Aswan Shopping Tips by Homanded
Aswan Shopping: 22 reviews and 39 photos
Sampling Tea...note guide in background
Again, this is one of the places your guide will gently "nudge" you towards..
You will soon start to read your guide and get to know when he's out to make a buck on your expense by getting a kick back from friends and family who have him working for them on the side.
In egypt, everyone is out to make an easy buck and, your entrusted guide will be NO different!
Ours was a jovial, very good chap. His knowledge, as a guide was priceless and he added so much to the trip. By the same token, he was easy to read and you could tell that, as an Egyptologyst, he almost seemed to feel that this part of the job (touting to clients) was almost below him but, expected by the shop keepers non-the-less. We cut him some slack, went along with the game but, busted him on it every time which made for some personal satisfaction in so far as letting him know I was aware of his tricks!
What to buy: We loved the teas. naturals and medicinal. BE CAREFUL - some are very nasty concoctions, not necessarily exotics we, as westerners may be used to.
My favorite was the mint tea! Very refreshing and I bought a large bag to bring home
This is also a good place to smoke shisha but, please note the warnings about smoking shisha in public and, the risk for TB
Theme: Food and Drink
Set in an old world atmosphere
The ladies with us seemed to enjoy shopping in Aswan the best, even better than Khan Kalili so, I'll take their word for it.
They particularly raved about the silk and the textiles!
I'm not much of a shopper but, went along for the ride. Had a great time people watching and seeing everybody do their bargaining.
Exotic spices have long been popular in Aswan
Aswan is known for it's spice markets. Originally, settled by Nubians, spices, textiles and wonderful crafts is what they are known for. In fact, many of the items you purchase on the ship (if you're cruising from Luxor towards Aswan) are actually called ahead and readied for the ship's store vendor to pick up once you dock.
You may save a couple of dollars by buying direct if you make the time for shopping.
For instance, I had a cartouche made based on a sample that the jeweler on ship had to show.
He took the order then, when we were docked in Aswan over night, he went to his "contacts" jewelry store to pick up.
Whala, I had it that night. We saw plenty of shops offering the same cartouches and, using computerized machines, they are simple to make and relatively fast.
Next time, I would wait and bargain for a slightly better price in town, plus it's part of the fun!
What to buy: Silk, spices, teas, oils and jewelry. I love my cartouche and get many compliments on it.
It is Silver set against black and with a simple black neck chain.
What to pay: Bargain, bargain, bargain. Stand firm on a price - usually begining on 1/4 of whatever they initially quote you.
If they act like NO way, go up but only slightly..then say thank you and walk away.
I guarantee, they will follow you! Stand firm but, realize, you're eventually going to end up paying approximately 1/2 to 1/3 of their initial asking price.
Also, realize that you are always taking a risk on items such as soapstone, and gold
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