Grace Cheng, better known as @gracietravels, did not have a great time in Egypt, where she had to navigate lots of scammers and felt like she was being stared at in an uncomfortable way
A travel influencer has left a ‘dream holiday’ in Egypt having felt uncomfortable the entire time, she claimed.
Grace Cheng, better known as @gracietravels, spent a week in the northeast African country, visiting the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx and generally following the tried and tested tourist trail. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the majesty of the ancient culture, Grace was left less than impressed.
The TikToker claimed that “aggressive” scammers made her trip a misery and had her feeling as if she couldn’t trust anybody. According to Grace, the tourist hotspots in the country are well populated with people hustling for some cash from visitors.
“I felt so uncomfortable visiting Egypt… Scamming is a big issue here and I didn’t really know how big it was as a first timer. The hustle culture here is insane. Everywhere we went it was non-stop begging for us to pay for something. If I’m being completely honest, I did not feel safe here,” Grace said.
One tip she offered to those visiting Egypt is to refuse anyone’s attempt to take a picture of you, place anything in your hand or offer to show you the way somewhere. She claimed that such efforts are usually followed by a demand for money.
Grace said she “didn’t even feel safe’ even with a tour guide by her side” as the person showing them the sights “had a lot of friends in the area and they just kept offering us tons and tons of upgrades, like climbing a rock to get a picture with the background”.
She recommended making concerted efforts to find a good tour guide to help you navigate the intense situation around the big tourist attractions. “That being said though, if you have a good tour guide they will know what’s real and fake when it comes to scamming. So for that you can trust them,” the traveller added.
Grace also recalled her experience of being a woman in the built up bits of Egypt, claiming that she received a lot of “uncomfortable” stares from men.
Commenters below the video gave a mix response to Gracie’s experience, with some saying they found the country to be pleasant and safe, and others saying it was much as she reported.
“Sad but true. Love Egypt, it is a beautiful country but, won’t go back for the same reasons as you mentioned,” one said. Another added: “Same feeling we had. It was really exhausting this way. We booked an exclusive tour – just me and my fiancé, still didn’t escape the hustlers.”
Another commenter said they had gotten lucky with their guide. “I just got back from Egypt on Wednesday. My trip was amazing, I think because I went with a group and my guide would yell at the vendors,” they reported.
If you fancy a trip to Egypt but are concerned about being an unwitting tourist, then Beyond the Bucketlist has a great rundown of the scams to look out for and how to make sure you don’t feel taken advantage of.
It includes a list of average prices for common items so you know what to aim for when you get involved in haggling as well as a warning about the most typical scams that you’re likely to encounter at the Great Pyramid.
One involves asking to see tourists’ tickets after they’ve past the tourist centre. “These guys standing on the walkway to the first pyramid are fake. They just want to tell you you bought the wrong ticket and it’s “x” Egyptian pounds more to enter this gate,” the website warns.
Another note of caution concerns camel rides. “For starters, you can easily walk between the pyramids- it takes five minutes. Secondly, they often say only 50 Egyptian pounds (£1.28) but they DON’T mean it. Once you’re on the camel it’s going to cost you 300 pounds (£7.67) to get off.”
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