The practice of tipping was not common at all in Vietnam, until the waves of tourism brought with it many western influences, including the concept of tipping. Today, although tips are not expected, they are much appreciated. Tipping is especially common in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city, and certain other major cities. Most workers in Vietnam earn low wages, and tips are their only way of making extra money. Vietnam’s official currency is the Vietnam dong, but US dollars are accepted at most places, and can also be used for tips.
Read more: Vietnam travel costs
Suggestions for the sum
– For a trekking guide in North Vietnam or cultural guide: USD 10/day
– For a driver: USD 5/day
– For a carrier: USD 5/day
These people are at your disposal throughout your trip and they also expect you to doing the best for your satisfaction. The working timing is huge, from 06:00 am to 23:00 at night, sometimes more. These guides leave home for a week, 15 days or 3 weeks depending on the tour. For tour packages in Vietnam ( 2 to 4 people per group ) the guide can receive at least 10 USD / day based on customer satisfaction.
In restaurants and bars maybe leave 5 – 10% tip if you have received good service. Remember that 20,000 Dong is less than US$1. Not much for you but maybe a whole meal for the staff member that served you. If you have spent 400,000 Dong (around US$18) for a nice meal then 40,000 Vietnamese Dong (10%) is not alot more to give as a tip.
In a taxi, like the locals do, round the total amount up to the next 10,000 Dong or 20,000 Dong. If you are paying by credit card then it is best to leave a tip in cash. If you add the tip to the credit card bill then it is likely that tip will not go to the staff.
One place that people don’t even think about tipping are the hotel staff that you probably never see – the housekeeping service staff that come to clean your room. I generally leave 20,000 – 50,000 Vietnam Dong (~1-2usd) in the bathroom with a note saying thank you to the staff so they know it is a tip.