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Study Trip

Temples and Tombs: The Glories of Ancient Egypt

Tuesday, 26 February to Saturday, 9 March 2019
Leader: Khun Eileen Deeley, Council Member of the Siam Society

 

Antiquity, vast and richly textured, cloaks the land of Egypt. In the dimness of prehistory, more than 10,000 years ago, man began to settle in the long valley ribboned by the Nile. Sustained by the life-giving river, the land prospered and, in the fourth millennium BC, burst into splendour under the first of the pharaohs.  Egypt was one of the earliest of the ancient lands to weave the threads of civilization into truly impressive culture, and was able to sustain its achievements that flourished for 27 centuries.

The great Greek historian Herodotus made a grand tour of ancient Egypt in the 5th century BC and wrote of “wonders more in number than those of any other land and works it has to show beyond expression great”. Later writers journeying on the Nile, spoke of the imposing mounds of the pyramids, avenues of sphinxes, slender obelisks…. They were dwarfed by towering images in stone and intrigued by enigmatic hieroglyphics covering the walls of the temples.

Under the leadership of council member Eileen Deeley, the Siam Society is delighted to offer its members the opportunity to discover the history and beliefs of ancient Egypt and to explore the glories of this amazing land of the pharaohs: temples and tombs, pyramids and sphinxes, gods and goddesses, hidden treasures and buried secrets…. The 12-day trip will include a three-day cruise on the Nile to the Valley of the Kings and the world-renowned temples of Abu-Simbel, Karnak and Luxor, as well as the highlights of Egypt’s two major cities of Cairo and Alexandria, and last but certainly not least, the Great Pyramids of Giza.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tentative programme will be as follows:

Day 1: Tuesday, 26 February : Bangkok

11.30 p.m. Meet at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Day 2: Wednesday, 27 February: Bangkok - Cairo

00:50 a.m. Depart to Cairo with Egypt Air flight MS961.
05:50 a.m.

Arrival, transfer to hotel near the airport to refresh and have breakfast.

After breakfast, proceed to visit the Egyptian Museum, where we will see the masterpieces of ancient Egyptian civilization especially the collection from the tomb of the young Pharaoh Tutankamon including his magnificent gold throne and death mask.
Noon: Lunch at a local restaurant.
Afternoon: Transfer to airport for flight to Aswan.
4:15 p.m. Depart to Aswan by MS397.
5:40 p.m. Arrive Aswan Airport, transfer to hotel.
Evening: Dinner and overnight at hotel Movenpick Aswan.
 

Day 3: Thursday, 28 February: Aswan - Abu Simble - Aswan

Morning: Breakfast at hotel then transfer to airport for flight to Abu Simbel.
09:25 am. Depart to Abu Simbel by MS409.
10:10 a.m. Arrive Abu Simbel Airport, transfer by airport shuttle bus to visit the two great temples of Ramses the Second that were built in the Nubian Lands, these were built as rock-cut temples, the larger one was dedicated to Ramses the Second as a God, and the smaller one was for his wife, the most beautiful Egyptian queen named Nefertari. These two temples were relocated to an artificial cliff above the original mountain by UNESCO during the construction of the High Dam in Aswan to save them from being submerged by the water of the Nile that later formed a huge artificial lake named as “Lake of Nasser”.
Noon: Transfer by airport shuttle bus to airport. (Pack lunch provided from the hotel).
1:10 p.m. Depart to Aswan by MS412.
1:55 p.m. Arrive Aswan Airport.
- Enjoy sailing on the magnificent River Nile on a vessel known in Arabic as ‘felucca’ to enjoy the beauty of the Aswan islands.
- Dinner at local restaurant.
- Overnight at hotel Movenpick Aswan.

Day 4: Friday, 1 March : Aswan - Cruise

- Breakfast at hotel.
Morning: Check out of the hotel and proceed to visiting the High Dam, considered to be one of the most important modern achievements in Egypt. This is the main dam on the Nile as well as the principal generator for electricity with its 12 turbines. We will then go on to visit the Unfinished Obelisk at an ancient granite quarry dating from the time of the pharaohs. The obelisk was left unfinished, bad it been completed it would have been the largest ever in history. Next we will visit the Temple of Philae dedicated to the Goddess Isis, the Lady of Magic and Beauty. Similar to the temples at Abu Simbel, this temple was also saved from the waters of the Nile River during the building the High Dam. It was moved from its original site to Egilika, a nearby island on a higher level.
1:30 p.m. Check in at M/S Hamees by Movenpick boat cruise to have lunch on board.
Afternoon Afternoon.
Evening: Dinner and overnight on cruise boat.

Day 5: Saturday, 2 March : Cruise - Temples of Kom Ombo and Edfu

- Breakfast on boat.
Early morning: Sailing to the town of Kom Ombo where we are going to visit the Temple of Kom Ombo that is dedicated to two different gods at the same time, Haroeris the falcon god as well as Sobek the crocodile god.
- Back to the boat to sail to Edfu, where we will visit the amazingly complete Temple of Edfu dedicated for God Horus the Great.
Noon: Lunch on board.
Evening: Cruise will sail again towards Luxor.
- Dinner and overnight on board M/S Hamees by Movenpick.
- Tonight after dinner we are going to have a typical Egyptian night celebration which is known as a Galabeya Party, where we can dress for the fancy dress party in typical local costumes called Galabeya. We will listen to Egyptian music and do belly dancing.

Day 6: Sunday, 3 March : Luxor - West bank

- Breakfast on board.
- Proceed by coach to visit the Western Bank of Luxor City with the famous Valley of the Kings scattered with the tombs of the great pharaohs of the New Kingdom in Egyptian history. There we will see amazing mural paintings on the walls of the tombs that appear so colorful and fresh as if they were painted today. These tombs played an important role in understanding the history of ancient Egypt. We will then visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut built at Deir El Bahari, a unique temple in design of 3- storeys. The morning tour will end with a visit of the Colossi of Memnon.
Noon: Proceed back to the boat for lunch.
Afternoon: By coach to the west bank again to visit Rameseum, the mortuary temple built by Ramses II; then visit the Valley of the Nobles, a sprawling collection of tombs less visited than the Valley of the Kings. Take in scenes of the owners’ daily lives, as well as depictions of the afterlife.
Evening: Dinner and overnight on board M/S Hamees by Movenpick.

Day 7: Monday, 4 March : Luxor - Temples of Karnak and Luxor

- Breakfast on board.
8:30 a.m. Check out of the boat, proceed to visit Karnak Temple considered to be the greatest and biggest space for adoration of a god that was ever built in human history. After that we will head for the famous Luxor Temple that carries the name of the city itself also built by Ramses the II.
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon: Visit Luxor Museum.
Evening: Check in at hotel in Luxor, dinner at hotel Hilton Luxor.

Day 8: Tuesday, 5 March : Luxor - Temples of Dendera and Abydos

- Breakfast at hotel.
- Proceed to visit the Temple of Dendera dedicated to the Cow Goddess Hathour, the Goddess of maternity, music and love. It is a Greco-Roman Temple built upon traces of the ancient Pharaonic one. This temple is considered to be one of the best preserved temples located outside the city of Luxor, with its unique sistrum-shaped columns resembling an ancient musical instrument. It is also famous for the scene of the Egyptian Zodiac carved on the ceiling. After that we will drive to Abydos to visit the Temple of Osiris, the God of the Dead and the Underworld. There we will learn the conspiracy of his brother to kill him as this temple was built upon the location which legend tells to be his main burial place. The temple was built by Seti I the father of Rameses II. Although parts of the temple is no longer in existence, the many wall reliefs are well preserved, especially those toward the back of the temple, completed during Seti’s reign, are considered to be among the finest in any temple throughout Egypt.
Afternoon: Transfer to airport to board our flight to Cairo.
5:10 p.m. Depart to Cairo by MS356.
6:20 p.m. Arrive Cairo Airport, transfer to hotel Sofitel Al Gezirah.
- Dinner at hotel.

Day 9: Wednesday, 6 March : Cairo - Pyramid

- Breakfast at hotel.
- Proceed to Sakkara to visit the Step Pyramid of Pharaoh Zoser which is considered to be the very first pyramid ever built in the history. It has the shape of 6 steps - one above the other, hence the name. We will also visit Imhotep Museum named after the architect who built Zoser’s Step Pyramid. We will then head for Dahshur see the 2 pyramids of Pharaoh Senefru, the father of Cheops the builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon: Visit The Pyramids of Giza, one of the 7 wonders of the Ancient world, the three Pyramids built by pharaohs to be their tombs. There we will also see the famous Sphinx, a magnificent statue of a lion’s body with a human head that belonged to the Pharaoh Chephren the builder of the 2nd Pyramid, we will visit either the 2nd or 3rd Pyramid from the inside and the Solar Boat Museum.
Evening: After the tour transfer back to the hotel.
- Dinner at local restaurant and overnight at hotel Sofitel Al Gezirah.

Day 10: Thursday, 7 March : Alexandria

- Breakfast at hotel, check out and proceed to Alexandria (4 hours drive)
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant in Alexandria.
Afternoon: Visit the City of Alexandria built by Alexander the Great: we will visit the Catacombs of Kom Al Shokafa which is one of the best preserved tombs in Alexandria from the Greco- Roman time; then to the Roman Amphitheatre which is unique of its type in Egypt; next to see the Citadel of Qaitbay for a general look from outside; and visit the Modern Bibliotheque of Alexandria.
Evening: Dinner and overnight at hotel Steigenberger Cecil in Alexandria.

Day 11: Friday, 8 March : Cairo - Bangkok

- Breakfast at the hotel, check out and transfer back to Cairo.
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant in Cairo
Afternoon: Visit the Old Cairo known also as Coptic Cairo where we can see some of the most ancient churches of Egypt, one of them was built upon the location which Jesus lived for a while during his journey to Egypt, also we will see the Suspended or Hanging Church with its beautiful icons, then we will spend free time at the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar.
Evening: Dinner at a local restaurant and transfer to Cairo International Airport.
11:30 p.m. Depart to Bangkok by MS960

Day 12: Saturday, 9 March: Bangkok

12:40 p.m. Arrive Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Booking

Bt. 169,000 (Bt. 172,500 for non-members). Single room surcharge Bt. 32,000. A deposit of Bt. 45,000 and photocopy of passport must accompany the booking. Your reservation will be confirmed as soon as the deposit has been made. Payment in full is required 45 days before the start of the trip (i.e. by Friday, 11 January 2019)

Please pay by cash or cheque payable to ‘The Siam Society’. There is a 4% surcharge for credit/debit card payment to cover bank charges. Alternatively you can deposit/transfer the money to the Siam Society travel account at the Thai Military Bank, Asoke Branch saving account no. 053-2-18000-7.  Please fax or e-mail the deposit or transfer docket to us. In case the tour has to be cancelled due to insufficient participants, a full refund of the deposit will be made.

Includes/Excludes:

The contribution includes meals as mentioned in program, accommodation for two persons per room, international and domestic airfare, entrance fees, gratuities and other costs incurred to make this trip possible. It excludes visa fee to Egypt (if any), personal expenses, personal beverages, etc.

To comply with payment and cancellation policies set forth by tour agencies, and to facilitate smooth working condition between the Siam Society and the tour agencies, please read carefully the revised cancellation policies stated below:

Cancellation charge:

45 days before the start of the trip:                                Deposit forfeited
45-30 days before the start of the trip                            50% of the tour cost
Less than 30 days or cancellation without notice:             No refund

The Siam Society reserves the right to change the programme as necessary. Seats are limited. Please book your place as soon as possible. For further information and bookings please contact Khun Prasert or Khun Supanut.