Tipping In Vietnam: How Much & For Whom Should You Tip?

When traveling to a new country, understanding the local customs and etiquette is essential to ensure a smooth and respectful experience. Vietnam, with its rich culture and vibrant tourism industry, is no exception. One aspect that often confuses visitors is tipping. Unlike some Western countries where tipping is customary, Vietnam has its own unique practices. In a country where traditions and modernity coalesce, understanding how much to tip and for whom can be a nuanced affair. VTJ will guide you through the intricacies of tipping in Vietnam.

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Understanding Vietnamese Currency

When it comes to tipping in Vietnam, it is generally recommended to tip in the local currency, VND

When it comes to tipping in Vietnam, it is generally recommended to tip in the local currency, VND

The official currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). The currency is denoted by the symbol “₫” and is divided into various denominations including banknotes and coins. But nowadays, coins aren’t popular in the market. The banknotes’ most commonly used denominations are the 1,000 VND,  2,000 VND, 5,000 VND, 10,000 VND, 20,000 VND, 50,000 VND, 100,000 VND, 200,000 VND and 500,000 VND. The exchange rate between USD and VND can vary, and using VND ensures that the tip is appropriate and reflective of the local economy. Familiarizing yourself with the denominations and values of Vietnamese Dong will help you navigate tipping situations more effectively and avoid any confusion or misunderstandings.

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Should You Tip In USD Or VND (Vietnamese Currency)?

When it comes to tipping in Vietnam, it is generally recommended to tip in the local currency, Vietnamese Dong (VND). While some establishments may accept US dollars (USD), it is more convenient and appropriate to use VND for tipping. This is because most people prefer to receive their tips in their own currency, and it can be more convenient for them to use VND instead of having to exchange USD. Tipping in the local currency ensures that the amount reflects the local economy and is in line with local customs. Additionally, using VND avoids any potential confusion or exchange rate discrepancies. When tipping in Vietnamese Dong, you show respect for the local culture and contribute to the local economy.

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Is Tipping Normal In Vietnam?

Tipping in Vietnam isn't as common as in many other countries

Tipping in Vietnam isn’t as common as in many other countries

Tipping in Vietnam differs from those in many other countries, as it is not a common practice deeply ingrained in the culture. While tipping is not as prevalent or expected in Vietnam as it is in some other countries, it has become more common in tourist areas and upscale establishments. In general, tipping is not mandatory, but it is appreciated as a gesture of gratitude for services.

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How Much & For Whom Do You Tip In Vietnam?

Tipping In Vietnam At Restaurants

Tipping In Vietnam At Restaurants

Tipping In Vietnam At Restaurants

In Vietnam, it is common for most restaurants not to include a service charge on the bill. Typically, you only need to pay for your food and a 10% VAT tax. If you are particularly satisfied with the service you received, it is customary to show your appreciation by directly tipping the staff. A tip of US $1 to US $3 (20,000 to 70,000 VND) is considered a thoughtful gesture of gratitude.

In certain restaurants and cafés, you may find a tipping box at the counter. Leaving a small amount of cash, around US $1 (20,000 VND) or less, in this box is a way to express your appreciation for the service provided. The money collected in the tipping box is usually divided equally among the staff.

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On the other hand, fine dining establishments and 5-star hotel restaurants often include a service charge of 5 to 15 percent in the total bill. However, only a portion of this charge is distributed to the staff. If you were exceptionally pleased with the service you received, it is thoughtful to offer a small gratuity directly to the person who served you as a token of your satisfaction.

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Tipping In Vietnam At Hotels

Tipping In Vietnam At Hotels

Tipping In Vietnam At Hotels

It is worth considering tipping hotel staff when they have provided exceptional service, such as matching you with a room that meets your preferences or being incredibly helpful and friendly throughout your stay. If you plan to tip the hotel in general, you can leave it in a noticeable spot in your room. However, if you wish to specifically acknowledge an individual’s outstanding work, it is advisable to hand the tip directly to them to ensure it is not divided among the staff working the same shift.

The appropriate amount for tipping hotel staff typically ranges from 20,000 VND to 50,000 VND. If you are truly impressed by the excellent service you received, you can also show your appreciation by leaving a positive review on booking platforms and websites. Some hotels provide small rewards to employees each month if their names are mentioned specifically and positively on such websites.

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Featured Job

Tipping Taxi Drivers In Vietnam

Tipping Taxi Drivers In Vietnam

Tipping Taxi Drivers In Vietnam

It is customary to tip tour drivers between US $3 and US $5 (70,000 VND and 100,000 VND) per day, considering the extensive services they provide, such as ensuring your safety and driving you to multiple destinations throughout the day. Additionally, if you happen to come across a driver who is not only pleasant and knowledgeable but also communicates well in English, offering them a small gift in addition to a tip would be greatly appreciated and respected.

When it comes to taxi prices, it is generally expected to pay the exact amount displayed on the kilometer counter, and tipping is not necessary. However, if you have had a particularly comfortable and enjoyable ride with a friendly and helpful driver, it is considerate to give them a tip that exceeds the total fare. For instance, if the ride costs 55,000 VND, you could pay 60,000 VND and allow them to keep the change as a token of your appreciation.

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Tipping Tour Guides In Vietnam

Tipping Tour Guides In Vietnam

Tipping Tour Guides In Vietnam

The role of a tour guide entails being available to assist you throughout the day, even beyond their regular working hours, and providing support in resolving any concerns that may arise. This position requires extensive experience, knowledge, and physical stamina, making tour guides among the highest earners in the tourism service industry when it comes to tips.

As a general guideline, it is customary to tip a private tour guide between US $7 and US $10 per day. However, if you are traveling with a larger group of 5 to 8 people or more, it is reasonable to tip between US $3 and US $5 per person per day. This ensures that the tour guide’s efforts and dedication are appropriately recognized and appreciated.

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Tipping In Vietnam At Spas & Salons

Tipping In Vietnam At Spas & Salons

Tipping In Vietnam At Spas & Salons

Tipping at spas and salons in Vietnam is a courteous practice that acknowledges the quality of service and appreciates the effort put into ensuring a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. While tipping is not mandatory, it is a considerate gesture that is generally well-received. 

You can leave a small tip of around 5-10% of the total bill as a gesture of appreciation. However, it’s worth noting that some higher-end establishments may include a service charge in the bill, so it’s always a good idea to check before leaving an additional tip.

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Other Tipping In Vietnam Tips

Tipping in Vietnam practices can vary, and the amounts suggested are general guidelines. Consider the context, level of service, and your own satisfaction when deciding to tip. It’s also a thoughtful gesture to offer a warm thank-you along with your tip, contributing to the positive and respectful exchange between travelers and locals in Vietnam.

  • Street Vendors: Tipping is not common at street food stalls. However, if you appreciate exceptional service, rounding up the bill or leaving small changes is a friendly acknowledgment.
  • Porters and Bellhops: At hotels, it’s customary to tip porters and bellhops around 20,000 VND to 50,000 VND per bag, depending on the hotel’s standard.
  • Local Guides: When engaging local guides for city walks or specialized tours, a tip of 50,000 VND to 100,000 VND is considered respectful.
  • Local Services: For various local services, like assistance with directions or small favors, a tip of 10,000 VND to 20,000 VND is appreciated.

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Tipping in Vietnam is not mandatory, but it is a gesture of appreciation for good service. While there are no fixed rules, it is customary to leave a small tip in restaurants, round up the fare for taxis, and tip hotel staff for their assistance. However, it’s important to consider your budget and the level of service received when deciding on the amount. Ultimately, tipping in Vietnam is a personal choice, and a sincere “thank you” or a smile can go a long way in showing gratitude to the hardworking individuals who make your experience memorable.


Should I tip in restaurants and cafes in Vietnam?

Tipping is not mandatory, but it’s appreciated. Leaving 5-10% or rounding up the bill is courteous.

Do I need to tip taxi drivers in Vietnam?

Tipping is not necessary for taxi drivers. Rounding up the fare or offering small change is optional for exceptional service.

Are tips expected for tour guides and drivers?

Tipping tour guides and drivers is customary. Consider tipping between 50,000 VND to 200,000 VND per day, depending on the service.

Should I tip hotel staff in Vietnam?

Tipping hotel staff, particularly housekeeping and bellhops, is appreciated but not obligatory. 20,000 VND to 50,000 VND per service is customary.

Can I give tips to street vendors or market sellers?

Tipping is not common at street vendors or markets. However, rounding up the bill or leaving small changes is a friendly gesture for exceptional service.

Is 100,000 dong a good tip?

100,000 VND is a generous tip in many scenarios.

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