I will be going to Vietnam next year for tourism.
I would like to not offend locals so I was wondering if someone could tell me what the policy for tipping is over there ?
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Generally tipping is not required or expected in Vietnam. However, any extra money is appreciated.
Tipping bellmen is always appreciated, even a token amount.
Round up to the nearest 5,000 Dong (or greater) when paying cabbies (you don't want a lot of 1,000 Dong notes since they're almost worthless)
There are some some locations where people actively solicit tips or
'lucky money' for doing something simple, like holding a car door
open (this occurs at a specific bar in Hanoi). They may not be happy with the small amount I give them, but I don't want/need my car door open, so they
can deal with it.
In general, when paying, I round up to the nearest 5,000 or 10,000 Dong that I have. I just have no desire to carry around a large amount of small denominated paper currency. There are no coins in Vietnamese currency.
Note: Dong is the Vietnamese curency. You can also see it abbreviated as VND.
Zero. No tipping whatsoever. The locals never do it and would never be offended if they were never tipped.
There are of course some who may expect it and get offended if you don't tip, but only because they have been thus nurtured by Western tourists.
Tipping is akin to child prostitution or being topless on a beach---it is an unfortunate practice that Western tourists have helped to nurture in Asia. If Westerners had never come up to Asia, tipping/child prostitution/being topless on a beach might still exist, but it would be very rare. It is up to you as to whether you want to encourage or discourage the practice of tipping in Asia.
Tipping is not expected in Vietnam, but will be greatly appreciated. Smart hotels and restaurants nowadays add a 5% -10% service charge (which should be indicated on the bill) but elsewhere it’s up to you. In most cases, a few thousand dong will be an adequate tip.
It is customary, though not compulsory, to tip tour guides and drivers at the end of a tour. General practice is around 3$ - 5$ per guest per day for a guide and half the amount for a driver.