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Travelling alone in the middle east... Watch

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    (Original post by Cicerao)
    I've been to Egypt (twice) and Jordan, but thanks for making assumptions based on my disagreement with your terrible advice.

    Sounds like you have no travel smarts at all, no offence.
    So you didn't find it was like how I said? There were hundreds of beggars standing around at every site were there? Have you ever given money to beggars in this situation?

    The advise you gave is sound, but it won't help you in this situation. Ignoring a beggar works if there are other tourists, but often some of the sights in Egypt aren't very busy so your a captive audience.


    (Original post by beefmaster)
    Yeah lonely planet is generally poor when it comes to the Middle East. The best way to get around is just go to a bus station and ask around (even just by saying the destination)

    I can speak Arabic (although I am not a native speaker) and I guess that makes it some what easier. But if you look hard enough and ask locals (or the people working in hostels) you can find the public transport and it costs a fraction of the price of booking a tour. Also you get to meet many interesting locals on your travels that you would not on a tourist bus.

    OP: if you need any more information get in touch!
    But what if you get a bus to a location without a bus station. How do you know when the next bus is & where it will pick you up? (if say your taking a day trip) I found it pretty hard to communicate to people in the Middle East, some may be surprised but I found it easier even in China. I guess you would say just ask around, that doesn't always work though
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    (Original post by Ewan)
    So you didn't find it was like how I said? There were hundreds of beggars standing around at every site were there? Have you ever given money to beggars in this situation?

    The advise you gave is sound, but it won't help you in this situation. Ignoring a beggar works if there are other tourists, but often some of the sights in Egypt aren't very busy so your a captive audience.




    But what if you get a bus to a location without a bus station. How do you know when the next bus is & where it will pick you up? (if say your taking a day trip) I found it pretty hard to communicate to people in the Middle East, some may be surprised but I found it easier even in China. I guess you would say just ask around, that doesn't always work though

    Throughout the middle east if you go to any main road there will be a micro bus that will take you to the nearest bus station.
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    (Original post by beefmaster)
    Throughout the middle east if you go to any main road there will be a micro bus that will take you to the nearest bus station.
    How do you know which bus to take. I did this before once and just stopped every bus that came by and told them my destination. I eventually got on a bus that took me to a bus station (where I got a connecting bus) but it was pretty hit & miss xD I didn't have a clue where I was going :p: I suppose it works, just a bit scary because I like to have everything planned out in advance, and I guess this is kind of winging it.

    EDIT: Is there a time when these minibuses generally start & finish? Obviously if you take a day trip you don't want to be stuck in your destination, and I suppose you can't get a timetable for the bus beforehand?
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    (Original post by Ewan)
    So you didn't find it was like how I said? There were hundreds of beggars standing around at every site were there? Have you ever given money to beggars in this situation?

    The advise you gave is sound, but it won't help you in this situation. Ignoring a beggar works if there are other tourists, but often some of the sights in Egypt aren't very busy so you're a captive audience.
    The people that tended to be around were tat merchants or postcard sellers, rather than beggars. And there were hundreds of those. In Aqaba I didn't see any like that, but in Petra and places in Egypt there were hundreds of children asking you to buy their postcards. You just say no, they follow you for a while and then give up. We actually bought some postcards (not out of pressure, we wanted some) and the other children still asked us to buy some. You keep your hands in your pockets and don't take anything they shove into your hands, you walk on, and they eventually go away.

    The only experience I've had with people not going away within 20 seconds was in Egypt with several men hitting on me. I'm not especially attractive, but they would not get the point and leave me alone. (I'm thinking because I was a novelty, extremely pale.) My advice would be to wear a ring on the wedding finger and say you are married.
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    (Original post by Cicerao)
    ...
    Ic, that's not what I was referring to :p: I mean't the beggars, and they were only a problem inside old sites.
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    (Original post by Ewan)
    How do you know which bus to take. I did this before once and just stopped every bus that came by and told them my destination. I eventually got on a bus that took me to a bus station (where I got a connecting bus) but it was pretty hit & miss xD I didn't have a clue where I was going :p: I suppose it works, just a bit scary because I like to have everything planned out in advance, and I guess this is kind of winging it.

    EDIT: Is there a time when these minibuses generally start & finish? Obviously if you take a day trip you don't want to be stuck in your destination, and I suppose you can't get a timetable for the bus beforehand?

    You just ask people and they will say yes if it is the right one! You get a much more authentic experience of what life is like in the countries if you travel this way.Throughout the time I was travelling, and still now while I am living in the region, I was / am constantly invited for tea / dinner at random peoples houses I meet on the micro bus. It is a great way to meet people.

    There are no timetables as the micro bus just comes when it comes. Some run all the time, some for a little bit, some only in the evening, some only in the morning etc...there is no set time you just have to go with what there is!

    But generally you can get a Microbus from about 5am - 1 / 2 am depending on where you are.

    I was never left stuck at a tourist site. You are not going to stay in them into the middle of the night.
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    (Original post by Ewan)
    Ic, that's not what I was referring to :p: I mean't the beggars, and they were only a problem inside old sites.

    I have never experienced beggars they way you describe them. A strong "la shukran" suffices for all of the sort of situations you have described.
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    You may get kidnapped so carry a sword with you (If you're old enough to travel in the middle east alone you're old enough to buy a sword) and keep your pimp hand strong
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    (Original post by beefmaster)
    I have never experienced beggars they way you describe them. A strong "la shukran" suffices for all of the sort of situations you have described.
    It kind of spoilt the experience for me to be honest. Especially in Egypt they just wouldn't leave me alone.
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    (Original post by Ewan)
    Have you even been to the Middle East? This is not India or Cambodia we are talking about. In Egypt especially the old sites always have someone inside. They will follow you around speaking to you in broken English then claim to have 'guided' you through the site. It's not a nice experience & happens a lot. Usually I'd be the last person to pay beggars but this seems to be the only way to get rid of them.

    I never had any problem inside towns & cities, just old sites.




    Inside sites, there are never more than one beggar & it's enclosed.
    I lived in the mIddle East for a long time, ofcourse it depends what you're visiting.
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    somali man - waya ur so funny


    if u wont to travel to middle east the best is lebnon but now the sitution is different so there is nothing better than dubai and qatar and kuwait specially kuwait and qatar i have alot of eperience in those countries - its toooooooo safe u can sleep out in the street if u wont but dont travel in the summer cuz to hot
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    (Original post by gun_powder)
    somali man - waya ur so funny


    if u wont to travel to middle east the best is lebnon but now the sitution is different so there is nothing better than dubai and qatar and kuwait specially kuwait and qatar i have alot of eperience in those countries - its toooooooo safe u can sleep out in the street if u wont but dont travel in the summer cuz to hot
    Sorry Gun_powder, balls to your statement.
    I've lived my life and I have been brought up in the Middle East.
    Lived in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Oman and Kuwait. OP, let me tell you something. Don't listen to gun_powder, it will get you mugged or worse. However, I do agree with the temperature warning, as in the summer, it is far too hot in some of those places.

    For a good ol' tourist trip with a bunch of your friends, you should head to Oman (Camping, hiking, beach, road trips into the desert) or Lebanon (for skiing, beach, mountain hiking, a fairly decent nightlife, and they do have quite famous artists and DJ's in Lebanon).
    I'm sure you must've been to Dubai, very typical tourist-y kind of thing, malls, beaches, etc.

    Hope you have a good time, can't say I've had a great time in Kuwait tbh, but Oman is definitely a blast.
 
 
 
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