Whether you are an expat living in Vietnam or a traveler planning a tour to this culturally rich country, it is important to know beforehand about the tipping in Vietnam. Well, tipping in most of the countries is more like part of their culture, customs, and etiquette that a traveler always should look to follow while vacationing in that particular nation. Some countries even have rules and laws regarding tipping and it is considered as a taxable personal income. Thus, learning about the basic tipping culture of a particular country (where you are planning to visit) is essential in order to respect the culture as well as tourism of the nation.
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Is Tipping in Vietnam Common?
Talking about tipping in Vietnam, well, it is not common at all in the country. Or we can say, tipping in Vietnam is not mandatory and not expected. Tipping etiquette in Vietnam is still a relatively new thing in the country’s beautiful culture. But despite that, in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, tipping is becoming a norm. Almost all the public services offered in the country are exceptional. Hence, it is advisable to give a small amount of money as a tip if you feel like the offered services to you are good. In this post, we will talk about the tipping culture in Vietnam which will help you decide where to tip and how much to tip.
Vietnam travel tips
The official currency in Vietnam is Vietnam Dong which is denoted as VND. The exchange rate as of February 2020 is 23,238 to 1 USD. Most of the time, you will have to pay in local currency. But, at some places especially in District 3 the US dollars are also accepted and can also be used for tips. However, I would suggest you not to give USD currency as a tip. Doing so could sometimes go against you, and some locals can consider it disrespectful.
Tipping in Vietnam Restaurants
It is important to know that many of the high-end restaurants and other eateries include a service charge in your bills. The best restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi or any other major city in Vietnam imply services charge in of 5-10% on your total bill. But, that amount rarely reaches to service staff. And even if the management decides to give it to their employees, then it is more likely to be a minimal amount. Vietnam tips, if you feel like the services are exceptional and outstanding, then it would be a nice gesture if you give some tip to the service person. You can add a tip of 10000 VND extra on your total bill.
**If you are looking for incredible food in Ho Chi Minh city make sure to check out District 1 and District 2.**
However, in the case of street food in Vietnam, it is not customary to give a tip, though it is highly acceptable. You can leave a tip of about 20000 VND to a vendor if you feel like his/her services and taste of the food were exceptional.
Tipping in Hotels
As a part of Vietnam travel, tipping to hotels is also not a mandatory thing to do. However, you can still give a tip to bellman, housekeeper, or reception person, considering the level of their service. To cleaners and bellman, you can give a tip of 20,000 VND for their great services. Whereas, in case of giving a tip to the reception, it is advisable to consider it only when you have received an exceptional service for which, they went out of their way to help you. Otherwise, you can opt-out to give a tip to a reception person.
Tipping in Taxis
Some more Vietnam travel ps: Like hotels and restaurants, you are not required to give a tip to taxi drivers, especially in major cities like Hanoi, Hoi an and Ho Chi Minh City. However, you can still consider to do it if considering the nature and service of the taxi driver. In Vietnam, it’s not like that your taxi driver will get offended if you don’t leave a tip. Taxi drivers in Vietnam expect to get the exact amount displayed on the meter clock. If you receive a smooth ride and throughout your journey, your driver is polite, helpful, and honest, consider giving him some tip. The best way to do that is by rounding off the taxi fare and then ask him to keep the change. For example, if your fare is somewhere around 14000 VND, then you can make it 20000 VND and give it to the driver asking him to keep the change.
It is also important to know that, some drivers assume that passengers do not give any heed to the change, and hence, they try to keep the change. Be aware of such drivers, especially the ones who were not at all good in their service. Ask for the remaining change from such drivers.
Tipping in Vietnam tour guide
Unlike restaurants, hotels, and taxis, tipping tour guides is a must. It is because the tipping makes half of their earning. I am sure, you can understand the struggle every tour guide faces; they have to remain far from their dear ones for a long time. If you have hired a tour guide to visit one of the incredible districts like District 1 or District 3, then no one but you can only understand their importance. And giving a small is the least we can do for them as a gesture of thank you. Therefore, if the overall experience of your tour is awesome and amazing, then you can appreciate your tour guide/s by the end of the tour by giving a tip of around 116,000 VND or 5 USD.
** If you’re looking for a good tour or just something to do make sure you check out the local markets for all the incredible souvenirs and food!**
Vietnam massage tip and Salon
If compared to other countries, Spa and Salon services in Vietnam are quite cheaper. For a fact, this is one of those services for which even Vietnamese generally tip. So, you can understand that if you are making use of these services in Vietnam, then tipping is a must. Employees in salons and spas in Vietnam are generally underpaid and expect a tip for their every service. If your masseuse or a hairdresser is asking you for a tip, then you a give some without considering the quality of the service. You can offer a tip of anything between 50,000 VND to 100,000 VND to your masseuse and hairdresser.
The economy of Vietnam is developing and tourism in the country has started receiving success in recent times. A majority of the population in Vietnam is still on the average wage line. Therefore, if you have truly enjoyed your service, a small tip will give no harm to your budget, rather show your appreciation to the service provider.