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Tipping guidelines for Borneo

by James Wilmshurst

Tipping is not common practice in Malaysian Borneo and most people won’t expect it. In some tourist hot spots you may notice 10% service charge added to your restaurant bill. Otherwise tipping will be discretionary. Here’s our suggested tipping guidelines for Borneo.

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Per couple or family travelling –


For good service, tipping around MYR25-30 per day for your guide would be about right for a good job, perhaps more for something special or if you are a larger group or family.


Drivers usually receive 2/3rds of what the accompanying guide gets. MYR15 per day is a guideline, but do note that you don’t have to tip  drivers for doing pick ups and drop offs at airports.


If you’re in a hotel for a few days or more, a tip of MYR3 for your chambermaid or anyone else who has been helpful will be appreciated.


Many western-style restaurants and most hotels will add a 10% service charge to the bill. It’s also customary to leave any small change (coins etc) and if a charge is not added then 10% is a good gauge. Local restaurants usually don’t expect tips although they certainly won’t reject them should you leave a few dollar notes behind.

Taxis/ rickshaws:

Do not require tipping unless for exceptional service.

For holiday ideas to Borneo and Malaysia, take a look at our suggested itineraries.

Guide to Borneo

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