It was July 2005 and I was extremely thrilled to visit the land of mummies and pyramids!
I was a history student in my secondary school days and I took particular interest in Ancient History. I remembered being fascinated by all the myths and legends of Ancient Egypt and their Gods.
I never imagined myself to be able to set foot on this mysterious land so soon, walking like an Egyptian!
My friend and I were walking around some travel agencies in Chinatown and stumbled upon this great deal – 10 Days Egypt at only S$1,599! The travel agent – Universal Travels – is highly dependable upon for exotic destinations.
July was hot in Egypt. However, it was rather windy. Hence, we were able to withstand the hot and dry weather (nothing beats hot and humid Singapore!).
The first temple I visited was Temple of Karnak in Luxor. It was hard to imagine how this expansive temple was being built back in those times where you could only rely on human labour and simple tools.
There were a lot of irritating Egyptian men trying to make money by ‘photobombing’ your pictures, or trying to take pictures with you and asked you for a fee after the photograph was taken. I was really annoyed with these people. Avoid them at all costs!
The Temple of Hatshepsut was rather grand, taking into consideration that she was the first female pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. Some of the paint on the statues were still quite fresh. Our tour guide told us of a massacre that took place in 1997 causing a lot of tourists and few locals who got wounded and died.
The Valley of Kings is another fascinating spot to visit, though all the tombs were now empty, and the artifacts were on display at the Egyptian Museum.
I am a Chinese born and bred in Singapore, but I am very ashamed of what the Chinese from Mainland China is doing to give all Chinese a bad name around the world. When I was in Egypt, I saw hordes of mainland Chinese who were so crude in their behavour I wish they could be deported and barred from travelling!
When we were visiting the temples, I overhead this mainland Chinese tourist say to another “Our history is as rich as theirs! Look at how far we’ve progressed! Egypt is still a third world country! All they have are rocks and stones! What’s so fascinating about this?”
When there were signs that require tourists not to touch the walls of the tombs or temples, the mainland Chinese would ignore and continue to do so. Even if you tell them nicely in Mandarin, they would pretend they don’t understand and continued to touch the walls or trying to rub the paint off.
Also, the “no flash photography” sign does not seem to work on mainland Chinese as well. They would take a million pictures with their flashes on!
Is this progress? Don’t kid yourselves! We feel the discrimination when we travel because of your mindless acts :
Moving on, we visited the Colossi of Memnon – two massive statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III – which were quite badly damaged. The guide told us a story about sounds coming out from these statues which made people think that they were haunted. However,those sounds were generated probably due to the wind.
We boarded a ferry where we will continue our journey down the River Nile. There were many activities on board the ferry. There were belly dances, sufi dances, magic shows, etc… It’s like your Royal Caribbean minus the grand fanfare.
Sail along with me for my adventures in Egypt!