How much to tip in Vietnam: A comprehensive handbook for travelers

Tips for Traveling to Vietnam

Is tipping expected in Vietnam?

In Vietnam, tipping is not customary, particularly at home-style eateries and from street vendors. If you try to tip, some locals could be shocked or perplexed. The kindness and provision of excellent service without the expectation of additional compensation are highly valued in Vietnamese society.  Tipping might not be expected or encouraged in the same way that it is in the US or some other nations.

Tipping in Vietnam

Tipping in Vietnam

However, the tipping culture in modern-day Vietnam became widely accepted and seen as a crucial component of the wage for service sector workers as the number of tourists from Western nations expanded over time. Let's figure out how much to tip in Vietnam.

Am I supposed to tip in Vietnam?

As tipping is not customary in Vietnam, it is crucial to understand the cultural context when thinking about it. Tipping should be viewed as a sign of gratitude for great service rather than as a requirement. Tipping customs in Vietnam have evolved over the years, and tipping is not as common or expected as it is in some Western countries. However, tipping is becoming more common, especially in tourist areas.

It's not customary to tip in Vietnam

It's not customary to tip in Vietnam

It's important to note that while tipping is becoming more common in tourist areas, it's not a widespread practice in Vietnam, and service staff may not always expect or rely on tips. Additionally, the tipping culture can vary from one region to another within the country. When in doubt, it's a good idea to ask locals or check with your tour operator or hotel for guidance on tipping practices in the specific area you're visiting.

Read more: Is Vietnam safe for tourists? What do you need to know when visiting this country?

Who Should You Tip and how much to tip in Vietnam?

The decision to tip in Vietnam depends on where you receive a service, such as local restaurants, fine dining establishments, tourist attractions, and more. Let's break it down:

Tipping for Tour Guides and Drivers

Whether or not to tip tour guides is at your discretion and should depend on the level of service you receive. It's typical to offer a gratuity of approximately 5-10% of the total tour price, particularly if you had a pleasant and informative time.

Try a good service tour in Halong Bay 

Try a good service tour in Halong Bay 

In Vietnam, there's generally no customary practice of tipping taxi drivers because fares are usually set. Nevertheless, if a taxi driver goes above and beyond or helps with your luggage, you can offer a modest tip as a gesture of appreciation.

Review Halong Bay Cruise: Paradise Cruise 

Tipping for Waiter/Waitress

A modest tip of between 5 and 10% of the total bill can be left as a token of appreciation if you experience exceptional service or dining by a waiter/waitress in a high-end restaurant or restaurant on the cruise.

Service by waiter/waitress in a restaurant on the cruise 

Service by waiter/waitress in a restaurant on the cruise

In upscale restaurants or cruise ship dining, a modest tip of 5-10% of the total bill can be left to show your appreciation for exceptional service.

Tipping for Spa and Hotel Staff 

Tipping is prevalent in spas. If a service charge is not included in the bill, you can tip masseuses or therapists 10-15% of the entire cost of the session. Always tip in the local currency, Vietnamese Dong (VND), and give the tip directly to the personnel as a token of appreciation for their efforts.

Tipping is prevalent in spas

Tipping is prevalent in spas

You can tip bellhops or porters about 50,000 VND for each bag if they assist you with your belongings. Housekeeping might be compensated with a daily tip of 50,000 to 100,000 VND, especially if they give excellent service. Concierge workers do not demand tips, however, a payment of 50,000 to 100,000 VND is customary if they go above and beyond. 

Tipping for street vendors or market sellers

Vietnamese culture generally does not include the practice of tipping street vendors and market sellers. Prices are typically non-negotiable, and haggling is the norm. 

Vietnam street vendors

Vietnam street vendors

However, if you receive exceptional service and want to show your gratitude, you can consider rounding up the payment for the item or service as a modest tip, though it's not obligatory.

Which currency should I tip in Vietnam: US dollars or the Vietnamese dong (VND)?

In Vietnam, both alternatives are available to you. It's generally more convenient and practical to tip in Vietnamese dong (VND) rather than US dollars. The local currency is widely accepted and preferred for tipping because it is the official currency of the country. Many businesses, restaurants, and service providers in Vietnam may not accept US dollars, or if they do, they may give you a less favorable exchange rate.

Best city in Vietnam to visit in 2024: Recommendations from experts and travelers

It's a good idea to carry some small denomination VND notes for tipping

It's a good idea to carry some small denomination VND notes for tipping

Remember that the tipping charge is up to you  

In Vietnam, tipping is often considered a gesture of goodwill rather than a mandatory practice. If you receive exceptional service in a restaurant, from a taxi driver or tour guide, leaving a small tip is a way of expressing your gratitude. In Vietnam, remember that the tipping charge is up to you. 

In all cases, remember that the tip fee is up to you and is a way of recognizing the efforts of those who have served you in Vietnam. In addition, service and hospitality at five-star hotels and cruise ships are not required to tip. For example receptionist or waiter/waitress. Regardless of whether you tip or not and how much you tip, you will still receive the same enthusiastic service.

Some high-end hotels do not require customers to tip for their service. One of them is the Paradise Suites Hotel, which always serves you enthusiastically and wholeheartedly without asking for additional payments such as tips.

Experience the luxury hotel at Paradise Suites

Experience the luxury at Paradise Suites Hotel 

Experience the professional five-star hotel service from Paradise Vietnam - Paradise Suites. At Paradise Suites Hotel, guests will receive an exclusive resort experience boasting 154 luxurious suite rooms adorned with high-class amenities. Indulge in the art of culinary excellence at our sophisticated restaurant, offering a tantalizing blend of Eurasian cuisine. 

Experience world-class hospitality with five-star service

Experience world-class hospitality with five-star service

Nestled in a prime location near entertainment attractions and the bustling Tuan Chau International Port, our hotel offers convenience and sophistication. Unwind in Paradise Bay, featuring an outdoor swimming pool and a private 2-kilometer beach, invites you to revel in ultimate relaxation and luxury.

Explore Further: Exploring the Top 10 Best Places to Visit in North Vietnam

Frequently asked questions from travelers

Travelers to Vietnam often have questions about tipping because tipping customs can vary from one country to another. Here are some frequently asked questions related to tipping in Vietnam:

How much do you tip a driver and guide in Vietnam?

Tipping practices in Vietnam can vary, but it's customary to tip drivers and guides for their services. A general guideline is to tip your driver around 50,000 to 100,000 VND (2 to 5 USD) per day, per person. For guides, you can tip approximately 200,000 to 500,000 VND (10 to 20 USD) per day, per person. However, these amounts can be adjusted based on the level of service and your satisfaction.

Customary to tip drivers

Customary to tip drivers

How much do you tip a hotel maid in Vietnam?

Tipping hotel maids is not obligatory in Vietnam, but it's a nice gesture if you've received good service. You can leave a small amount, such as 50,000 to 100,000 VND (2 to 5 USD), per day for the maid. You can place this tip in an envelope or directly on the bed as a sign of appreciation for their work.

Tipping hotel maids is not obligatory in Vietnam

Tipping hotel maids is not obligatory in Vietnam

Do you need to tip when going on a cruise?

Tipping policies can differ greatly among cruise lines and destinations. Some include gratuities in the overall cost, while others add a daily service charge to your bill. It's always wise to check the specific policy of the cruise line you're traveling with. They may suggest additional tipping for exceptional service or provide guidelines for tipping specific staff members.

At Paradise Vietnam, tipping is not mandatory. Our top priority is providing excellent service to our guests, whether we receive a tip or not. Our Halong Bay cruise packages are an amazing experience. We offer various packages that include luxurious accommodations, meals, guided tours of the stunning limestone islands and caves, kayaking, and even activities like cooking classes and squid fishing at night. Paradise Vietnam’s Cruises are renowned for their exceptional service, comfortable accommodations, and knowledgeable guides who share insights about the history and splendor of Halong Bay.

Find more Halong Bay Cruise Luxury

If you're considering this adventure, it's a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and cultural richness of Halong Bay while enjoying the luxuries and amenities of a well-appointed cruise ship.

Paradise Vietnam’s Cruises

Paradise Vietnam’s Cruises

Tipping in Vietnam is not as widespread as in the West, but it is still customary and appropriate in certain circumstances. The amount you tip will vary based on the service received and your judgment. Remember to tip out of gratitude, not obligation. When unsure how much to tip in Vietnam, seek advice from locals or your tour guide. By doing so, you can express your satisfaction with the service and support the local economy.

Find more information: Halong Bay cruise 3 days 2 nights with exclusive excursions

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