Yesterday, I more or less made the decision to visit Egypt. On reading a little bit about the country I found that touts can be an annoyance. I recalled my visit to Sri Lanka, when I couldn’t go on the beach without being approached or enter a church without someone deciding that they were going to be my guide. There were days that I managed to escape them, including the day that I never saw a white person, but these touts, who were sometimes aggressive, spoilt my holiday. Touting does occur in other countries that I have visited, such as Greece, the Philippenes and Thailand (and once in Scotland), but not to the same same extent.

Answers only from people who have first hand experience of Egypt. How does touting in Egypt compare with other countries? Is it going to be such an annoyance as to spoil my holiday?
Thanks for both of those replies. I did use "f… off" a couple of times in Sri Lanka, both times it caused offence. In fact, in one village the touts would yell abuse at me as I walked down the street but that was compensated for as I made a very good friend in that village.

I don’t remember must hassle when I visited the Colliseum in Rome. Keep walking, I agree, but sometimes you don’t want to.

How annoying are touts in Egypt for independent travellers?
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4 thoughts on “How annoying are touts in Egypt for independent travellers?

  • September 29, 2010 at 7:37 pm
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    I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit such an amazing country because of this. There are plenty of people who approach you for business, but you just state very clearly you don’t need their help or want to buy what they have and keep going. I must admit I got a little annoyed myself a few times, and told a few people to ‘f’ off, but generally you wave them off and say "imshee" or ‘Laha Imshee" and they know you mean no. The main request I found throughout Egypt wasn’t touts to act as guides, but for me to buy scarabs from people everywhere. The scarab is a beetle which is a prominent symbol in ancient Egypt, and everywhere you go people have handmade versions of different qualities for you to buy. I had to laugh when I was taking a donkey ride near the Valley of the Kings, and we rode up over a mountain to another monument. It was a long ride in the middle of the desert, and out of nowhere a man popped up on the side of the track and said "Do you want to buy a scarab" in his Egyptian accent,; it was a priceless and funny moment that I will always remember when thinking back to my travels there.
    Egypt was my first big overseas trip though, and I know I would be more seasoned and wiser if I went back. On my first day there my girlfriend and I had another incident that I would avoid again. As we walked along the road a chap started walking along beside us saying "hello, welcome to Egypt" and we thought he was just being friendly, but then he told us how he owned a company that made perfumes, and would we like to go to his shop nearby with him and sample some, and naively we went with him and spent about half an hour sipping tea and smelling perfumes, but when he wanted us to buy some, we told him truthfully that we only had travellers cheques on us and we would have to go to a bank and cash some.(We’d only arrived in the country 2 hours before). He didn’t believe us that we had no cash, and got really angry and half a dozen blokes started yelling at us and kicked us out of the shop. Just make sure you get some cash at the airport before you get into the city in case you come across a similar situation. All in all, it is a fantastic place, and if you’re aware of the customs and buying/selling rituals you’ll be prepared and know what you’re doing. Make sure you go to Luxor, for the Valley of the Kings, but also for Karnak Temple. The sound and light show there is fantastic and I thought it was the best temple I saw.

  • September 29, 2010 at 7:37 pm
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    Touting is a bit of an annoyance in Egypt, but let it ruin your holiday??? Come on……relax! It’s all part of the experience.
    They are pretty pain in the butt around the pyramids and sphinx, but as with most other countries, if you don’t react whatsoever to them and JUST KEEP WALKING then they are not a problem. The trick is just don’t even slow down – pretend you don’t speak English (which is what most of them will try to speak to you) – and get on with your trip. They’re on par with say, around the Colusseum in Rome, or the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
    You need to forget about the touts, concentrate on the amazing scenery that this country has to offer, and get over it!
    Egypt is awesome, regardless of the touts……
    Don’t get on any camels at all, or take a photo with one in!! Enjoy.

  • September 29, 2010 at 7:37 pm
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    They are annoying, but if you just aggressively tell them no and make it clear you won’t be taking any poo they will go away. It’s easier to get them off if you are a man. 🙂

  • September 29, 2010 at 7:37 pm
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    oh you must visit Egypt and you get this in all countries wear your sun glasses avoid eye contact and be adamant that you say no thank you keep on walking and reach your destination but do visit this amazing country and enjoy

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