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There is one word that sums up tipping in Egypt "Baksheesh"!!! Don't leave your hotel without some small change to leave as a tip. If you use porters, parking attendants, the doorman hails you a taxi, use a public toilet you will want to have some small bills as tipping is customary in Egypt.
Tipping is at your discretion but the Ultimate Sharm Guide (available for sale at various locations for around 40LE) suggests the following tips:
Parking Attendant LE1-2
Bathroom Attendans LE1-2
The minimum tip if given is at least 1LE. Anything below that is a bit of an insult.
Remember tipping tour guides is at your discretion but if you have a good tour guide it is worth it to give a small tip!
Written Jun 24, 2007
in eygpt it would be ideal to learn some basoc arabic just to get you by as sometimes you need to get rid of pushy salesmen etc. here is some to get you started:
Hello = Ahalan
Thank you = shokran
Please = Min Fadilak
Excuse me = Ann Eazinak
Good = Taib/ Bikair
Bad = Saia/ Mosh Bikair
Do you speak English?= tatakalam Inglesi?
How much is this? = bikam hatha?
It is too expensive = ghalia katheer
these are some usefull phrases that should get you well one your way :D
Written Aug 23, 2005
Its very common and normal to see Egyptian guys holding hands, sometimes they hug and give each other a kiss too, in fact muh more so than a man and a woman. This is a sign of friendship, Do not make the mistake of thinking they are gay, as they will take great offence at this! If you have kids, it may be wise to mention this to them before they see them in the street and comment very loudly! hehe!
Written Mar 2, 2005
Although English, French, Spanish and German is widely spoken in Egypt it is still beneficial to learn some of the language. The language in Egypt is Arabic. I have got a couple of books on Egypt which have helped me with the pronunciation of the words... as they can be abit of a mouthful. I have got the Lonely Planet guide to Egypt & also the Eyewitness guide to Egypt. Both books have been fantastic.
Hello= As-salama alaykum
Hello (to respond)= Wa alaykum salam
Goodbye (person leaving)= Ma' al salama
Goodbye (person responding)= Alla salkmak (to a man), Alla ysalmich (to a lady), Alla ysalimkum (to a group of people)
Good morning= Sabah al-kheir
Good afternoon/evening= Masa' al-kheir
Good afternoon/evening (to respond)= Masa' an-nur
Goodnight= Tisbah ala'kheir (to a man), Tisbihin ala-kheir (to a lady)
Pleased to meet you= Fursa sa' ida
Please= Min fadlik (to a man) Min fadlich (to a lady)
How are you?= Kef Halak?
And one of my favourite Arabic words is "No Problem" which is "Mish Mushkila"
Everything in Egypt is Mish Mushkila even the language.... Its very easy to learn once you've learnt a few basic words.
Written May 15, 2007
Make sure you have got plenty of change for when you go to Sharm, tips are expected everywhere in Sharm also known as "BAKSHEESH" in Arabic.
The rule is only give a tip if you feel the service has been good and they are nice. I had a nasty lady when i used the toilet at a restaurant, she was like "Money, ching, ching" and snatched 1 Egyptian pound off me so i could go to the toilet, she didnt even give me any toilet tissue where as most public toilets expect a tip but they do at least give you a little bit of toilet paper! Another tip is take your own packets of tissue and hand sanitiser because some public toilets are unbelievable.
I always take plenty of Egyptian pound notes to tip waiters, room maids and those guys at the airport that grab your suitcases.
Written May 15, 2007
Baksheesh is small change in Eygptian pounds. It is very handy for tipping. You can get baksheesh from banks in Naama Bay - i personally prefer 'HSBC'. I'd change out 100LE, this should get you through two weeks whilst in Egypt. But only tip if you think you've had good service, too many people expect it.
You will need it especially, if you go to public toilets, room maids, airports or dining out.
Updated Jan 8, 2008
Bargaining is an artform alive and well in Egypt. Rarely will you find prices marked on items in a store, besides perhaps the supermarket :) Some of the shopkeepers could win Oscars for the stellar performances they give in groaning, moaning, and playacting as you bargain with them.
Normally the first price given in a lot of shops is astronomical compared to the correct "real" price of the item. Keep in mind that the prices can be inflated 30-500% depending on the shopowner. However with that said, you don't have to unmercilessly haggle a poor shopkeeper down to a ridiculously low price. When you show interest in an item, you should already have an idea of what price you want to pay.
One thing that you should never do is haggle a shopkeeper down to a price that you offered and then walk away. Don't engage in bargaining unless you are really intending to purchase an item!
But if a shopkeeper won't come down to the price you want and know is fair, walk away. Most times as you are hitting the door, the shopkeeper will call you back and playacting again grudgingly agree to your price probably mumbling about how you are going to bankrupt him ;) If you don't get called back, take your business elsewhere where they are willing to give you a fair deal...but if you are again refused your price, maybe your idea of the worth of the item needs to be adjusted.
Bargaining is meant to be enjoyable so you should never get angry. Keep a smile on your face and remember, this is fun!
Updated Jun 7, 2007
When i was in Egypt i asked what the legal age was to drink over there. All the locals told me that there was not really a set legal age, just as long as you were not a child you could get alcohol at restaurants, hotels, nightclubs and bars.
I never had a problem getting a drink anywhere but let me warn you that in the airport at Sharm El Sheikh i wanted to buy some Smirnoff Vodka and some Egyptian Beer to take home and i never realised but you have to be 21 Years old to buy it in there. I showed them my passport and at the time i was only 20 so they refused to sell it to me. So i just apoligised and said thanks anyway. I thought i would let you know as there were no signs to say Identification was needed or what the age was to buy it.
Written May 16, 2007
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Written Sep 25, 2004
it is customary here to tip for EVERYTHING, you tip your waiters, your cleaners, your tour guides, anyone that offers you a service expects a tip. Be careful at the airport though as they just grab your suitcase off the baggge reclaim belt and expect tipping for it, there sometimes you have to be strict and say no.
Written Apr 23, 2004
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