How much should you tip in Thailand?
Holidays in Thailand have become even more popular in recent years with so much on offer for travellers, business persons, couples and families. However, tipping in Thailand is not always so simple. For instance, there are circumstances where tipping is more appropriate than other occasions.
Tipping is never necessarily expected in Thailand and you won’t get reprimanded if you don’t tip. However, it is normally a gesture that is gratefully accepted by the staff, especially considering the average wage.
How much to tip when eating in Restaurants in Thailand
When you’re eating out you need to take into consideration where you are eating. If you’re eating street food then it is commonplace to leave the change from the bill as a tip, but nothing more. The vendor is likely to try and reject your courteous gesture though, so be insistent if you really want to tip.
When you’re in restaurant it is considered acceptable to tip around 10% in cash to the waiting staff. They work for very little so a tip can make a big difference to them.
In a smaller, more local restaurant you can, for example, round up a 73 baht bill to 80 baht. However, if you go to a more upmarket restaurant then you will be expected to tip in excess of 10%. So a 300 baht meal would require a tip in the region of 45 baht (15%). Do ensure that the service charge isn’t already included in your bill before tipping though.
Tipping in Taxis in Thaiand
When using a taxi in Thailand ensure that the driver uses the metre so that you are not overcharged. Rounding up the bill is more than adequate for a taxi journey.
Thai Hotel Gratuity
When in a hotel, tip the bellman or porter between 20 baht per bag they help you with (up to 60 baht). Leave housekeeping 20 baht under your pillow each day. These are both low paid jobs, so a generous tip can go a long way.
Tour guides in Thailand and how much to tip
If you’re using a tour guide only tip based upon the level of service you received (due to the vast difference between a good tour and a bad one). A great tour can demand a tip in excess of 1000 baht (circa $30). For tours that aren’t very engaging rounding up the bill will suffice.
One thing to take into consideration when tipping across Thailand is that the vast majority of workers who are providing you a service are on a very low wage and work exhausting hours consistently. Therefore, a tip can go a long way. Even if you feel the service wasn’t great, or the staff weren’t very friendly (imagine working on your feet for 10 hours straight everyday) it’s best to give the staff the benefit of the doubt. This doesn’t mean over-tip, but tip what you can afford. The Thai community will not get offended and will be grateful for what you leave as a gratuity.
If you are planning a trip to Thailand, Gratitude recommends visiting Toast To Thailand, which is a complete Thailand travel guide. The site, run by Paul and Mona, gives great advice on planning your trip, destinations and activities.