DAY 1 // CairoCairo was dirty, unkept, unstable and chaotic like most of Bangkok, although far worse – and I loved it, but hated it all the same. I was expecting this as this is what Cairo is, especially with the daily and sometimes fatal protests that were going on at Tahrir Square which was literally a walk away from my accommodation, Brothers Hostel. Most people probably think downtown Cairo is physically ugly, and I agree somewhat. I see it as ugly-beautiful. The almost uniform color shades of yellow and yellowish grey of the architecture where nearly all buildings are falling apart has a certain character to it, something I have never seen in a big city. Even as a native New Yorker that has travelled to 16 countries , it took me some getting used to. The next day I visited the Egyptian Museum.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Cairo is from October to May
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
Khan El Khalili-Bazaar
Khan el-Khalili, once known as the Turkish bazaar during the Ottoman period, is now usually just called the 'Khan', and the names of it and the Muski market are often used interchangeably to mean either. Named for the great Caravansary, the market was built in 1382 by the Emir Djaharks el-Khalili in the heart of the Fatimid City. Together with the al-Muski market to the west, they comprise one of Cairo's most important shopping areas. But more than that, they represent the market tradition which established Cairo as a major center of trade, and at the Khan, one will still find foreign merchants.
With a rotating restaurant on top, the Cairo tower offers the most magnificent view of the city. Try grabbing an early morning breakfast or a late afternoon lunch there while watching a bird's eye view of the beautiful city. A symbol of modern architecture in Cairo, this monument is refreshing after vising the structures of ancient Egypt.
DAY 3 // Cairo / Tahrir SquareAnyone who’s glimpsed at the news would know about the ongoing protests and recurring violence that happened in Tahrir Square(Martyr Square) last year. As strange as it may sound, this partly intrigued me to visit Cairo and stay just a few blocks from there. I was lucky enough to have a Cairo native friend, Ehad, who has had a tent setup for the past 2 years as part of the protest camp. We went there during the afternoon and while it was busy, it was also peaceful and we enjoyed a cup of tea as I met with all his friends and fellow protesters. I never felt at unease or threatened as every single person I met inside the camp were down to earth and genuinely friendly. As time went by, I was told that I should leave as there were rumours going on that the police were prepping tear gas and things could get violent. I humbly accepted the advice and walked back to my hotel. Sure enough, later that night the protesters were tear gassed.
Reached Cairo!! Took flight from Cairo to Luxor. Once I arrived in Luxor, I proceeded for the Nile Cruise. Thereafter, I started our tour to the East Bank. I got chance to discover the Karnak Temple Complex - a vast area of temples, chapels, pylons and the Great Temple of Amun. Walked down the avenue of ram headed sphinxes that connect the Precinct of Mut, the Precinct of Amun-Re and the Luxor Temple. After lunch, spent the afternoon at leisure. Later in the evening, enjoyed dinner and a comfortable overnight stay on the cruise.
Museum of Egyptian Antiquities
Also known as the Museum of Cairo, this is where all the treasures of the Pyramids lie. It houses 27 royal mummies and artifacts collected from the tombs of two, very famous Egyptian Pharaohs, Tutenkhamen and Akhenaten. The Pyramids are just the hardbound cover of the Egyptian history book, the real matter lies here in these rooms.
The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities contains many important pieces of ancient Egyptian history. It houses the world’s largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities, and many treasures of King Tutankhamen. There are two main floors in the museum, the ground floor and the first floor. On the ground floor there is an extensive collection of papyrus and coins used in the Ancient world. Also on the ground floor are artifacts from the New Kingdom, the time period between 1550 and 1069 BC. Those items include statues, tables, and coffins .On the first floor there are artifacts from the final two dynasties of Egypt, including items from the tombs of the Pharaohs Thutmosis III, Thutmosis IV, Amenophis II,Hatshepsut, and the courtier Maiherpri, as well as many artifacts from the Valley of the Kings, in particular the material from the intact tombs of Tutankhamun .Two special rooms contain a number of mummies of Pharaohs and other royal family members of the New Kingdom.You will find the mummies of the following Pharaohs .1. Tutmosis I2. Tutmosis II3. Tutmosis III4. Tutmosis IV5. Seti I6.Amenhotep 17. Amenhotep II8. Hatshepsut9.Ramses II10 . Merenptah (Son of Ramses II)After hearing so much about these Pharaohs when I saw the 3000-4000 year old mummies I was too shocked to believe my eyes.This is surely an experience to remember.
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum or Museum of Cairo contains the world's most extensive collection of pharaonic antiquities; no visit to Egypt is complete without a trip through its galleries. The remains of many famous Pharaohs are stored in the Egyptian Museum. One of these is Pharaoh Ramses III, who was an extremely skilled warrior.
If the Pyramids speak of the ancient rulers of Egypt, the Abdeen Palace speaks of the modern rulers of Egypt. A partial Military museum, it proudly displays the gifts given to various Presidents. It was the royal residence before monarchy was abolished and now serves as the official residence of the President. This huge Palace with 500 rooms is certainly not to be missed.
Spend a day with elephants-feeding,bathing and even painting them at the elephant safari at Dera Amer, Kukas. It's adventure camp behind Amber Fort that offers fantastic elephant,camel horse and jeep safaris organized by the resident Rajput family. Indulge in the high tea at the base camp , before the elephants take you on a sunset safari across the Aravali forest.
This street is a bustling maze of alleys, lanes and narrow gullies lined with shops, restaurants, hustlers and ever persistent shopkeepers. Despite its somewhat touristy vibe, it’s still a great place to experience the true flavor of Cairo and Egypt. Everyone is rushing, laughing, screaming and yelling and though it’s pretty exhausting to wade through the sea of shops, Khan-El Kalili is the best place to hang and watch life go by. There are some wonderful traditional coffee houses serving Arabic coffee and my favorite Hibiscus tea besides the ever accompanying Sheesha. After some wandering I discovered this old and popular coffeehouse named Fishawi that served up amazing coffee along with free Sheesha, where I also made friends with some jovial minded locals.