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Tipping in Vietnam: How Much & for Whom?

July 12, 2023 - 27476 views

Tipping was not traditionally considered a part of the culture in South East Asia in the past. However, this practice has slowly but surely established itself as an integral aspect of the culture in the area, and Vietnam is not an exception to this rule. Let's find out how much money is appropriate for tipping in Vietnam.

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.

Tipping in Vietnam

Should You Tip In Vietnam? 

There is no 100% correct response to this question, and everyone has their own opinion about this matter. You may tip employees if you are satisfied with their performance, but you are not obligated to do so if you are unhappy with their service. Since tipping is not a part of the authentic local culture in Vietnam, you are typically not required to leave a tip for any assistance you have received.

In spite of this, most Vietnamese people have modest incomes, making tips from customers particularly significant for service employees. How much should you tip while in Vietnam if you want to tip?

Who Should You Tip in Vietnam?

Tour Guides

The tour guide is expected to be at your service all day (even if they have already returned home) or to accompany, take care of, and assist you in resolving any issues during the day. This position also requires a great deal of experience, knowledge, and physical health; their tips tend to be the highest in the tourism service industry. 

Generally, a private tour guide should be tipped between US $7 and US $10 daily. However, if you are traveling with 5 to 8 people or more, it is reasonable to tip between US $3 and US $5 per person daily.

Explore The City With Our Knowledgable Tour Guide

Explore The City With Our Knowledgable Tour Guide

Taxi Drivers

Tipping a tour driver between US $3 and US $5 (70,000 VND and 100,000 VND) each day is reasonable, given that they will be there all day, taking care of your transporting safety and driving safely while traveling to multiple destinations. Aside from that, you may occasionally find yourself in the company of a very pleasant, knowledgeable driver who even communicates with you in a relatively good level of English. If this occurs, you may offer them a small present in exchange for a tip, and they will treat it with tremendous respect. 

Taxi prices usually require the precise amount of money accessible at the kilometer counter, and tipping is unnecessary. If you have a comfortable ride with a friendly & helpful driver, consider giving them a tip higher than the total. If the ride costs 55.000 VND, you could pay 60.000 VND and let them keep the change.

Taxi Driver In Vietnam

 Typical Taxi Driver In Vietnam

Bellman

A hotel's bellman will generally be the first and last person you'll interact with during your stay, providing direct service. They're the first to greet you when you check in, help you with your bags and get them to your room, and assist you with checking out and bringing your bags out on your last day.

The standard amount of money when tipping them is around US $2 (50,000 VND), or US $1 per piece of baggage if you have a lot.

A Friendly Bellman In The Hotel

A Friendly Bellman In The Hotel

Housekeeper

Some believe tipping housekeeping staff is unnecessary as they are responsible for keeping the rooms tidy. However, consider leaving US $1-2 (50,000 VND) on a table in the room as a gift if you are satisfied with the cleanliness and convenience of your accommodation.

Housekeepings In The Hotel

Housekeepers In The Hotel

Restaurant Waiter/Waitress

Currently, the majority of restaurants in Vietnam do not include a service charge in their receipt; you only need to pay for your food and a 10% of VAT tax. Therefore, if you are entirely delighted with any service, you can tip them directly from US $1 to US $3 (20,000 to 70,000 VND) as a thank-you gift.

Moreover, in some restaurants and cafés, there is a tipping box at the counter where you can leave some cash, approximately US $1 (20,000 VND) or less, as an expression of appreciation for the service you received; the money will be divided equally among the staff.

On the other hand, fine dining and 5-star hotel restaurants typically add 5 to 15 percent of the service charge to the total, but only a little of this amount will be given to the staff. Suppose you were exceptionally pleased with the service, then consider giving a small gratuity to the person who served you.

Have A Meal At The Hotel

Have A Meal At The Hotel

Spa Staff

If you use the service of a high-end spa, there is no need to leave a tip because the cost is already sufficiently expensive and includes a commission for the employees. In comparison, as the service price at lower-end spas is already relatively low, it is expected to leave a gratuity of 15–20 percent of the total bill, which is equivalent to about US $5 (100,000 VND) straight to the staff members who satisfy your requirements.

Relax At The Spa

Relax At The Spa

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

Both options are open to you. However, since the Vietnam currency (VND) is more commonly used and serves as the primary currency in the country, it is recommended that tips be given in VND because this is the most practical option. In addition, 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.

It's time for you to plan your Vietnam Tour with us to get an unforgettable trip! Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Hope you have a wonderful time staying in Vietnam. 

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Questions & Answers (17)

Ask a Question
21/07/2023

do Vietnamese people prefer being tipped with dollars or dong?

Reply
1
24/07/2023
@Jorie:

Hi! You can do both, USD and VND are all goods for tipping here.

1 Reply
14/06/2023

How much should I tip the golf caddies?

Reply
1
14/06/2023
@Roane Dick:

Hi! Generally, golfers usually tip for caddies in Vietnam around $20.

1 Reply
06/04/2023

How can I tips if I don't have any small bill?

Reply
1
07/04/2023
@Shelly Jones:

You can give them something small that you bring along: foods, gifts, etc. or if you use the same online payment method with the person you want to tip, you can pay over a little.

1 Reply
31/03/2023

In Vietnam, is it considered rude when leaving the tip on the table?

Reply
1
31/03/2023
@brian:

No, you can leave the tip there.

1 Reply
21/03/2023

It's my first time in Vietnam, so I wonder if the way they tip in Vietnam is different from my country. Do I tip the staff directly or add it in the bill?

Reply
1
27/03/2023
@kenny:

Usually, you should tip the staff directly. However, with some luxury services, if the bill includes the "service fee" which usually about 5 - 15% total bill, usually it means the tip is included in the bill.

1 Reply