Tipping in Egypt


Apr 28th, 2000, 06:21 PM
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Tipping in Egypt

Have read lots of comments about how you are continually hassled in Egypt to buy services or things. The term "baksheesh" has been used, which I understand is the greasing of palms that goes on in some countries just to get something done. My question is: What things do you legitimately tip for, and what would an appropriate tip be for various services? Thanks for any input you can give me.
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Apr 29th, 2000, 01:34 AM
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You should tip tour guides, tour drivers and people that provide you with service. Do not tip a taxi driver or mini bus driver becasue it is in the price unless you really want too. A tour guide usually recieves 5-10 pounds from most, although my friend and I tipped 60 pounds becasue we liked the servece. We then gave the driver 20 pounds because he drove from 3:30am till 11pm so he earned it. In restaurants and similar places 1 pound will do. you must remember that most of these people do not earn a boat load of money, 1 -5 pounds is nice. But, again, we liked some people a lot and were not afraid to tip more because they took care of us and kept people from coming up to us and selling us stuff.

At airports and places crowded with tourists many people will want to carry your bags, show the way and then will EXPECT a tip. Try to ignore them or let them carry your bags or show you the way and then tip what YOU want, 1 pound. People in these areas are not truly freindly Egyptians, they are there JUSt to sucker you and make a buck. They will even show you a dollar and demand it. Don't bother.

Tomb guards will want a moeny too. Forget it. Walk away. If they take your picutre then give them one pound. Be aware of the camel riders at the pyramids; they want you to take their picture and then get money for it. Same with many kids and people making music or bread. If you want the picutre just hand over 50 piasters or 1 pound again.

Down by the Luxor swarms of kids will want money from you for giving you a rock or a little scarab bug or something little. Bring some gum or somthing like that if you do not want to give them money. They hit up all the tourists because the tour guides work with the store owners and brings bus loads of people to these stores. Do not feel pressured to buy anything unless you want to. Name a really low price and see what happens.

When in Egypt, forget the 20% rule Americans live by! A few pounds go a long way for Egyptians because they buy everything at a very different, low price, extremely lower than any tourist will ever pay.

ok, email me if you want more info. I just returned yesterday.
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Apr 29th, 2000, 12:19 PM
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MJD, Thanks so much. You've been most helpful.

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Apr 30th, 2000, 07:07 PM
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Absolutely, hoard those pound notes. You are expected to tip for everything! I have a great story when I went on a camel ride around the Pyramids. The young man who guided my camel- "Mickey"- took so much time to explain in his best English about the Pyramids and the various sites surrounding. He volunteered many times to take my picture (and I tell you the one of me on the camel in front of the Great Pyramid is priceless). And of course at one point insisted that he should now ride with me. WRONG. I insisted there simply was not enough room. So as we made our way back to the stable, he started making sounds about "baksheesh". Well, he had been just charming so I pulled a LE20 (which I knew was a generous tip) and handed it to him. And his shrukrans were many. When we got withing a 100 yards of the stables, he said,"You know, if the camel owner ask how much you gave me..." I interrupted him because I knew what was coming so I finished his sentence "...
I'll tell him 5 pounds." You should have seen the smile that lit his face. That camel ride was one of the highlights of my trip.
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