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Tipping in Bhutan

by abc123123 Online Now Jan 29, 2010 at 4:35 PM

HI All,

I've recently signed up for some trekking in bhutan in April.

My question is about TIPPING the staff. I'm prepared to do so, but my company has stated the daily amount to be at least around10 per day per person (it seems) for "Ok service". THis adds my costs up to an enormous sum, nor does it seem reasonable.

From practice, how much tipping is enough and customary?? Thanks!!

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Tipping in Bhutan

    by Odinnthor Online Now Jan 29, 2010 at 5:58 PM

    When people take guided tours/treks, I often see that they are "surprised" at the custom of tipping. Anyone that takes tours should learn to include the normal/usual tips in the cost of their tour, when choosing one. But hey, we all have to learn it somwhere. That's why you came to us, and that's why we are here.

    Consider this. You are going on a trek, and there are more people to take care of than just the guide. Generally there is a cook, a guide, an assistant and even a horseman is some cases. Ten dollars a day for all this is cheap. Here is a suggested tipping guide. Draw your own conclusions.

    US$5-10 per person per day for local guide
    US$3-7 per person per day for assistant local guide
    US$3-7 per person per day for driver

    If you also have a cook, add the same amount as for the driver.

    As you can see, if all they ask is ten bucks a day, to cover all, you are getting off cheap! It could easily anount to25.00 per day.

    Having done some treks, although not in Bhutan but "in the vicinity", I do know about this. Do not try to get away with being cheap. You will regret it. "Nuff said. Also it is the custom when you offer the tip, to decline. Don't use it as an excuse to withdraw the offer. Offer it again and it will be accepted.

    My advise is to be prepared to give more than ten bucks per day, as it is really a minimum. Have great trek, you will find that it was worth every penny.
    Good luck on your journey....d:o)

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  • Re: Tipping in Bhutan

    by catri32 Online Now Sep 30, 2010 at 7:48 AM

    "In the vicinity" of Bhutan, one doesn't have to pay over 200$ per day as starting price!
    The initial policy of the officials in Bhutan, to discourage tipping, was more than reasonable by such prices.
    Too bad that tourism went privatized in the country.

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  • Re: Tipping in Bhutan

    by abc123123 Online Now Oct 13, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    Thanks for your replies. I have been and am back from Bhutan ! It was fantastic, beautiful !

    Actually, I just wanted to clarify that it's not about being cheap.. nor is it about the unwillingness to pay for good service/ many ppls' assistance. Certainly, everyone in my tour worked hard and deserve to be compensated. I have also been on a few treks around the vacinity, but like Catri32 said - u don't normally pay US$200 (or more) per day to hike in the area. So I just needed to match up what the company said against standard practice/ rates in Bhutan.

    TIpping is not surprising, but one does take some time to "swallow" the added costs (by no means, insubstantial) to the already fixed costs of travelling in Bhutan.

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  • Re: Tipping in Bhutan

    by abc123123 Online Now Oct 13, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    by the way, it was US$10 per person ,15 for driver,20+ for guide and so forth. not10 in total.

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