Erica and Matt Chua: Egypt

Egypt’s modern history may be in the spotlight, but it’s ancient history is it’s gem.  Having given birth to the world’s first major civilization, Egypt amazes with the depth and breadth of experiences to have, places to go, and ancient wonders to see.  While the Pyramids and temples are the main attraction, the magnificent beaches of the Red Sea and chaos of Cairo add to the intrigue of this country caught somewhere between Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

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DON’T MISS: The Pyramids at Giza.  They are magnificent.
MUST SEE: The Temples of Karnak (Luxor), Luxor Temple at night, Valley of the Kings (Luxor), the marine life of the Red Sea, the Library in Alexandria and the striking temple of Abu Simbel.
MUST TASTE: GAD, Egyptian fast food…it’s delicious.  Also try koshary, all the carbs that fit in one dish…you have to taste, because it can’t be described!

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TRIP PLANNING: Two weeks provides enough to see the historic sights, but adding another week for the Red Sea will make the trip.
GETTING AROUND: The main sights of the country along the Nile, Alexandria-Cairo-Luxor-Aswan, are connected by train.  Take tours to get to far-flung sights and consider flying to the Sinai (Sharm El Sheikh or Dahab on the Red Sea).

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OUR COST PER DAY (2 ppl): $55.87
COST OF A BEER: $1-$2.50 for the local brew at restaurants and liquor stores (if you can find one).
KEY MONEY-SAVING TIP: Traveling to the main attractions independently will save you loads of money, but taking a tour to get to many relieve a lot of the hassle.

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YOU NEED TO KNOW: There is no avoiding the touts, even if you are on a fully inclusive guided tour…be prepared.
IF WE KNEW WHAT WE KNOW NOW: We wouldn’t take a first class train.  There isn’t much of a difference between first and second class other than first class costs twice as much.
HELPFUL LINKS TO LEARN MORE: The Egyptian Railways website for train schedules and booking and wikitravel for an overview of sights to see.

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WE WERE THERE FOR: 3 weeks
OUR HIGHLIGHT: Finally making it to the Pyramids, one of the main sights we wanted to see when we started our trip two years ago!
WHERE WE WENT: DahabLuxorAswanAbu SimbelEdfu, Kom OmboCairoAlexandriaPyramids of Giza
WE REGRET MISSING: The Western Desert.

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