Why going inside the Great Pyramid of Giza may not be worth it
When I first arrived at the Pyramid complex in Giza, my first thought was to visit as many Pyramids as I could, given that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. After all, these ancient structures are world wonders in their own right, and were the forefront of technology years ago. It did not strike me to mull over going inside the Great Pyramid of Giza. We just bought the ticket.
At the ticket complex, we paid about €200 (Egyptian pounds)/ SGD40 to enter the complex and visit certain tombs and Pyramids. A post on which tickets to buy will be shared later, but a large part of the cost went into the €100 (USD15/ SGD20) ticket to enter the Great Pyramid, also known as the Pyramid of Khufu.
Therefore, in my view, here are five reasons why going inside the Great Pyramid of Giza may not be worth it:
1. No cameras are allowed in the Great Pyramid
No pictures are allowed in the Great Pyramid. (Not that there is much to take anyway.) You are to stow away your camera in one of the lockers, or leave it in the hands of the attendants outside. Which in Friend S’ and my opinion, were not safe options. We eventually took turns to enter the Pyramid, so that we could watch over each other’s cameras.
2. The slope is steep and there are no steps. The ascend and descend can be arduous and dangerous
The slope is lined with wooden handrails and a wooden board with planks intersecting the board at intervals. While the handrails and boards are stable, it was not the safest kind of set up, given that the boards were wet and slippery at certain areas. This is why you should wear proper shoes before making the ascend. In particular, I was worried about descending due to the steepness of the slope and the fear of twisting an ankle. I clutched the handrails really tightly, such that my arms were aching the next day from all the tension.
Needless to say, I was extremely annoyed when a heard a voice from behind saying ‘Hi, where are you from…” There are many places to extend one’s hand in friendship, and I would deem the inside of the Great Pyramid most unsuitable.
3. The path is narrow and dark
There is a limit to the number of people in the Pyramid each time, but due to the narrow path, there may be times where some one ascending would have to share the path with someone descending. It can be quite uncomfortable. Furthermore, there are certain sections on the way up that were very dark, and I had to feel the path with my feet as I had no torch with me.
4. All the trouble for a squarish dark room
If you think that there are Ancient Egyptian statues and hieroglyphs to be found at the end of this dingy, treacherous path, you’ve got to moderate your expectations. When I finally arrived in that small dingy room, there was nothing in it, other than a white fluorescent spotlight at the back. There was a coffin-like marble structure (which upon Googling, seems to suggest that it is a sarcophagus – (a stone coffin used to store dead bodies). At that point of time, I couldn’t be sure if it was originally there, or it was brought it from somewhere.
It was so underwhelming that I had to ask a nearby tour guide if that dark room was all to see.
5. Even if you have to rationalise the USD15 spent, please don’t…
Climb into the sarcophagus (stone coffin) and pretend to be a mummy. Firstly, it’s dirty (Dead bodies used to be stored in there!) and secondly, it’s quite disrespectful too?
Well, that actually happened when I was in that dingy square room. And it was perhaps one of the more note-worthy events during this journey into the heart of the Great Pyramid. I spotted a Chinese couple posing with the sarcophagus – (a stone coffin), and their personal tour guide was helping to take pictures. (I thought cameras were disallowed at the entrance.)
Due to the underwhelming nature of the room, I was inclined to investigate why the tour guide and the boyfriend had inched towards the sarcophagus and were looking down. Alas! That lady had climbed into the sarcophagus while her boyfriend assisted to take photos for her, as she posed as a mummy. -.-”
The Travelling Squid’s Take
I can’t persuade you strongly about this, because the journey inside the Great Pyramid, albeit uncomfortable and dangerous in my view, is something I will not forget in a hurry. However, if you’re looking to find the tombstones of Pharaohs or scenes in Indiana Jones, you’re not going to find them in the Great Pyramid. Head back to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo for the former. The latter well, probably needs plenty of imagination.