxor from 29/5/13 to 12/6/13 so I thought I'd post a short report on the holiday with a few tips that may help people who are going to visit in the near future.

1) The usual Visa scam was going on in the airport with reps trying to take £15 off new arrivals for a $15 visa. Go to the booths yourself to buy your visa, the guys in there were asking for £15 for each visa but did give the full amount in change (in LE)

2) There is a fairly new duty free shop, I'm not sure if the old one near the train station is still open but to find the new one you need to go from the Sonesta down towards the Isis. Instead of going right towards 7 Days 7 Ways, bear left and the new duty free is on the right hand side about 200 yards down the road. Think you need to get there within 48 hours of arrival to be able to buy stuff.

3) Valley of the Kings - as has been mentioned in other posts on here, only a few are open, when you get to the entrance the boards tell you there are about 16-17 open but when you get up there we found less than 10 open, I wanted to see KV34 KV35 & KV43 but none of those were open on the day we went. The guys who sell you the tickets also want a tip for telling you which ones to visit.

4) The Lotus boat cruise to Dendera was only operating on a Tuesday when we were there rather than both Tuesday and Sunday due to lack of tourists. On the trip we went on quite a few people were complaining about having to pay for drinks on the cruise, we always understood that drinks were extra but from overhearing these peoples complaints we thought they may have been mis-sold the trip by their rep so that could be something to watch out for. Also Thomsons are selling the trip for about £60 but the trip operators near the Winter Palace only charge about £40

5) The ACE animal sanctuary is well worth a visit if you are concerned about the welfare of the horses that pull the carriages around, we took one up there and the driver gave his horse a shower and some food while we looked around. Its free for the drivers to take their animals up there anytime but few of them do unless they have a problem with their horse.

6) We took a train down to Aswan for a day trip to see the museum and the Old Cateract Hotel. Both were well worth a visit, the hotel looks particularly magnificent now its been done up, Aswan felt a bit hotter than Luxor too, if thats possible!

7) The Winter Palace - not sure if anyone else has encountered this but they are charging non residents to go in there now. They wanted the 4 of us to pay £5 each to get in and when we said we had been in previous years and never been charged the told us we could have a drink included in our visit. £20 seemed a bit steep for 4 drinks so we declined and walked out.

8) Power cuts - these seem to affect different areas of Luxor at different times, we had a taxi from our apartment to a restaurant near the Nile Palace and the power was off at the apartment but on at the restaurant. We went 4 days without a power cut, but one day had 4 cuts so they seem to be very random and haphazard.

Week one of the holiday was very hot with temps approaching 50, it cooled down a bit in the second week to around the 42 degree mark.

Change your money over there too, over here the exchange rate was around 9.5LE to the pound but out there its over 10.5LE now.

Some of the above points might be seen as negatives but if you are aware of them then you might be able to avoid them. Overall our holiday out there was fantastic again, we saw some old friends and made some new ones.

We'll be back!

UK
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21. Re: A short holiday report

Marauding ex-pats, I have encountered! The situation described above by KV, I have seen played out many times. Personally, I detest dress codes although I observe them.

UK/Luxor
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22. Re: A short holiday report

I believe there used to be a charge of 100LE to enter the WP, but a few years ago and I cannot remember how many years. Certainly for the last few years there has been no charge to go in to look around.

Now there is a charge of 50LE, refundable against any food or drinks purchased. This charge does not include use of the pool

I was told it was Sofitel who implemented it, just after they doubled the price of afternoon tea. But I cannot confirm this, hearsay only.

Australia
Destination Expert
for Cairo, Egypt, Nile River Valley, Luxor
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23. Re: A short holiday report

Thanks for the trip report GW, lots of useful information:)

Cairo, Egypt
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24. Re: A short holiday report

Very nice, shakran for your report, very helpful,

I learned new things from your report,

Thank you.

ex tunc
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25. Re: A short holiday report

Nefertari would have done the same.

Scotland, United...
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for Luxor, Nile River Valley, Egypt
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26. Re: A short holiday report

Huh??

Kent
Destination Expert
for Egypt
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27. Re: A short holiday report

Post 40 is obviously the answer, it's just that eLaReF, and I aren't too sure what the question is or was;-))

Scotland, United...
Destination Expert
for Luxor, Nile River Valley, Egypt
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28. Re: A short holiday report

Now I'm REALLY confused (Not too difficult I hear some say)

Steve - we are only at Post 28 now?

Lancashire, England
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29. Re: A short holiday report

Great trip report, many thanks for posting it.

I am counting myself as being VERY lucky, as I visited both the Winter Palace AND the Old Cataract Hotels this January and was not asked for payment in either.

It couldn't have been anything to do with dress, as I was wearing my usual 'uniform' of trainers, long trousers etc, so I was hardly what you would call dressed for visiting!

I too was given the tour of the Old Cataract and found the staff there to be brilliant. I try and visit for a drink on the terrace every trip now and have never encountered any problems.

Maybe I won't be as lucky next time!

Edited: 2:26 pm, June 20, 2013
30. Re: A short holiday report

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