Visa requirement- many countries have on arrival visa USD 25 , prepare cash
Uber is the most reliable taxi service. At the airport, Uber pick up point is at parking area B5 or C2.
– for Uber the most easy meeting point is near hotel. For example, if you want to take a Uber, find a nearby hotel and wait for your Uber there.
Clothing must be appropriate and respect the culture
The currency used is Egyptian Pound, USD is widely accepted as well. Egyptian pound rate is better in Cairo airport than in Dubai.
Travel adapter for Egypt : For Egypt there are two associated plug types C and F. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type F is the plug which has two round pins with two earth clips on the side. Egypt operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Negative PCR Covid test is required – done within 72 hours of arrival for all except kids below 6 years old
To book for Luxor, Aswan Nile river tour, do check the availability and timing, Cruises does not run daily. You would need to take a flight or train to Aswan or Luxor for the cruise. Do note that some cruises does not includes admission fees and they can add up to be quite a bit so do your research before booking. Most does not includes wifi so it would be a good idea getting data package at the airport. Complimentary mineral water is provided in the room and tea/coffee provided over breakfast and afternoon tea. Any other drinks (soft drinks, juices and alcohol) will be at additional cost.
TIPS: If you are staying in UAE like we do, do note that many car insurance policy includes a complimentary airport pick up or drop off. Make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance and you can get a free transfer to airport. Those staying in UAE knows how expensive taxi fare is in UAE and this is definitely a steal.
Pros of travelling during COVID
Less tourist, less waiting time
Easier to book for tour, cruises due to low load and prices are competitive
Cons of travelling during COVID
Have to wear mask most of the time, can be uncomfortable
Need to factor in results of PCR test, and need to arrange for PCR test to be done prior to flying
Need to consider backup plan if tested positive and hence the need to extend the stay
Today is our final day in Egypt. Our flight is at 12pm and we need to leave the hotel by 9am to get to the airport by 10am as the Marriott Mena is considerable further to the airport from downtown.
We don’t usually opt for breakfast during our hotel stay but we would not want to miss the chance of a lifetime dining with the pyramids so we decided to go for their buffet breakfast. To be honest, the view is amazing but the breakfast are not so. We prefer the food on our cruise to be honest, it was much more superior. Marriott Mena definitely need to do some adjustment to their buffet breakfast. The selection is great but taste wise is not good.
After breakfast, we bid goodbye to pyramid and checked out after a good shower. We booked a limousine service with the airport transfer at EGP450 as there are less Uber around the area and we would not want to miss our flight.
We reach the airport and after security check, we manage to check in on time. The queue for the flight is definitely longer so we were worried that the flight was full. The cabin that we were given were pretty full but I realise the back cabin is quite empty. Emirates should have done a better job in seats arrangement, after all Covid is not all over yet.
Nevertheless we enjoyed the flight and the in flight dining was so good. We gobbled down the whole chicken beriyani ( I don’t usually do that!) and even ate the bread etc.
Upon arriving in Dubai, all passenger except kids below 11 need to do a compulsory Covid Test complimentary of the UAE. The swabbing area was effective and we are in and out in no time. After clearing custom, we got into the car we prebook with our insurance company. We get a complimentary airport transfer per year and since we have not been out of the country yet, it is our first time using it!
It is our last full day in Egypt and we have ticked all the boxes so we decided to checked in to Marriott Mena House which is located just next to The Giza Pyramid.
That morning we decided to finally have the very yummy burger and fried chicken cutlet bun for breakfast. It is within walking distance from our hotel. It is so huge and cost EGP 35 and EGP 37 respectively. Of course we did not forget to buy our favourite EGP 10 freshly squeezed orange juice.
After breakfast, we head back to hotel and checked out. Took the Uber to Marriott. We paid USD 202 for one night stay and breakfast for 2 adults and 2 kids. It was pricey in Egypt standard but we wanted it for an experience. To be honest, this hotel location is only good if you are visiting the pyramids, it is far from the city centre and with the traffic in Egypt, it is not advisable to stay here if you plan to do a lot of visiting downtown as you will be spending a lot of time on road in the traffic. We only choose to stay one night here and spend the whole day enjoying the facilities this hotel has to offer.
After checking in, we got to our room which face the swimming pool. We then spend the whole afternoon by the pool, dipping in water and having our lunch by the pool. The price of food is more expensive than other hotel and restaurants but still reasonable compared to Dubai standard. However, the food is not that tasty, I have to say our burger in the morning made from the little shops are much tastier than that of Marriott at a fraction of the price. Of course we also had a Sakara Gold in this nice weather.
The pool water is warm and the weather is just nice for a dip in the pool. It is not too hot nor too cold to our liking. I even fall asleep for a bit after lunch when the kids decided to continue playing with water.
After the swim, we went back to room. Steven took a nap while kids and me went photo shooting around the premises especially the part where we can see the pyramids. There was a garden and a restaurant that is facing the pyramids and we see a couple of our tourists taking photos there as well.
For dinner, we were pretty full and we needed to finish our instant noodle so we walked to On the Run at the petrol station to get their super good Nutella tarts and some small bites. Jaclyn didn’t want to have the instant noodles so she got herself a cheese and tomatoes sandwich. We had dinner by our balcony enjoying music from a wedding by the pool.
Flight EK 0927 departing DXB at 8.15am, arriving Cairo at 10.05am.
Pick up service by Cairo Airport Travel, price EGP 330.
Check in Intercontinental Hotels Cairo Semiramis @ AED 250 per night by the Nile River
Lunch at Coffee Plus below Cairo Tower.
It is free to enter the area to eat and take picture. Tickets only required if you plan to go up to the viewing deck. EGP 200 for non-Egyptian, same price for kids above 6 years old. Below 6 enter for free. Water is not allowed inside.
Dinner at Casa Mia, Sofitel.
Day 2 (31 March 2021)
Headed to Coptic Museum. Entrance is EGP 100 for adults and EGP 50 for students.
Lots of artefacts from Christian community in Egypt on display. Pretty nice museum to walk round.
Dinner at SeaGull Restaurants, Egyptian Seafood Grill (restaurant on boat by Nile)
Day 3 (1 April 2021)
Day trip to Museum, Sphinx and Giza booked via Viator USD 40 adult, USD 20
Picked up at 8am and back by 4pm as we are tired and did not wanted to go to the bazaar.
It is a very worth trip as it includes the general entrance to the pyramid and museum, the entrance ticket itself already cost USD 24 for each adult. The tour even includes transport pick up from hotel, traditional Egyptian lunch and a guide. As there are less tourist at the moment, we have a private guide all for ourselves.
Dinner at Sushiramis in the hotel.
Day 4 (2 April 2021)
1pm flight from Cairo to Aswan by EgyptAir.
Picked up by our dedicated tour guide at the airport. Visited High Dam and Philea Temple (via motorboat) before seamless transfer onto Sonesta St George cruise.
Onboard Sonesta St George for the next 3 nights. Paid USD 1850 for full board, accommodation (two interconnected rooms, in room jacuzzi), admission tickets, airport transfer and land transfer plus personal tour guide for 4 of us.
Day 5 (3 April 2021)
Today will be cruising the Nile, enjoying the scenery and two land tour visiting Kom Ombo and Edfu Temple (via horse carriage).
Highlight is the lunch and afternoon tea on their sundeck. Kids did a jacuzzi session too while cruising.
Egyptian dinner followed by some entertainment in the lounge.
Day 6 (4 April 2021)
Today is our last day of cruising and also final night on cruise.
Reach Luxor in the morning and started our half day tour of Valley of the Kings (EGP 240), Hatshepsut Temple (EGP 140) and Valley of the Queens (EGP 100).
Then back to cruise for lunch. Free and easy for the next half day.
Belly dancing at night on cruise.
Day 7 (5 April 2021)
After breakfast, we checked out of the cruise.
Visited Karnak and Luxor Temple.
McDonald takeaway lunch
On flight back to Cairo.
Checked in to Intercontinental Semiramis again.
Dinner at Crave at Zamalek.
Did PCR test at night (within 72 hours of our flight back to Dubai)
Day 8 (6 April 2021)
Head to Khan el-Khalili after breakfast.
Then go to Festival City Mall for lunch, movie and dinner with friend at Crave.
Day 9 (7 April 2021)
Checked out of Intercontinental Semiramis and checked in to Marriott Mena House overlooking the pyramid. Spend the afternoon by the pool and bought dinner from On The Run petrol station.
Day 10 (8 April 2021)
Breakfast in the hotel with pyramid on background
Flight back to Dubai on EK 0928 at 12.05pm.
Upon arrival, complimentary PCR test at Dubai airport.
After a good night sleep back in Intercontinental Semiramis Cairo (their beds are amazing, you have to trust me on this). And at AED 330 per night stay, I have to stay it is very worth it especially the very central location in the downtown. One can actually walk to Cairo Tower and the Egyptian Museum while staying here.
We were too lazy to go out for breakfast although I do miss the street food that we ate couple of days back, so we decided to munch some biscuits before heading to Khan el-Khalili, a local souk and bazaar tucked away in the narrow streets in the centre of Cairo. There are many mosque around the area and the bazaar is very pretty looking amidst the old architecture.
Although we did not spend much time here, but we could see that besides tourists, the local does shop here a lot especially when Ramadan is just around the corner, many locals spawned the area looking for bargain. Indeed, there are lots of bargain to be bagged here. Even when this place is popular among tourists, I find that the items sold are of reasonable price. Since we did not stay here for long, I would not be able to account for all the stalls but we did chance upon a few shops selling very reasonable priced items (with the price clearly stated on the clothing). So, we actually had a pleasant shopping experience. However, due to Covid and the lack of safety distancing in the area, plus there are not much people wearing mask so we decided to leave the place after a quick look.
As I mention earlier, Uber is easier to use when requested from a hotel or prominent location (airport, mall) but since we could not see any hotel nearby, we just try our luck calling for Uber. Luckily we still manage to get one and headed to Festival City Mall in New Cairo.
Festival City Mall is a mall by Majid Al Futtaim and it is the main developer for malls all around UAE so we are very familiar with the layout. We felt particularly at home seeing Ikea, Bounce, Magic Planet and even familiar looking foodcourt in the mall.
After having an Auntie Anne’s pretzel that did not taste as good as back home in Malaysia, we had our lunch at a Manchow Wok, a Chinese stall in the foodcourt followed by a 3D movie of Kong vs Godzilla. The 3D movie price here is very reasonable at AED 25 and it comes with a 3D glasses to takeaway! It was a nice afternoon spend and we felt like local in Cairo and less of a tourist.
After the movie, we went to carrefour to get some snacks and drinks before meeting Steven’s colleague (Ebram) for dinner at Crave. Yes, we are back to Crave again! It is located near the fountain area and we got a good spot enjoying the dancing fountain while having a nice and cosy dinner. The lotus kunafa is too sinful, very nice!
We went back to hotel to pack up as we are leaving to Marriott Mena House for our last night in Cairo. It is just next to the pyramids and the hotel have lots of area with a good view of the spectacular ancient monument.
Time flies and we have been in Egypt for a week already! Today we finish our cruise and checked out from Sonesta St George at 8am.
The crew is amazing and kids gave the cruise thumbs up!
With our luggage safely tucked in the van, we headed to Karnak Temple on the East Bank of Nile River in Luxor. It is the largest temple ever built and it is indeed spectacular with its endless columns to explore. The avenue of Sphinx leads into the courtyard of the temple where rows of huge columns spans the area. There was 2500 sphinx build and so far 1400 has been discovered. Excavation works are still ongoing, hoping to find more of the sphinx. The special feature of this sphinx is it is face of ram with lion body compared to other sphinx with human face and lion body. Further in, we can see some statues of Hatchepsut but most of them has been disfigured or destroyed by her stepson. The most magnificent features of this temple is the vast number of columns spanning the courtyard.
As the area of the temple is huge, not all the area is open for visitors. There are certain area which is closed for restoration works and we saw them rebuilding one of the statues but no photos were allowed.
After Karnak Temple, we are headed to Luxor Temple. They are not far away and are actually link by the avenue of sphinx in the ancient time. For now, we had to drive around it and not able to walk the avenue of sphinx.
Luxor Temple is just by the River Nile and also very near the Luxor train station. Once we reach, we were greeted by six large statues sitting on the entrance majestically. This temple has been build by many people over the years so we could see many different side of it. There are roman scriptures, church with painting of last supper and the disciples, mosque, and some of the pharaoh’s carving and statues. Interesting to walk around the place.
TIPS: There are usually people guarding the entrance to toilets at these attractions so prepare some EGP 1 coins and can give it to them when using the toilet.
After a quick stop at McD for our lunch takeaway, we head to airport for our flight back to Cairo. There is not much to do at the airport, one cafe and a souvenir shop at the domestic departure are and that’s basically it.
Flight back is again fully booked with close to 90% of the seats occupied.
Once back to Cairo, we tried to get Uber instead of booking limousine. The Uber costs us EGP 150 vs limousine which cost us EGP330, more than 50% off. The waiting point is at parking area B5 and C2.
Today we have booked a covid test with Pure Health (certified by Emirates for pre-flight Covid Test). It costs us EGP 368 per person for the test and we paid extra EGP 100 for the staff to come to our hotel.
It has been many days since we ate Chinese food so we decided to head to Peking @ Zamalek area. Little did we know that the traffic at 5pm is crazy. The journey usually takes 20 mins but we only reach after an hour and the worse is that the restaurant has closed down!
Luckily we met one lady who point us to this place called Crave, around 10 minutes walk. The food there is amazing! I particularly like their seafood risotto and dynamite chicken(starter). Did I mention that the food portion in Egypt is crazily huge. It doesn’t matter whether you get in cafe, or hotel restaurant. Everything is just HUGE! After 1-2 days, we have learn that ordering 2 main courses for four of us is more than enough.
After a rush dinner, we manage to head home before our covid test appointment time.
Wish us luck- hopefully tested negative and we can go back to Dubai!
This morning, we were awaken again when the ship start cruising at 5am but it was good that we were awaken before that is when we pass by the Esna Lock. This is where the ship took an elevator up or down the River Nile depending on which directions you are sailing. For us, it was going down. The ship reach the locks and enter an area where the doors are closed. Then water is pumped out and our ship saw a significant drop in altitude. Then when the level of water matches the level on the direction we are headed, the door open and we continue our sailing. It is am amazing process!
After breakfast we started our half day land tour exploring the West Bank of Luxor where we visited The Valleys of Kings (EGP 240), Hatshepsut Temple(EGP 140), and The Valleys of the Queens (EGP 100). We also stop by an Alabaster workshop, to see how they make the vase and tea light candle container. The alabaster shine amazingly under the lights showing a beautiful design, they all are each unique in their own way.
The Valley of the Kings are the resting place of the kings who used to rule Egypt. Instead of building the pyramids which is costly and take a very long time, they found a huge area of mountain/valleys with limestone that is easy to dig in (the mountain has the shapes of the pyramid). When the kings started its reign, he will choose a spot for his tomb. He then start to dig the hole and carve the walls and build the room for his tomb. As the ancient Egyptian King believes in afterlife, they also buried their personal belongings together with them in the room where their tomb is located.
There are more than 70 tombs found in the Valley of the kings and at any one time, only 6-7 tombs are open for visitors while the rest are closed for restoration, they rotate the tombs once every 5 years. To prevent crowd and in hope of preserving the colour of the drawings on the walls, each visitor is recommended to stay 10-15 mins in the tomb and tour guide are prohibited from explaining inside the tomb itself. The tickets purchased allowed each visitor to visit 3 tombs!
One of the highlight today is the Hatshepsut Temple build on the bottom of the King’s valley dedicated to Queen Hatshepsut, one of the most popular queen in Egypt. After her husband passed, she send her stepson away to be priests and reign for many years. She is the only queen that was buried in the Valley of The Kings.
As her stepson grew up, he retaliate and destroy Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple. All of her statues are destroyed and cut into pieces. What we saw today is restorated statue, and the process is still ongoing. It is a temple of three storeys and with a nice stairway leading up to it.
We then headed to the Alabaster Workshop to see how they make alabaster vase from its raw material. Each alabaster vase is unique in its own way and has its own fingerprint.
Ended the tour with a stop at Valley of the Queens. It was very obvious that this is a much less popular site compared to the Valley of the Kings. There are much less people and the tombs are practically empty and for ours to ‘enjoy’. As with all the other attractions, entrance to certain area is not included in our tour and require additional fees should we wish to enter. Usually they cost EGP 100-200 per person for this additional one but the Nefertiti Tomb here in the Valleys of the Queens actually cost EGP 1400 to enter, OMG!!! I wonder what is inside —-
We visited Queen Titi’s tomb and one of the prince’s tomb. Then went back to our boat for another buffet lunch which the kids love. I especially like the baked sweet potatoes , it is really yummy and I have second serving.
There is an optional city tour in the afternoon to see the local life at USD 35 for adult and USD 20 for kids and hot air balloon over the city at USD 90 for adults and USD 45 for children. We definitely wasn’t interested in the city tour but was considering the hot air balloon. However, the 5am wake up call and having a city tour straight after is kinda tired. Plus we need to fly back to Cairo straight after the tour so decided to give it a miss.
We spend the rest of the day chilling, blogging and having drinks on the sun deck enjoying the magnificent view of the Valley of the kings.
Dinner is served as 4 courses meal and ended the day with belly dancing performances.
Jaclyn rated the cruise satisfaction 100% and Justin 99%. They both loved the buffet, food, hospitality, good service, great room with jacuzzi, great guide with very detailed explanations. Justin only rated 99% as there is no free wifi onboard (please do not tell him that I used up his 1GB allocation :p)
After docking overnight in Aswan, the boat set sails at 5am in the morning heading to Kom Umbu Temple. Wake up call is at 7.30am and after breakfast, we head out to our first land tour at 8.30am.
Kom Ombu Temple and the crocodile museum is just by the river bank so we head out on foot. The general architecture of the temple is very similar to the Philea Temple with it’s giant carved stone on its entrance and a courtyard followed by the sacred sacrificial area. Umbu means gold so the area is famous for it’s gold mine.
This is the temple dedicated to two gods equally. The good (Horus -falcon) and evil ( Sobek-crocodile) god.
One thing to note in this site is the ancient calendar carved on its wall. The ancient Egyptian calendar is divided into 3 seasons, each seasons 4 months and each month 30 days.
Also, take a closer look at the carvings (very 3D looking) showing the clothes of the ancient Egyptian king and queen. The older kingdom were shoeless and the lady wore very thin layer of clothing showing the shape of the breast but in the newer kingdom, the king wore sandal and the lady wore thicker clothes, covering their body.
We then head back to our ship have a swim in the pool and shower while cruising to the next destination- Edfu Temple. Lunch is served on their sundeck with spectacular view.
Next stop is Edfu Temple (Horus Temple) and we reach in style via horse carriages. In this temple, there is a room which has the ingredients used to make natural essences carved on its wall. Egypt is famous for treatment of rheumatic arthritis using aromatherapeutic oil.
It also has the story of the battle of the nephew (god Horus) and his evil uncle depicted as rhinoceros.
Our land tour tour has ended and we went back to ship only to realise it is time for afternoon tea again. Love the view onboard the ship on sundeck, enjoying afternoon tea with the cool breeze blowing. After the sun has set, we went back to our cabin to freshen up before heading to our dinner served Egyptian Style.
At night there were some entertainment and we joined for a bit before heading to bed.
We took an inter-city flight from Cairo to Aswan to begin our second leg of adventure. Flight is via EgyptAir internal flight. There is complimentary 10MB wifi onboard which is good enough for some WhatsApp messages. We reach Aswan at 2.30pm to be picked up from our tour guide Honey that we had booked in advance for our 4 days 3 nights River Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor.
The cruise usually starts at 12pm with lunch followed by tour and afternoon tea, then dinner but because our flight did not reach until 2.20pm (the morning flight are fully booked) so we missed the lunch and afternoon tea. However we manage to visit the High Dam and Philea Temple which is good as most attractions in Egypt close by 4-5pm.
Our first stop at the high dam which is a huge dam that generate green energy. Lake Nesser which is the second largest manmade lake is a huge reservoir of water. There is military around the area but public are able to access part of the dam. We stop by for photo for 10 mins before heading to the old dam (British Dam) which is also where the Philea Temple is located.
Philea temple is located on an island and the current location of the temple is actually a reconstructed area as the original location of the temple is totally flooded under the water now. The stones were cut into pieces and transported to the current location. It is build during the Greek Roman period over the ancient Egyptian Temple where you can still see the remains of the red granite stone. Some of columns of the temple is still not completely done so you can see a different in designs in between the right and left hand columns leading to the temple. The whole temple’s wall is meticulously carved in pictures and symbols which all have its own meaning. It is amazing that no spot is left uncarved.
Most of the pictures depicts the Goddess of Isis and her beloved husband. As Aswan is famous for its abundance of flowers, many different flowers are also carved onto the columns. Our guide is very knowledgable on the study of the symbols and gave us good explanations.
Afterwards, we headed to a local store selling pure essence. There are many types to choose for – flower essences and aroma therapy essences. The staff patiently explained and let us try to see which one we are interested in. In the end, we went for the lotus essences at USD 45 for 125ml.
Finally it is time for us to board the cruise. It is in medieval British design with lots of paintings and wooden flooring. It was nice. We had a welcome drink before heading to our room. We got an interconnected room- one double bed in one room and two single bed in another. The big surprise is the shower, it is a combination of shower, sauna and jacuzzi, our own personal one! We were really excited to try it!
The Sonesta cruise that we opted for has four floors. The first floor consist of the dining area where three meals are served. Second level is where the lounge and reception is located . Third and fourth floor is the rooms and there is also a spa and sundeck with swimming pool.
The captain welcome us at 7.30pm with a welcome drink and a speech. That is followed by dinner at 8pm. For dinner, we get a four course meals with a starter, soup, main course and dessert followed by coffee. Any other drinks are at additional cost but it is of reasonable price.
After dinner, we can’t wait to go back to our room to try our jacuzzi and it did not disappoint.
We paid USD 1850 for a family of 4 (kids age 8,9). Price includes two rooms, full board (3 meals plus an afternoon tea), tea and coffee in room, mineral water in room, airport transfer, personal tour guide for our family during the land tour, entrance fees to all attractions, motor boat ride to Philea Temple, and horse carriages. Complimentary wifi at 1GB per person for the cruise. The only exclusions is tips for our guide, cruise staff and driver.
Today is an easy day for us and one of the most exciting one as well.
We booked a tour on Viator.com and for USD40 for adult and USD 20 for children, we got ourselves a one day tour to The Great Pyramid of Giza (includes entrance fees to the general area), Sphinx, a traditional Egyptian lunch (koshary), visit to The Egyptian Museum (includes entrance fees) and a bazaar.
At 8am in the morning, we got picked up from our hotel lobby and began our adventure at the pyramid, the first and most exciting stop to wake us up from our sleepyhead. Before heading to the pyramid, we stop by a gas station with a view of the pyramid. We went to the washroom and got ourselves some On The Run coffee and cake for snack. We ate them while enjoying the pyramid. The Nutella tart is amazing , highly recommended.
Next the driver drove us to the entrance where our tour guide purchase the tickets and we just too excited and keep snapping photos. Going into the pyramid is not included in the tour and we opted to top up EGP 100 for adults and EGP 50 for children to enter the Khafre pyramid (the middle one).
After the usual security check of our bag, we enter and our tour guide explain the history of Egypt and the pyramids. It is build on the hill and the tallest pyramid look even taller on the hill. Build in 2500BC, the Great Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu) has been standing strong for over 4000 plus year, and one could not stop and wonder how the ancient people can make such magnificent building with almost non-existence technology. The tallest pyramid used to be 146m tall and now it is only 138m as the tip broke off. It took 100,000 workers 20 years to build it. In a year, the workers work 9 months on building and the remaining 3 months was when it flooded, so that was the time where the pyramid building work was stop, and the limestone was transported to the pyramid area using the high level of river water.
The ancient Egyptian believe in the God of Ra which is the sun and since the sun rise in the east and set in the west, the kings stayed on the east of the River Nile and build their tomb on the west of River Nile.
Next to The Grand Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu), we have the son (Khafre) and grandson (Menkaure) and they are not allowed to build taller than their respective father. To make a distinction, the Khafre Pyramid has a painted top to make it look different. There is also a Sphinx next to it which has an interesting story. It was not build intentionally but rather a mistake which turns out to be amazing. That is supposed to be the site of the tomb but due to the piece of stone that was not hard enough , the tomb was moved to another site and when the pyramid was build, this piece of stone decided to be carved into a sphinx, a lion with a human head to symbolise power.
Did you know that till today, the tomb of Khufu has not been found yet. This is because his tomb was build in an upper room as compared to the other pyramid where the tomb is underground. The empty room hat Khufu build for his queen has been found in the middle of the pyramid and words are that his tomb is at the top of the pyramid. Many has tried to look but to no avail as there are many false door and since the building was not build with cement, removing blocks and stone may cause instability and the pyramid might collapse.
Entering the Khafre Pyramid was an experience. The stairs are narrow and we had to descend down before ascending to the room where the tomb is found. There is not much headroom as well and we had to bend down. There was already nothing in the tomb as the mummies has been moved to the museum but it is good to have an idea how the tomb looks like.
Next up, we had our camel ride with the three magnificent pyramids as our backdrop! It is not our first time riding a camel but definitely one of the most unforgettable experience.
Next to the Sphinx there was a temple where the mummification process is made. I think the temple has a more interesting story as that is where the mummies are made. Although the exact process was not known but here is what our tour guide told us. The deceased body was clean with lotus oil (which is one of the scared flower in Egypt, you can see them a lot in the statue and inscription), then the organ is removed except the heart because they believe in afterlife and that your heart determine if you will be going to a good afterlife. Next the body is rub with lots of salts to remove the water and then wrap in many layers of clothes and kept in layers after layers of coffin. The male coffin consists of four layers while the female three layers. Each layer is carefully designed and look different. We saw one mummies in the museum and it was very much well preserved. The facial features are still maintained and even the hair is intact. It is indeed an amazing technique that no one to date able to figure out exactly what is used.
After leaving the pyramids, we headed to a papyrus making shop where we saw real papyrus tree and get an idea how paper was made in ancient days.
For lunch, we had a choice of shawarma and koshary. We had too much shawarma back in Dubai so we decided to try koshary. It is a very traditional Egyptian meal that is a mix of Italian, Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is made out of rice, pasta and lentil, served with tomato and garlic vinegar sauce, topped with chickpeas and fried onion. I have to say it tasted amazing! We loved it and glad to have an Egyptian twist to our meals here.
Next, we braced the traffic and reach The Egyptian Museum. I am not sure if I would count ourselves lucky or unlucky. There is a big event going on in a couple of days so the royal mummies has been removed from the collections to prepare for their transport to the new Egyptian Civilisation Museum so we did not manage to see the mummies but because of the move , a collection of special cars has been made for the transport and they are all parked outside the museum so we were able to see those cars up-close and that might not be possible during the procession as many would be rushing to the streets to catch a glimpse of the mummies’s car.
The Egyptian Museum is huge and our tour guide spend time explaining to us many of the history behind the signifiant exhibits and pointed to us many of the details that we would not notice otherwise.
I did not know that the pharaoh wore a fake beard and they has always made them in their statue. The are many kingdom of the pharaoh and each of them has different inscription in their coffin. One even had a goddess protecting him at the cover of his coffin. The Coffin are all made according to their face so that in afterlife, their soul would come back to search for their body. Khufre King had a falcon holding its head in its statue and that make the head strong and well preserved, you can see that at the EGP 10 pounds money.
Another highlight in the museum is this amazing statue with an almost real eyes (made from gemstones). It is the picture on the EGP200 note! The real statue is amazingly real!
We ended the night with a cold Sakara Gold beer before leaving Cairo, heading to Aswan tomorrow for our second leg of adventure!