Vietnam Tipping Culture? 2020! 

Phuong Uyen - Updated October 09, 2019

Originally, Vietnam is not a tipping country, where hardly did you see a guest tip someone for their work. 

This did!

But when travelers come, Vietnamese go! (oversea)

  • We get to other countries and we must tip!
  • Other people coming to Vietnam and give Tip!

Then, This becomes a habit! I am not sure this is good or not! Everything has both side (Good or Not)


After 1000 times of answering 1000 questions of “ Do we have to tip, How much to tip? for the tour guides?

The next day, people ask again? 

  • How much for the restaurants?
  • How much for the taxi drivers
  • How much for the hotel?


I thought, if this article had been published, time of mine and other co-workers in AZ Local Trip will be saved for other jobs! and when you need information, you can save this for the future, I am sure, if you are thinking to visiting Vietnam, this need to be in your phone!

Save this! Bookmark! or Download!


How the Tipping Works in Vietnam

Tipping in Vietnam now is becoming popular, but be aware that it is still different from other part of the world. 

  • First: It is not the whole Vietnam, just only in the Big City, where travelers be!
  • Second: The amount of money you give does not base on the amount of the bill you buy.
  • Third: What is the better alternative instead of money? 

There are some posts on internet mentioning about 

The amount of tip base on the bill - It IS Totally Wrong

Tip would be the best to express the good services - it is wrong too!

Believe me! I was born in Vietnam, has been living here for many years, have met thousands travelers. I know how it work!

I will show you for the 3 main parts as I mentioned above


1.  Tipping is more popular in large cities 

Such us

  • Hanoi - The capital 
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Saigon in the Past
  • Da Nang, Hoi An, Halong… 

In general, the tourist places.

If you friend invite you go to their hometown, you go to the bar! Karaok!

No Tip! It’s so strange!

2. How much to tip in Vietnam?

We will mention the common cases, you should tip! 

  • For the tour guides, receptionists (people working in the hospitality industry)
  • Tour Operators 
  • Others: Taxi Drivers, restaurants, bar or coffee shops… (anywhere you use the services)

Tipping for tour guides in Vietnam

Tipping tour guide in Vietnam

These ones expected tip, this would be a must in Vietnam, when I was a tour guide, I expected this money as well because of the hard work

The guide are required to stay far away from family, friends, they are expected to smile when you travelers not no matter how the weather is. 

The guide would play the biggest role in making sure the tour smoothy and you are happy!

Others: Taxi Drivers, restaurants, coffee shops

All of these services I will tell you that

Remember you are not required to leave a tip for any of those, taxi drivers or staff of coffee shops or in hotel. 

But, the best way to tip is do not receive the change, For instance, if the total amount is 42,000 VND(2 USD), then give the driver 50,000 VND and request that he/she keeps the change.

Because, in most of case, it is hard to have the change back to you! and if you have the change in Vietnam for instance, 1.000VND or 2.000VND, you use for nothing. 

If you wait the change back, people will feel anoying!

The same goes for Spas, Accommodations...

Tipping Guide in Vietnam

It is wrong to tip this way (Internet)

3.What is the better alternative instead of money? 

in Vietnam, we normally give money as support for wedding occasion, someone going to the hospital… Money is not really the way in some cases! 

When travelling to Vietnam, if you book via travel company in Vietnam, it will be better if you bring a typical country products to the supporters. 

Bring some small gift from your country to us! (A chocolate, a Pam, a book…)

Treat the guide or the people like your friends! This is my recommendation!

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