Luxor/East Bank

Nile sunsets can be spectacular

The East Bank of Luxor is the central part of Luxor township, centred on the twin foci of the Temple of Luxor and the Temple of Karnak. Unlike the West Bank, which was always the main area for cemeteries and mortuary temples, the East Bank represented the main settlement of the living throughout the millennia - a role that has hardly changed. The vast majority of hotels and tourist facilities are in the East Bank.

Understand

The layout of Luxor town is fairly straightforward: arranged about the temples of Karnak and Luxor (actually some 3 km (1.9 miles) apart, in the north and south of the city respectively) are four main roads with a network of many small streets between them:

April 2010 The reconstruction of the centre of Luxor is largely complete...but now they're digging up the town centre to expose the twin rows of spinxes that lined the processional route from Karnak to Luxor temple. As a result, a large number of buildings including hotels, churches and,I believe, mosques together with many private houses have been or will be demolished. Some of the recovered sphinxes are in good condition for their age although many are just fragments which are being fitted into cement replicas.

Completed major works include widening the main road along the corniche allowing the coaches from the Red Sea resorts to quickly access Karnak temple & the Valley of the Kings.

Get in

The East Bank of Luxor represents the central part of Luxor as a locality, the part of the town that the vast majority of tourists will first arrive in, either by land, river or air - arrive in Luxor, you've essentially got to the East Bank.

Get around

See

Temples

Museums

Do

Buy

Eat

Drink

There is an excellent sugarcane drink place located near the train station, on the main road past the rotary. 6 LE for a cold, fresh bottle of sugarcane drink (1.5 liter).

However, if you prefer a feshly made sugar cane drink, go to one of the many fruit juice shops. To prevent being cheated, as everywhere else, act cool, and make sure you have small coins available. Give the coin man 1 LE (this is the current rate; June 2010) and you will get the right colour coin for the sugar cane drink. Orange juice 2 LE (they often have other juices available as well, but we didn't manage to find out about their true prices)

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Various large chains like Hilton, Sheraton, Novotel and Steigenberger also have high-end hotels in Luxor.

Connect

Phone

Luxor town has 4 telephone offices, allowing travellers to avoid the often hefty charges levied by hotels and mobile carriers for international phone calls.

The main telephone office is on Sharia Karnak, adjacent to the souqs and almost opposite the Emilio Hotel. It is conveniently open 24 hours a day. Another, smaller branch can be found below the grand sweeping entrance to the Old Winter Palace Hotel on the Corniche (open 0800-2000); whilst a third telephone office exists at the railway station (open 0800-2000) and the fourth telephone office is in Sheraton street, next DHL office.

If you wish to use your cell phone in Luxor, it is advisable to visit the Vodafone shop at the bottom of Television Street. You can buy a Holiday Sim Card, which costs 25LE, and you will avoid any roaming charges, even on international calls. Just top up the card as necessary. If your phone is 'locked' by your phone company, they will advise where you can get it unlocked for a fee of between 30-50LE.

Or buy a local simcard at Mobinil shop, opposite Pyramisa Isis Hotel, here they sell special tourist lines active for a few days. Also available are microsimcards for iphone4 and iPad users (prepaid) so you can use 3G for local Egyptian prices during your holiday.

Internet

There is no shortage of venues in Luxor town to access the internet for email and browsing - the last few years have seen shops and food outlets both great and small venture into cyberspace as a new form of cottage industry. Shop around for the best deal, 1 LE for an hour or 0.5LE for half is often accepted.

Post

Luxor town's main post office is on Sharia al-Mahatta, not far from the intersection with Sharia al-Karnak. Open 0830-1430 daily.

A smaller post office branch can be found in the Tourist Bazaar.

Cope

Visa extensions

The Luxor passport office is located south of the town centre, virtually opposite the Isis Hotel, open Saturday - Thursday, 8AM 4PM. You need to give your passport, 2 pictures, and copies of your passport (including entrance stamps) before 11:00 AM. Your passport will be returned at about 02:00 PM same day. Rumour has it that visa extensions are far easier to acquire at this office than in Cairo.

If you want to buy stamps, you need small change because no one will sell you if you don't have it, and if you see an old woman at the stamp place, maybe, you will go back again because she doesn't want to work and do anything for you. She doesn't has a service mind. There is very bad experience with this post office.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, September 13, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.