Unexpected Egypt travel blog


Ok, Hurghada - Hurghada is a joyless tourist town situated on the Red Sea coast. It was initially a small fishing village, but is now a cut-price destination for package tours, mostly from Middle and Eastern Europe.

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The town is full of tourists, who come to this part of the world for the cheap accommodation and proximity to the beaches and dive sites. Consequently, there are lots of noisy, relatively wealthy tourists wandering around town wearing little more than sunburn, drinking and generally being annoying. Strangely enough, this tends to offend the locals, who cover their distaste with a thin veneer of hospitality as the tourist dollar is the life blood of the town. There are also the most aggressive and persistent touts in Egypt, plying everything from souvenirs to trips on the reef to drugs.

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We spent our only full day in Hurghada out in a boat on the reef - one of the more than 1000 boats that congregate daily in that part of the red sea. Whilst seeing the reef fish was delightful, the obvious degradation to the reef from the effects of mass tourism is as obvious as it is depressing.

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After Hurghada, we flew across the red sea and spent a day in Sharm El Sheik. Sharm El Sheik is exactly the same as Hurghada, except this town was completely designed for tourists, with locals bussed in, and is slightly more expensive.

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If you go to Egypt, don't go to either of these places!

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P.S. if you are a tourist in either of these places, remember that undies are NOT togs - this is a Muslim country for godsake - wear something appropriate!!!

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