Asia Tipping Guide for Hotels, Taxis, and Restaurants

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Photographer: Roman Sigaev/Alamy

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Photographer: Roman Sigaev/Alamy

When to tip—and how much—is one of the most common travel etiquette questions. Here, we've outlined the standards for tipping hotels, restaurants, and taxis in 11 Asian countries, including Thailand, Singapore, and China.

Sri Lanka

RESTAURANTS Some include a ten percent service charge on the bill—if you're satisfied with the service, add another ten percent.

HOTELS Most divide tips among the whole staff. Janaka Wijesurendra, front office manager at Amangalla in Galle, recommends adding about ten percent to the bill to cover all services. However, if someone provides particularly exceptional service, tip him or her directly—the amount depends on the extent of the services and the frequency of the interactions. For example, for a butler who serves you daily, Wijesurendra suggests about $10 a day.

TAXIS CABS normally run with a fixed rate, so tipping is not required.

DOLLARS ACCEPTED? Yes.

India

RESTAURANTS About 10 percent.

HOTELS For the housekeeper, porter, and concierge, leave 268 to 535 rupees each ($5 to $10). “If you’re really wowed by the service, you can leave a tip,” says Dinesh Singh, concierge at the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai. “But there are no set expectations.”

TAXIS Tipping is not necessary or expected, but for good service, an extra 100 or 200 rupees is a nice gesture.

DOLLARS ACCEPTED? Yes.

Nepal

RESTAURANTS Most restaurants include a service charge in the bill. “If guests are really happy, they can leave an extra 50 to 100 rupees [60–$1.20],” says Syvil Shresta, a guest relations manager at Dwarika’s.

HOTELS Some properties have a tip box and divide gratuities evenly among the staff. If you’re really impressed with the service, however, leave $1 to $10 each for housekeeping, the porter, and the concierge.

TAXIS Tips are not expected.

DOLLARS ACCEPTED? Yes.

Bhutan

RESTAURANTS Tipping is optional. If you’re so inclined, leave about 10 percent of the bill.

HOTELS Tipping is at your discretion. “It’s no problem if you don’t tip because it’s not a custom here,” says Sangay Choden, at Uma by Como’s reception desk. Still, if you’d like to acknowledge good service, about 500 ngultrum ($9) per night is appropriate (which will cover gratuities to housekeepers, bellhops, etc.).

TAXIS Again, entirely at your discretion.

DOLLARS ACCEPTED? Sometimes. Some Bhutanese prefer to have U.S. dollars. “Because it’s not our currency, people want it as a souvenir,” says Choden.

Burma

RESTAURANTS Tipping is optional. If you’d like to acknowledge good service, Htein Cho, a concierge at The Strand, in Rangoon, suggests between 2,000 and 10,000 kyat ($2–$10), depending on the cost of the meal.

HOTELS There’s no standard, but 5,000 kyat (about $5) each for the housekeeper, porter, and concierge is acceptable.

TAXIS “Drivers won’t be upset if you don’t tip,” says Cho.

DOLLARS ACCEPTED? Sometimes—but come prepared with local currency.

Vietnam

RESTAURANTS If you’re satisfied with the service, leave a small tip ($1–$2).

HOTELS “About $1 or $2 per day for the housekeeper,” suggests Ngoc Nguyen, concierge at the Sofitel Metropole Hanoi. Consider tipping other staffers $1 to $5, depending on the quality and extent of the service.

TAXIS Taxi drivers are tipped little if at all: “Sometimes $1 or less,” says Nguyen.

DOLLARS ACCEPTED? Yes.

Cambodia

RESTAURANTS At minimum, leave a 5 to 10 percent tip, more for exceptional service.

HOTELS Set aside a few dollars for the housekeeper and you’ll see improved service. Give the porter $1 or $2 as well. There’s no standard for tipping the concierge or butler, but “you’ll get better service if you tip,” says Key Soung, tourist desk clerk at Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor.

TAXIS There’s no standard rate for cab drivers. “No tip is fine,” says Soung.

DOLLARS ACCEPTED? Yes.

Thailand

RESTAURANTS A 10 percent service charge is usually included. For exceptional service, leave a few extra dollars.

HOTELS Like restaurants, hotels also include a 10 percent service charge. For good housekeeping, a $10 tip at checkout is appropriate. Tip about $3 for every porter service. If the concierge assists with a specific task, a $10 tip is appropriate.

TAXIS Leave your driver a small tip—about 10 percent, or $1 or $2 at the very least.

DOLLARS ACCEPTED? Yes—foreign currency is fine.

Singapore

RESTAURANTS "Here in Singapore, it's not a practice to tip," says Ifa Hamzah, at the Fullerton Bay Hotel front desk. "Guests will receive their best service regardless of the tip, and not tipping isn't considered rude."

HOTELS Same as at restaurants.

TAXIS Same as at restaurants.

DOLLARS ACCEPTED? Yes.

Bali

RESTAURANTS Not required, but if service is exceptional, consider leaving 10,000 to 100,000 rupiah ($1–$10).

HOTELS Most hotels include a 10% service charge. If service is really good, you can leave an extra 10,000 rupiah ($1).

TAXIS All taxis already include a 10% service charge.

DOLLARS ACCEPTED? Yes.

China

RESTAURANTS About 15 percent.

HOTELS Leave the housekeeper about 50 yuan ($8) for the whole stay. The concierge tip varies depending on the services provided; for assistance with a difficult task, a 100-yuan tip would be appropriate for the whole stay. Give the porter 20 yuan. If a staff member shows you around the hotel upon arrival, it's polite to offer a small tip—between 30 and 50 yuan.

TAXIS People usually don't tip cab drivers.

DOLLARS ACCEPTED? Yes.

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