1. I just got home from a 2 week trip to Egypt where I went to Cairo/Luxor/Sharm El Sheikh with a group of friends.
Dear god, what a mistake. If this post can deter anybody from going and spending money in this country, it served its purpose.
I’ve never been anywhere where the general population was so misogynistic and disrespectful to women.
You are completely and blatantly lied to and ripped off by everyone everywhere – regardless of how “savvy” of a traveler you think you are.
When you are not dealing with that you are battling constant food poisoning despite “playing it safe” and eating in the higher end hotels (Sofitel, Marriott, etc). The street food in Southeast Asia is safer.
The joke is truly on the tourists who choose to come here.
Want to go to the Pyramids? Prepare to get harassed and haggled into getting on a dying horse that will be beaten and whipped to keep moving.
Want to go inside the Pyramids? Prepare to be cornered and shaken down for everything in your wallet.
The same goes for Karnak and The Valley of the Kings in Luxor.
Make sure you don’t go into any corners or tight spots because the people “working” there will block you and make you pay them.
Sharm El Sheikh? If you are a diver than the red sea is beautiful, everything else including the hotel is an absolute Russian wasteland (my wife is Russian I can say this).
Think it’s cheap? Speak English and your prices are pinged to the dollar.
Even the doctor at the Sofitel in Cairo will charge you $300 USD for a covid test (costs around $80 USD everywhere else).
I consider myself a savvy traveler and I have been all over the middle east, some places better than others. This is the worst place I have ever been to and I highly recommend you pick another destination.
A real tragedy for 50% of Egyptians who are nice people, because the other 50% have ruined the country. I am a male in my 30’s.
2. I don’t think I have been anywhere as intense as Cairo. I got hassled EVERY time I was on the street, constantly without exception.
It got to the point where I started living in this reality where nothing anyone said was real and everything was a complete utter lie.
I was with my (white, western) girlfriend and I felt like I was her hired security detail just to get her from site to site. I am Asian and I am not sure if that is what caused more attention or not.
Even when I was on the street without her, I got hassled by everyone except a select few who were wearing suits.
I would say it was still worth it to see the pyramids, because they are just on another level of majestic greatness. But, it required A LOT of everything. A lot of patience.
If they didn’t have Uber (or Careem) there, I would say this place would be 100% not worth to go. I can’t even imagine having to deal with scam taxi drivers on top of the scam hustlers everywhere else.
Literally, every restaurant, every salesmen on the streets, every person approached me even to just go to the grocery store was out to get to my wallet.
If I bought beer at Drinkies in Tahir Square, EVERYONE knew what was in the black bag and desperate to get me to buy them alcohol. (I was told that yes anyone is allowed to buy alcohol but they do not want to be seen purchasing alcohol.)
I had one guy BLOCK my elevator to beg me to buy him some beer and I had to physically move him out of the way and threaten him until he backed off. That’s how far they are willing to take it.
I had TWO people use their bodies to block my Uber to the pyramids to claim a guide is required and that they were the guy to take. Yes, you read that right they got HIT by my Uber driver’s car to force him to stop!
2. If my girlfriend was more than a meter away from me, she got SURROUNDED by local Egyptian men. Hassled. Groped. The moment I reappeared, they scurried away like rats. It was truly insane.
Morocco was Disneyland compared to this. I read that **99%** of Egyptian women have been sexually harassed. If I didn’t have a little imposing size and a trained fighter, I am not sure how I would feel walking around Cairo with a woman.
Unfortunately, ‘no’ was not accepted as an answer until I forced it to be the answer – I have never in my extended experience of traveling had to resort to being physical to get hustlers to back off.
Even a proper gift shop across from the Egyptian Museum tried to lie to me and give me wrong change scam! Just shameless.
So be warned, and nothing will truly prepare you for it. You can research it like crazy, like I did, but it barely gives you a head start of what you will experience.
Over 50 countries traveled and this left me in awe of how insanely shitty a culture can be towards guests.
3. 90 Percent of the time I spent at the Pyramids was not spent enjoying the scenery, however It was spent chasing off the scammers and sales people. It is a shame that the Egyptian government doesn’t do something about it.