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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 ?

  • Yes, no need for tipping, but if you love their service, 20.000 VND/1$ is ok – Tun Du Lịch Sep 1 '14 at 10:14
  • In general in SE Asia I have experienced it a few times that people were seriously confused if I wanted to tip. So don't be surprised if they insist on giving you your money back. – Reinstate Monica - dirkk May 11 '15 at 14:52
  • This is optional, if you find it useful travel and learn a lot of things, then tipping them. And it does not matter how much or little it. Thank! :) – alicequeen May 21 '16 at 1:50
  • @TunDuLịch: 20,000 VND, are you serious? It's admittedly been 15 years since I was last in Vietnam, but... 20,000 seems like an awful lot to me. I don't recall now what I paid for e.g. lunch (the complete lunch, not tip), but I'm almost certain a complete lunch was more like half that. I do remember that the cyclo guys would ask 2 US dollars for any distance from a stupid, rich European, however, when told "no way, 5k maximum", they'd happily take that deal, even for a trip to the other side of the city. I think I once paid around 50kD for dinner... but that was for 4 people... – Damon Oct 20 '16 at 14:22
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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.

  • 5
    As a low budget traveller I never tipped in Vietnam, just sayin. – greg121 Jul 22 '14 at 16:26
  • 2
    My travel is for business and repetitive. I'll pay pocket change to be remembered in a favorable light. If I were budget/one time I wouldn't tip either. – Will Jul 22 '14 at 16:46
  • 1
    In general I'd say it's a good practice to respond to people doing unwanted small tasks clearly hoping for some money with a friendly but firm "no thank you" ideally in the local language, then be firm about not paying. Even if it seems like trivial money to you it sets a bad precedent and encourages harassment - go somewhere like Egypt and you'll see what happens when too many tourists pay random harassers for doing nothing just to make them go away, there's a whole economy of it. Once it becomes normal you start getting individuals who are pushy or aggressive. – user56reinstatemonica8 Sep 4 '16 at 23:57
7

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.

  • Vietnamese people typically don't tip, that may explain why when Vietnamese people go abroad, they don't tip and get offended or don't know how to tip and tip even when the service doesn't deserve that – phuclv Sep 30 '14 at 10:49
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    I find it rather weird to compare Tipping and child prostitution. Introducing one of this things is much more disastrous in its consequences. – Reinstate Monica - dirkk May 11 '15 at 14:51
  • @dirkk: I agree that any one single instance of child prostitution is much more disastrous than any one single instance of tipping. I am not however so sure that the sum total of suffering caused by child prostitution exceeds that of tipping, simply because the latter practice is at least a million times more common. – Kenny LJ May 12 '15 at 15:26
3

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.

  • @pnuts Nguyen's a Vietnamese name, so, probably :-) – user56reinstatemonica8 Sep 4 '16 at 23:59
  • @pnuts: the above looks like copypasta from here: adoptvietnam.org/travel/faq2.htm - which doesn't sound valid. Not sure about others, but I never seen a "5-10% service charge" from "smart hotels" (what's that?) nor restaurants in HCMC/DaNang/Hanoi. And "$5 per day tip for a guide" - 100,000VND tip??? that sounds really excessive. – George Y. Oct 20 '16 at 22:53
2

There is no tip culture in Vietnam so the tip is not required at bars, restaurants, taxi... If you are satisfied with the service/product and want to encourage the staff, you should give a tip. :)

2

Actually in a taxi some people leave tip, especially if you got a good service. If you have street food no need, also in local restaurants some local leave tip, but if they do it wouldn't be the 10-15% like in western countries.

protected by Community Oct 27 '16 at 13:37

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