Tipping is not customary in Laos. However, small gratuities may be given in appreciation for efficient, friendly service.
These days, people such as boat men, driver, and hotel-restaurant staff…have grown accustomed to getting a tip from tourists. The same goes for tour guides. If a local helps you out like taking you somewhere or finds an important person for you, or allow you to take some photo, they would be looking for you to provide a small amount. It’s probably wise to always have some small change in KIP handy for when these occasions arise.
Here is a general rule of thumb for tipping:
- About $5-$7 per day per person for a national guide.
- About $3-$5 per day per person for a local guide.
Drivers (car and boat): $2 per person per day is average.
Porters: 10,000 KIP per bag is sufficient.
Restaurants: between 5% of the bill is usual.