Tipping guidelines for Vietnam

Tipping in Vietnam is very much a western import. In certain places however, it’s becoming an important supplementary form of income. You might find a difference between the North and South of the country: Saigon’s exposure to US culture has made tipping more of a thing although, to be honest, exposure to the tourist industry has meant the practice is now countrywide.  Although tips are not expected, they are very much appreciated but it can sometimes be challenging working out how much to tip and when it’s appropriate to do so. Here we provide an insider’s guide:

John and Guide

ETG traveller John and his guide in Hue, Vietnam

Per group which includes a couple or family travelling –


If you’re happy with the service of your guide, $7-10 (200,000 dong) per day is the appropriate amount for a good job. You can always give more or less depending on what you thought of your experience. We try to make sure that when you stay in a particular place for a few days you’ll have the same guide for each of your excursions; you can tip at the end of each day or on the day of your departure as you wish.


When tipping your driver it depends how much time he’s spent looking after you. For a day’s work, driving you to 3-4 stops along the way, you might give them $3-4 (10,000 dong). It’s up to you; if they’ve only provided transfers to and from an airport, don’t feel obliged to tip.


Tips aren’t really expected in hotels. If you want to say a thank you to a porter or cleaner, a tip of $1 (20,000 dong) is about right.


High-end restaurants usually expect a tip for good service; others you shouldn’t worry about.

Taxis/ tuk tuks:

Do not require tipping unless for exceptional service.

If you wanted to talk to an expert about planning your Vietnam trip, do call 020 3468 9584 or email us with your questions here. To see an example of the kind of trip you could have, do take a look at our example holiday itineraries. They’re just a starting point, all our holidays are tailor-made so we can tweak all elements to suit your exact interests. Alternatively – download our free travel guide for more insider tips and insights:

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Philly Baines

Philly is a tenacious Asia enthusiast and keen writer. Her biggest influences?
Francophile parents, Kurt Vonnegut and foreign film. Keep up-to-date with her latest adventures at: www.philippabaines.com.

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