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Getting back to normal .. ?

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Leeds, UK
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Getting back to normal .. ?

Compared to a 'typical' March .... how close are we to being back to 'business as usual' in Luxor?

The last thread on this topic seemed to suggest hotels operating somewhere between a quarter and one third capacity, most local restaurants open again with full menus and normal pricing, all historic attractions open for business and pleasantly uncrowded (but with large areas of the VoK off limits) and a warm welcome for visitors from locals glad to see at least some business returning - without too much desperation added to the normal hustling for business.

Does that remain a fair summary?

Edited: 22 March 2011, 14:07
Manchester, United...
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for County Galway
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1. Re: Getting back to normal .. ?

Your main paragraph pretty much sums up my experience of ten days ago and I'm sure that it's probably pretty similar today? I spent no time in the area known as Little Britain at all (ie. south of the Old Winter Palace) so I can't say about that area specifically but the downtown areas north of the OWP and the West Bank sites were very skimpy of tourists and any 'hassle' was almost exclusively restricted to 'hi', 'welcome back', 'hello', 'have a nice day', 'welcome to a new Egypt' and other such greetings rather than any hard sell and that included the caleche drivers, felucca captains and the very smiley faced army soldiers too :-)

England
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2. Re: Getting back to normal .. ?

We arrived back from Luxor on March 18th and I would agree with the status given above. We stayed at the Nile palace, which was quiet, but not empty.

There were just a handful of people in Luxor Museum, but Luxor and Karnak Temples were pleasantly busy, but apparently far less than usual. We took advantage of a really good price of LE 550 each for a hot air balloon flight which was superb.

Isle of Wight...
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3. Re: Getting back to normal .. ?

Brit abroad's post sounds hopeful that more tourists are now visiting Luxor, on 4th March there were very few visitors at Karnak possibly about 30-40 tops, and the same at Luxor Temple. Luxor and Aswan really had hardly any tourists to speak of. Wonder if the cruise ships are now up and running a bit more (seemed to be only about 6-8 operating when we sailed from Luxor to Aswan and some of those looked empty). The Egyptians are great people and you can only wish the best for them.

London, United...
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4. Re: Getting back to normal .. ?

Brit_abroad_7,

Not wanting to 'p*ss on your parade' in any way, but just for yours and others info, the 'competative' and regular price (with not much haggling) for a hot-air balloon flightin Luxor is only 300-350LEpp.

Hopefully you were happy with what you paid, but it IS (assuming it was pp) slightly on the 'high' side (no'pun' intended)

UK
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5. Re: Getting back to normal .. ?

The VotK area which is closed is the southern bit of the wadi with Tuthmosis III's tomb at the end of it. It's apparently because there's a dig in progress in the area.

Scotland, United...
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for Luxor, Nile River Valley, Egypt
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6. Re: Getting back to normal .. ?

Supporting KV-Explorer's comments re pricing:-

In Sept '10, to maintain my exisiting insurance cover, I had to book my balloon from the UK BEFORE we travelled

We were pleasantly surprised to be charged £40 (by KUONI) for the pleasure - and then we got our normal 10% discount on the full booking by paying through our Bank's Travel Service

So, In LE, before or discount it was around 440LE and that is usually the most expensive way to book a balloon - Booking locally should be a lot less.

Just make sure your insurance is valid for doing it that way. It would have cost me another £50 to get permanent cover added to my annual policy - admittedly I would have changed companies at that point probably and got it cheaper rather than shell out the £50!

Denver
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7. Re: Getting back to normal .. ?

In Luxor 2 weeks go and would say that is an accurate description. Also was told parts of VOK was closed for restoration/excavations. Only noticed one restaurant closed (for painting and renovation work....said they were taking the slow down to do some needed upgrades. This was along the Nile). I expected the drivers, boat operators, souvenier salesmen to be all over us but they weren't. Casual "calesh....very cheap" and then no follow up when we said no. Able to haggle for prices. Only once, at the Khan al Khalili in Cairo, did anyone say they couldn't go any lower because they hadn't sold anything in weeks. Low crowds and perfect weather.

London, United...
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8. Re: Getting back to normal .. ?

Just posted a thread on my return from Luxor but I have friends out there at the moment.

Still quiet but no issues. Cruises seem to be increasing but check out the number of boats moored up if you are going out there. Never seen so many in last 8 years of holidaying in Luxor.

Sinbad if pushed will do ballon flight for 250egp. Got that last week before we came home.

Virtually everything is open as far as I can see but prices are going up in an attempt to recover lost revenue. Some as much as 20% we saw.

With regard tours we spoke to someone who spent nearly £400 on trips which we had been able to source for someone at £190 bu using the locals and not lining the pockets of the UK tour companies.

It does seem as though many people are staying in the hotels rather than going out but this is a mistake. Have heard about an isolated pick pocket attak but that is nothing new here on anywhere else in the world.

If you were hesitating on going, DON't. Now is the time to go.

Leeds, UK
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9. Re: Getting back to normal .. ?

Hi Martin ... thanks for the update.

When you say 'everything is open ... but prices up 20%' are you talking about the historic sites, restaurants, shops - or some combination of the above?

Brighton, United...
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10. Re: Getting back to normal .. ?

Arrived here on 23rd and the plane from Gatwick was full.

Luxor Temple fairly crowded yesterday but managed to spend some quality time alone with Tutankamun this morning. There were about eight tour buses in the car park.

Only 6 regular tombs open at VOK (KV11, KV8, KV2, KV15, KV14 and KV16) plus KV62 and KV6 which cost extra.

Staying in the Iberotel which is not very busy. There is still a tank parked outside. But the locals are overly friendly and can't do enough for tourists. Well for a little baksheesh of course.

Now is the ideal time to be here. Will be back to normal very soon it would seem.