The pyramids are living evidences of the past. They tell a lot of stories that people of this generation are so interested to know and to draw lessons from. No wonder, these monuments from the past remain to be very popular destinations to this day.
There is no question about the fabulous experiences in store for you in Egypt. Joining tours would be a savvy way to see the sights around Cairo. It will let you optimize your time in the city and keep you safe too. While things are more inexpensive in Cairo compared to other top destinations around the world, the culture is not on that will be easy for some travelers, particularly when traveling alone.
One such account was shared by Gary Arndt in the blog How to Survive a Visit to the Pyramids posted in EverythingEverywhere. He writes,
“What I am going to talk about is the physical act of visiting the pyramids. I confess right up front that my experience to the pyramids might not be representative of the experience others have had. I went on a day there were few tourists and by myself. Had I been with a group or on a day with more people, then it might have been a totally different experience. It is one of the few attractions I’ve visited where I can say it is better to go when it is crowded. This is written from my first hand experience and talking to dozens of other tourists in Egypt who had experiences similar to mine.”
Arndt talked about the reasons why his trip to the pyramids was something he would rather forget.
- Poor management of Giza pyramids: He observed that the management of the pyramids in Giza is terrible spending little basic stuffs like signs and trash cans or signs. These pyramids fare poorly to how other landmarks are managed such as Abu Simbel.
- Dealing with taxis is a nightmare: This is another great reason to join the tours. Never get in a taxi without negotiating or agreeing on the price. Move on to the next if the driver will insist that you pay more than 20-30LE (Egyptian Pounds) for a ride to Giza. “… make sure they take you directly to the entrance gate… There is a Giza stop in the Cairo subway system. It doesn’t go directly to the pyramids, but there is a mini bus you can get on at the station that will take you there … and you don’t have to worry about everything I listed above. The subway is what I should have done.”
- Brace up for what you’ll discover: “While one side of the pyramids are up against the desert, the other side is right up against a residential neighborhood.” Really quite discouraging, but you have to deal with it. Be more realistic and look forward to other experiences.
- Camel ride is a big business here. The “camel sellers” are so aggressive; they will jump into your moving taxi to make a sell. Be very careful because they will do everything just to get you on top of their camel. Don’t yourself to be sweet-talked. They have mastered price negotiation and they’re so good at engaging in small talks in any language, mainly when you are Caucasian-looking from America, Australia, UK, Germany or Netherlands.
- Watch your stuff like a hawk. A lot of people will con you; trust no one even government officials or police. Arndt explained how a police rip off 20LE from him and how an official tried to a valuable in his camera bag.
- The pyramid ground is full of vendors selling China-made trinkets. Don’t let them force you into buying. These are stuff you can buy in Cairo shops for a more reasonable price.
- Bring small bills: You don’t want these people running away with your change each time.
The Great Pyramids at Giza are ancient wonders a lot of people will want to see if they have the chance. While Arndt’s experiences were things you don’t want to experience yourself, keep an open mind about it.
Don’t keep his experiences blur your intent to visit the Great Pyramids of Egypt one day. Instead, focus on how to prepare ahead of time so you can better handle the challenges of the travel. There are tips you can gather from this post – General Travel Tips for Egypt from Ask Aladdin. The blog offers a lot of practical tips and warnings. In the end, it encourages you to visit this ancient wonder.