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tourguide tipping

by timewaster Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 5:06 AM

what is the typical tip for a tour guide. for example, i have a day trip from hanoi to Tam Coc. It costs about $30 usd. what should i be tipping?

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14 Answers
  • muratkorman's Profile Photo

    Re: tourguide tipping

    by muratkorman Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 6:04 AM

    The usual tipping rates are around 10-15 percent which would be 3-5 USD to the guide. However, if you are very satisfied with the service you can tip more and similarly if you are not happy with the service you may not tip.

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  • akkipaa's Profile Photo

    Re: tourguide tipping

    by akkipaa Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 6:08 AM

    Tipping is not expected in Vietnam, but it is of course appreciated. I would propose 5-10% based on your experiences during the tuor.

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    Re: tourguide tipping

    by davidjo Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 6:11 AM

    I am a strong believer that there is no set % for a tip. Never mind what others give. If you are satisfied just give what you feel like giving. If you are not satisfied give nothing. And i do not believe Vietnamese give 10-15% tips in their own country. Some foreigners tip so now all foreigners are expected to tip.

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  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo

    Re: tourguide tipping

    by cachaseiro Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    There is an unofficial rule in Vietnam that tour guides should get 2,5 dollar per day per tourist they are excorting. If it's just 1 or 2 tourists they are escorting then they will expect a bit more.

    I work several times a year in Vietnam and will be there again this sunday and my biggest headache when i work with danish tourists in Vietnam is that the most popular danish guidebook tells people not to tip so they are very reluctant to do so and Denmark is allready a country without tipping culture.

    This has resulted in some very angry local guides at times and i fear that i will one day get in to some real big problems because danes won't tip.

    So my advice is to give them the amount i wrote in the beginning of this reply and you should have a happy guide.

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  • martensd's Profile Photo

    Re: tourguide tipping

    by martensd Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    I agree with David. I know my VN wife and her family gets a bit mad at me for tipping too much even though it might break down to only 5-10%. Just not done within the VN community. That said, however, the more westernized we see Vietnam become, the more we see tips becoming the norm. I tip based on my overall satisfaction. I certainly will not miss the couple bucks if I have a good time and the people in most cases could use the money. The only place I ever "Over Tipped" was at the blind monks massage complex, as I felt the money was going to a worthwhile project.

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    Re: tourguide tipping

    by davidjo Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Well Claus, I have admired your answers and advice over the last year or so on the forum but we are miles apart on this one!!! Obviously one gets paid for doing one's job, and anything else one receives from satisfied customers should be a bonus and appreciated. I also worked with tourists in London in the late 80's (day tours in luxury cars) and i knew if i was dealing with an American the tip would be substantial as the USA has a tipping culture, but if i was dealing with an Australian, Dutch or Frenchman a tip would be a surprise, but i never got angry at not receiving one. We have had such discussions on the forum before with a wide variety of answers.

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  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo

    Re: tourguide tipping

    by cachaseiro Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    I agree with you David. I hardly ever get a single tip myself and never compalin about that.

    I was just mentioning what to expect from a vietnamese local guide and they DO expect a tip and will often get openly angry if they don't get one. The vietnamese hardly ever tip by the way and that is accepted, just like accept much less in tips if you are with a vietnamese.

    I am personally not happy with the attitiude of the vietnamese local guides who are the new rich of Vietnam today and drive around in big cars, build big houses and live like kings, but i was just writing what our friend here has to expect.

    When i say that my biggest problem when working in vietnam is this issue then it's because i have to walk on this thin line between tourists who will not give any tips and local guides who expect minimum 65 dollars a day when i come with 25 tourists in a bus. Of the 14 local guides i have worked with the past 3 years in vietnam 12 of them has contacted the company after the tour and said that they will never work for this company again because of the lack of tips. The local guides in Vietnam have become spoiled brats over the past few years and i have contacted some official people dealing with tourism in the vietnamese goverment regarding this issue and i hope something will happen that makes the situation better.

    I am personally not a big fan of tipping but a fan of proper wages for tourism workers but my first answer was purely about what the poster should expect in Vietnam.

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  • martensd's Profile Photo

    Re: tourguide tipping

    by martensd Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    I was reluctant to weigh in again but some good points have been brought up.

    First, I have been going to VN every year for ten years now and have seen such a big difference in not only the country but the people. Just thinking back to the traffic then and now is an example of the wealth the Vietnamese have gained and the expectations that go along with it.

    And I definitely see the youth of today being more demanding and less appreciative than I did ten years ago. But that can be said most everywhere.

    Claus, I believe that what you wrote is a fact in this new day and age in VN and wonder if you have you seen this as a recent expectation or has it developed over the last few years ?

    I do leave a tip if my service is good and most times it is very appreciated. Other times it seems that it was to be expected.

    I remember once talking to a manager at the Louisiane in Nha Trang about tipping and the difference between tips given by americans verse other countries. It was almost a given that an american would leave a tip. Was it appreciated? I would hope so, but the better question is should it have been expected?

    Let me also ask this question, do you see that Vietnam has a more demanding idea of tips than say Thailand and Cambodia?

    I still agree with David that a tip (or not) should be based on quality of service, not some "rule of thumb" that you see in many travel books and magazines. And there is a tipping schedule for EVERY service! Like the tip I am supposed to give to the guy in the restroom that hands me the paper towel to dry my hands! LOL

    By the way, here in the U.S. there is talk (television and new reports) that tips for restaurant service should go up to 25%, which I find not only ridiculous but will force people to eat out less or just balk at this new "rule".

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  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo

    Re: tourguide tipping

    by cachaseiro Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    I have been bringing tour groups to Vietnam for the past 3 years and always had the problem. Before that i was only in Vietnam as a guy travelling on my bibccyle and this was never really an issue.

    Almost all foreign travel agencies today get around with it by prepaying the local guides 2,5 dollars per day per guest and then they have no problems. Only exception is american companies cause they know that americans tip more than that even if they are not asked. All danish companies operating in Vietnam does that too except for the one i work for and they are very stubborn on this issue.

    Even if i tend to agree with their opinions i just have to look for it from a professional angle and make sure the tours run to the setisfaction of the guests and i am getting worried that we might run in to a blocade one day in the middle of a tour.

    And i don't think the vietnamese as a whole are worse than the neighbours, but they have just let the local guides go out of control so they start acting like some goverment official who can't be fired no matter how stupid they are. And don't forget that they earn commision in all shops where the group is taken. In a place like Hoi An where you have tailor shops they can make a couple of thousand dollars in commision on a good day. And the local guides in central are the worst when it comes to being greedy with tips aswell.

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  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo

    Re: tourguide tipping

    by cachaseiro Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    And let me just add that i think the vietnamese are some of the nicest people to work and have a social life with in all Asia. Together with malaysians they are the ones i click with the most in that regard, mainly cause they are not afraid to disagree with me when we discuss issues and they do not obey authorities the same way as some other asians tend to do all the time and that fits a good old anarchist like me

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  • Daihappydai's Profile Photo

    by Daihappydai Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    If you find the guide helpful and if you think the $30 works out to be good value for money, then a 10% tip, $3, would be considered a very decent tip.

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  • Re: tourguide tipping

    by timewaster Online Now Feb 27, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    what if the tour costs $10? then its ok to tip $1?
    or should there be a minimum?

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  • muratkorman's Profile Photo

    Re: tourguide tipping

    by muratkorman Online Now Feb 28, 2013 at 5:07 AM

    timewaster wrote:

    what if the tour costs $10? then its ok to tip $1? or should there be a minimum?


     Sure it is okay. But if you want to give more, nobody will disagree with that :)

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  • Re: tourguide tipping

    by Aveline Online Now Apr 22, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    It depends on your satisfaction or you can prepare small gift for them (01 day tour)

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