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Old 01-22-2017, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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I would love to visit Cairo. I have never been to the Middle East, or Africa for that matter. I'm American (Chicano/Hispanic) and my wife is Colombian. My main question is what types of safety concerns we should have there in the city? Aside from picketpocketing or being overcharged for goods or the usual "big city" things, are there any issues we might face as foreigners?
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:12 AM
 
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Well I was last there right before Mubarek fell but, while Mubarek is gone I am not sure things have changed all that drastically. Things have settled down. A few notes below:
1.) First and foremost for your wife and any other females that are traveling - dress conservatively, she should always be with you, be aware of potential unwanted attention. Basically, if she is with you and her skin is adequately covered, it should not be a problem.
2.) Scammers and touts - Yeah, they see a westerner and they all think we are rich. Know who you are doing business with, wheather it is arranging tours or getting a taxi or buying some suevoners. Really however, even if they rip you off, it's not for much. Tip as appropriate, a big problem is that American's overtip actually. For the good of that country, don't do that. It doesn't help the country if a baggage handler makes more money via tips then a teacher.

Hey, that's really it in terms of safety. Don't worry about terrorism, street crime is pretty rare against tourists, avoid demostrations that might pop up (although I think that's not a regular occurance anymore). Review the state department web site for any changing political or radical terrorism issues going on there but now I think things are relatively stable.

Tourism is a big business in Egypt and the government is well aware of it, to the extent of having police and military being particularly over-vigilint in protecting it's tourists. In the tourist areas you will see soldiers EVERYWHERE, they are there to take care of you and keeping you safe, and they are very serious about it.

Otherwise, my other warnings is that Cairo is just a huge, over-crowded, noisy, polluted, dirty, traffic-jammed, hectic, confusing mess of a city. It's a 3rd world country and things sometimes don't work right - buses break down, appoitments aren't kept, things that should be open are closed, etc. It's not an easy city to go at it alone as a tourist - and for that reason it's one of the few places that I would recommend you should have a guide to get you around. Also, you will probably have enough after 3 or 4 days, see the Pyramids and the Great Museam and all that, after that take a trip to Aswan or something to see the great wonders down there.
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Old 01-23-2017, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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Dd714: thanks for the informative response. I think that answers all the questions I might have had. I was talking to my wife about it, she is very interested, so I think we'll make plans to go visit.

If you ever get a desire to visit Colombia, let me know and I'll recommend places to visit and what you should and should not do there.
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Old 01-25-2017, 06:47 PM
 
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You should visit Alexandria too. Just up north of Cairo by 3 hours and we love it when tourists visit
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