Electricity. Light switches
Electricity is 220 volts through continental-type 2 pin plugs.
You can get the continental adapters to fit other kinds of plug quite
easily outside Egypt in travel shops and at airports but they are not so easy
to come by in Luxor, so it is better to bring your own. In some
hotels there are not many sockets so it can be handy to have an
adapter that lets you plug two 13 amp 3-pin plugs into one two-pin
adapter provides two 13 amp outlets plus a nightlight. It is available from the travel section of Electric Shopping for under £9, post free. Click the picture for more details. You need the European one, not the US one.
Some light switches
work the other way round to the way most people are used to. Up
can be on. Down can be off.
Luxor people can be very insistent. You can't blame them. You probably spend more on a single dinner than they earn in a week. When saying 'no thank you' to the caleche driver or the felucca tout doesn't work, try 'La, shock-ran' or 'La, shook-ran' (depending on locality). Either of these sound as close as necessary to 'No, thank-you' in arabic and can be more effective than saying it in English.
Getting your bearings
East and West Banks
Luxor is divided in two by the Nile. The main tourist hotels, the
two best known temples, Luxor museum, the main shops
and the tourist market are on the East Bank of the Nile. The tombs, several
other temples and many of the residential areas are on the West
Which way is north?
If you are on the side of the Nile that has the main tourist hotels,
you are on the East Bank. Standing on the East Bank, facing the
Nile, you are looking west. Cairo, and the north, is to your right.
Aswan, and the south, is to your left.
Crossing the road
Vehicles, including horse carriages, drive on the right. However,
people on bicycles tend to ride on both sides of the road.
When you cross the road - look both ways.
Many drivers do not
use headlights at night, so look carefully after dusk.
Zebra crossings are mere decorations in the road. Do not step
on a crossing expecting to have the right of way. Even the police
will sound their horns to clear the crossing as they approach.
If someone stops for you on a zebra crossing they are probably
visitors from another country.
Traffic lights are observed, however. Some traffic lights have helpful countdowns to let you know how many seconds are left before the lights will change.
Updated June 2010