EP006: DIY Destinations – Egypt

Table of Content

  • Episode Background
  • General Information, Holiday and Political Situation
  • Aswan
    • Transportation
    • Aswan Souk / Souq Market
    • The Tomb of the Nobles
  • Abu Simbel
  • Luxor
  • Western Desert
  • Alexandria
  • Cairo
  • Inexpensive Local Foods

Episode Background

As a little child, I dream of visiting the Great Pyramid of Giza and while researching the flight route for experiential season 1, Cairo was well connected to Ethiopia, Israel and Jordan.  Therefore, we are able to fit in the schedule to do a one week episode for Egypt.  It’s amazing within one week, I was able to cover the best of Egypt, starting from Aswan, Abu Simbel to Luxor with a train and Alexandria and finishing our trip in Cairo.  Unfortunately, due to our insurance restriction and security concern, we are not able to visit the Sinai.  But over all, I am proud to share this journey with you and you’ll be with me every step of the way, the good and bad (food poisoning).

General Information, Holiday and Political Situation

Map of Egypt
Map of Egypt
  • Electrical Outlet: 220 V / Europlug, Schuko
  • Drinking Water: DO NOT DRINK tap water without being boiled, AND filtered.  Bottle water is strongly recommended.
  • Health Advisory: Beware of extreme heat during the day and cold in the eventing, avoid visiting open attractions like Western Deserts and Giza Pyramids if you are prone to heat stroke.
  • Holidays:
    • January 7 – Christmas
    • January 25 – National Police Day
    • April 25 – Sinai Liberation Day
    • May 1 – Labour Day
    • July 23 – Revolution Day
    • October 6 – Armed Forces Day
    • April or May – Sham El Nessim (Spring Festival)
    • Islamic New Year
    • Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad
    • Eid al-Fitr – Breaking of the fast of Ramadan for 3 days
    • Eid al-Adha – Sacrifice of Abraham
  • Political Situation: Generally safe, recommend you avoid any protest and or political events


View of Aswan from the Tomb of the Nobles on the West Bank
View of Aswan from the Tomb of the Nobles on the West Bank
  • This is where we recommend you begin, Aswan is located on the banks of Nile River, has been southern Egypt’s strategic and commercial gateway since antiquity. Some of the significant archaeological sites like the Temple of Philae, on Agilkia Island near the landmark Aswan Dam can be found nearby.
    • Getting Here: The easiest way is by train and second class seats cost about $8.50 USD and takes around 14 hours (check schedule).  Alternatively you can take a bus from  Al-torjoman Station in Cairo around 17:00 and arrives at 9:30 in the morning next day.  The fastest way is by flying on a Egyptair departing frequently from Cairo for around $50 and 1 hour.  Since there is no bus from the airport to downtown, the cost of taxi typically cost $50 LE or $5.00 and little more at night, but you can always bargain.


Aswan Ferry Terminal on East Bank
Aswan Ferry Terminal on East Bank
  • Getting between east and west bank of Aswan can be done on public ferry for 1 EGP or $0.05, do not pay more
  • Most attractions be done by public bus or shared taxi or mini-van, depending on the route, the fare ranges from 1 EGP to 3 EGP.  You must stand out and raise your hand to get the driver to stop.

Aswan Local Market

Aswan Market
Aswan “Souk” or “Souq” Market
  • Each city in Egypt has a local market or referred as Souk. However, the one of Aswan is quite distinctive as it offers a huge variety of goods and products. Aswan was once an important center of the trading caravans between Africa and the Nile Valley. Commercial caravans loaded with spices, cloth, and different commodities used to land in Aswan coming from different regions in Africa.
    • Located on the East Bank, close to the public ferry stop and it begins from the train station.
    • Open late til midnight

Tomb of the Noble

Aswan Tomb of the Nobles
Aswan Tomb of the Nobles
  • The 6th Dynasty tombs, some of them are decorated with vivid wall paintings showing scenes of everyday life, hieroglyphic biographies and inscriptions telling of the noblemen’s journeys into Africa.  If you are going inside, be sure to bring a flashlight, as it is dark.
    • Located on the West Bank of the Nile

Work and Update in Progress to this Guide.