Tipping in SEA

Old Feb 8th, 2011, 01:45 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,197
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tipping in SEA

Is tipping part of the culture (i.e. expected) in Vietnam, Cambodia and/or Hong Kong? If so, how much?
sf7307 is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2011, 06:44 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,160
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If they don't have a service charge on the bill I would leave a tip of around 10% max. In Thailand, I know you didn't ask about Thailand, I would leave between 20 - 100 Baht, depending on the total bill amount, at local restaurants. For taxis I would just round off the charge to the nearest whole number.

IMO it's more of a gesture instead of supporting a profession like in the States.
Hanuman is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2011, 06:51 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can only really speak for Hong Kong, where I have lived a long time. Tipping is not part of the culture generally, although there are small ways of doing it. You would not tip a taxi driver for example, but can leave change, for which they will thank you. Many restaurants here automatically add a “service” charge of 10% or so, it is my understanding that the waiter sees none of it and it goes to the owner. In those circumstances, you could leave a small tip, but nothing like 10-15%, I would say more in the neighborhood of 5%. But you do not have to if you don’t want to, or if the service was not good. (If you have a large group, I would definitely leave 5% as that is a lot of work for a waiter.) In small family restaurants which don’t levy a service charge, again you could leave small change. Room service in hotels is a mixed bag; some hotels levy a service charge which may be paid wholly or partially to the server, so again if you want to add a small tip on top of the service charge you can do that. But I would say overall, a tip is not expected. (For example, I don’t tip my hairdresser or manicurist; however I do give them red packets with cash at Lunar New Year, which is what you would do for someone who provides regular service to you. Outside of that, tipping is not the norm here.)

That being said, I always tip someone who carries my bags in a hotel, I can’t say this is the practice in SE Asia generally, but I personally can’t have someone lug my bags (I never travel light) and not give them a small tip. I also generally always tip doormen if they get me a cab at a hotel if it involves going out into the street to hail one. Again, I doubt this is done by many others here. These are small tips, about a US$1 a bag for porters, maybe the same or a bit less for a doorman.

I believe the above would be the case for Vietnam and Cambodia, who have even less of a tipping culture as they have had less exposure to it over the years.
Cicerone is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2011, 07:46 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,244
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
20% in Thai restaurants in the US or in Thailand? Certainly 20% in Thailand is way outside the norm.
Kathie is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2011, 08:24 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 30
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, 20% in TH. Waitstaff there are usually fantastic and I feel they're certainly deserving of it. Some ppl take the mentality that its ok to tip small coins and pocket lint- They're cheap and use the excuse that servers are poor anyway and therefore aren't deserving of any amount that may be deemed in excess.
SiamKitty is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2011, 08:56 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I also tip around 5% (on top of the 10% service charge already added in the check) in HK restaurants where a waiter bring you the check. In the cheap eateries where you pay the cashier out front, DO NOT leave any tip on the table. No tip is expected in those.
rkkwan is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2011, 02:23 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,540
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
SiamKitty - have you ever heard the terms "When in Rome", "Cultural Imperialism" or "Ugly American"

Have a think about it
Geordie is online now  
Old Feb 9th, 2011, 02:37 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,049
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
i tip depending on the service... never less than 10% in restaurants and for really good service they see 20%---regardless---SIT DOWN YOU PURISTS!!
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2011, 04:59 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,160
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bob,

Let say your meal comes to $100 and the wine you ordered cost another $150, totaling $250 and the service was good - how much would you tip?

I always argue with my wife and since she used to be a waitress while going to college she insist that I include the total for the wine and tip on that as well.

If a meal for 4 cost $50 I don't mind tipping 20% but if a meal ended up costing $500 then I only tip 10%.

Sorry to hijack your post sf7307! IMHO tipping is not expected over in Asia like it is in the USA.
Hanuman is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2011, 08:12 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,197
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No problem Hanuman -- I always find these debates amusing! And I see no reason to tip in SEA just because we're used to it in the USA, either.
sf7307 is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2011, 08:26 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,049
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
i tip on the bottom line of the bill and yes you tip on the wine too unless you take care of the wine steward seperately...

dang is of course right.... she always is... who is the boss anyways...

the amount of the bill has nothing to do with the percentage left for the staff, imo...

btw, many purists tip on the net amount of the bill, sans tax... i consider that just being cheap....

in answer to your question i would tip at least $25, and more likely $50 if i was totally satisfied with the service. if i was with germans or australians i would grunt and stammer and refuse to leave anything, not even the change... lets see if this starts a fight..
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2011, 09:57 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,540
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
> no idea what that means

Replace Siamkitty with rhkkmk - have you ever heard the terms "When in Rome", "Cultural Imperialism" or "Ugly American"

Have a think about it
Geordie is online now  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 10:34 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,049
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
i love thailand but i hate cats..
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2011, 04:19 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 542
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I tip everywhere even in my home country of Oz but I don't use percentages like in America. Just whatever you feel like.
Cilla_Tey is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
kch246
Asia
6
Aug 7th, 2011 02:50 PM
KimJapan
Asia
40
Feb 23rd, 2007 05:32 PM
kymm
Asia
13
Nov 2nd, 2005 02:06 PM
Mike1515
Asia
8
Sep 23rd, 2005 06:50 PM
salina
Asia
7
Apr 6th, 2004 11:17 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:31 PM.