Thursday, April 08, 2004

Cairo Hotel Scams

So said Lonely Planet:

"The most common scam of all in Cairo is one in which a local convinces a newly arrived traveller that the hotel they are heading for is closed, horrible or very expensive and leads them off to another 'better' place, for which your self-appointed 'guide' earns himself a commission."

That was what exactly what happened to us. We planned to stay at Sun Hotel. While searching for Sun Hotel, an Eygptian came to us. He was very friendly, and offered to bring us to Sun Hotel. Before we could see any Sun Hotel, he led us to another guy with the Sun Hotel name tag, who then told us it's fully booked at Sun Hotel.

Then the 'Sun Hotel guy' offered to bring us to another hotel, at exactly the same price, 'not so far away'. Until now I still could not believe how can we fell into the trap. All the guide books had warned about this scam. After walking for quite a distance, we reached his recommended hotel, Hotel Claridge. The condition is not so good, but partly because of tired of finding another hotel, partly also because the Singaporean guys already decided to stay there, we booked in for 1 night, hoping to change hotel the next day.

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