Ever since the Egyptian civil war, tourism in Egypt has spiralled down significantly. As a result, the country has been hit hard financially from the lack of tourists visiting the country. But after my recent visit, I realized that now is the best time to explore Egypt, and there are three reasons why that is.
Reason #1: Popular tourist destinations are safe
The main concern many have when it comes visiting Egypt is the issue of safety. Believe it or not, when Karen, my sister and I backpacked through Egypt, not ONCE did we feel like we were in danger. The only instance where you could possibly get killed is during street crossings. Egyptian drivers operate their vehicles as if traffic rules don’t exist, coupled by the apparent lack of clearly marked crosswalks, you can imagine how chaotic and dangerous it can be for a pedestrian!
While tourist areas may be a nightmare to navigate through, don’t let the deceitful vendors discourage you from exploring Egypt. The locals, from my experience, are quite the opposite. When we boarded the local train from Cairo to Luxor, we were literally the only tourists on board. It was especially amusing because not only were we the only tourists, we are the only Asians! The Chinese, in particular, tend to travel together in huge tour buses so it was quite the rare occasion to have Chinese backpackers on board a local train.
Despite standing out as that odd Asian on the local train, we met nothing but warm, and friendly locals. These people aren’t out to squeeze more money out of you, instead, they are genuinely curious about us! They would ask us questions about our background, and our country, Canada. Some of them even had such a bright smile, it was as if seeing us on the local train is a good omen that perhaps, tourism is coming back again.
Reason #2: You can take better pictures because there’s less people
Since tourism has been impacted so severely, another great reason to visit Egypt now is the lack of line ups! Even though famous sites including the Pyramids of Giza and Abu Simbel were crawling with tourists, there were no line-ups at all. If you visit less popular sites such as the Temple of Philea, and Habu Temple, you are guaranteed to be able to take some beautiful pictures as there were barely any pesky tourists getting in your way.
During my time in Egypt, it was mostly tour buses from China that populated the main tourist spots. Not many people from the Western Hemisphere has caught on that it is safe to visit Egypt.
Reason #3: You have the advantage when it comes to bargaining
Another great reason to visit Egypt now is with so little competition, you have a greater advantage when it comes to bargaining. We managed to bargain down our camel ride from 200 Egyptian pounds per person, to 150 Egyptian pounds for Karen, my sister and I!
Since the Egyptian currency is also weaker than most Westernized countries’ currency so your money definitely goes a long way as you navigate through Egypt.
So don’t wait until everyone starts hopping back onto the Egypt bandwagon! Travel to Egypt now before hordes of tourists return. That way, you can take amazing pictures without having to deal with long lineups, plus, you get to visit amazing historical sites without putting a dent in your wallet.