All you need to know about tipping in Vietnam

All you need to know about tipping in Vietnam

In Vietnam, tipping never be obligatory. However, this has been becoming more popular thanks to the universal influences, especially for the high-end service. Many travelers don’t have the idea of whether they should tip, who they should tip or how much they should tip. Here are some suggestions about tipping in Vietnam that will hopefully help tourists less confused.

Tipping may be customary in some regions in the world, namely America when tipping is nearly taken for granted. Truthfully, tipping is an etiquette that is various from nation to nation. Even in some country, according to the rules and laws regulations, the gratuity is a kind of income that the individual must pay the personal tax.

Do you tip in Vietnam?” never be a simple question. It’s nearly impossible to give a straight-forward answer yes or no. In fact, in Vietnam, tipping isn’t totally customary. Unless you have the first-class service, as you go to the spas, the upscale bar or restaurant, in general, tipping is not a habit of Vietnamese people. According to a long-time tour guide, “70 percent of Vietnamese visitors don’t tip or feel obligated to give a tip”. Even some people assume that tipping is a way to show off the status’s people. It’s strongly believed that in Vietnam the custom of tipping is still in its infancy.

However, in big tourist cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, or Danang, tipping seems to be a more common practice. In Vietnam, tipping bases on several factors. However, the most essential factor is the standard or quality of the service. If you get the excellent service that goes beyond your expectation, it’s advisable for you to give a tip. In this case, the tipping money should be given to reward the good, professional or friendly service.

The action of the tipper expresses the politeness and appreciation toward the staffs who served them enthusiastically.  Although in major hotels and restaurants, 5% of the service fee is included in the bills or the more high-end service offers to add a 10-15% service charge to the bill. Nevertheless, this amount of money is likely not to be accessible to the service staff so personal tips are always suggested.


5-10% of the service charge is commonly added in the bill​

5-10% of the service charge is commonly added in the bill

In the majority of restaurants in Vietnam, 5-10% of the service charge is added in the bill. However, the staffs can’t nearly receive this amount of money that is likely to end up in the hands of the owners or contributes to the total profit of the restaurant before being distributed to all the employees. Therefore, a person serving you may be given a small cut. Excellent service is deserved to reward with 5-15% of the total bill and you can put it on the table.

It’s a good idea to leave some notes (around $2-4) for the waiters or waitresses if you are satisfied with the offered service. Moreover, in Vietnam, tipping for bartenders is most common since they are often highly-paid and their income mainly comes from the tipping money. The suitable tip can be over $3 and you can gain some benefits such as having a better seating position or the exclusive beverage from the bartender. Ensure to give the tip to the outstanding staffs personally.  


Tipping in the accommodation depends on the service quality however, in Vietnam, hotel services aren’t often tipped as frequently as the tour guide or spas. In case you get the excellent service, you can tip the bellman $1 per bag if he helps you carry the luggage and the housekeeper $1-2 per day. You can give the money to the housekeepers directly or leave it on the desk or table prior to going out. If the service is terrible, you may not give the tip.


Tipping in a spa

Tipping in a spa

Being considerably more affordable than the same service in other countries, spa or other beauty services is one of the services being tipped most in Vietnam. In the high-end resort, the expense of the service includes the gratuity. However, in fact, girls who work in the spas tend to come from low-income families and are badly-paid for the workload they undertake. The guest’s tip is quite important to them.

Therefore, if the ones serving you ask for tip actively, don’t be angry, consider their action to be discourteous or yell at them. If you are content with your message, give a tip of $3-5 and the staffs will be certainly grateful. You can’t be sure where the service charge will reach eventually.

Tour guide

For several reasons, tipping is truly expected for the tour guide who is often underpaid. The salary frequently accounts for half of their income so they must base on the generosity of the guest and the tip to earn money. A tour guide must accept to stay away from the family for a long time and work in any weather conditions.

If you go on a private tour, the tour guide who follows you during the whole journey makes a significant contribution to the success of the trip. A tour guide can be an important fellow-passenger on your tour. Therefore, you are highly recommended to give a tip of $3-5 to a tour guide per day. Besides, remember to tip your driver. The suitable amount can be $1-2.


Tipping in a taxi (

Tipping in a taxi (

In all cases, the customers are not required to give a tip however it’s not common to pay the exact amount of money appearing in the kilometer clock. If the taxi driver is enthusiastic, friendly and helpful or your address is difficult to find, you can tell the driver to keep the change.

For example, the total bill is 26,000 VND (approx. over $1), you can pay 30,000VND. Nevertheless, pay attention to some greedy drivers who pretend to have no change. In this case, you should prepare some little money in order not to be cheated by these drivers. If you catch a “xich lo” (or cyclo), you should give a tip of $2-5 since this is a strenuous job. Driving "xich lo" takes lots of energy.

Generally, tipping or not relies on the provided service. If you are pleased with the service, don’t hesitate to give a tip. $1-2 may not be much for you but with that amount of money, the one serving you can buy the entire meal. Do not hesitate to take Asia tours packages right now. Why don’t you take Vietnam package tours to get more ideas of Vietnam best places? Vietnam is waiting for you!  Share the post if you find it helpful. Have an amazing trip!