Luxor - Valley of the Kings Photo Gallery

The Valley of the Kings is on the Nile's west bank and home to many New Kingdom pharaohs' tombs. They were dug deep into the hills, hoping the grave robbers couldn't reach them. Out of the 63 tombs found so far, only 3 tombs were left untouched, the most famous of which is Tutankhamun.

One of the optional add-on's for my trip is to ride a hot air balloon over the historic valley. Worried of the very early start and losing most of a night's sleep, I skipped this opportunity. However, I woke up naturally very early to see the balloons up in the air anyway.

The cruise boat was parked on the east bank, but with no bridges across the Nile, I had to take a small boat on a short ride across the calm river.

Once my feet reached the plank to shore, a legion of children trying to sell souvenirs approached. The infamous "one dollar" phrase resonated in the air.

I was heading out to a field to greet the other tourmates who decided not to sleep much last night. It was amazing to watch the various hot air balloons descend and land in the fields along the West Bank.

Two statues are all that remain at the Colossi of Memnon. Archaeologists believed the site would have been bigger than the impressive Karnak Temple, but nevertheless, the statues were big and impressive. I didn't hear the wailing noise in the morning dew though.

The Temple of Hatshepsut is set amidst a mountain backdrop with terraces to make it more imposing. It was vandalized by Ramses II and his successors to erase her mark on history. Renovations have somewhat spoiled the historic monument. It doesn't look very much like a three thousand year-old structure anymore.

Vehicles ply the short distance between the temple and the entrance. It's actually not a very long walk at all.

There was a section of the temple where statues have survived in a mix of different shades of good condition.

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