The Las Vegas of Egypt
Sharm El Sheikh Travel Blog› entry 6 of 13 › view all entries
Sharm was exactly what we'd heard. Highly developed, touristed, great Red Sea activities. After being in Egypt for a week, we enjoyed the break - it was like being back in the US with McDonalds, Starbucks, Chinese restaurants, and major brand hotel beach bars. I have to admit, we indulged in all the Western amenities before being plunged back into local life.
Ed & Charlie went on a dive while Jac & I snorkeled. We went with Camel Dive and Jac & I thought the snorkeling was among the best we'd ever done. Not as colorful as say the Great Barrier Reef, but loads of marine life. We saw two moray eels! Ed & Charlie were disappointed with the diving - it didn't compare to the coral found in their local dive spots in the Caribbean and the dive master was very rigid and the group high in number.
If you want to dive in Sharm, perhaps explore other dive outfits - there are a few although Camel Dive was rated #1 in Lonely Planet. If you go to snorkel, see if you can get Camel Dive's Natalia from Ukraine as your lead - she was delightful and unobtrusive. She also had a great eye for the eel.
Being highly touristed, the touts are in force, especially the newspaper hawkers for some reason. This was the second time our group got spit on (first in Gaza) - this time by a newspaper seller who didn't take no for an answer. We also ran into some shopkeepers who were incredibly hospitable and friendly - so it goes both ways. The bargaining is less intense here, probably because it's so competitive, and prices were pretty low so it's a great place to stock up on t-shirts and other gifts.
If you want to see Egypt though, leave Sharm and go to the many other Red Sea spots where the diving is good and there's less foreign influence. See my next posts....