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"Hassle factor" if going without a guide to VOK?

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Minneapolis...
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"Hassle factor" if going without a guide to VOK?

I'm contemplating just hiring a car/driver for our half day to the Valley of the Kings & Hatshepsut since I understand that the guides can not accompany you into the temples.

That being said:

a) Will not having a guide invite all sort of uninviting touting/self proclaimed guides/sales/camel drivers harassing us?

b) Without a guide, is it difficult to find our way to the various tombs? Or will we be wandering around in circles?

Thanks.

Gloucester, United...
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1. Re: "Hassle factor" if going without a guide to VOK?

To be honest, there are always going to be the vendors and the like offering you whatever. But I don't think it is that bad, a le Shukran (no thanks) will do the trick.

As for finding your way to the tombs, in the VOKs, there are plenty of signposts and other signs pointing the way, so no problems there. The taxi driver will drop you off at the relevant sights, so again there really is no problem there either.

As to if you should have a guide or not, well that is your choice. I would opt for a good guide book and do things at my own pace and see what I like without all the hassle of a guide. A guide in Luxor will cost anything from about 100le to 150le (£11-£16 or $16-$24), depending on where and what you want to see, that in my opinion is about the price for a decent guide book.

Edited: 24 January 2011, 21:14
Bedfordshire
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2. Re: "Hassle factor" if going without a guide to VOK?

VOK is one of the few places where it is easy to look round without a guide. I have been there 4 times now and have had no hassle as all. It would be good to look at the

http://www.thebanmappingproject.com/

to get an idea of the tomb layout. We were also given little maps on our last visit by officials at the entrance before we bought our tickets. He marked on the paper the tombs that were open.

To get your tickets walk through the reception building and the ticket hut is outside on the right, next to that is another hut selling tickets for the tuff tuff train up to the valley. If you want to buy extra tickets there is another hut up in the valley.

I haven't been to Hatshepsut for years but would assume you would be fine going that alone.

Phil

The Scottish Borders
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3. Re: "Hassle factor" if going without a guide to VOK?

Hi Spahkee,

Yes, you are right the guides cannot accompany you into the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, they normally either give their talk outside the tomb or in the shelter, sometimes using picture postcards for anything interesting you can see within the tomb.

There are a few hawkers who are in the valley, they sell postcards, maps, thin books on the valley, ornaments, etc. however the Tourist Police do try to chase them away, if they do approach you and you have no interest in what they are selling, hold up your hand say "shukran" then make that the end of the conversation!!!! It's not like the pyramids, there are no camel drivers who come up and hassle you too. There is also a bazzar i.e. row of shops selling scarves, ornaments etc when you exit the valley, salesmen here can be persistent, if you don't want to buy anything, don't make eye contact, keep your head down and keep walking, if anyone places a scarf or tunic on your shoulder, take it off, put it on the ground and keep walking unless of course you do want to consider buying it :-)

The tombs are all well signposted outside with information about the tomb and a small plan - see following picture …webshots.com/photo/2601512550102163115TOrfrb but you could always print out and take this map with you which will show you where they all are planetware.com/i/…valley-of-kings-map.jpg another good website to use is www.thebanmappingproject.com

Suzie :-)

Edited: 24 January 2011, 21:21
Minneapolis...
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4. Re: "Hassle factor" if going without a guide to VOK?

Wow - thanks for the very speedy replies. I feel much more comfortable then just hiring a car/driver. Very much appreciate your advise.

Would the same apply for the Karnak & Luxor temples - where we can pretty much walk without a lot of hassles? Or should we hire "protection" in the guise of a guide - it's not a bad idea but we enjoy roaming around with a good guidebook and occasionally eavesdropping - we're basically getting a guide for the Pyramids precisely to avoid the touting and hassle - sad, but true....

The Scottish Borders
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5. Re: "Hassle factor" if going without a guide to VOK?

Yes it's just as easy to get round Luxor and Karnak Temples without a guide - you definitely don't need one for protection purposes - only if you want the extra knowledge which a guide can provide.

Hope this helps,

Suzie :-)

England, United...
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6. Re: "Hassle factor" if going without a guide to VOK?

I think from what you've said you will be absolutely find roaming Luxor and Karnak Temple alone. If it was a case of having a guide for just one of them then perhaps Karnak would be the one to consider because it is so big - but do some homework first to make sure you are then shown anything specific you want to see, especially in the outer areas.

I wouldn't bother with a guide for the Valley of the Kings, which is well sign posted anyway, or Hatchepsut Temple. The 'hassle factor' is really only likely to take place as you walk past the bazaar on the way out at VofK and that needn't be nightmare.

Staffordshire...
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7. Re: "Hassle factor" if going without a guide to VOK?

The upside of VoK without a guide is that you choose which of the open tombs you want to see, and at your own pace. The downside is that you might get hassled by the individual tomb guardians, although most are not too bad. One or two of them are quite persistent.

Bedfordshire
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8. Re: "Hassle factor" if going without a guide to VOK?

You still have to be careful even with a guide, sometimes they will not protect you, some guides get money back from the vendors so if they con you out of a lot of money they will get more. Our friends went to Cairo in December, they were with us in Luxor and did a day trip, and got ripped off 3 times. But they still had lots of praise for their guide. One was a 50piasta note instead of 50LE note in her change. Another was someone giving her something as a gift then grabbing her purse and taking money out. The third was giving someone in the restaurant 100LE for drinks and then not coming back to give her change. The problem was they were old and vulnerable and I would have hoped the guide would have looked after them better. They did say it didn't spoil the day though.

Phil

Philadelphia
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9. Re: "Hassle factor" if going without a guide to VOK?

A few practical tips:

Obviously, you know to wear a hat & have water. I would strongly advise bringing some toilet paper with you.

Cameras are not permitted in VOK.

Royston
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10. Re: "Hassle factor" if going without a guide to VOK?

And pack hand cleaner gel, you might find soap a bit rare too :)

Or wipes.

Edited: 25 January 2011, 07:45