Egypt

"Where would I travel based on my MBTI personality?" 

In this blog series ‘MBTI Travel’ discover different cities around the globe that suits your personality and travel style (and possibly gets into your bucket list). Let’s start the journey!

Disclaimer: The article is written based on the personality traits according to Myers Briggs Personality Test. Not sure what’s your personality type? Take the test here.

By Amie Shao and Edwina Zhu

From the rise of the Ancient Egypt empire where Pyramids and the Spinx were built to the invention of medicine, calendar, and even toothpaste, Egypt has proven itself to be one of the first movers in world history. Connecting history and modern living, explore the various sites in Egypt that sure will amaze you!

ISTJ (Logistician) – Alexandria, Egypt

Why Alexandria?

So you’re a logistician; strong-willed and analytical. As the de-facto tour guide of the group, you sit at the top of the pyramid when it comes to planning a holiday with your close friends or a solo-trip away from the chaos of your daily lives.

Egypt is deeply rooted in cultural colour and historical flavour that will excite anyone (especially Logisticians) with a passion for knowledge and sensory immersion. If the city of Alexandria had a Guest book, it would be carved with the names of Alexander the Great and Cleopatra; a true Mediterranean paradise infused with the blends of history-rich landmarks and modern city life. 

Where to go in Alexandria?
  • Citadel of Qaitbay

With a panoramic view of the eastern harbour of Pharos Island, the Citadel of Qaitbay has a rich history for lovers of castles and lavish architecture. Visit the Pharos Lighthouse and Naval Museum to relive the British bombardment or tour the fortress to immerse yourself in the resting place of Egyptian royalty. Each nook and cranny of this fortress has a story to tell, so don’t forget a camera as this is one destination you’ll want to remember!

  • Montazah Gardens

Calling all lovers of royalty and Florentine architecture! The Montazah Palace Gardens is the perfect day trip for families, overlooking the coast and home to a beautiful garden  3000 m wide and a rare selection of flora begging to have their picture taken. Once the home of King Farouk, spending a night at the luxurious hotels will leave you feeling just like royalty. If visiting with family or friends, enjoy a picnic on the lawn accompanied by a million-dollar view of the sea.  

  • Bibliotheca

As logisticians, your trip to Alexandria is incomplete without a visit to Bibliotheca, a nucleus of culture and history in the form of books! However, this is no ordinary library; its bold design and towering architecture are hard to miss making it a landmark for those enthralled by the arts. Inaugurated in 2002, this cultural centre will impress, amaze and inspire all eager learners and logisticians. 9 million books, 120 different languages, 1 whole day of discovery!

What to eat in Alexandria?
  • Ful Medames

Being the most important meal of the day, Ful Medames is the one dish to look forward to even from the night before. Start your day off with this protein and flavour packed dip made of a blend of slow-cooked fava beans, tahini, tomatoes and onions. Coupled with toasty Baladi bread and a range of small side dishes, its garlicky and creamy texture is sure to make you reminisce Mediterranean flavours for years! 

  • Egyptian seafood

Surrounded by the sea, a trip to Alexandria is incomplete without an abundant plate of their seafood. Infused with an extensive array of fragrant spices, it is a revolutionary take on your average fish and chips. Replace the fish with lobsters, shrimp and squid and the chips with onion, tomato and chilli and you’ve got a Mediterranean twist on indulgent flavours reminiscent of the sea. 

How’s the weather in Alexandria?

Alexandria’s cool Mediterranean climate means that unlike the rest of Egypt, it’s temperatures are relatively cooler and perfect for a long day and night exploration. Summers are long but don’t tend to exceed 32 degrees, although Autumn (late September to early November) and Spring (March and April) are deemed to be the best times to visit. If you are planning to visit during the summer or winter, remember to prepare for the heat and avoid crowded areas, while thick clothes and wet weather gear are necessary for winter. 

ISFJ (Defender) – Bahariya to Al Farafra, Egypt

Why Bahariya and Al Farafra?

Sensitive and reserved, yet open-minded and observant. Defenders are great people to share an intimate trip with. If exploring the busy markets and streets of Cairo isn’t your cup of tea, then perhaps spending some time camping with your mates in the isolated sand dunes of the Western Desert may just be your thing.

Where to go in Bahariya and Al Farafra?
  • Bahariya Oasis 

A 4-5 hour drive from Cairo, the Bahariya Oasis bears an unusually magnificent scene filled with structures called, “agabat,” meaning “the difficult” or “obstacles” in Arabic. These white limestone formations scattered across the valley of golden desert sands are up to 5m tall and tower over every visitor, providing a source of shade against the scorching desert sun. Resembling abstract statues in the shapes of human faces, animals or plants, these rounded structures came to be through harsh desert wind erosion and weathering. This is definitely something unique to the White Desert and something you’ll want to snap a pic of!

  • Crystal mountain

As you ride through the waves of golden sand dunes towards the Black Desert in Farafra, you’ll approach “Jebel al izaz,” Arabic for “Stairs of Haman.” However, contrary to popular belief, the “Crystal Mountain” isn’t a sparkling hill of precious stones but rather, a stony ridge embedded with arches of cloudy white crystals and marble. Here, you may even find mysterious inscriptions dating centuries back or desert foxes that frequent the area. Having taken millions of years to develop and grow, this site is one of the many landforms across Egypt that reflect the extensive history of its natural environment. 

** It is also important to note that as conscious travellers, you respect the places you visit and do your part to help preserve the beauty and history of culture for future generations to come. As such, pieces of the Crystal mountain should not be touched or taken as souvenirs. ** 

  • Black Desert 

When the sun begins to set and people grow tired, setting up camp in the Black Desert is what you’ll need after an exhausting day of sightseeing. As the temperature drops, huddling close with your friends next to a campfire under a starry night sky for an authentic Bedouin dinner will be an unforgettable memory of your travels to Egypt. But your visit isn’t done yet! After a good nights rest, perhaps you’d like to travel up a tall mountain to capture the stunning view of a golden sunrise over black sands. As Defenders, a trip across tranquil sands with your closest friends is an experience you won’t want to miss out on. 

What to eat in Bahariya and Al Farafra?
  • Zarb: Bedouin Barbecue 

A tiring day of walking and climbing across valleys and sand dunes with your friends requires a hearty meal to recharge. If you’re lucky enough to have a local Bedouin tour guide (Arabic desert nomads), you’ll have the chance to experience some real authentic treats to feed a hungry tummy. Prepared in an underground pit with a tiered grill, lamb/goat and potatoes, zucchinis and eggplants are popular choices for a Zarb. This method of cooking can last hours, giving you plenty of time to prepare other side dishes of fresh, tangy salads and dips to enjoy with your smoky, slow-cooked meat and vegetables.

  • Bedouin tea 

If you fancy a sweet treat after dinner, you can indulge in a fragrant cup of Bedouin tea. Black tea brewed with a generous variety of spices and herbs such as thyme, mint, cinnamon, cardamom (or local desert plants) and honey, this drink has always been an important part of Bedouin culture. Not only is it a comforting drink during cold desert nights, but Bedouin tea is also said to help lower body temperature during the day and offers a boost to your health. 

Fun Fact: ‘Tashrab shay?’ is Arabic for, “do you want to drink tea?”

How’s the weather in Bahariya and Al Farafra?

When travelling in Bahariya and Farafra, you can expect your typical desert climate, with hot days, cold nights and virtually no rain. Although many of us can appreciate a hot summer’s day, temperatures can rise up to 48 degrees in the Western Deserts, making Spring and Autumn the best periods to travel (between late February to late April or late October to late December.) Here, calmer temperatures range from 20-30 degrees celsius.  

If outdoor activities excites you, how about challenge yourself for a road trip in New Zealand?

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