The Right Info About Tipping In Vietnam
Tipping has been used in Vietnam since the French colonial period. Vietnamese people say "bo" very often in daily life, anywhere anytime. The word "bo" is from the French word "pourboire" means tipping. It has become a standard to show that you respect and be courteous to the person who serves you...
Tipping has been used in Vietnam since the French colonial period. Vietnamese people say "bo" very often in daily life, anywhere anytime. The word "bo" is from the French word "pourboire" means tipping. It has become a standard to show that you respect and be courteous to the person who serves you.
Tipping is by no means mandatory, it is a nice way to say “thanks” to people after you receive their service - for them is highly appreciated and valued.
UNDERSTANDING VIETNAMESE CURRENCY
The Vietnamese Dong (VND) can be confusing for tourists because there are so many zeros but for a very cheap value. The exchange rate is about 23,000 VND for 1 USD. You can pay by local currency at most of local area or by US dollars at some of the major centers.
TIPPING FOR RESTAURANT
High-end Restaurants: Upscale restaurants may add a 10 - 15% tip onto your bill automatically - this money will be shared to all staffs in the end of every months. So, if you enjoyed your experience, should tip your waiter or waitress about 10% of the total bills. Hand the money directly to the person you want to tip - don’t leave it on the table.
Mid-Range Restaurants: You can leave your change or tip about 10% of the bill. It’s a nice touch to tell the owner or the person who collects your money if you loved the service, the food, or something else about the restaurant.
Street Food: Usually, street food is very cheap, so local people don't expect for any tip. Even if you try to tip, the vendor might even give the money back, thinking you made a mistake. However, if you really want to show your appreciation, pay an extra 10,000 or 20,000 VND and indicate that they should keep the change.
TIPPING FOR HOTEL
For the porters: Tip about 1 USD or 20,000 VND for a porter who carries your bag to your room. Increase this amount if you’re staying in a very expensive hotel.
For the maids / cleaners: If your room is kept spotless, leave about 1 USD or 20,000 VND per day at the end of your stay. You can leave the tip on a table in your room. Again, if your hotel is very expensive, increase this amount accordingly.
For the reception / concierge: Hotel staff in Vietnam will go far out of their way to help you with any number of special requests. If you’ve received great service for an unusual request, feel free to tip a few dollars to the person who helped you.
TIPPING FOR TAXI DRIVERS
Taxis and motorbikes are an extremely cheap way to get around in Vietnam. Tipping is not expected, but make sure to carry some odd cash, so it is easier to pay for the drivers.
TIPPING FOR TOUR GUIDES
In general, tour guides in Vietnam receive low wages and must rely on tipping to get enough to feed the whole their families. Being a tour guide is an “always on” job, too. Guides spend all day pouring their energy into the happiness of your group. Because of that, you should give some good tips for your guides!
Depending on the length and cost of your tours, tip your guides about 10 - 15% of the total costs. If there is a driver in addition to the guide, you also should give him a 5 - 10%. Hand the tip discreetly to each person individually at the end of your tours.
TIPPING IS REAL CULTURE IN VIETNAM
Tipping is real culture and very common everywhere in Vietnam already for long time. If somebody said it is not Vietnam culture just because they are impolite and unkind to help local people - they are just rude people, also scrimp, selfish, uneducated, and never know about the real culture of Vietnam.
Most service industry workers are paid very little while most of the cost will pay for many other things for your service, so it’s always nice to tip when it is deserved. One or two dollars might seem like nothing in the West but it can make a big difference for local people in Vietnam.
I hope this guide is useful for you as I’ve spent over 25 years to do many jobs for the tourism in Vietnam and love all tourist and local people.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch and I’ll try to help you out.
The Owner of VIETNAMRIDER®