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Faiyum intro. Two hours south of Cairo, Faiyum (also spelled Fayoum) is the closest oasis to the capital. The city is located on the site of the ancient Crocodilopolis, in which a monument to the crocodile-headed god Sobek can be found, but the oasis stretches far beyond this, offering many worthwhile sites. The most interesting may be Medinet Madi, a pair of twin temples flocked by sphinxes dedicated to Sobek and the serpent-goddess Renenutet. There are a handful of temples, pyramids and ruined cities in Faiyum oasis that are interesting to explore, such as Karanis, Qase Qarun and Dionysias. Egypt's largest lake, Lake Qarun, is popular for its bird-watching and early morning fishing, though it is predicted to become a resort area in the near future, and nearby Wadi Rayan is a protected national park. In the city, the Obelisk of Senusert is the only one of its kind with a rounded top, and Faiyum hotels offer access to the large bazaars, markets, baths and water wheels that can be found close to the banks of the city's canal.
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