Relaxing in Luxor

November 12th, 2009 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

On Tuesday flew into Cairo and then did a domestic transfer to Luxor. Landing at Cairo was spectacular as you can see the desert and pyramids all around Cairo as the plane goes low.

The taxi drivers in Luxor were marginally less dishonest than those in Istanbul. In Istanbul I had one driver try to charge me 90 Turkish Lira (around NZ$80) for a 10 km trip which had cost me only 20 TL in reverse. I simply refused to pay and told him I wanted the Police as he was trying to rip me off. I finally gave him 40 TL. The next day I made a point of watching the meter every few minutes. But then another driver added 50 Lira on at the end of the trip. Again I refused and said I saw it at 30 Lira just two minutes ago so am not paying 80. The thieving bastard then said I had given him a 50 Lira note when I gave him 100.

Don’t get me wrong – loved Istanbul, but the taxi drivers are criminals.

Luxor was marginally better. The airport has a sign up telling you the cost into Luxor – around 30 Egyptian Pounds or NZ$7. The driver tried to tell me the sign meant US$30. Again I refused and we settled on US$15.

Later when heading into Luxor Temple from the hotel, I negotiated the fare in advance. He started at 50 EP and I started at 10 EP and we settled for 35 EP which was reasonable. I don’t mind a robust negotiation in advance- but I do detest meter fiddling.

Anyway staying at the Nile Palace Luxor. It is a very nice hotel, and one I would recommend.

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There is a large courtyard in the middle of the hotel where you can dien and drink, and every night they have entertainment. This is a photo of the dancing girls from my balcony.

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Some remains from the Temple of Luxor, which is in the main town. It was built over 3,000 years ago.

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The hotel swimming pool, and that is the Nile behind it. It was 30 degrees today so the water was just lovely. My only problem has been I have already read all the books I brought with me, so had to buy some more books to read while sun bathing.

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The Nile. The river is the longest in the world, going from Southern Rwanda to stretching just over 6,500 kms.

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The central courtyard area during the day.

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The sun chairs at the edge of the Nile. Very relaxing to see the many boats go past.

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15 Responses to “Relaxing in Luxor”

  1. Swiftman the infidel (329 comments) says:

    That jealous little asshole philu will be so envious.

    You have spent money on yourself when you should have been taxed and the money given to him for his illegal drugs.

    [DPF: The tax I have paid (GST, PAYE, Prov, Final etc) recently is enough to fund a few families!]

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  2. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    The secret is to have enough small change to be able to pay the actual fare in cash while getting out of the cab simultaneously telling them to go fuck themselves while they scrabble for the cash- note: have luggage out of car BEFORE HAND.

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  3. Peter2715626 (24 comments) says:

    Based on my experience, all taxi drivers in developing countries want to rip tourists off as they see them as rich bastards.

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  4. petal (706 comments) says:

    It’s that sort of confrontation with the locals that puts me off tavel to certain destinations.

    If I want to get ripped off I can just stay at home and pay my taxes ;)

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  5. Nigel (517 comments) says:

    I was once met at Ataturk airport by a driver, all good & he went off to get his car.

    That’s when the problems started, all the taxis are the same Yellow Fiats ( I think fiat, small 4 door saloons anyway ) & I the drivers all look the same, well after being in London for awhile they do. So I get in the wrong taxi, thankfully fixed within 8 miles of the airport & went back, but the real driver was a bit scared he’d lost me :).

    Maybe it was because the taxis I got were company ordered in Istanbul, but they were without fail really good value. Milan, now that is a different story.

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  6. Lance (2,716 comments) says:

    All I can say is……

    Bukshesh Bukshesh !!

    Last time I was at Cairo airport they still had the blown up plane wreckages from the last war with Israel littered around the edge of the runway. Have they moved them yet?

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  7. Sam Buchanan (501 comments) says:

    One way to avoid rip-offs in Egypt is to deal with men with beards – religious muslims aren’t supposed to haggle for a higher than reasonable price. It worked for me a couple of times when I was buying things, though I stuck to buses and trams, so I don’t know what the taxi drivers are like.

    When I was there in 1990 you only had to go a couple of blocks of the main drag and there’d be no tourists and no tourist prices.

    “Don’t get me wrong – loved Istanbul, but the taxi drivers are criminals.”
    “What do you expect? I won’t be so squeamish: most of them are Muslims. ”

    Funnily enough, in Egypt, the people I felt most threatened by, albeit ineptly, were Copts, and in Turkey,the only threatening person, also ineptly, was an Armenian.

    The latter drunkenly threatened to kill me on a train, making a throat cutting gesture and announcing that he was a “barbarian”. It took me ages to realise he wasn’t telling me he was a barber who worked shaving people.

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  8. Steve (4,591 comments) says:

    You should have taken Phool with you and left him there.
    He likes denial

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  9. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    Aah, taxi drivers…

    My general strategy is to agree on a price before you even get into the taxi. If they won’t agree up front, move on (selective deafness is a common phenomenon amongst taxi drivers in the developing world).

    You will probably still have to suffer attempts to add ‘extras’ at the end. You just need to be able to hold your ground.

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  10. Countess (150 comments) says:

    Ahhh.. totally unregulated individual businesses. No meddling government to insist on meters like Nanny state NZ.

    These people are exactly the sort business climate DPF wants for NZ. no ?

    [DPF: And that’s 20 demerits for being a fuckwit in a holiday thread. And go look at what I said. I don’t mind no meters if we negotiate price before hand. I object to them fiddling the meter – that is theft. But of course you don’t know the difference]

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  11. Manolo (14,070 comments) says:

    DPF, why did you remove my previous comment on this topic? Was it too harsh for your liking? Offensive?

    Please accept my apologies if it wasn’t you but Joris de Bres impersonating David Farrar.

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  12. Clint Heine (1,571 comments) says:

    You ask right away for the meter and dont budge! Settling for double the stated bill is just making it worst for us who will be visiting Egypt later this year… heh.

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  13. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    >>[DPF: And that’s 20 demerits for being a fuckwit in a holiday thread…]

    Thats very Zen, I’d give them 50 for messing with my holiday vibe.

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