"Two-Thirds of Egypt's Ruins are Here" Top 5 Page for this destination Luxor by atufft

Luxor Travel Guide: 1,615 reviews and 4,398 photos

Luxor Temple and Karnak on the East Bank

We choose our hotel on walk-in during the winter high season, confirming my belief that if any place can handle tourists in large numbers, Luxor is it. I walked to visit Luxor Temple in the late afternoon and left when it was closed, and the entrance lit up for the night. In the morning, we walked down to Karnak. Karnak and Luxor Temple were once connected by an avenue lined by sphinx statues, but the city has covered over most of this (see image). Scattered parks and a mosque block the route. We spent most of the day at Karnak browsing the many temples which make up the metropolis of stone ruins.

Photographic Note: The images used here were scanned from film positives, and until recently were color accurate. But, VT apparently has updated it's system to automatically "correct" images, and so as a result some images in this portfolio are too dark or full of color errors. If you want this fixed, please talk to G. These photos once looked great.

The West Bank

Our hotel directed us to walk south to catch the ferry, but we could have just as easily in walked north to catch the worker ferry that runs even more frequently across the Nile. The tourist ferry leaves passengers off at a place where everyone must compete to get a taxi for the drive to Valley of the Kings. Buses and taxis raced along the ribbon of asphalt to get started early. We paid for the visit of at least four tombs, but later came back to buy more tomb tickets. At any given time, some of the tombs are closed for restoration work. Many people miss the outlying monuments, such as Medinet Habu, a personal favorite for it's excellent preservation and color remains.

West Bank Minor Sites Provide Best Tour

My personal favorites on the West Bank include Dier al Medina, or Valley of the Artisans, where the colors in the tombs of Sennedjen, Inherka, and Sennefer were as fresh and bright as if they were painted this year. The agricultural scene in Sennedjen's tomb, for example, is not that far different from the work being done in West Bank farms today. So, besides the freshness of color, the artistry of these minor tombs were more real and connected with the reality of their day. Contrary to popular Judeo-Christian belief, the great works in Egypt were not built by slaves! Rather, the elite artists were the creative upper class that was able to escape the drudgery of work in the fields. These people had real romantic love and family life, which is clearly communicated by the artwork on these tombs. Moreover, the Egyptians were apparently a multiracial people where black princes married white princesses. So much for the Aryan myth.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Perhaps the World's Best Collection of Antiquities
  • Cons:Tourism in Valley of the Kings is Annoying
  • In a nutshell:Luxor is one of those places that all tourists must visit in their lifetime
  • Intro Updated Jan 12, 2013
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Reviews (47)

Comments (21)

  • xaver's Profile Photo
    Jan 9, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    great page, thus time could just do Cairo and Alexandria, should visit the south next time.

    • atufft's Profile Photo
      Jan 9, 2013 at 4:57 PM

      I've been trying to push Giampiero into fixing some of the images. I visited Egypt in 1997, and I have scanned images from the 1950's on my Giza page. So, with the new system we are experiencing problems...But, Egypt is still there for eternity to visit :-)

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    Got to see King Tut show at Seattle Center last month, but of course it would be nothing like seeing these places it context.

    • atufft's Profile Photo
      Jan 8, 2013 at 10:56 PM

      I saw the King Tut collection when it came through SF. I was disappointed because it was actually a small collection relative to the one I saw as a child. Of course, the Egyptian Museum (see my Cairo Pages) is so full of priceless antiquities, that one could spend more than a day browsing without growing weary...

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Nov 28, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    Hi, Alan! You have provided very detailed stories and splendid pictures, thanx!

  • K.Knight's Profile Photo
    Nov 30, 2009 at 1:43 AM

    Alan, what a great Luxor page! Anne and I visited Luxor in July and we seem to have followed in your footsteps! I also agree, Karnak Temple is a city!

  • MikeBird's Profile Photo
    Nov 29, 2009 at 1:50 AM

    Alan, Tomb of Sennedjen looks fabulous. It will feature on my third trip to Luxor. Thanks for the tips, Mike

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Aug 5, 2009 at 3:43 PM

    It seemed like a hot day here, so I thought would look up your hot site on Egypt and its pyramids. Good presentation and detail info. Your pics are green with envy.

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Feb 11, 2009 at 11:19 AM

    Your Luxor tips are so detailed --- I can see you are also a lover of Egyptian tombs! I got claustrophobic when I went into the Great Pyramid, and I don't get easily scared! Norman :)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Sep 16, 2008 at 2:29 AM

    Medinet Habu looks fantastic - greatpics here - inspirational. Have 4 days available from Taba but think I might settle for the Sinai area rather than rush to Cairo to see at least the Giza pyramids?

  • Jun 22, 2008 at 5:16 AM

    Excellent Luxor page. Hope that i have the change to visit again Egypt

  • 850prc's Profile Photo
    May 17, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    Breaker-breaker, 1 - 9, calling the California man, catch you on the backslide next time you're in Dixie, Alan. :) GREAT Egypt page, it's another place on our wish and to-do list.

atufft

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