A view of the Luxor Temple (east bank) from the River Nile. Photo by Olaf Tausch.
• Hustlers/touts are a daily hassle, a little Arabic helps a lot.
• Taxi meters don’t work so expect endless arguments if you don’t firmly negotiate beforehand.
• The big sights can get horrifically overcrowded in peak seasons at peak times. Luxor temple can see up to 15, 000 visitors a day though visitor numbers have been down in the last couple of years.
• Mass tourism and a desire to accelerate tourist revenue made a Nile bridge essential to replace the time-consuming ferry service and so it came to be, 10 miles (16kms) south of Luxor (upstream), allowing Red Sea resort day trippers to spread themselves all over Luxor’s west bank without lifting a lazy leg.
Inevitably this means a considerable loss of tranquility and rural vistas to Luxor’s quiet side as new hotels and apartment blocks pack in between the river and the rocks, replacing Egyptian peasants who have been living and working the ground all their lives with smartly suited concierges imported from Cairo.
Tutankhamen would be turning in his grave, if he still had one.