Tipping isn't mandatory or customary in Vietnam, but it is always appreciated. If you’re happy with the services provided by waiters, drivers and other service workers, leaving a small tip is a good way to show your appreciation. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance to the people who take care of you during your travels. Tipping also encourages excellent service in the future and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.

Carrying small notes of local currency will make tipping easier. It is best to avoid tipping with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes, as this can be regarded as an insult.

Participate in a tipping kitty

You local leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty on the first day of your trip. In a group tipping kitty, everybody contributes an equal amount at the start of the tour that your leader uses to tip drivers, local guides and hotel staff on your behalf. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent, which can be checked at any time. Any money remaining at the end of the tour is returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassle of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip. Participation in this kitty is optional, and you are welcome to manage your own tipping separately if you prefer. Please note the tipping kitty excludes tips for your tour leader.

Tipping your local leader in Vietnam

You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however US$2-US$4 per person, per day is a commonly used guideline. Of course, you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

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