Traveling to Egypt is on many people’s bucket lists, but a lot of them may not have the right expectations. For those who are able to visit, it’s hard to know what the country has to offer, other than what people learned about in their grade school world history classes. So we’re here to brief you on a few things that may surprise you if and when you’re able to make that first trip to Egypt.
Egypt’s Economy Is Not Solely Based On Tourism
Many people find it interesting to know that the tourism industry only makes up 12% of Egypt’s economy. For context, more than twice this percentage is attributed to the agriculture industry, even though the majority of the country is desert. When you’re looking into visiting, it may seem like everything in Egypt is a tourist attraction. After all, the country is often portrayed in media as some borderline-mystical land that hasn’t changed since the days of King Tut or Cleopatra.
You can see these inaccurate themes in movies, television, and online. Some of the most popular games online – arcade casino experiences in Canada and the UK – make regular references to Ancient Egypt, with many depicting the country as nothing but pyramids, tombs, and ancient corpses.
The mainstream console game Assassin’s Creed: Origins did the same in a somewhat more elevated manner. Of course, these casino and video games aren’t entirely wrong, in that there are plenty of legendary historical attractions worth visiting. But there’s more about Egypt to get to know, both with respect to history and modern culture.
The Egyptian Pyramids Aren’t The Biggest In The World
Partially due to the misconceptions about Egypt discussed above, many people incorrectly believe that Egypt is the home of the biggest – and most – pyramids in the world. The largest pyramid in the world though, the Great Pyramid of Cholula, is actually located in Mexico. Perhaps even more surprisingly, Sudan is home to the largest collection of pyramids: 220, to be exact. This isn’t to say that the Egyptian Pyramids aren’t impressive, however. The Great Pyramid of Giza holds its own record as the tallest pyramid in the world, and many people may not know that to this day there are still unexplored passageways within the structure. Giza’s pyramids should be on every traveler’s list – but perhaps keeping the proper perspective on them will incentivize some to seek out some of the other things that make Egypt special as well.
The Capital City Is One That Never Sleeps
Many people head to Cairo for a luxurious vacation, which has led to a bustling nightlife scene. But even in the off-season for tourism, Egypt’s capital city is known to “never sleep” and instead stay up socializing all night long. It doesn’t hurt that the city looks stunning at night, with either side of the Nile River illuminated with mesmerizing strands of lights. Since it is surrounded by desert, the most comfortable time to be outside is at night, and people don’t hesitate to take advantage of good weather (even if it means fewer hours of sleep).
Cairo differs from other cities that are notorious for staying up all night, however, given that nightclubs and alcohol aren’t as popular there as in some other destinations. Many people enjoy staying up simply by sharing a hot coffee or tea with friends.This certainly differs from other cities you may imagine fall into this category, like Las Vegas or Buenos Aires. And it may be due to the fact that Islam is the primary religion practiced here, and drinking and partying are not part of the Muslim culture, strictly speaking.
Nevertheless, nights in Cairo are still just as (if not more) fun than anywhere else.