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2,862 bytes added, 14:11, 31 January 2013
Around Aswan: added fresh info on philae temple just learned about an hour ago
Aswan International Airport is situated 25km SSW of the city, on the west bank and just south of the high dam. Public buses don't go to the airport and security on the approach road to the terminal is tight, so it's probably worth taking a taxi, for which you must agree a price in advance. It is possible to argue the fare down to LE25, but LE30 to LE40 is more realistic (and easier) for most foreigners.
The following airlines operate service services to Aswan International Airport: Air Memphis (to/from [[Abu Simbel]]) (VERY bad quality), Astraeus (to/from [[London]] Gatwick), EgyptAir [] (to/from [[Abu Simbel]], [[Cairo]], [[Luxor]]), Iberworld [] (to/from [[Madrid]]), and LotusAir (to/from [[Cairo]])
===By train===
[[Image:Aswan railway station street.jpg|thumb|right|Railway Station Street]]
Egypt's passenger train service runs along the Nile between [[Cairo]] and Aswan. Travel time from [[Luxor]] is around three hours on 1st/2nd class AC services. Five AC express services arrives from [[Cairo]] each day, journey time is around 13-14 hours costing 57LE for second class, 113LE first class. In addition there are two sleeper trains, departing 8PM and 9:35PM from Cairo's Ramsis station, prices starts at $60. Tickets often sells sell out so make sure you buy them a few days in advance.
The train station is on the northern end of the city centre, a few hundred metres inland from the river. Leave plenty of time to buy tickets, as the service at the counters is slow. Mini buses depart from outside the station (turn right as you exit the terminal), and there are a number of cafes and basic hotels on the blocks between the station and the river.
===By boat===
Dozens of cruise ships depart from [[Luxor]] to Aswan everyday. These can be booked through agents or at the actual ships themselves. Also a boat to Wadi Halfa in sudan Sudan departs once a week.
==Get around==
To access the sights on the river islands or on the West Bank, you will need to cross the river by motor boat or felluca. Be sure to pay attention to the price as operators try to overcharge tourists.
If you take the public ferry to the West Bank, you pay only 5LE.
* <see name="Unfinished Obelisk" alt="" address="" directions="South of Aswan" phone="" url="" hours="" price="30LE 15 LE student" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">The largest known ancient obelisk, carved directly out of bedrock. If finished it would have measured around 42m (120 feet) and would have weighed nearly 1,200 tons.</see>
* <see name="Fatimid Cemetery" alt="" address="" directions="Southern end of Aswan" phone="" url="" hours="" price="free" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">The faded former glory of the Fatimid empire can be seen on the crumbling graveyard. Across the street from unfinished Obelisk, left turn, enter from bottom of the street.</see>
* <see name="Ferial Gardens" alt="" address="" directions="Southern end of Corniche" phone="" url="" hours="" price="free" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">When you're in Aswan you'll have to walk along the Kornish Al Nile (Corniche) at least once. It is a pleasant stroll, made even more pleasant by the fact that you can walk right into the Ferial Gardens at its Southern End. They are a park that is as relaxing as it is beautiful.</see>
* <see name="Elephantine Island: Nubian Villages &amp; Aswan Museum" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Nubian villages of Siou and Koti occupy this island. Also home to the famous [[:Wikipedia:Nilometer|Nilometer]]s and the Temples of Sati, Khnum (ancient rams-head god) and Pepinakht-Heqaib. Movenpick resort is on the island. The Aswan Museum (Adult: 25LE, Student 15LE) at the southern end of the island houses items found during excavations on Elephantine Island.
Also, be careful of unsolicited tours from locals, which will result in a request for baksheesh. There is regular boat taxi to Elephantine Island run by the locals for only 2LE for one crossing but they will charge more for tourists. Put the money in the box instead of the ticket agent to avoid overpaying.</see>
* <see name="Aswan Botanical Gardens" alt="" address="" directions="On the entirety of Kitcheners Island to the west of Elephantine Island" phone="" emailurl="" hours="" price="10LE" faxlat="" urllong="" hoursemail="" pricefax="10LE">Lord Kitchener, who owned the 6.8 hectare island in the 1890's converted it to a botanical garden. Filled with birds and hundreds of plant species and palm trees. Accessible via a felucca Felucca tour.The entrance fee is</see>
* <see name="Seheyl Island" alt="" address="" directions="Just north of the old Aswan Dam" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="7AM to 4:00PM" price="65LE" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Friendly Nubian villages. Well known for its excellent beaded jewelry. Also the location of the Famine Stela. Cliff with more than 200 inscriptions from the 18th dynasty,</see>
===West Bank===
[[Image:Monastry.aswan.jpg|thumb|Desert view of the St Simeon Monastry]]
* <see name="Tombs of the Nobles" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="8AM to 4:00PM" price="Adult: 20LE30LE, Student: 10LE" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">The northern hills of the west bank are filled with the rock-hewn tombs of princes from the Old Kingdom to the Roman period. The 6th Dynasty tombs, some of which form linked family complexes, contain important biographical texts. Inside, the tombs are decorated with vivid wall paintings showing scenes of everyday life, hieroglyphic biographies and inscriptions telling of the noblemen's journeys into Africa. Most of the tombs are locked or blocked off, probably by staff looking for tips.
**Note that some locals will hang around the entrance as you climb the hill, and tell you that it's closed and you need a key. They will show you a key, implying that they can help you gain access...for a small fee. Just tell them, "no thanks....just looking", and they should leave you alone.</see>
* <see name="Kubbet el-Hawa" alt="" address="" directions="on top of the hill above the Tombs of the Nobles" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Small shrine / tomb of a local sheikh and holy man. The climb is rewarded with amazing views of Aswan, the Nile river and the surrounding landscape, richly evoked in the translation from the Arabic of the place name, "the dome of the wind'.</see>
* <see name="Mausoleum of Mohammed Shah Aga Khan" alt="" address="" directions="High up in the west bank" phone="" emailurl="" hours="" price="" faxlat="" urllong="" hoursemail="" pricefax="">Tomb of the 48th iman of the Islami Ismaili sect and his wife. Visible from the outside, although closed to the public.</see>
* <see name="Monastery of St Simeon" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="Oct to May: 8AM-4:00PM; Jun-Sep:7:00AM-5:00PM" price="Adult: 25LE, Student: 15LE">The history of the monastery of St. Simeon dates back to the 7th century, and survived long as a Christian stronghold of southern Egypt until destroyed by Saladin in 1173. While still in use it housed 300 monks, and could in addition receive up to 100 pilgrims at a time. The monastery was surrounded by a 10 metre high wall, and doubled as a fortress. Apparently, the monastery did not return to its original use after Saladin's destruction. To get here, ride a camel or walk from the Tombs of the Nobles.</see>
===Around Aswan===
* <see name="The High Dam" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" emailurl="" hours="" price="30LE" faxlat="" urllong="" hoursemail="" pricefax="20LE">Despite being a highly important piece of infrastructure, the Aswan High Dam is (to put it delicately) a bit of a letdown even for dam lovers. </see>
* <see name="Philae Temple" alt="" address="" directions="Agilkia Island" phone="" emailurl="" hours="" price="" faxlat="" urllong="" hoursemail="" pricefax="">Built to honor Isis, this was the last ancient temple built in the the classical Egyptian architectural style. Construction began in approx 690 BC. It was moved from its original location on Philae Island, to its new location on Agilkia Island, after the flooding of Lake Nasser. A major multinational UNESCO team relocated Philae, and a number of other temples that now dot the shores of Lake Nasser. You can see the submerged original island a short distance away, punctuated by the steel columns used in the moving process. Don't miss the Sound and Light show at night, see picture to the right, the least cheesy of the Sound and Light "extravaganzas". On your feet, look out for the extremely creative guards who will do all in their power to get in your photos, or to point out the hieroglpyhs that you can quite clearly see yourself, all for some baksheesh(tip)! Note also the re-use of the temple as a Christian church, with crosses carved into the older hieroglyph reliefs, and images of the Egyptian gods carefully defaced. There are grafitti dating from the 1800s. Entrance fee 50LE. Driver from town 40LE to 50LE with wait and return. 5LE for parking the car. Locals are charged 10LE for the boat ride to the island, but the boatmen will attempt to charge you 50LE per person. A reasonable price should be 50 to 100LE per boat, with wait and return included. The ticket booth is located at the entrance to the pier, which means you will have to buy your non-refundable ticket for the temple and have it torn by the ticket attendant before you can even begin haggling over the price of the boat ride. It may help to wait for other travellers to show up so you can split the boat fee. Bargain hard.</see>
* <see name="Kalabsha Temple" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Like Philae, this temple and its surrounding ruins were moved by UNESCO to save them from the floodwaters of Lake Nasser. The main temple was built to the Nubian fertility and sun god Marul during the rule of Emperor Augustus. Don't miss the Kiosk of Qirtasi and the amazing Temple of Beit al-Wali built by Ramesses II.</see>
* <see name="Abu Simbel" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" emailurl="" hours="" price="" faxlat="" urllong="" hoursemail="" pricefax="">Most people use Aswan as a base to see this fantastic temple. There is a convoy that departs at 3AM4AM, and is usually arranged by your hoteltour agent. See [[Abu Simbel]] article for more detailsdetail.Most hotels will arrange group transport for 60 to 70 LE per person</see>
* <see name="Aswan International Sculpture Park" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Sculptors from around the world exhibit their pieces here every spring for the International Sculpture Symposium. The works are all created in Aswan (on the terrace of the Basma Hotel) and when finished brought to this site and exhibited next to each other within view of the ancient quarry.</see>
* <do name="Tea with the Local Shopkeepers " alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""> You will get a fascinating insight into their daily lives, and they love to practise their English on you.</do>
* <do name="Animalia: Nature in Nubia Tours " alt="" address="Elephantine Island" directions="" phone="+20 010 545 6420 / +20 097 231 4152" email="[email protected]" fax="" url="" hours="8am - 7pm" price=""> As recommended by the Lonely Planet guidebook, Mohamed and Fatma Sobhi offer a fascinating tour of the old city's plants, birds, rocks, wild animals and sand dunes. Animalia's tour guides are fluent in English, Arabic, Spanish and French.</do>
You will generally find that Nubian handicrafts are of higher quality and better value in Aswan. All other goods will be more expensive than in [[Cairo]] due to shipping costs to Aswan and the lower tourist demand. Having said that, the Aswan souk is
* <buy name="Sharia as-Souq" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">The most charming souq in Egypt, There is far less pressure to buy than in other cities. Buy Nubian talisman, baskets, Sudanese swords, african African masks, live produce, food, fruit, vegetables, henna powder, t-shirts, perfume, spices, robes, statues.</buy>
* <eat name="Aswan Moon" alt="" address="Corniche an Nil" directions="Situated on pontoons along the Nile" phone="231 6108" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="Mezze: 4LE to 9LE; Pizza: 19Le to 25LE; Kebob: 25LE; Daoud Basha (meatballs and tomato sauce): 13LE">Decent food with cheery service. The local fish joints near the city market can be excellent -- their fish is fresh, and you can watch it cook. Don't miss the crab soup!</eat>
* <eat name="Biti Pizza" alt="" address="Midan al Mahatta" directions="Near the train station" phone="" emailurl="" hours="" price="Pizza: 36LE" faxlat="" urllong="" hoursemail="" pricefax="Pizza: 20LE">Serves fiteer, a flaky Egyptian pizza, as well as western varieties.</eat>
* <eat name="Chef Khalil" alt="" address="Sharia al Souq" directions="Near the train station" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="From 25LE to 60LE">Fresh fish restaurant, priced by weight. Small place but worth the wait.</eat>
* <eat name="Madena Restaurant" alt="" address="Sharia al souq" directions="Close to Cleopatra Hotel" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="Kofta meal: 22LE; Vegetarian meal: 15LE">Small place.</eat>
* <eat name="Nubian House" alt="" address="off Sharia al Tahrir, 1km past Nubian Museum" directions="" phone="232 6226" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="From 15LE to 22LE" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Spectacular sunset views over the first cataract. Sheesha and tea.</eat>
* <eat name="Panorama" alt="" address="Corniche an Nil" directions="" phone="231 6169" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="Dishes; 8LE to 20LE">Serves simple Egyptian stews served in clay pots, with salad, mezze, rice. All day breakfast</eat>
* <sleep name="HI International Youth Hostel" alt="" address="96 Sharia Abtal at-Tahrir" directions="" phone="230 2313" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="Dorm bed: From 9LE, Singles from 15LE">The cheapest place to stay in Aswan, but you get what you pay for.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Keylany Hotel" alt="" address="25 Sharia Keylany" directions="" phone="231 7332" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="Singles: 60LE23US$, Doubles: 75LE34US$, Triples: 90LE45US$" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Arguably the best No longer a budget hotel in Aswan. Clean and comfortable rooms. Spotless bathrooms. Internet access available for 10LE per hour, but very slow. Water sold at front desk at market price- wow. </sleep>
* <sleep name="Marwa Hotel & Hostel" alt="" address="" directions="In a small side alley off Sharia Abtal at-Tahrir" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="Dorm bed: 6LE">OK budget option if you are looking for the cheapest bed.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Niledream" alt="" address="" directions="10 minutes by motorboat south of Aswan on the west bank of Sahel Island" phone="+20 123 83 77 25 (English, Arabic), +20 115 36 25 56 / +49 172 547 47 80 (English, German)" email="[email protected] / [email protected]" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="">Mohamed Beshir's houseboat. Bed & Breakfast in three guestrooms, on request also half- or fullboard, tours and sightseeing packages, transfers for arrival/departure and all other activities are also organized</sleep>
* <sleep name="Ekadolli Nubian Guesthouse" alt="" address="" directions="20 minutes by taxi or boat from Aswan to the guesthouse, which is situated in Garb Sahel - a Nubian village on the west bank of the Nile, facing the city of Aswan overlooking the first cataract" phone="+20 1111 41 62 43 (English, Arabic)" email="[email protected] / [email protected]" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price= "Single: 20euro; Double: 30euro; Triple: 35euro; Family of four: 40euro">Half or full-board, departure/arrival transfers and boat tour packages are available upon request. Tour guides are fluent in English, French, German, Italian and Arabic.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Movenpick Resort" alt="" address="" directions="Northern end of Elephantine Island" phone="+20 97 230 34 55" email="[email protected]" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="Rates from USD160 per room per night. 7 night package with meals and massage: USD1,064 (summer) to USD1,414 (winter)">Best resort hotel in Aswan.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Old Cataract Hotel" alt="" address="" directions="Abtal El Tahrir Street" phone="+20 97/2316000" email="[email protected]" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="">'''CLOSED FOR REFUBISHMENT UNTIL SEPTEMBER 2011.''' Live it up like the aristocrats of old! Part of the Sofitel Legend chain of hotels, the Old Cataract Hotel overlooks the Nile River opposite the island of Elephantine. 123 rooms </sleep> ===Camping=== * <sleep name="Glory of Nubia Camping Island" alt="" address="" directions="In the heart of the archipelago. Can be reached by motorboat." phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax=""> On an island in Aswan’s archipelago, natural setting, panoramic view of the Nile and the hills of Aswan. The island is located ten minutes by motorboat from the main land, close to the Mausoleum of Agha Khan and 8 suitesthe Monastery of St. Simeon.</sleep>
==Stay safe==
Aswan is generally a very safe city. The locals However, do watch out for quite blatant attempts at pickpocketing in the souq. These thieves will look after approach you like a long lost brothercarrying scarves, although I hope they don't try shirts or even papyrus in one hand to sell to you, while attempting to fleece family like they go into your pockets with the other hand. The locals know this goes on, but do Tourists! Women not count on them to intervene. Also, women should avoid travelling alone if they are not comfortable with leering men, although they are all bluster. Most horse carriage drivers will not commit on the price when you arrive at your destination and you're expect to give more.
Internet access is available at Keylany Hotel and Noorhan Hotel for 10LE per hour; however, but internet speeds are very slow. Kothor Hotel has more easonably fast internet available for 5LE per hour or 10LE unlimited for your stay, internet speed was reasonable. '''NB''': As of August 2004, Aswan has had its telephone exchange upgraded and an additional "2" must now be added to old 6-digit telephone numbers..... The format for overseas callers, for example, should now be +20 97 2xxx xxx. Mobile phone numbers are unaffected by this change.
There is so much to do around the Aswan area, that time will can be an issue. The local people have been are generally very cooperative, and for a price, doors might remain opened regardless of the hour.
==Get out==
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