Egypt The Ultimate Travel Guide

Egypt, known as the cradle of human civilization, is a country filled with world wonders, giant sphinxes, and a mysterious world that has yet to be fully explored. Egyptians, in particular, do very well in tourism. Every year, millions of international visitors come to Egypt to learn about and experience the country's high-quality services.

Where is Egypt?

Egypt, also known as the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a geographically contiguous country that lies in both North Africa and Southwest Asia. As a result, Egypt is heavily influenced by neighboring cultures, most notably Greek, Arab, Roman, Persian, and several European countries. Egypt, located on the legendary Nile River, is famous for its Pyramids, ancient civilizations, and strange phenomena that cannot be explained. Pharaoh Narmer, Egypt's first king, is also credited with giving birth to Egyptian civilization as we know it today. Following his death, subsequent pharaohs continued to build the country.

Since then, created outstanding achievements in religion, agriculture, literature, art, etc.

Thus, Egypt has been the cradle of human civilization ever since. If you are a lover of exploration, discovery, or most of all, have a passion for finding solutions to the mysteries of this country, take a trip to Egypt right away. Different from the countries you have been to, Egypt promises to bring you a new and interesting feeling. If you have ever read the work "One Thousand and One Nights" by Saint-John Perse, he wrote that: "Those who have not been to Egypt are considered to have not known the world", a country with an admirable civilization.

What to prepare before the trip to Egypt?

Egypt is a pretty hot country, so what you bring is indispensable for a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, coat, scarf, paper, or wet towel. In addition, you should bring digestive aids, because sometimes the food here will not be suitable for some people. Not to mention, in some places the sanitary conditions are still not good.

Just like India or Dubai, the Egyptians love to eat greasy food, the cakes are also very sweet. They do not eat pork but mainly beef, in addition, salads, pickles, beans. The food here is also rated as nothing good, not a destination to enjoy food. You can bring dry food, fruits of all kinds.

The national language of Egypt is Arabic, but the people are still able to use English, so if you know a little English, you can use it, making the trip more smooth. However, also pretend not to know if you are being bothered by moneymakers in tourist attractions.

The best time to travel to Egypt

Egypt is a large country, characterized by a Mediterranean climate, with a climate that varies from season to season and from region to region. The average temperature of the day falls between 18-20 degrees, most months have a hot dry climate.

The highest temperature in the summer can peak at 40 degrees Celsius, but at night the temperature can drop to 0 degrees Celsius. You can base on the characteristics of each season to know when is the best time to travel to Egypt.

  • From November to February next year: This is the time when Egypt enters winter, the temperature has a difference between day and night. The average daytime temperature falls between 38-40 degrees, while in the desert it can be up to 50 degrees. At night, it can drop to 8 degrees Celsius. This is also a convenient time to travel to Egypt because the weather is quite warm.
  • From June to August: This is the hottest time in Egypt, especially in the North, the day temperature can reach 40 degrees Celsius. In addition, during these months there can also appear sandstorms, causing dust to fill the streets, traffic jams and water are also very scarce. Therefore, you should avoid traveling in these months because it is inconvenient.
  • September to November and March to May are two great time frames to travel to Egypt because the climate is quite good.

The customs and culture of the Egyptians

Egypt is known as the cradle of human civilization, they have a respectable history, dating back to the time of the ancient Pharaohs. The development of Egypt to this day is also influenced by other neighboring countries such as India and Rome. In general, the Egyptians have a rather peaceful character, polite, they attach great importance to family values, always showing the cohesion of members.

However, they also have their cultural principles. For example, in communication, you should not use your left hand to shake hands because according to the concept that the left hand is not clean, or people of the opposite sex will not be able to shake hands or contact each other. Also absolutely do not put your thumb up to the sky, for the Egyptians it is an insult to the person opposite you.

Political issues, religion is something that you should be cautious about when traveling to Egypt, and should also limit discussion about it. You will see police patrolling around structures and monuments, but do not take pictures of them without permission. You just need to ask permission, they are also very friendly with tourists.

Currency of Egypt

The currency of the Egyptians is the pound (Egyptian Pound), abbreviated as EGP. To be able to use money in Egypt, you just need to change it to USD, then convert it to EGP in Egypt. Note, remember to change a little more, because in Egypt they will rarely give you back, but it is automatically a tip. At that time, you will find change extremely useful, as it can be used for taxi rides, cleaning, camel rides, or tips for employees. As for large denominations, you should use them to pay for hotels, meals, or trains.

Regarding the monetary system, the Egyptians used coins and banknotes. With coins, there will be denominations of 25pt, 50pt, £1. As for the banknotes, or Egyptian pounds, there will be denominations of 25pt, 50pt, £1, £5, £10, £20, £50, £100, £200. You can change from USD to EGP at banks in Egypt, they usually work from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday.

Intra-city transportation

The transport system in Egypt is considered to be quite developed, so you can choose means of transport such as bus, train or taxi. There are also camel and donkey riding services to visitors at tourist attractions such as the Pyramids. Besides, if you have not had any Egypt travel experience, you can completely choose the transportation service of the tour. They will take you to the place you want, then you will be free to visit after agreeing on the price.

If you want to travel between cities and regions, the most convenient means of transport is still the bus. Otherwise, you can buy train tickets if you want to go everywhere in Egypt, the cost is also cheap. On the contrary, if you are only traveling in the city or suburbs, contacting a taxi is the most convenient means of transport. You will find taxis parked everywhere in the city, such as airports, train stations, buses.

If you're just getting around in Cairo, Uber is cheap, just give the driver cash directly and no need to use a credit card. In case, if you go out of Cairo, to visit other cities like Luxor, Aswan, you can use the Careem car booking app.

Note: In Egypt, there is also a subway system but not as developed as Hong Kong, Japan. The price for a metro ride is around 3EGP, which is extremely cheap. However, it only goes through some main lines in the city, not to tourist attractions like in some other countries. Therefore, it is still most convenient to take a taxi and bus.

The most attractive places to visit you should go

Cairo - the capital of a thousand towers of Egypt

Up to 90% of the Egyptian population is Muslim, so it is not surprising that when you come here you will see the towering spires with unique architecture. In particular, the city of Cairo with more than 1,000 mosques, known as the "capital of a thousand towers", is not wrong. The most famous among the temple systems in Cairo is the Al - Azhar temple built in 970 and the AI - Hussein temple built-in in 1154. When visiting the temples, you will get free entrance tickets and take pictures. However, it is important to note that shoes are removed and women must cover their heads.

If you have come to Cairo city, you also remember to visit the old town, where there are still remnants of ancient times. In particular, this place is also an area with a dense concentration of Islamic works associated with ancient architectures built in the 10th century. Because of such cultural beauty, Cairo's old town has also been visited. It was recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1979.

Nile River Egypt - the cradle of human civilization

Speaking of the Nile, it is known that they are the longest river in the world with a length of about 6,650km, located in North Africa, flowing through 11 countries including Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan, and Egypt.

It can be assessed that this is a very important and influential river for the countries it passes through. The Nile also contributed significantly to the development of ancient nations, thereby creating a brilliant Nile civilization. Coming to the Nile, you will feel like you have been to the source of one of the world's civilizations.

Alexandria city - interesting Egypt tourist destination

Located along the Mediterranean coast, Alexandria is known as the second city of Egypt, it is also the political, economic, cultural, and tourist center of Egypt. After visiting Cairo, the first Egyptian tourist destination that people visit is the city of Alexandria.

City of Luxor

This is the famous tourist city of Egypt, which hides the secrets of the valley of the kings, known as the world's open-air museum. Luxor also attracts guests with its magical and breathtaking scenery of deserts and rivers, ideal for trips to explore and discover. Note the famous places of Luxor so that you do not have to regret it.

Saint Catherine's Monastery

Located at the foot of Mount Sinai, the monastery Saint Catherine's Monastery is said to have been built by the emperor Justinian between 527 - 565. Right behind the monastery are giant massifs, which inadvertently create a scene magnificent for this place.

Especially since its construction until now, the monastery has never been destroyed. It is for this reason that Saint Catherine is also known as one of the oldest monasteries in the world that is still intact now.

Experiences you should try when traveling to Egypt

Come to Egypt to see belly dance performance: Belly dance in Egypt seems to have reached the stage of art, it dates back to the time of the pharaohs and is thought to have originated in Egypt.

 

Now, Belly Dance is also popular in many different countries with distinct styles such as Egypt, Arabia, Turkey, etc. You can watch the dancers perform unique belly dance performances, sexy at yachts along the banks of the Nile, where visitors can enjoy delicious food and watch skillful dances.

Ride a camel to see the Pyramids and the Sphinx: With a large area of desert, camel riding is also one of the interesting things in Egypt. Dubai is also a country famous for camel riding, but in Egypt, you will also have a different feeling.

If you have been to the country of the Pyramids once but have never ridden a camel, it is a pity. There is nothing more impressive than sitting on a strange back while watching the great work of the world. This is something that every visitor seems to want to experience once in his life.

See hot air balloons in Luxor – Egypt: Egypt is also one of the countries of hot air balloons, the colorful hot air balloons soaring into the air paint this place a peaceful and mysterious beauty. Instead of watching the hot air balloon from above, you can buy a ticket to sit on it, admire the beauty along the Nile River and many valuable monuments.

The hot air balloons will depart in the morning so that visitors can feel the first rays of the new day. It is wonderful that they will fly along the Nile from north to south, passing in your eyes the valley of the kings, the temple of Hatshepsut, the temple of Amenhotep III. From above, the beautiful landscapes of the country of the Pyramids appear one after another, the dry white deserts embracing the fertile green fields.

Overnight in the Sahara Desert in Egypt: Known as the largest desert in the world and one of the three largest deserts on Earth. With an area of more than 9 million square kilometers, covering most of North Africa, passing through countries such as Chad, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Niger, Eritrea, Sudan, Western Sahara, Mali, Tunisia, and Egypt. You can try the feeling of sleeping in a tent right on the strange and interesting white sand desert. In addition, you can come to the White Desert to experience this feeling.

You will be surprised when you witness the sun setting at the foot of the mountain, transforming into a beautiful landscape with the Milky Way appearing in front of you. For more convenience, you should book the desert tour for 2 people for about 145USD/person, including shuttle bus, lunch, BBQ dinner, campfire, and breakfast on the 2nd day.

 

 

Festivals not to be missed when traveling to Egypt

Nile River Festival: This is one of the important festivals in the life of the Egyptian people. According to a legend, once upon a time, when the husband of a goddess named Aixirong died, she had a hard time running out of tears. Those tears kept pouring out involuntarily causing floods that flooded both areas on the banks of the Nile.

 

To ease that pain, the villagers sang together, and then the smile returned to the goddess's lips. Since then, plants and trees began to sprout the first sprouts, revitalizing the lives of the people. Since then, the Egyptians each year, on June 17, often hold the Nile festival, to commemorate the goddess and pray for a good harvest.

Moulid Cultural Festival: Moulid, known as the largest cultural festival in Egypt, is held annually in the Tanta region of the Nile Delta, in memory of a god named Ahmed El-Badawi. This festival has also attracted 3 million people from all over the world, especially the Moulid festival, which also received the investment and attention of the Egyptian government.

Lantern Festival in Egypt: During the Indian fasting month of Ramadan, which is also a special ritual in Dubai, the lantern festival will also appear during this time. From the mosques, there will be bright colors, and it is also the time for various types of culture such as singing and performing. The most impressive thing is the lanterns that light up everywhere.

Those are the 3 biggest festivals in Egypt, in addition to the Sham Al Naseem festival and the Mawlid an-Nabi festival, which are also very meaningful festivals in the spiritual and religious life of the Egyptians.

What specialties should tourists eat in Egypt?

Egyptian cuisine is considered to be not too special, a bit similar to some countries like Dubai and India. However, when you have come to a certain country, you should also try some of the specialties to better understand the land itself.

  • Ful medames: Egyptians love to combine ingredients to create dishes, and Ful medames is one such dish. It is made from fava beans, mixed with spices and olive oil. If you have never experienced Egypt travel or have never tried the dishes cooked in this way, it is worth a try, they are quite delicious. Egyptians often have a preference to eat Ful medames with pita bread or eggs.

 

 

  • Koshari: During your trip to Egypt, come to Cairo, don't forget to try Koshari, it's great. It's like a mix, a clever combination of ingredients like rice, pasta, caramel, and beans. To increase the attractiveness and richness of the dish, a layer of tomato garlic sauce will be sprinkled on it.
  • Hamam Mahshi: This is a very strange dish, well worth enjoying during your Egypt trip. How to make this dish may surprise you, but the taste is extremely delicious. Pigeons are stuffed with rice or wheat, then deep-fried until golden brown. It's kind of like an Egyptian specialty, so you can find it at the entrance to the old market or the fancy restaurants.

 

  • Umm Ali is a very typical Egyptian cake, it not only has great taste but also a very new way of making. It is made from bread soaked in milk, then sprinkled with nuts such as grapes, almonds if you like. Put in the oven, wait until the top layer of the cake turns a nice golden color, it means the cake is cooked.
  • Aish Baladi: If talking about the familiar cake of the Egyptians, it must be mentioned as Aish Baladi cake. It is a cake that appears quite a lot in the main meals of the Egyptians. In particular, during a self-sufficient tour of Egypt, you will easily see it being sold a lot on snack streets.
  • Dawood Basha: The main ingredient to create this dish is minced meat, which is mixed with onions and coriander and then rolled into balls. Then, fry until golden brown and then bring to a boil with tomato sauce. In addition, people also add vegetables to make it more attractive. Finally, Egyptians often have a preference for eating rice.

Some notes about eating when traveling to Egypt you should know:

In addition to the special dishes, the food in Egypt is quite poor, so during your trip to Egypt, you should remember to pay attention to this issue. To ensure a complete trip, you need to remember a few things as follows:

  • First, most of the dishes here are made from beef, chicken, lamb, and even fish. Muslims also do not eat pork because that is the rule of religion, seafood in Egypt is also not much because most of the desert and sea are very few. In the way of cooking, people season with a lot of spices, you may feel a little sour and difficult to eat.
  • Because in Egypt, spices such as garlic and chili are not used much, so you can bring them to eat with you.

What should Egyptian tourists buy as gifts for relatives?

Antiques - "Egyptian specialties" should be bought as a gift:

If you are an antique lover, then Egypt is the ideal paradise for you to own unique antiques. Khan Khalili Bazaar Market is known as the largest ancient market in Egypt. The market sells a variety of antiques, crafted from simple to elaborate such as lanterns, decorations, or jewelry.

Wool rugs – famous for their designs and quality

Egypt is famous for its traditional knitting, when traveling to the country of the Pyramids, there is no reason why you should not buy it as a gift for your family. A delicate and sharp wool carpet created by the skillful hands of craftsmen.

Diverse colors with a variety of textures, carpet quality are very good, anti-slip, and smooth. Wool rugs are worthy of being one of the great gift items when traveling to Egypt.

Fragrance oil and frankincense

Just like Dubai, Egyptians seem to pay a lot of attention to the scent of the body, someone once said that "a day without fragrance is like a lost day". For a long time, the scents from aromatic oils and frankincense also had a certain place in the life of ancient times. For them, the scent in their hair and skin not only creates a seductive scent but also helps repel insects.

Spices – ideal to buy as gifts

The cuisine is quite similar to Dubai and India, so the spices in Egypt are also very diverse. Unlike in Southeast Asian countries, Egyptians use a lot of spices to create a unique flavor for their dishes. Dill powder, cardamom, and curry are common spices. You can also buy some spices as gifts for mothers and sisters.

Papyrus paper

If printing paper is a great invention of the world, in Egypt, Papyrus paper also has the same meaning. Papyrus is a type of papyrus, which plays an important role in the production of modern writing materials. It is called papyrus because it is made from the intestines of a plant called Papyrus, which lives a lot in the lands along the Nile Delta.

Egyptian eyeliner

It can be said that the eyeliner trend first originated in the country of the Pyramids, you can know through the image of Queen Cleopatra with mysterious black eyes. Before 1070 BC, the Egyptians knew how to use "kohl" to apply eye makeup.

Before becoming an eyeliner, kohl was an artist's brush tool. Later, people used it to decorate their eyes. It is special when both men and women in ancient Egypt could use kohl. Kohl is made of peacock feathers, manganese, iron, lead, and copper galena. When drawing eyes, they would use a sharpening stick to spread a mixture of Kohl's ingredients with oil or grease.

Statue of Bastet & Scarab

In addition to antiques, when you go to souvenir shops in Egypt, you will come across many unique statues, made of many different materials and designs. The most prominent is probably the Bastet & Scarab statue, which is the symbol of the black cat and the scarab beetle. According to the concept of the Egyptians, Baster was a god with a huge role in the ancient world. It was a woman in the form of a black cat. The presence of the Bastet statue is protection, joy, helping Egyptians get rid of evil spirits and bad spirits. And Scarab is the image of the god Ra.

You can buy Bastet & Scarab statues available at markets or souvenir shops at extremely cheap prices. The price of each statue you choose also depends on the material, for example, plaster, marble will be more expensive than plastic statues.

Khayameya

Dating back to the 1250s, Khayameya is known as a famous craft of Egypt. To create a complete Khayameya, people have worked very hard to embroider small pieces of fabric on a large cloth according to beautiful patterns. In the past, if Khayameya was mainly used as a camp for the heat of the desert sand, now it is used for many different purposes.

 

 

Khayameya makes pillows, clothing motifs, wall rugs, etc. Now, Khayameya panels havealso been mass-produced by modern fabric printing techniques, the price is also cheaper but still cannot compare because the Traditional fabric is still much thicker and more beautiful.

During your trip to Egypt, if you want to learn about this traditional craft, you can visit the Khayameya market, near the Bab Zuweila gate, in the center of Cairo. It is not difficult for you to witness with your own eyes the craftsmen knitting fabrics, threading needles to create unique products, from whole panels to pillows, carpets, decorations.

Things to note when traveling to Egypt

  • Be careful not to get an unfair tip – Before using any service, such as a horse-drawn carriage, taxi, or boat ride, you should remember to agree on the final price in advance, it is All-inclusive rates and does not include tips. Otherwise, they will also charge you a tip after you have finished using the service. If you are in trouble, take the initiative to go to the police in Egypt to ask for their support. Also absolutely do not let them carry the suitcase if you can do it yourself because that is also a way for them to "tap" your tips.
  • Don't be fooled when traveling to Egypt - The surprising growth in tourism has made Egypt one of the most exciting places in the world. From there, inadvertently create a not-so-beautiful scene in the eyes of tourists. Almost all the attractions in Egypt appear to be soliciting and begging for money, especially at the Pyramids. They come, pretend to be a guide to take you on a tour. Then do enough tricks to get your tips. Out of 100 guests, up to 100 guests will be followed, it's best to just laugh it off and don't act like you know English. Experience is to run as far as possible.
  • Avoid wearing short skirts when visiting spiritual sites - More than 90% of Egypt's population is Muslim, so they always have a rule of their own. In particular, if you are a woman, you must not wear short skirts, shorts, tank tops, or two-piece tops when entering spiritual places, especially Muslim cities. You should also not try their traditional costumes.
  • Do not give money to children - Most children in Egypt love to take pictures with tourists, but if you are unlucky you will also meet children "begging for money". If you like, you can also give them some. However, if you give 1 child, sometimes there are also a few dozen more children coming. Best, instead of giving money you can give them some candy.
  • Always have filtered water in your pocket - Despite being a country with a fairly affordable standard of living, in Egypt, drinking water bought on the street or in monuments is quite expensive. Therefore, you should buy at the grocery store or at the supermarket to avoid being hacked. In particular, there is an Egyptian travel experience you should know, that the hotel rarely offers free drinking water, so always have at least a bottle of mineral water available to drink when thirsty.

Traveling to Egypt, coming to the largest and oldest pyramid in the world is one of the biggest wishes of millions of people around the world. Along with all the information above, hopefully, you can get more useful information as well as avoid unnecessary troubles.

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