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“A beautiful gateway in Winter”
Review of Aswan

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New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 helpful votes
“A beautiful gateway in Winter”
Reviewed May 12, 2010

If you're looking to escape the cold and go for a warm sunny place in winter plus enjoy some sightseeing and learn about a new culture. It's Aswan.
One of Egypt's most beautiful cities. Rich with ancient Egyptian history and the magnificent River Nile that looks totally amazing at this very city. People in Aswan are so kind and warm.

When you're visiting Aswan, you might as well visit Luxor, another city that is full of Ancient Egyptian history.

Best time to visit Aswan is November through February.

Helpful?
2 Thank shaksisland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manhattan
Level 6 Contributor
83 reviews
31 helpful votes
“Safety in Aswan Egypt”
Reviewed April 24, 2010

We visited Aswan as a family in January of 2008. We traveled with a guide for most of our trip through Egypt. For various reasons, at one point, while walking through a souk in Aswan, we became separated for no longer than 5 minutes. During that short time, our 18 year old daughter was surrounded by a group of men who began harassing her. She actually had to push her way through them to get away from them. By the time we caught up with her, she was in tears. Our tour guide insisted on looking for the men. They found the ringleader and we all ended up at the local Aswan prison, making the decision on whether to press charges against this man. The top captain at the prison treated my daughter with complete disdain as if SHE were guilty of lying. Once I entered the room, as a mother, he treated me with respect. Needless to say, although it was an interesting experience, it was an extremely negative experience. Make certain that you remain with your children (especially teen girls) at every minute. This was the only 5 minutes during our entire 10 day trip that we were separated, with extremely unfortunate results. Beware.

Helpful?
2 Thank AuthorMomManhattan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Level 5 Contributor
25 reviews
58 helpful votes
“Wonderful time on NIle Cruise”
Reviewed February 14, 2010

We thoroughly enjoyed our 5 day cruise with PNC, Presidential Nile Cruises. We went Luxor to Aswan but they have 9 very similar boats and go both directions almost daily. Very comfortable cabin, attentive service in room and dinning. Buffetts at breakfast and lunch with full service dinners. Excursions to the ancient sites were well organized with excellent guides. Enjoyable activities in the bar at night. Only caution is bar dirnks, very weak and expensive ($8-9) but beer and wine were good and reasonablly priced.
There are newer, ultra luxory boats available for much more $ but we found this to be a first class experience that completely met our expectations....... we'd book it again or recommend it to friends and family.

Helpful?
4 Thank epomer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairo, Egypt
Level 6 Contributor
68 reviews
46 helpful votes
“Fantastic place for relaxation and exploring history”
Reviewed December 27, 2009

This is a very good place to be visited in winter for relaxation as well as history exploration. Also, it is suitable for couples for their honey moon.

Helpful?
1 Thank HarrazCairo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
77 helpful votes
“Lovely winter sun with lots of stuff to see”
Reviewed December 22, 2009

The air in Aswan is wonderfully clean and clear and the climate in winter is superb – warm or even hot in the day, cool enough for vests and jumpers if you are eating outside in the evening - dawn is about 6.00am sunset about 5.00pm so get up early to make the most of it.

Philae, about 15 minutes to the ferries by taxi, is not as overwhelming as Karnak or Abu Simbel, but the sculptured bas-reliefs are of much higher quality than the latter's and many of them are very beautiful indeed. It's a pain to organize a trip independently but if you get a decent driver - we paid 60 LE for taking us there and collecting us - he will explain the system. Main problem are the ferries. We managed to get an uncovered boat for two for LE 50 there and back, but the boatman a Mr Boussi tried every trick in the book and wasted ten minutes of our time before he agreed to that and was nowhere to be found when we needed a trip back - although the guy who seems to arrange all these trips found him eventually... by shouting "Boussi, Boussi Boussi.." over the water to Biga island from where he eventually emerged from behind a rock...

Aswan, by no means beautiful in itself, is a real live Egyptian city with an African- 'Nubian' - flavour. It hosts lots of foreign tourists but is not totally dominated by tourism, in contrast to Luxor, for instance. So the souk is fascinating and picturesque full of locals going about their business in local dress, women almost always with heads covered if not the full chador, men sitting in cafes smoking shisha, barbers and butchers right on the street, men selling milk - or yoghurt or something - from little churns borne by white asses, amazing arrays of fruits, different kinds of dried dates and spices and less persistent hassle than elsewhere. In particular there is a wonderful 'baklava'-type cake shop on the Corniche opposite the floating restaurants - I especially recommend the roasted hazlenut whorl-type things

The Aswani call to prayer of the muezzins from loudspeakers five times a day - starting with the Fajr at 5.00 am! - is marvellous if you like that kind of thing, varied and beautiful, sometimes turning into duets and trios. I am no connoisseur but they seemed to me to be great exponents of their art. If not the best in Egypt - I assume the best exponents work in Cairo - they were better, at any rate, than the Turkish muezzins I have heard; anyway I was impressed. Incidentally our rep told us that Aswan is 40% Coptic Christian and a large proportion of restaurateurs and shop-keepers had saccharine images of Jesus on the wall or on their mobile phones!

There are floating restaurants on the river opposite the Movenpick where you can have beer with a cheap-ish meal looking over the Nile - the fried/grilled fish or fish tagine are good almost everywhere; and even raw salads left our delicate European digestive systems with no ill-effects – our favourite was Emy’s, full of life and atmosphere, ramshackle - to say the least - but cleaner than it looks! The 'Nobian' Restaurant - free ferry from the southern extreme of the corniche next to the Ferial Gardens park - is alcohol-free but has the best babaganoush, tahini, and aubergine 'salad' [= fried/roasted mixed vegetables] and the most charming setting on the rocks opposite the ruins of Elephantine island - really nice staff too and the ferry itself conducted in silence by gestures is like something from a fairytale. Chef Khalil's, also alcohol-free, on Souk street near the railway station just before the last souk arch has a fine and very filling hearty sea-food soup – fat chewy slices of squid, clams and a whole little crab. But service is perfunctory and the experience is in no way like a fairytale.

A few doors down from Chef Khalil’s is the Nubia tourist bookshop, by far the best place to buy books, a proper air-conditioned shop with helpful rather than hassling assistants and list price instead of the absurd mark-ups you get elsewhere.

Helpful?
3 Thank Bin-Derdundhat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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