Vietnamese Tipping: How Much & for Whom?

Tipping was not traditionally considered a part of the culture in Southeast Asia in the past. However, as the number of visitors from Western countries increased rapidly over the years, the tipping culture became widely accepted and seen as an essential part of the salary for service industry workers in modern-day Vietnam. This is because wages for service workers in Vietnam are typically low, and tips help to supplement their income. A standard tip in Vietnam is 10-15% of the bill. However, you can tip more if you were particularly impressed with the service. In some cases, such as when you are staying in a high-end hotel or using a tour guide, you may be expected to tip more.

Who Should You Tip in Vietnam?

Tour guides: They are expected to be at your service all day and require a lot of experience, knowledge, and physical health. A private tour guide should be tipped between US $7 and US $10 daily. If you are traveling with a group, you can tip between US $3 and US $5 per person daily.

Taxi drivers: They will be with you all day, taking care of your transportation safety and driving safely while traveling to multiple destinations. A reasonable tip is between US $3 and US $5 (70,000 VND and 100,000 VND) each day. If you have a comfortable ride with a friendly and helpful driver, you can consider giving them a higher tip.

Bellmen: They are the first and last person you will interact with during your stay at a hotel. They will help you with your bags, check you in and out, and other tasks. The standard tip is around US $2 (50,000 VND), or US $1 per piece of baggage if you have a lot.

Restaurant waiters/waitresses: Currently, most restaurants in Vietnam do not include a service charge in their bill. You can tip them directly from US $1 to US $3 (20,000 to 70,000 VND) if you are happy with the service. In some restaurants, there is a tipping box where you can leave some cash as a gesture of appreciation.

It is important to note that tipping is not mandatory in Vietnam. However, it is appreciated by service workers, especially those who earn low wages. If you are on a tight budget, you can still show your appreciation by saying "thank you" or by leaving a small token of your appreciation, such as a handwritten note or a small gift.

Should You Tip In USD Or VND (Vietnamese Currency)?

Both options are open to you. However, it is more practical to tip in VND because it is the more commonly used currency in Vietnam. Additionally, because the value of one VND is less than one US Dollar, it is more advantageous to use the local currency not only for tipping but also for purchasing while you are on vacation in Vietnam.
Even though tipping is not required in a South East Asian country like Vietnam, it is becoming increasingly prevalent as a means of expressing gratitude to those who provide excellent service. Remember that you should only give a bonus when satisfied; if not, you can choose not to tip.

We hope you have a wonderful time planning your Vietnam tour with us! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to helping you make your trip unforgettable.

 

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