Treasures are hidden in Egypt

The Fayoum oasis once appeared beautifully in Paulo Coelho’s bestseller “Alchemist”.

Less than 2 hours southwest of Cairo, the Fayoum oasis is one of the country’s hidden treasures. Made up of many lakes and canals, this expansive area is the perfect weekend getaway for those who want to escape the bustle of the city.

It's hard to imagine that an oasis with lakes, small waterfalls in the desert and Valley of the Whales has rarely appeared on the list of top tourist destinations. But in a place like Egypt, with its ancient pyramids and beautiful beaches, the competition is understandable. Photo: CNN.

It’s hard to imagine an oasis with a lake, a small waterfall between the desert and the Whale Valley rarely appears on the list of top tourist attractions. But in a place like Egypt, with its ancient pyramids and beautiful beaches, the competition is understandable. Image: CNN.

“Cairo is so chaotic and noisy. The closer you get to Fayoum, the more quiet and clean things become. And then suddenly you see the green patches appearing everywhere. People often think of Egypt with the needles. pyramids or the Red Sea. They didn’t imagine there were green spaces here. In Fayoum, life seems to slow down, “Italian cinematographer living in Cairo Federico Corno, told CNN.

Wadi El Rayan, a state-protected national park, stretching for nearly 1,800 km2, is one of the many highlights of an oasis in the middle of this desert. In Wadi el Rayan, there are two artificial lakes, one high and one low, formed to contain water from the oasis. Water flowing from a high lake to a lower lake accidentally creates small waterfalls below. Prior to Covid-19, oases often closed tourists on weekends. However, during Ramadan, this place is almost empty. One of the most popular experiences is watching a unique shower in the desert.

In addition, this park also has many other special attractions such as movable sand dunes, natural sulfur streams, mountains and the most kept secret – Wadi Al Hitan. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 2005, Wadi Al Hian is an open-air museum that describes the evolution of life. It also holds hundreds of skeletons of giant whales, sharks and fossils scattered in the desert valley.

Also known as the Whale Valley, it paints a vivid picture of the lives of creatures 40 million years ago. From a distance, the preserved fossil bones look like teeth curling out of the desert. The valley is also home to the Museum of Fossils and Climate Change.

In addition to the famous Whale Valley paleontological site, this place also attracts visitors by the Magic Lake – the lake is named for its water color. The water in the lake changes color depending on the time of day and more or less exposure to the sun. Standing from the top of the sand dune overlooking the lake is described by many tourists as a surreal scene, with the water as calm as a transparent mirror reflecting the sky.

In the summer, the galaxy here appears to be the most visible. It's like someone putting a starry rug in the sky, Egyptian travel photographer Amr El describes it. Photo: CNN.

In the summer, the galaxy here appears to be the most visible. “It’s like someone putting a starry carpet in the sky,” Egyptian travel photographer Amr El described. Image: CNN.

Many visitors choose to camp here at night, when they can see the galaxy in the most perfect way. In addition, the high sand dunes contrasting with the color of the sky also create a lot of beautiful photos.

Famous author Paulo Coelho wrote about the beauty of the Fayoum oasis in the classic novel “The Alchemist”. But in fact, Fayoum is not really an oasis. An “oasis” draws water from the underground stream, but Fayoum draws water from the Nile through a series of canals called Bahr Yussef. These canals were built by the ancient Egyptians.

Lake Qarun (or Moeris) is a freshwater lake covering the entire oasis area. It is connected to the Nile via the Bahr Yussef. Considered the oldest lake in the world, Qarun is not suitable for swimming. But it has become a legendary destination for birdwatchers. The lake is home to 88 special species of birds, including flamingos. It is considered a life buoy for endangered species such as gazelle gazelle. The abundance of birds living in this area also makes Fayoum famous for the Egyptians for a traditional delicacy: pigeon meat.

According to the people, this favorite dish appeared on the cover of any culinary magazine, it ate like chicken but with a stronger flavor. Photo: CNN.

According to people, this favorite dish “extra strength” appears on the cover of any cuisine magazine, it eats chicken but more flavorful. Image: CNN.

Standing from the Qarun Lake overlooking the distance is the colorful Tunisian village. Besides its natural beauty, Tunis is considered to be a thriving cultural arts center. The people here are mostly artistic people, they use skillful hands to create pottery and beautiful handicrafts. In recent years, the village has become more and more popular among residents and tourists thanks to the annual ceramic festival, held in the first week of November. This is also the perfect time to admire. The birds come to this place to avoid freezing. The artworks displayed during the festival are evaluated “to give participants a great vibe”.

Beautiful scene in the oasis

Before Covid-19, many tour operators in Vietnam had tours to Egypt. Tour price for 7 days 6 nights journey from about 31 million per person. Flights to Cairo depart from Hanoi, or Ho Chi Minh City, and often transit in Bangkok, Thailand, or Instabul, Turkey. Vietnamese tourists must apply for a visa when traveling to Egypt.

Mr. Minh (Follow CNN)

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