YD Scuba Diving Forums banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I've been on a few holidays to Egypt both on land and liveaboard. On land myself and others have always had some form of "Delhi Belly"/ food poisoning but this was back in 2002 and 2004 (since then I've been on live-a-bords with no consequences).
Things have changed and I'm now a family man with a 9 month old daughter. I'm thinking of a dive holiday this year and "maybe" Sharm El Shiek" (easy to get to etc...). My partner doesn't dive.
So what I need to know is ...
1) Am I mad to consider bringing an infant to food poisoning prone Sharm? Has it changed much since I was there last (2002)?
2) Is there anything for non divers to do there. I'm aware that Sharm is more of a "sun destination" now so am wondering if there's anything more to do than visit the old village and the Camel Bar..?
Cheers in advance..?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,215 Posts
You will be amazed at Sharm if you haven't been since 2002 (though not necessarily in a good way). It is no longer just Naam Bay and that little strip of shops/restaurants. It is now hotels lining the coast for a long way north. It is sort of like saying that you went to the south coast of Spain in the 70s and asking if it is still the same.

If you want a sun holiday then it is cheap and you can do some diving. Do not expect much else in the way of pleasantries.

I have never had an stomach problems in Sharm, only in Luxor and Cairo. Sharm tends to be a lot better.

If price is an issue and you want a cheap holiday in the sun where you can dive than go for Sharm. If price is not that much of an issue, go somewhere else. Even if you fancy Egpyt El Gouna is a better bet.
 

·
Living a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget!
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
I live in El Gouna so am happy to help if you have any questions. It is a very safe, hassle free, private town with plenty to do for non-divers and easy to travel around in shuttle buses and boats. We have our own private hospital too. Photos on my YD profile page.
 

·
Member
Joined
·
434 Posts
Sharm seems to have bigger problems than food hygene these days judging from posts I've read on this site.

I wouldn't go there myself, not to mind bringing an infant. Personally, I'd be heading for the mainland not the Sinai, and since Hurghada is a complete and utter shithole, El Gouna may well be a better bet.
 

·
Making God laugh...
Joined
·
3,112 Posts
Firstly, ignore all the "doom n gloom" merchants like the one above. Sharm is a little bubble, and if you and the family stay within it there is no need to fear anything.

Secondly, Research by the docs here has shown "Pharoahs Revenge" usually strikes people who are dehydrated and not fully hydrated ones, so make sure you drink plenty (not alcohol) and you will be fine.

Thirdly, the Camel Bar has changed drastically - it's now more like a trendy London wine bar, with the prices to match, not very many locals go there anymore we have been driven off.

Forth, if you are concerned about the nipper, then make sure it is a decent hotel - remember that the bitterness of illness and poor service outlasts the sweetness of a cheap deal.

lastly, El Gouna is so fake and plastic I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole - think Butlins transported into the sun. As for the diving there, its on a par with Cyprus unless you can get to the wrecks.

HTH

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Hi eugemcl,

Having lived in both Sharm and El Gouna, I prefer El Gouna by a mile. Steve - did you dive here when you came the once? You were only here for a day ;-)
Of course, everyone's different and it depends exactly what you want out of your holiday. As Steve says, the "Pharoahs Revenge" is usually down to people drinking nowhere near enough water and staying hydrated, especially in Summer and when diving. Always a good idea to drink plenty and grab yourself some sachets of 'rehydran' or similar - a lot of dive guides swear by them. This should help you avoid any unpleasantness. Another tip is to watch the money you handle. Carry a bottle of dry handwash and wash your hands after handling amounts of money, as it can get fairly grubby and the transfer of nasty things is easily done.
In regards to El Gouna, Steve said he wouldn't touch it with a barge pole, but I think its perfect for families. It is purpose built, yes, but isn't a gated resort, rather a self contained town with its own school, hospital, marinas, and plenty to do for non-divers. Lots of nice restaurants and bars, clean, tidy and safe with NO hassle if you're out for a walk around town.
Diving wise, this year we have had 2 humpback whales, whale sharks, mantas, grey reef sharks as well as all the usual Red Sea suspects and coral. Granted, the bigger stuff is not an everyday occurence, but we do get sightings. Something that we do get on a weekly basis all year round are dolphins on dives, sometimes sticking around to play for the whole dive. Add to this the chance to dive the Thistlegorm as an overnight trip, Rosalie Moller, the wrecks of Abu Nuhas and you can even do Salem Express from El Gouna in less time than it takes to do the Thistlegorm from Sharm. So just like Cyprus ;-)
I do work for Emperor, but there are many dive centres in El Gouna who are well established and professional. Georgina has lived here for ages, so can answer any questions you have impartially as she doesn't have any reason to promote El Gouna other than she loves it here!
If you've got any questions about diving etc, then feel free to PM me, even if you're not diving with Emperor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hi all cheers for all of your replies. Looks like I'll be PM-ing one or two of you for more info so thanks in advance. I should have said that I'm based in Dublin so direct flights are a bit limited which is why I was looking at Sharm as a direct flight destination. Any trips to Hurgada would have to be via a connection flight in the U.K. or a drive up to Belfast. The alternative is Bitez near Bodrum in Turkey. I've been there a few times and know the guys in the dive centre there I've used frequently. I know the diving isn't as good as the Rea Sea but I've to weigh up the pros and cons of bringing a non-diver and infant along.
Cheers again for taking the time to reply, all opinions appreciated.
Eugene
 

·
Making God laugh...
Joined
·
3,112 Posts
Snip. Steve - did you dive here when you came the once? You were only here for a day ;-).
Come on now Matt - you of all people on here know how long I've been in Egypt, but to answer your Q. yes, i've dived in El Ghouna and Hurghada loads of times, each time saying I'll never do it again, and as you well know, the only reason I did so last time was because the firm was paying for us to do it........

Plus, you especially know I always give an honest "warts and all reply",
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Steve - I know you well enough to know that you don't hold back and will always give a 'warts and all' opinion. But even with several warts, its not quite like Cyprus is it? ;-)
 

·
Flaccid Member
Joined
·
5,410 Posts
eugemcl whilst the Red Sea is great for diving, sadly the places beside it ie, Sharm le Shiek and others are inhabited by people who see you as prey! And therefore will abuse you for the length of your holiday until you give them all of your money. Apart from that, it's delightful.
 

·
Instructor at Werner Lau Tek, Sharm
Joined
·
708 Posts
eugemcl whilst the Red Sea is great for diving, sadly the places beside it ie, Sharm le Shiek and others are inhabited by people who see you as prey! And therefore will abuse you for the length of your holiday until you give them all of your money. Apart from that, it's delightful.
Thanks for that, somehow the phrase ''all tarred by the same brush'' seems applicable here.
As ever, nowhere is perfect. A few words of Arabic normally still will do the trick, preferably polite ones!
I was absolutly gobsmacked this week with the phrase one guest used to a bloke at the jetty. I asked her if she knew what she'd said and she did, and then said that she absolutly hated the same word in English!
No wonder she had an adverse reaction when walking through town....
 

·
Flaccid Member
Joined
·
5,410 Posts
I was absolutly gobsmacked this week with the phrase one guest used to a bloke at the jetty. I asked her if she knew what she'd said and she did, and then said that she absolutly hated the same word in English!
Funny how she had to travel all the way to Egypt to use a phrase she hates, I wonder what made her say it?
 

·
Instructor at Werner Lau Tek, Sharm
Joined
·
708 Posts
Funny how she had to travel all the way to Egypt to use a phrase she hates, I wonder what made her say it?
Funny I asked her that same question. She said that she'd been told that everyone would hassel her and that that was the strongest possible language to use to get people to leave her alone.
Something akin to using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
If you can imagine an analogy of a UK high street charity mugger being told to 'f**k off you c**t', and the reaction would be much the same.
Not the best, or most polite, first reaction. Irrespective of anything short of being grabbed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
eugemcl whilst the Red Sea is great for diving, sadly the places beside it ie, Sharm le Shiek and others are inhabited by people who see you as prey! And therefore will abuse you for the length of your holiday until you give them all of your money. Apart from that, it's delightful.
Thanks for that, somehow the phrase ''all tarred by the same brush'' seems applicable here.
As ever, nowhere is perfect. A few words of Arabic normally still will do the trick, preferably polite ones!
I was absolutly gobsmacked this week with the phrase one guest used to a bloke at the jetty. I asked her if she knew what she'd said and she did, and then said that she absolutly hated the same word in English!
No wonder she had an adverse reaction when walking through town....
Sorry to butt in but i had to reply when I saw these posts.

I have holidayed alone as single female in Sharm, Hurghada and Marsa Alam and have never been hasselled or treated with anything other than courtesy. The occaisions when I have been 'approached'in the streets I have replied 'No thank you' politely and firmly without hesitating and have been left alone to carry on. I have always found that where ever you go in the world as a tourist there is always an element of street traders etc but the fact one dive costs more than most earn in a month it is hardly surprising they try their luck.

My experiences of the Red Sea resorts are obviously at odds with others but I still recommend them as i have never had anything other a good time. As previously mentioned learning a few words of the local dialect is usally all you need - and it doesn't have to be the local swear words.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
sharmj

Just got back from Sharm, stayed in an all-inclusive resort and Egyptian staff couldn't be any nicer, other guests another matter, check where your staying is not dominated by Russians had the joy of watching them drunk falling over into pool, fighting Egyptian staff and falling on me whilst on lounger.
Outside of resort can be a pain I have a ten year old son who likes to rummage in all the souvenier shops which leads to the shop owners thinking he wants to buy everything he touches.
Soho Square is worth a visit if you want a hassle free trip out, it is a bit sterile but shop owners are banned from treating you like prey.
 

·
Notice my avatar. I am hard astern.
Joined
·
9,347 Posts
My middle-eastern wife seems rather harsh when she deals with these salesmen but then she tells me they are left in no doubt as to her intentions and waste no more time with her. You gotta be cruel to be kind!
 

·
Sort of member - perhaps, possibly, maybe
Joined
·
3,276 Posts
My experiences of the Red Sea resorts are obviously at odds with others but I still recommend them as i have never had anything other a good time. As previously mentioned learning a few words of the local dialect is usally all you need - and it doesn't have to be the local swear words.
Good post. :)

I am currently planning my last retrospective (next year) to what I used to call Ceylon and is now called Sri Lanka. I know that I, and my friends, will be beset by people trying to relieve us of our money but I have already determined that I won't use the Sinhala word "Po" which sort of means "disappear you idiot" because, whilst it was appropriate in the days I still spoke both Sinhala and Tamil (sadly no more), is not appropriate today.

It constantly amazes me how often people "secure" in another environment, seem to think that this gives them open slather to be incredibly rude.
 

·
Girlie diver
Joined
·
745 Posts
Slinky has the right idea... polite but firm. There is no need for foul language, but tone of voice can speak volumes. As she said too, you will find yourself treated like prey in many countries, in fact in other countries, I was made to feel that to leave the resort was akin to taking my life into my own hands. Yes you may get shopkeepers and trip sellers running after you shouting "Just a minute! Can I ask you a question?" but if you politely wave them off and keep walking, they will eventually give up. "La Chokran".

Other than that, the diving is great, I wouldn't really advise bringing a tot during the really hot summer months, but Spring, Autumn and Winter are perfect for a break from the grey :D
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top