Egypt

Egypt rouses a level of mystique and awe in travelers that few nations in the world can match. An ancient country, Egypt has been a unified state for 5,000 years. While most other nations were still hunting and gathering and learning to build huts, Ancient Egypt perfected one of the most colossal structures of all time - the Pyramids of Giza - and rose out of the constant passage of time by establishing something truly amazing.

Today, Egypt tourism and Egypt travel still thrives, centering around just about every facet of vacation possible. Egypt's long history and varied geography draws visitors from all over the world seeking everything from Islamic history to golf to fishing to a day on an Egyptian beach, but by far one of the largest reasons to go to Egypt is to explore ancient Egypt, which miraculously still largely stands today in monuments throughout the country.

If you visit one city, it is likely to be Cairo given the huge amount of ancient Egypt attractions here. The Pyramids of Giza are just outside of town and in town the Egyptian Museum offers one of the best museum experiences anywhere in the world. Cairo contrasts its antiquity with such modern touches as a bustling Metro, which is a great way to get around. Many Nile cruises leave out of Cairo, offering Egypt tours to such locations as the Temple of Karnak or the Aswan Dam.

If taking a cruise up the Nile is not your thing, there are airports located in Cairo, Alexandria, Asyut, Luxor, Aswan, and Hurghada. Domestic flights are available from most of these to ferry you around the country.

Traveling in Egypt is tourist friendly as much of the economy is driven by the stream of visitors. This means that finding someone who speaks your language is probably easy in most cities and that there will always be someone or a whole service to help you get around. However, always watch out for the side industry of taking advantage of tourists. When in taxis, make sure your driver turns on the meter or agree on a price up front. It is also common for cab drivers to pick up other fares while you are still in the car. Carry smaller bills so you can pay the exact fare when you reach your destination. Bargaining is common practice in this part of the world. Expect to be given a higher price for services or purchases; most merchants will expect you to try to get a lower price.

The state religion of Egypt today is Islam so Islamic holidays are observed officially, but there are also many Christians in Egypt and so many non-Islam holidays as well. If you are concerned about Egypt holidays or closures, check with your hotel to ask what local services might observe any holidays during your visit.

With so many ancient sites and such an extensive history, Egypt is a fascinating destination. No amount of preparation or documentary watching can prepare you for your first glimpse of the Pyramid of Khufu, the Great Sphinx, or the Hypostyle Hall at the Temple of Karnak with its towering columns blocking out the light and dancing with the shadows. A warm climate and frequent sunny days will lend an extra dose of vacation aura to your journey. Be prepared for an experience unlike any other when you decide to visit Egypt and look into its ancient past.

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