The Southern Egyptian City of Aswan.
You can get a car and driver from Luxor to Aswan - the route is completely open with no convoy type controls in place. There are also Egyptian Railway services from
Cairo via Luxor to Aswan but foreigners can only travel on a few specific trains so this may not be too flexible and it's not much cheaper than flying
(Government Monopoly thrives in Egypt). Anyway most of the trains go at night and certainly in our case we would like to see the countryside along the River Nile as part of our trip.
Aswan really is a very pleasant city to stay in for a few days or for an even longer holiday.Quite apart from the fact that Aswan is conveniently located near enough for various sightseeing excursions and day trips to ancient
sites such as Abu Simbel
, the Temples of Kom Ombo and Edfu, the River Nile is beautiful and scenic as it passes through the city. There is not a great deal of hassle
from beggars and/or locals touting for your business and it's not bombed out with lots of traffic and noise - a welcome relief after a few days stay in Cairo for instance.
Even the air quality is pretty good - something not apparent in most of Egypt's cities unfortunately.
Money Exchange/ATMs in Aswan Egypt. There are ATMs along the Corniche el Nile at the Arab African International Bank, MISR bank and the
National Bank of Egypt - plus one inside Aswan Airport. Quite a few of the better hotels have money exchange facilities and you can also change currency at
the Thomas Cook travel agency which is located at 59 Abtal El Tahrir St., (Isis Island ferry end of El Corniche). It's worth noting that the exchange rates on
offer in Aswan are pretty much "market" rates rather than "tourist" rates (this was true in Cairo as well) and a much better rate than that on offer at Heathrow for instance.
Aswan Hotels. There are a variety of hotels in Aswan - some really cheap and they look it - however hotels are considerably less expensive than those
found in Cairo for instance. For around LE450 a night you can get a nice room (2 people) with a Nile View and with breakfast thrown in - we stayed on Isis Island and found it really good.
Peaceful of course as the hotel is all that's on the island and did they ever have a really good breakfast there - especially the made to order omelettes. As with all hotels you should avoid any type of room service requests or touch the contents of the mini-fridge.
Aswan Egypt - Eating Out - cafes/restaurants in Aswan.
We had not booked evening meals at our hotel so we had to find sustenance in the City - for once in Egypt this was
not a real problem. There are several to chose from - fairly basic places most of which were floating on barges/pontoons on the Nile itself - but the food was good and quite
inexpensive. We tried these which are situated along the Kornaish:
Aswan Panaroma (excellent rice pudding but no alcohol and closes at 9 p.m.), Emy, Aswan Moon and the Salah al - Din which serves beers and probably offered the best food of the above.
Go along the Kornaish and then turn into Sharia Abu Zid road (next to the Bank Of Misra) and a little way up the road and having passed to roads on the left
you will find on the left El-Masry. This quite basic restaurant offers variously priced fixed menus - starters, bread, soup, main dish with rice and a vegetable
dish, a desert and Egyptian coffee. This works best if there are 4 or more of you because you then get more variety of vegetables etc and can share it around.
Typical price for 4 people was around LE200 including a soft drink each - no alcohol was served.
Markets in Aswan. Aswan's 2km long Souk (market) is situated on the Sad Zahglol street which runs parallel with the Kornaish El Nile
main road. The market opens for business during the afternoon but really gets going in the evening when it's a really colourful and very busy scene. As with
many large Egyptian markets the various types of items for sale are split into sections - for instance you get a spice area, food, fruit and veg, clothing, suitcases and bags, souvenirs, gold
jewellery and then silver etc. Although you are not hassled by the traders expect to be constantly approached by the shop owners to look inside their shops stalls. This applies particularly around the Souk's spice area - where the aromas are incredible - you often will be asked to go into the shops and try and identify various spices and so on.
The owners of the shops are of course convinced that they will subsequently succeed in selling you something - it's all done with lots of smiles and part of the scene of course.
- These are some of our items about Egypt which may be of interest:
- Aswan local tours and sightseeing trips.
- Aswan sightseeing and touring, visiting Tombs, Temple of Philae, Lake Nasser, temples and Aswan High Dam - with photos.
- Cairo Holiday, Sightseeing and Photos Guide
- About visiting Cairo, the airport, taxis, getting around, sightseeing, staying alive on the roads, eating in Cairo.
- Luxor Egypt Holiday and Sightseeing Guide and Photos
- Luxor is the starting point to see some of the world's most amazing archaeological sites and lots to see.
- Egypt touring and travel guides and Photos Our Home Page - shows all of our topics about Egypt.
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