Your Ultimate Guide to Tipping in Vietnam

Tipping etiquette varies worldwide, and knowing what to do can be confusing, especially in Vietnam, where cultural norms may differ significantly from what you’re used to. Whether staying in a hotel, taking a taxi, enjoying a massage, or exploring the country with a private tour guide, understanding the local tipping culture is key to showing respect and appreciation. This comprehensive guide will help you navigate the nuances of tipping in Vietnam.

Tipping in Vietnam

Vietnam is rich in culture and tradition, and tipping practices reflect this complexity. Different from many Western countries, tipping is only sometimes expected in Vietnam. However, it is increasingly becoming common, especially in tourist-heavy areas and understanding when and how much to tip can make your travel experience smoother and more enjoyable.

Tipping in Vietnam is often seen as a gesture of appreciation rather than an obligation. While it may not be mandatory, it goes a long way in showing gratitude for good service. This guide aims to help you understand the tipping norms in various settings to feel confident and respectful during your travels.

By the end of this article, you’ll know how to tip appropriately in hotels, taxis, massages, and even private tours. We’ll also explore insights from Reddit forums and answer frequently asked questions about tipping in Vietnam.

Tipping in Vietnam Hotels

Tipping in Vietnamese hotels is a subject that often confuses travellers, varying significantly from Western customs. While tipping is not traditionally a part of Vietnamese culture, the influx of international tourists has influenced some changes. Comprehending local practices can enhance your travel experience and show appreciation for good service.\Tipping in Vietnam Hotels

Knowing when and how much to tip can make a positive impact, whether at luxury resorts, budget hotels, or intimate guesthouses. This guide aims to clarify tipping etiquette in Vietnam’s hospitality industry, helping you navigate your stay with confidence and cultural sensitivity.

The Role of Hotel Staff

When staying in a hotel in Vietnam, you’ll likely interact with several staff members who contribute to making your stay comfortable. These include porters, housekeeping, and concierge services. Understanding how to tip each role can enhance your visit and show gratitude.

Porters and Bellboys

Porters and bellhops are usually the first hotel staff you’ll encounter. They assist with your luggage and guide you to your room. A 20,000 to 50,000 Vietnamese Dong (VND) tip per luggage piece is generally appreciated.


Housekeeping ensures your room is clean and well-stocked throughout your stay. Leaving a small tip of around 20,000 to 50,000 VND daily is a nice gesture. You can place the money on the pillow or a desk with a note saying “Thank You” to ensure they know it’s for them.

Concierge Services

Concierge services can range from booking tours to making restaurant reservations. If you receive exceptional service, tipping 50,000 to 100,000 VND is a good way to show appreciation.

Tipping in Vietnam Taxis

Tipping in Vietnam taxis can be tricky for visitors unfamiliar with local customs. Unlike in many Western countries, tipping is not widespread in Vietnam. However, the growing tourism industry has brought some changes to these norms. Apprehending appropriate tipping practices can significantly enhance your travel experience and ensure smooth interactions with taxi drivers.

This guide aims to demystify when and how much to tip in Vietnamese taxis, offering practical advice to help you navigate the streets with ease and cultural awareness. Knowing these tips can make a difference, whether in a bustling city or exploring rural areas.

Taxi Fare

Taxi transportation is a common mode of transportation for tourists in Vietnam. While tipping taxi drivers is not customary, it is appreciated, especially if they provide excellent service or assist with your luggage.

Round Up the Fare

One simple way to tip is to round up the fare to 10,000 or 20,000 VND. For instance, if your fare is 94,000 VND, you can round it up to 100,000 VND. This small amount can go a long way in expressing your gratitude.

Extra for Extra Service

If the driver helps you with your luggage or provides helpful information about the city, consider tipping an additional 10,000 to 20,000 VND instead of rounding up the fare.

Tipping in Vietnam Massages and Spas

Visiting Vietnam offers a captivating blend of lush landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history. The country’s renowned massage and spa services stand out among its many enticements, providing relaxation and a glimpse into traditional Vietnamese wellness practices. As a traveller eager to immerse in these rejuvenating experiences, understanding the etiquette, including tipping, becomes essential.Tipping in Vietnam Massages and Spas

Unlike some Western countries where tipping is customary, Vietnam presents a more nuanced approach. Knowing how much to tip and when appropriate ensures a respectful and appreciated gesture and enriches your spa experience. This guide delves into the subtleties of tipping in Vietnamese massages and spas, helping you navigate easily and gracefully.

The Massage Culture

Vietnam is renowned for its affordable and high-quality massages and spa treatments. Tipping in such establishments is generally expected, especially in more upscale venues.

Standard Tipping Rate

The standard tipping rate for massages and spa services is 10-15% of the total bill. For a basic foot massage costing 200,000 VND, a tip of 20,000 to 30,000 VND is appropriate.

Luxury Treatments

For luxury treatments or packages, the tipping rate may be higher. If you receive a comprehensive spa package worth 1,000,000 VND, a tip of 100,000 to 150,000 VND is considered generous and appreciated.

Insights from Reddit

When planning a trip to Vietnam, one may find themselves exploring online forums, especially Reddit, for firsthand insights and practical advice. With its vast and diverse user base, Reddit is a treasure trove of real-world experiences and nuanced perspectives. Among the myriad topics discussed, tipping etiquette in Vietnamese massages and spas often garners significant attention.

Contrary to the practices in many Western countries, tipping in Vietnam is approached with subtlety and varies across different service contexts. By diving into Reddit threads, travellers can uncover valuable, crowd-sourced insights about navigating this aspect of Vietnamese culture with sensitivity and respect. This introduction aims to collate and present key takeaways from these discussions, ensuring your spa experience in Vietnam is both rewarding and culturally aware.

Real-Life Experiences

Reddit is a treasure trove of personal experiences and practical advice. Many travellers share their tipping experiences in Vietnam, providing many real-life insights.

Common Practices

Reddit users say tipping in Vietnam is generally well-received, especially in tourist areas. Many recommend tipping in scenarios where you receive exceptional service or the staff goes out of their way to assist you.

Unwritten Rules

One unwritten rule that emerged from Reddit discussions is always to carry small denominations of VND. This makes it easier to tip without overdoing it or appearing ostentatious.

How Much to Tip?

Tipping practices vary widely around the globe, and understanding local customs can significantly enhance your travel experience. In Vietnam, tipping is not traditionally a part of the culture as it is in many Western countries; however, the practice is becoming more common, especially in tourist areas.

Knowing when and how much to tip in Vietnam can ensure you show appreciation for good service without offending local customs. Typically, rounding up the bill or leaving a small 5-10% tip in restaurants and cafes is considered generous. For services such as hotel staff, tour guides, and taxi drivers, a modest tip of around 20,000 to 50,000 VND (approximately 2) can go a long way. This guide will navigate the nuances of tipping etiquette in Vietnam, helping you express gratitude appropriately while respecting local norms.

General Guidelines

Determining how much to tip can be tricky. Here are some general guidelines to help you make the right decision:

Restaurants and Cafes

In restaurants and cafes, tipping is optional but appreciated. Leaving 5-10% of the bill as a tip is a good rule of thumb. For example, if your bill is 300,000 VND, leaving an additional 30,000 VND is considered polite.

Bars and Nightclubs

Tipping the bartender or server around 10% of the bill is common in bars and nightclubs. Alternatively, you can leave an extra 20,000 to 50,000 VND per drink.

Is It Rude to Tip in Vietnam?

Tipping in Vietnam is generally not considered rude, but it’s not a deeply ingrained cultural norm. Traditionally, Vietnamese people don’t tip, and many locals are not accustomed to it. However, with increased tourism and Western influence, tipping has become more common, especially in tourist-heavy areas and upscale establishments.Is It Rude to Tip in Vietnam

Cultural Sensitivity

While tipping is becoming more common, being culturally sensitive is essential. Tipping might be seen as unusual or unnecessary in some rural areas or smaller towns.

When Not to Tip

Avoid tipping in government offices or where it might be seen as inappropriate, such as in places with strict regulations against accepting gratuities.

Respecting Local Norms

Always respect local norms and observe the behaviour of locals. If you’re unsure, it’s best to ask a local friend or a hotel staff member for advice.


Understanding the nuances of tipping in Vietnam can greatly enhance your travel experience. Whether you’re staying in a hotel, taking a taxi, enjoying a massage, or exploring the country with a private tour guide, this guide provides all the information you need to tip appropriately and respectfully.

By following these tips, you’ll show appreciation for good service and contribute positively to the local economy. Remember, tipping is a gesture of gratitude, and when done thoughtfully, it can create memorable experiences for you and the people you interact with.

For more travel tips and cultural insights, stay tuned to our blog. Enjoy your trip to Vietnam and happy tipping!


How much should I tip in a Vietnamese restaurant?

In casual dining establishments, tipping is not expected. In upscale restaurants, leaving a tip of 5% to 10% of the bill is a good practice.

Is it necessary to tip taxi drivers in Vietnam?

Tipping taxi drivers is not mandatory. You can round up the fare to the nearest 10,000 or 20,000 VND or tip 20,000 to 50,000 VND for exceptional service.

Should I tip for massage and spa services in Vietnam?

Yes, tipping is common for massage and spa services. A tip of 50,000 to 100,000 VND for foot massages and 100,000 to 200,000 VND for full-body massages is appropriate.

What is the best way to tip hotel housekeeping staff?

Leaving 20,000 to 50,000 VND daily in an envelope or with a note is a nice gesture to thank the housekeeping staff.

Can I tip in US dollars?

While some places may accept US dollars, it is better to tip in Vietnamese dong to avoid confusion and ensure the tip is usable.

Is it rude not to tip in Vietnam?

Not tipping is generally not considered rude in Vietnam, especially in casual settings. However, small tips for good service are appreciated.

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