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Doing the 'Egypt thing'. Any advice?

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ozchick
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Postby ozchick » Sat, 29 Jan 2011 3:19 am

Barnsley wrote:It looks quite lively in Egypt at the minute, with a potential Tunisia style change of Government.

Maybe keep an eye whats going on in the next couple of weeks before booking a holiday.


Yeah you're not wrong Barnsley! I was about to make booking , pay deposit, and then I started seeing all that unrest and now...well now.....sigh.....it would only worry me. Some of my colleagues here have already booked /paid and are going and aren't worried...but I'm just gonna bide my time here a bit I reckon......
'Are you trying to tempt me because I come from the land of plenty?'

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Postby JR8 » Sat, 29 Jan 2011 5:32 am

Oz-C,

The media are going to make out the country is in flames, but it isn't. They thrive on maximum drama.

Over several years there were 'scares' that put people off Egypt but really nothing was different beyond very small isolated centres in Cairo.

For example Sharm would be suddenly half empty because of a hundred kids rioting in Cairo 1000km away.

I wouldn't change your plans. 'They're not interested in you'!

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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Sat, 29 Jan 2011 6:45 am

^^Ya, but no internet or cell phone coverage and they are rioting in the Square that is in the middle of everthing. I'd choose a vacation destination that would be a bit more... relaxing?

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Postby JR8 » Sat, 29 Jan 2011 6:59 am

But in that case I'd never have gone to any 3rd world countries.

p.s. Interesting how Egypt managed to pull the plug on the national internet so instantly. Presumably Singapore have a similar switch for if ever the people rose up against the ruling 'elites'.

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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Sat, 29 Jan 2011 7:18 am

JR8 wrote:But in that case I'd never have gone to any 3rd world countries.

p.s. Interesting how Egypt managed to pull the plug on the national internet so instantly. Presumably Singapore have a similar switch for if ever the people rose up against the ruling 'elites'.


It's not like Egypt had no internet or cell phone coverage before this happened, these conditions are imposed by the government to curtail the protests and rioting. I've travelled to plenty of 3rd world countries too, but not when my state department warned me to stay inside or my flights were cancelled.

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Postby JR8 » Sat, 29 Jan 2011 8:21 am

Mary Hatch Bailey wrote:
JR8 wrote:But in that case I'd never have gone to any 3rd world countries.

p.s. Interesting how Egypt managed to pull the plug on the national internet so instantly. Presumably Singapore have a similar switch for if ever the people rose up against the ruling 'elites'.


It's not like Egypt had no internet or cell phone coverage before this happened, these conditions are imposed by the government to curtail the protests and rioting.

I know :roll:. It interests me how a government can unplug apparently it's whole country from the internet at the 'flick of a switch'. The whole point of the internet was that such one dimensional control of a data system was not possible.


I've travelled to plenty of 3rd world countries too, but not when my state department warned me to stay inside or my flights were cancelled.

State Dept, FCO, they're alarmists. In fact I preferred the State Dept country alerts more than our own as they showed a flourish of dead-pan humour ... 'EL Salvador [advisory circa 1996] - as a foreigner you are highly likely to be car-jacked in which case it is probable you will be taken from your vehicle, robbed and then shot dead, even if you surrender'.

I'm sticking to Suffolk myself this year.



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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Sat, 29 Jan 2011 9:12 am

JR8 wrote:State Dept, FCO, they're alarmists.


Yes, but that's their job, and thank goodness they do it. It's up to us to take that information and act upon it. Ultimately it just depends on how you want to spend your money and your leisure time.

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Postby prkravi » Sat, 29 Jan 2011 3:19 pm

Not meaning to dampen your spirits, looks like this is not the right time to go there!
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/22/20110129/tt ... 02f96.html

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Sat, 29 Jan 2011 8:15 pm

Things do seem to be heating up a bit...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... ities.html

Curious to see this in the article...
'Tour operators said there were few British tourists in the capital with many more in the Red Sea resorts, such as Sharm el-Sheikh which is more than 200 miles away from the capital.

A spokesman for Thomson and First Choice holidays said: "We currently only have 27 customers staying in Cairo and our experienced resort team has been in contact with each of them. None has requested to return early."


Now I would suggest that those tour operators are not exactly pitched towards the more 'rugged' type of traveller. So it is surprising that they say that none of their customers are ready to pack it in and head home...

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Postby JR8 » Sun, 30 Jan 2011 7:05 pm

Reading the Telegraph (the British not the Assie one! :) ) the situation does not look good for holidaying outside of the Sinai region right now.

The police/army are shooting citizens dead, there is a 4pm curfew and I see the situation as more likely to deteriorate rather than improve any time soon.

Suggest waiting until things have calmed down. The plus side is if you wait until that point in time, but before the holidaying public perceive Egypt as an safe and comfortable destination again you should be able to pick up a good deal. This is what I found a couple of times in the immediate aftermath of terrorist incidents.

p.s. Have you considered flying via London and buying a package from a UK operator?

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 02 Feb 2011 11:40 pm

For the record thought I'd note that despite the apparent anarchy in Egypt I have acquaintances who just came back from diving in the Sinai this weekend with no reported problems and friends (yep more divers) going out this weekend.

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Postby Brah » Thu, 03 Feb 2011 12:48 pm

Kinda reminds me of the trip to Sihanoukville some tourists choose to do while the Khmer Rouge were still active, and those tourists were abducted.

It was at a time I really wanted to visit the general area including Sihanoukville but heeded the advice not to.

Maybe an unfair comparison but would make sense to wait a bit at the moment.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 03 Feb 2011 6:54 pm

Brah wrote:Kinda reminds me of the trip to Sihanoukville some tourists choose to do while the Khmer Rouge were still active, and those tourists were abducted.

It was at a time I really wanted to visit the general area including Sihanoukville but heeded the advice not to.

Maybe an unfair comparison but would make sense to wait a bit at the moment.


There are some parallels in that, but also some differences. Thinking about geographical isolation, take Sharm-el-sheikh for example, right at the bottom of the Sinai peninsular. It is 8hrs by good highway from Cairo, 99% of what is between is desert. There is a huge sense of isolation.

It is essentially a 'closed city' in that Egyptians cannot just roll up there without a reason. There used to be just one road in and out (there are now two), and there are police checkpoints every few miles on the roads. Sharm itself is surrounded by a Tex-Mex style steel fence to keep the Bedouin nomads out.

You'll hear it said that Sharm 'isn't Egypt', and I see the point. The other big dive towns are similar. As I said I've friends who have worked there for years and never even seen the pyramids.

p.s. I was the same as you re: Cambodia. I finally got to visit in 2009. Wow, what a place. Somewhere I've wanted visit for c.20 years now is Lebanon (Bekaa Valley etc) and Syria (the coastal Crusader castles etc). Maybe one day I will finally conclude that the time is right... :)

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 10 Feb 2011 11:26 am

On how the troubles are hitting tourism in Egypt.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/trave ... ecade.html

I hear that many hotels have mothballed themselves until the market improves. Still, even after the situation on the ground is resolved, there should be a c. 6 month window of being able to pick up absolute bargain deals...

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Postby aster » Fri, 11 Feb 2011 1:59 am

I'd choose a good 5-star hotel on an all-inclusive basis and enjoy the sun & water. Skip Cairo as a ride from Hurghada or Sharm will take you ages anyway, I did it once and to be honest could have done without the tiring journey both ways. Of course you can fly to Cairo and back, it'll be quite an experience but at least you won't be drained from hours upon hours of being stuck onboard a bus...

When there, go for the Sakkara beer, not Stella. Do the usual diving, plow through the desert in a quad, ride a camel, etc. stuff. And if you've been to Hurghada/Sharm you might want to give El Gouna a look. Very unique place.


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