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“Mustafa's Lamborghini - chaleche ride - horse carriage ride”
Review of Souks (Market)

Souks (Market)
Ranked #40 of 85 things to do in Luxor
Attraction details
Tureby, Denmark
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Mustafa's Lamborghini - chaleche ride - horse carriage ride”
Reviewed 25 January 2014

Having been on a guided cruise on the Nile for 7 days our holidays ended with a two day hotel stay on our own in Luxor. On foot down the Cornichen from Pavillion Winter Palace Hotel to Chicago House and back with a visit to the Luxor Museum we were approached with polite offers for Felucca and carriage rides with the first no accepted and one felucca captain ask if we could please recommend them for not hassling . Lunch was taken at Snack Time, the Egyptian stile fast food next to MacDonalds. We rested and had coffee in the beautiful hotel garden and decided for one last thing to do in Luxor before going home early next morning – to have a meal at the Egyptian restaurant Sofra which is walking distance from the hotel.

With the end of the last prayer of the day we were let out the backdoor of the hotel by the concierge to avoid the hassles at the front door and map-in-hand we headed for the restaurant. At a crossing we stopped to check the map and this handsome young man dressed in a clean galabia going the same direction us asked if we needed help in perfect English. When he heard where we were going he pointed 5 houses down the road. “And when you have had your dinner, I can take you for a ride in my Lamborghini” he added with a smile.
We told him no, but he asked us to think about it, it would be 20 LE and take only 30 minutes, he would take us through the fruit market and the Christian market where the locals go and he would drop us off at the front gate of the hotel; and no hassle he promised.

We had a traditional Lamb w/rice & bread dish and the most wonderful plate of cakes and mint tea for dessert (recommended by the waiter) – Sofra is definitely worth a visit.

When we came out from the restaurant the young man was still there – with his one-horse powered Lamborghini and a co-driver. He repeated his offer, and one of these very special moment occurred where you just know that you can trust the other person with your life and we decided to go.

They took us through little bazaar street where we would never have ventured on our own, not even in broad daylight, through narrow streets with shops for local people where I thought it impossible for a horse and carriage to pass. Along the tour he told us that his name was Mustafa, that he had worked the carriages for 10 years only interrupted by military service. Life had become hard after the revolution he said. Muslims and Christians have always lived peacefully together in Luxor, and still do and we all suffer when tourists cease to come, this is our only means of income, he continued. There used to be four horses for his carriage, now there was only Celina. Before the revolution she would be on the street every second or third day only and he was sad that she was no longer round.

Half way through the trip he stopped the carriage and we were let into a shop – Christian owner – where they had all kinds of things from papyrus to alabaster, pashmina scarfs to necklaces and rings. We were the only customers there and it was a bit scary at first. I see from other postings that this may have been kind of a scam that would have given Mustafa percentages had we bought anything – and we might have had we come here early on our trip. However, all things were nicely displayed, we could take all the time we needed to go through the stock and was offered 30-50% discount already when entering. Comparing the prices with what we already bought, the prices displayed seemed ok, and with the percentage offered it confirms the hardship of the local community in Luxor. We left without buying, but this shop may be worth a visit. It is in the Christian quarters next to a Papyrus museum.

Coming out of the shop Mustafa was feeding the horse, he told the kids that had gathered to leave and collect each and every little bit of food not yet eaten and we continued the trip. Two blocks from the hotel there was a road block and we decided to get off and walk the remaining 100 meters. We gave Mustafa the agreed 20 LE and 10 LE as a tip for the horse. He tried briefly to negotiate for another 20 for his co-driver saying that we had been the only customers that day, accepted the no but asked if we would please recommend his Lamborghini to our friends.

Seeing the pictures of Mustafa and his horse on a big screen when I came home, I regretted not having given more. Then and there the horse was nicely groomed and the carriage clean and speckles, but the pictures reveals a skinny horse and a hungry young man.

So if you get the chance, please catch a ride with Mustafa and his one-horse powered Lamborghini

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank Mona N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Experience better than I thought”
Reviewed 1 April 2013

After my experience in Khan el Khalil in Cairo 16 months ago I was expecting to be hassled just as much but I was very surprised. You got invited into their shop but they certainly didn't hassle you. I am not sure if it was because I had my guide Khaled with me. When I was looking for silver earrings I found they didn't really negotiate as much either. Prices were certainly up since I was in Egypt last.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Karen K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Hassle free shopping”
Reviewed 22 March 2013 via mobile

Having been hassled on the street to buy or take a Caleche ride, I was expecting more of the same in the Souk. I was pleasantly surprised as although the stall holders were calling ut to you to have a look, they politely accepted if we said La Shokran and moved on. We did not experience any hassle and had fun bartering.

Helpful?
1 Thank BirminghamKatie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Romford, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
147 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“An experience”
Reviewed 26 February 2013

This was really enjoyable. We had hassle all week walking through the street of Luxor. Although we really wanted to experience the Souk we expected it to be the same. The stall holder are calling out to you for your business but I ve got to say its very good natured and we had quite a laugh with them. Our youngest needed the toilet and we were suspicious of a man offering to take us as we thought he would want money. He explained that not everyone was after money and that it was for 'our baby', he got someone to unlock a toilet for us. We then sat at a cafe for a mint tea and soaked up the atmosphere. We really enjoyed this and would reccommendit. Go with an open mind and sense of humour and you won t go wrong.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank laura y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Tourisit versus locals Souk”
Reviewed 22 January 2013

Remember that your are expected to haggle, start at 50% of the asking price and then negotiate. For example we bought perfume in the tourist part at £8 per bottle then went to the locals part with our taxi driver and paid £2.00 a bottle. It is unsafe to go to the locals souk by yourself as there are pickpockets around.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Kay C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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