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 in Laos:
- 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.
Please note that the suggested amount is only the minimum level. Depending on the quality of service, the friendliness of the staff, and your satisfaction, you may give a higher amount, which will bring joy and encouragement to those who serve you.