"Abu Simbel" Temple of Abu Simbel by June.b
Temple of Abu Simbel Travel Guide: 266 reviews and 919 photos
The very first trip (this travel period) I did - Abu Simbel - which I conveniently booked with my hotel in Aswan, transport only on a minibus with other people ... and in a convoy.
Abu Simbel is a part of my Aswan trip but there's a dedicated page for it here at VT, so here is my own story for this place.
The top of the list reason why I flew to Aswan from Cairo is to see Abu Simbel. I know it's no longer the original exact location of the whole thing because the temple of Abu Simbel was actually - and amazingly - chopped, dismantled and re-assembled to it's present location not far from the original by a multinational team under UNESCO in 1964 at a staggerng cost of 40M USD! To save it from getting submerged under the flooding lake water.
It did lost a little - I mean very little - authenticity for me but it's just geography -- the real deal is still standing there just 200 meters away from the original location and 65 meters higher from the bank.
OK, now so much for the story that you could actually read all over the internet, starting with Wikip. Here's the personal experience.
I have to wake up at 3:00am - actually before - took a shower and waited at the hotel's reception for the bus to arrive along with an elderly couple from Italy I think (they didn't talk much, so I think). The hotel prepared a boxed breakfast (our breakfast for that morning) which is a good thing as food at the site are extremely expensive. The minibus arrived and it's already half full but we made a couple of stops to pick up other people - who also have boxed breakfast on their hands. The minibus was full or almost can't remember exactly.
FOR SECURITY REASON - at least that was the reason they say why you can't go on your own - all the transportation converge in that place beside a military checkpoint, some couple of kilometers from the center of Aswan. We waited there for other vehicles to arrive, there are a couple of locals selling coffee, tea, and people had the time to smoke while waiting for the others. Then, all the buses, vans, and other vehicles started to move in a convoy at around 4:00am or after. It was still dark and we did the 3 hours or so sleepy trip to the site passing by mostly desert terrain.
It was sunny already when we arrived at the destination. I did not eat the breakfast so I left it on the overhead compartment of the minibus which I ate later. The driver said we have 2 hours to explore Abu Simbel. Which means --- 3 hours trip to there - 2 hours to explore - 3 hours trip back to Aswan. It was a nice tour though because the place is small and there's nothing much to do but to marvel at the two temples beside each other and the Lake Nasser infront of it which was in fact an overflow when the high dam of Aswan was built.
Entrance to the Abu Simbel site costs EGP80 + 13 for guide fees that never existed + 2 for council tax = EGP95 in total, and you'll get 3 small tickets/papers.
The entrance is strategically built some meters at the back of the temple with lines of souvenir shops in between which means if you don't pay for the entrance, you won't even get a glimpse of the temple, but you'll get to see the Lake Nasser from the parking lot.
There are some hotels not very far from the site and restaurants too, which means you could stay overnight in here if you wish so.
The drive back to Aswan was similarly sleepy and the minibus dropped us exactly in front of our hotels.
- Pros:Monumental site
- Cons:Not much sites to see except the two temples.
- In a nutshell:At last...Abu Simbel!
If you're planning not to spend a lot of money on food and drinks when traveling to Abu Simbel, bring some bottles of... more travel advice
Considered as the world's (or one of?) largest man-made lake. The lake was a result of the construction of the high dam... more travel advice
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