Since I was a little girl, I was obsessed with the whole idea of traveling to Egypt, the land of Pharaohs. Maybe it was because of the movie – The Mummy, that I saw and fascinated about during my childhood days or maybe because of what I used to watch on discovery channel. So Egypt has always been on the top on my travel list.

Finally, this year June 2017, I got a chance to actually visit the land of religion, architecture, monument and indeed the land where it all began. Well, my trip to Egypt was for 2 months, all my friends called me crazy when they got to know I’m gonna be there for two long months. My family, my aunts, and uncles got super worried about my safety and well being. While a few others simply thought what would I do in a desert land with pyramids for that long.

But here I am with something surprisingly so contrasting in return to share. So, let me tell you, how the real Egypt looks like –

1. Egypt is much more than just pyramids

Egypt is much more than just Pyramids, every city has some or the other marvelous old temple or beautiful heritage site to see. It has river Nile, World’s largest hot desert – Sahara, World’s best diving spot – The Blue Hole and an ancient history so vast.

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2. Egypt is safe to travel

Egypt is not a war zone, it is safe to travel, what it is shown by the media, is not how it is. I never felt like being in danger. One should surely be aware and vigilant but there’s nothing to be really petrified of. People are very friendly and helpful. Especially as an Indian, I felt very welcomed as they all seemed to like Indians a lot.

Real Egypt

3. Egyptian Cuisine

The amazing cuisine which is affordable, delicious and healthy too. Some of my personal favorites were Koshary, Feteer, Hawawshi, Fatta etc. Desserts!!!! They have a wide range of mouth watering desserts too. Can you believe they have 1000 years old bakeries and cafes existing there?

Top suggestion: One must not miss trying the Egyptians deserts.

Image Courtesy: Taste Toronto

Image Courtesy: Taste Toronto

4. Egyptian History

Egypt – Where it all begin? Egypt is a land rich in history, that extends far beyond ancient Pyramids. The land of religion, monuments, culture, treasure, aromas, Pharaoh’s.

Real Egypt

5. Scuba Diving

Egypt has world’s best diving sites. Blue hole comes under top 5 diving site in the world. The water of the red sea was crystal clear and the marine life was so diverse and incredibly beautiful. I was so amazed by the view that we dived in 2 different spots and did snorkeling in more than 5 different places. Scuba diving as an experience will always stay close to my heart forever.

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6.Nile Cruise

Cruise along the Nile was one of the best experiences in Egypt. This should be in your must do list around Egypt. I was on a cruise for 4 days traveling from Aswan to Luxor but I really wished I could spend longer on the amazing Nile, spending days so luxuriously and relaxed.

Image Courtesy: Memphis Tours

Image Courtesy: Memphis Tours

7. Hot air balloon

Another addition to the bucket of the best experiences of my lifetime, HOT AIR BALLOONING. Quite honestly, I went with no expectations there, and it turned out to be simply amazing. We left from the cruise at 4, sailed over The Valley of Kings which looked so beautiful from a bird’s eye view and then finally saw the sunrise. The view my eyes could see was mesmerizing and a little too beautiful to be described in words.

Tanya Mahendra at Egypt

8. Sahara Desert & the Desert Safari

Viewing the sun set into the sands, madness of safari rides, sand boarding and rolling over the golden sand, camping in the moonlight and sleeplessly gazing the magnificent star studded sky.

You JUST CANNOT miss doing this whilst in Egypt!

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9. Other famous monuments and places

Egypt has a lot more to offer, I was amazed that all the parts of Egypt are so much different from each other, from sea to desert, from lakes to mountains & from BURKHA TO BIKINI XD LOL.

AMONGST THE Other famous must visit places are Abu Simbel Temple, Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple, Kom Ombo Temple, Hatshepsut Temple, Khan-El- Khalili, Egyptian Museum, Sharm-El-Shaik, Hurgada, Marsallam, Saint Catherine, Mt. Sinai, Dahab etc.

Tanya Mahendra

10. The People

Last but not the least, the people of Egypt. Egyptians are extremely welcoming, super friendly, helpful, emotional, beautiful souls, and the nicest people I have ever met in my life. They have so much love to give. Now I somehow feel I too am an Egyptian. A part of me will always belong to Egypt. I understood the true meaning of friendship, love, humanity, sharing, religion.

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Egypt has given me a lot, it made me a better human being, now I care more, I think about others before me, I think about the world issues which are much more bigger than what we face in our everyday life. Special thanks to AIESEC in ASU(Egypt) and the wonderfully passionate AIESEC’ers for making this journey count and giving boundless love and care.