Visiting Egypt’s Second Star: Luxor, Egypt
Valley of the Kings
Cross the Nile to the West Bank to explore the infamous Valley of the Kings. Made famous by the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922, the Valley of the Kings is fraught with superstition and wonder. The rocky valley is the final resting place for 63 pharaohs of Egypt’s New Kingdom, and you’ll wander through the crumbling doorways into chambers where the peeling remnants of colorful hieroglyphics still cling to the walls like decorations forgotten from a party long ago. You’ll see gods and goddesses mingling, the Nile flooding, animals being slaughtered, and myriad other scenes depicting the life of ancient royalty as you meander through the burial chambers, but you won’t see any artifacts or mummies as they have all been taken to museums elsewhere in Egypt and worldwide.
Getting to Luxor from European destinations is easy, with flights leaving from many major capitals daily. It is possible to take the train from Cairo to Luxor, but it is a long and frustrating experience, thus a quick flight is recommended.
Luxor offers backpackers a multitude of both hostels and hotels that are supremely wallet friendly. The least expensive options are situated downtown between the train station and Luxor Temple, where you can expect to pay less than $10 per night, including breakfast. For a more authentic experience, many guesthouses operate from the West Bank of the Nile, and exude a calmer, more relaxed vibe than those in the city center.