Farafra is the smallest, yet one of the most prepossessing, of the main Western Desert oases. At first glance, the place doesn't seem like it's much more than a cluster of buildings on the side of the highway -- a place to stop for gas, perhaps, and that's about it. Stick around for a while, though, and you'll find that the town has a very distinct character. A lot less touristy than Bahareya, and not so richly endowed with tombs and monuments, it nonetheless boasts two nice hotels, a spring that has been in use since the Romans were running the government, a surreal "museum," and some of the most spectacular desert scenery in the world.

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