- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Travel to Dahab, Egypt
Dahab is a little beach town on the southern tip of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula that has great food, comfortable hotels, and a laid-back atmosphere. While most tourists flock to the more glittery and developed Sharm El Sheikh about 100km south, Dahab is a great little town to get away from it all. Though it’s a small place, there is more than enough in Dahab to keep you busy, but aside from all the touristy tours and four-wheeler trips into the desert, there are a few more things you have to do while you’re in Dahab, Egypt.
Dahab is home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the Red Sea. Every year thousands of divers from all over the world come to Dahab to hang out underwater. A short thirty minutes from the city center lies Blue Hole, the main attraction for both newbies and veterans. If you’ve never dived before, Dahab has a number of training centers that supply all the equipment you’ll need and take you on practice dives in the sea off of the boardwalk, which means you can walk from the center to the beach, before taking you to Blue Hole. One of the best technical diving centers, Dahab Divers, doubles as a hotel with great rates and a prime location.
Have a meal on the water
Most of the restaurants in Dahab are located right on the water with seating on a platform that overhangs the sea. The cool breeze and glow of the water make for a great meal. And there’s no shortage of places to eat.
Literally every sea-front property along the boardwalk is a restaurant, and each has a persistent salesman posted outside trying to entice you to come in for a meal every time you walk by. Even if you walk by three times a day for a week, if you’ve already eaten at the place, or if you screamed terrible obscenities at the “host”, he’ll do his best to sell you on another meal. This can be a bit annoying, but don’t be put off by the aggressive tactics, most of the places have amazing food. And don’t forget to haggle for your meal. It’s rare to find a restaurant that isn’t willing to offer a 10-20% discount, free appetizer, and free dessert, especially if you’re there when tourism is a bit slow.
Drink an Egyptian Beer
Not necessarily because it’s the best, but because as far as beer goes, it’s your only choice. It’s rare to find any kind of imported beer outside of a major hotel. Being that there are no major hotels, or major anything for that matter, in Dahab, Egyptian beer it is! Your options at any given restaurant are usually some combination of the five biggest beers in Egypt: Stella, Heineken, Sakarrah, Luxor, and Meister Max. But before you get all excited about Stella and Heineken: Stella is an Egyptian brand, not the Belgian Stella Artois, and Heineken does not mean it tastes like the Heineken you’re used to. To learn more about what makes the beer different, read this article covering Beer in Egypt. In short, they don’t taste the best, but for around $2 for 20oz. at a restaurant, they make up for it in price.
Drink Bedouin Tea
Dahab is known for their Bedouin tea, which is mixture of tea leaves and desert herbs including habuck and marmaraya. Bedouins, and many Egyptians, use it as a cure for an upset stomach. I’m not sure what exactly does the trick, but as an adventurous eater I’ve had a fair share of stomach pains in Egypt and I can say first-hand that Bedouin tea really does work. It can be more difficult to find in Cairo, but you can get a bag of it in Dahab for pretty cheap for yourself or that frend/relative who loves herbal remedies.