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Travellive 4 - 2018

destination Text and

destination Text and photos: Tam Bui Following the story about the commorant fisherman on the Li River (China), travel blogger Tam Bui is back to share with us another journey of his, this time to the land of the Pharaohs, and a beautiful oasis town called Siwa, home to one of north Africa's ethnic group, the Berbers.

As part of our 21-day journey in Egypt, we spent three days to explore the remote town of Siwa. Buses were our only mean of transportation, and it took us over 11 hours to cross a stretch of nearly 600 km from Cairo to reach the oasis. Siwa is located in the heart of Egypt's Western Desert, away from urbanization. In the past, making it across the desert required one to travel in groups, carry a lot of food, and drinking water, and strictly follow the guide since a simple mishap could easily lead to the death of members. Groups traveling as such would sometimes encounter thieves, get robbed, or worst, be killed. Now, all you have to do is simply buy a bus ticket. The oasis borders Libya to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. We arrived in Siwa when the dawn was just about to break. A carriage was hired to get us to the hotel, where we immediately took a nap after our long and exhausting bus ride. We got up at noon to have some lunch before heading out to the streets with our cameras. visit the 700 year-old fortress We climbed to the highest point of Shali Fortress to admire the breathtaking views of Siwa at sunset. The oasis is surrounded by layers and layers of date palms, and it is easy to find ripe dates everywhere on the ground. Date palms may look similar to oil palms, but their leaves are thinner. Date fruits grow in groups like the areca nuts, but they are smaller in size and darkened when ripe with soft, tender flesh and a syrupy flavor. TRAVELLIVE

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