Monday, 9 January 2017

Review of the Luxor Pass

One of my recent guests wrote up her recent experience of the Luxor Pass

My review of the Luxor Pass by Karen English

Reasons for buying my pass

I am a student (half price pass!) and had five days in a row to pack in as much sightseeing as I could manage – and I didn’t want to faff about with cash for each ticket individually purchased and the time involved in going to various different ticket offices! I have a bad back and knees and thus mobility sometimes causes issues for me. With one ticket, I could do as much as I liked every day without feeling obliged to overstretch myself due to having bought a ticket for various tombs – or feeling it was too much trouble to go back to the ticket office to buy extra tickets for more tombs on good days! I also had ideas of perhaps returning to Nefertari’s tomb daily for the max of 10 minutes that they permit inside it!

How did I get my 5-day pass? 

I took along my hosts husband Mahmoud to assist with finding the Antiquities Office in Luxor! He knew where it was (just up the side street from Luxor Museum) but still he got sent to various different places and kiosks until finally being shown the correct place! Go prepared – take a passport sized photograph of yourself, a photocopy of your passport and cash in US $. I also took proof of being a student (my NUS Extra card). Also, be prepared to sit in their office for 30-45 minutes as it takes them ages to sort out the paperwork (well, it is Egypt!) At least they are happy cheery people and you get to walk out of the office with your pass  Before you leave, do take Mr Ahmed Khalifa’s telephone number on his business card with you – just in case of problems accessing sites.

What was my experience of using the pass? 

After initial scrutiny of the pass – most guardians allowed access to the tomb whilst they took the pass to their managers with queries. The pass was always ready to be handed back to my guide or myself upon re-appearing out of the tomb! Some of the guardians were extremely excited by the sight of the pass - they were intrigued, calling over other guardians to see it and passing it around. Hopefully educating the other custodians! I felt really accepted and welcomed at places with my pass. I feel it showed them that I was a “serious” tourist, keen to see as much as I could in the 5 days, rather than a “happy snapper” tourist that got out of a taxi, took photos, and got back inside the taxi without paying or strolling inside the temples (yes, I saw that on my travels!)

Did I feel it was good value for money? 

 If you visit Seti 1 or Nefertari as a one-off, it is currently 1,000 LE per tomb per visit ($55-$60). So, if you went to both of those, you’ve already spent $110+. If you had to pay full price for the pass, the remaining $90 soon disappears at the other sites. For example - Karnak temple alone (with the open air museum and Mut temple etc) is $10 – and another $15 to go to the Valley of the Kings with Tutankhamuns tomb, Ramesses VI and Ay. Financially, I know I saw far more than the cost of the pass – but then I worked out I saw roughly 38-40 tombs (let alone temples etc)! For me, the feeling of being able to do as much or as little as you want to see daily was for me the main plus point of the pass. I could point at something and the guide and driver would stop and we’d visit it!

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