Tipping in Asia – Money Customs in Eastern Tourist Spots

in China, India, Japan, Vietnam

Tipping is a way of life for anyone living in North America or Europe. But in Asia the practice is less common, and the etiquette surrounding it can cause confusion.

This guide will tell you what gratuities are expected in Asia’s major tourist centers.

Tipping is most common in Thailand, where it is expected in all establishments that don’t apply a service charge to the bill. It’s typical to tip 10% of your restaurant bill, but you may give 15% for outstanding service. There is no need to tip Bangkok street vendors, or staff at food halls and noodle huts. Massage therapists and salon employees are also generally given 10% of your treatment cost as a tip. Thais tend to round up their taxi fare, offering the odd amount of baht as a tip, although you may be more generous if the driver helps you with your bags. Porters should also be tipped; while there are no rules for this 20 baht per bag is a good guide.

The Japanese consider the practice of tipping rude, so do not leave extra yen under any circumstances. Instead, reward good service by saying the appreciative phrase “gochisou sama deshita” with a smile.

Tipping is also restricted in Singapore, so keep your change in your pocket. Most large hotels and restaurants will add a 10% service charge to your bill, but workers in other establishments and taxi drivers will refuse any extra payment.Keyboard with three money keys

Tipping is not expected in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and The Philippines, but workers in these countries will not be offended if you leave a gratuity. Employees of hotels and restaurants in large cities are used to international tourists leaving tips, but the practice may confuse workers in smaller establishments. Don’t be surprised if they chase you to return your change!

While the Western concept of tipping is not practiced in India, the country has a similar custom called baksheesh. This idea encourages wealthy people to give to those less fortunate. Hotel porters will expect some rupees for their service. Restaurant staff won’t anticipate these kinds of kickbacks, but they’ll certainly appreciate a gift of 5-10% of the total bill.

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