TIPPING CUSTOM IN VIETNAM

     

On many travel forums, we found thedebates about tipping in Vietnam. Many say that it is not compulsory, there is no need lớn tip.

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Others say you should tip toward the good servicesor service that exceeds your expectations.

Hence, tipping is a hot topic amongst travellers to Vietnam. Should youtip? If so, who should youtip? & how much?

In some parts of the world, particularly the US, tips are expected and taken for granted, và in some establishments a tip is even included in the bill, meaning the customer is obliged to tip even when they might feel that it is not deserved.

In Vietnam, this isn’t the case, và the culture of tipping is still in its infancy. The Vietnamese rarely tip in restaurants or bars, though women usually tip in hairdressers or spas.

What should you do?

Here are our guidelines fortipping in Vietnam.


Table of content
Who khổng lồ tip và How much?

Are you supposed to tip in Vietnam?


If you are travelling to lớn Vietnam, you must be familiar with the tipping etiquette there. Generally, tipping is not expected in Vietnam, but is very much appreciated. Many Vietnam workers vày not earn much money & always appreciate the extra money to lớn be made in tips.

The official currency in Vietnam is the Vietnam Dong (VND). However, United States dollars are also accepted in most places. If you are travelling to Vietnam, make sure you exchange your money to their currency so you will have plenty of spending money.

Also, it is important to note that at most tourist attractions, people buy items through bargaining. When bargaining, be polite and never argue. Always try lớn get the best price for what you want, but if you can’t, don’t get upset.

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Something to lớn keep in mind


Before continuing further on who and how much to tip, there is something you should keep in mind.

Keep the change?

Depending on where you’re eating, the tipping culture could be vastly different. If you were khổng lồ order street food & tell the vendor khổng lồ keep the change, there’s a high chance that they might insist you take it back – whether through humility or confusion at a perceived overpayment – even if it’s just ten thousand Vietnamesedong.

Doing as the locals bởi vì is sound advice for any travellers, và you’re unlikely khổng lồ see a local tipping a street food joint so don’t worry about it too much. If the food really was that delicious, order another one or leave a few thousand dong on the side and make your escape before they have the chance to lớn thrust it back into your palm.

Eating in restaurants or cafes is another story. It’s worth keeping in mind that the waiting staff in such places often work long hours with little breaks for less than $10 a day.

If you order a snack và a coffee that comes to, for example, 230thousand dong, then it’s common to lớn simply leave behind the remaining 20 thousandchangethat you’re unlikely to miss, but which could help lớn make all the difference for a young waitress with a family or a university course.

If you’re heading lớn an area for a prolonged amount of time, leaving a tip each time isn’t necessary but can see you rewarded with better service và preferential treatment as a regular.

Naturally, the pricier the restaurant, the more you’ll be expected to tip. Once you start to hit the high hundreds with your bill, you can start to think about tipping 10% và up for good service, though make sure that service charge isn’t included in your bill already.

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Fair fares và the knead for tips

In any big thành phố in Vietnam, & certainly in the touristy areas in Hanoi, finding a xe taxi driver that will actually use the xe taxi meter can be a real pain. With that in mind, it’s worth rewarding the drivers who do, with a small tip.

There’s no need khổng lồ break the bank; if it comes khổng lồ 91thousand dongfor example, give him 100 thousand dongand don’t expect the change.

They’ll be grateful for it and it might convince them lớn continue earning an honest living và not quote $30for a trip that’s virtually around the corner.

As anyone who has visited Vietnam will know, mas sa shops can be found on virtually every corner, making for fierce competition between shops và price wars that can make it easily affordable for a tourist.

Massages are personal & catered for the receiver & can be tiring work. Not only that, the competition means that more often than not the masseurs can wait around for hours without a single customer, only to receive a pittance of the massage fee once the house has taken their cut.

Again, tipping isn’t expected but it’s more than appreciated, so you may want lớn consider tipping the masseur perhaps 50-100 thousand dongon a bill of 500 thousand dong, và giving it directly to them.

It won’t break the bank, but it can make a person’s day.

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Sweetdreams & the guide price

There aren’t many things worse than not double checking your booking & arriving at your hotel weary and jet-lagged, only to discover you’re on the fourth floor & there’s no elevator.

Spare a thought for the poor bell boys & porters who’ll have lớn lug your luggage up there! These jobs, along with housekeeping jobs in a hotel, are quite often low paying with long hours & high standards, so a tip of trăng tròn thousanddongper bag carried or per room cleaned can go a long way.

Tour guides can be very hit và miss in Vietnam. Some can absolutely make a trip, while others may carry a vibe that they’d rather be anywhere else. The amount you tip should vary with the service và length of time the tour guide is with you.

For great guides who have been with a group the whole day, it’s not unusual for them khổng lồ be given upwards of 1 million dong– a large amount for someone who will only earn around 15 million dong per month.

If you’re not happy with the service, there’s no obligation to tip but keep in mind that everyone has good & bad days, & the hours can be long và exhausting.

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Use your own judgement

As the locals say, it really is “up to you”. There’s no expectation of tourists to lớn tip but it will certainly be appreciated.

It can be easy to pass through a town that you’ll never visit again without tipping, but good service and satisfaction should always be rewarded.

Keep in mind the amount of money people in restaurants and hotels earn & think twice before scooping those coins out of the change tray.


Tipping tour guides has become a must since tips probably tài khoản for half of their earnings. Being a tour guide means having lớn stay far from family and friends for a long time & working no matter the weather.

Tour guides also play a big role in making a tour successful và they may become a good friend of yours during your journey. So if the adventure you experienced is truly awesome, you can let the guides know by giving them a tip of around $6-8 per person per day.

Regarding the driver, $3-4 per person per day is enough.


When you join a cruise (Halong or Mekong), you will have cruise guides, bartenders, waiters/waitress, or housekeepers. If you enjoy the services, you can leave tip in sum of about $10 after the cruise. There is also tipping box for you to bởi it. Of course, if you really satisfy with the services of the cruise guide, you can give him some more directly.

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Vietnam is undoubtedly a paradise for street food lovers. Believe it or not, most of the country’s signature dishes originated from the sidewalk. Normally, you should not tip the owners of these stalls because they’ll feel awkward, or even worse, offended.

If the latter is the case, they can be quite aggressive & heavily insist that you take back the tip. So when you want khổng lồ show your appreciation to lớn these mom-and-pop store owners and street vendors, giving them an uplifting & truthful compliment about their excellent food or service is more than enough.

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However, some small restaurants might accept tips so it highly depends on which place you go to as well. Generally, expect that the majority of small restaurant & stall owners will reject your tip, so don’t be too surprised!

Meanwhile, upscale restaurants vì chưng it a little differently. A service charge of approximately 10% is almost always added to lớn the customer’s bills. Often times this “service charge” is split between the employees, this fee does not directly go lớn your server.

Therefore, an extra bonus of 50,000 VND – 100,000 VND (2 USD – 5 USD) per person is suitable khổng lồ gift outstanding staff, và make sure you hand this khổng lồ them personally.

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Spas và beauty services in Vietnam are considerably cheaper compared khổng lồ similar services in other countries. This is one of the few services lớn which Vietnamese generally tip. As a matter of fact, girls working in spas usually come from less than wealthy families & rural areas.

They are usually underpaid for their workload và therefore rely mainly on guest tips. So if a masseuse openly asks for tips, vì chưng not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. He/she will be very grateful lớn receive a tip of 50,000 VND – 100,000 VND.

Similar khổng lồ restaurants, at some luxurious spas, a service charge ranging from 5 – 10% is sometimes covered in the price. Again, lượt thích most situations in Vietnam, if you are pleased with your massage, you can tip the spa làm đẹp staff another extra tip because we don’t really know whose pocket the service charge reaches eventually.

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One of the important things to lớn remember is that customers are not required to lớn leave a tip for taxi drivers. Taxi drivers expect to lớn receive the exact amount of money displayed on the kilometer clock.

But this also depends on your desire and whether the taxi driver is polite, honest, and helpful or not.

If you bởi want to lớn give the xe taxi driver a tip, the best way is lớn round off the xe taxi fare & ask the driver to keep the change. For instance, if the total amount is VND42,000 (2 USD), then give the driver VND50,000 và request that he/she keeps the change.

Do lưu ý that some xe taxi drivers assume that passengers might not pay attention khổng lồ the change & they may just try lớn keep it, while the service they provide is only at the mediocre level.

Then, by all means, ask for the change back because they have no right to bởi vì so. You can also prepare some odd smaller bills to khuyễn mãi giảm giá with these greedy drivers.

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It is not a question of tip, but of contribution khổng lồ the worship, the maintenance of the places, etc. It is judicious to leave some Dongs, the local currency, in the urn.

There is also no need khổng lồ leave your donation into every urn, just give lớn 1-2 urn that you find suitable.

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Vietnam is a developing economy, which means that the majority of the population is still living on an average wage. If you truly enjoy the service, a small tip will perfectly represent your gratuity for the service provided. 20,000 VND may be less than 1 USD; not much for you but maybe a whole meal for the staff thành viên that served you.


Q. Is it customary to lớn tip in Vietnam?

A. As said above, it is not customary but highly recommended especially at the tourist sites. Vị give some small tips if you satisfy with the services that you have.

Q. What is the average local salary in Vietnam?

A. The average monthly salary of a worker in Vietnam is about $148 per month; those in high paying jobs bring trang chủ around $500 per month.

Q. How much budget vì chưng I need per day to lớn travel in Vietnam?

A. For the guided organized tour for the group of 2 pax in Vietnam, the expected budget will start from $80-90 per person per day. Depending on the accommodation, the restaurant, or the activities you will join, the budget can go up lớn $150-200 per person per day.

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Check out the detailed Vietnam trip cost

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Q. When is the best time khổng lồ visit Vietnam?

The best time of year to lớn visit the whole Vietnam is spring (February lớn April) & autumn (September to lớn November). The temperatures are more moderate, & rainfall is lighter. In spring, March & April have the lowest rainfall across all destinations and temperatures are pleasant, though still cool in the far north.

Check our full guide about Vietnam weather and best time khổng lồ visit

Q. How to book cheap ticket to Vietnam?

This requires some simple efforts & skills. Read our full guide on how to lớn get the cheapest ticket possible to lớn Vietnam