Today, attitudes towards tipping are changing. Although the practice is not officially recognised, tips are now frequently offered to and accepted by travel guides, tour bus drivers, porters and waiters in top-class hotels and restaurants.

However, tipping is still not expected in most restaurants and hotels. So ask the guide whether a tip is necessary and how much when you are uncertain. Sometimes, small gifts such as paperbacks, cassette tapes and western cigarettes appear to be preferred. Note that it is part of the polite ritual that any gift or tip initially will be firmly rejected.

Consumer taxes are included in price tags on goods but big hotels and fine restaurants may include a service charge of 10% or more.

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