Generally, tipping is not expected on mainland China, although leaving spare change at restaurants and giving a small amount to tourism and hospitality workers is becoming more commonplace (although not mandatory). For example, tipping porters and bartenders a small amount is welcome and some large hotels and restaurants may already include a 10–15 per cent surcharge within the bill.

The culture of tipping is different in Hong Kong, where taxi drivers and restaurants will usually round up the bill, and service staff like porters will generally expect a tip.

If you do decide to tip, please don't use coins, very small denomination notes or dirty and ripped notes. This is culturally regarded as an insult.

Tipping local guides in China

Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest USD 2–5 per day for local guides depending on their service and their involvement with the group.

Participate in a tipping kitty in China

Depending on the type of trip you are doing and the number of local staff involved, your tour leader may discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your group leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all money spent. The record can then be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour is returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip.

Tipping your leader in China

You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline USD 4–6 per person, per day can be used. 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.

Once again for those of you in the back: a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Click here to return to China FAQs

Our tours in China

12 Days From 3340

Take a small group Premium adventure that weaves together some of China’s most famous...

9 Days From 1085

Travel between Shanghai and Beijing, visiting the Great Wall and Terracotta Warriors...

8 Days From 1085

Take a trip through epic China and see the Terracotta Warriors, the Great Wall,...

19 Days From 2665

Travel to China and tour Beijing, visit the Great Wall of China, see the Terracotta...

15 Days From 3230

Travel from Beijing to Kathmandu on an epic overland journey, seeing the temples and...

Tailor-Made trips

Take four or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

15 Days From 3230

Travel from Beijing to Kathmandu on an epic overland journey, seeing the temples and...

12 Days From 884

Discover China’s northern hotspots with Intrepid on a 12-day trip to Beijing, the Great...

11 Days From 2140

Visit energetic China, where culture, history and cuisine come together to create a...

12 Days From 2445

Travel to the Land of the Dragon and explore Beijing, Xi'an, Yangshuo, Chengdu and Hong...

12 Days From 1200

From Great Wall to Terracotta Warriors, pandas to picturesque Yangshuo, this 12-day...

12 Days From 2365

Spend 12 days exploring northern China from Shanghai to Beijing, including Luoyang, the...

12 Days From 1860

Embark on a 12-day adventure from Beijing to Hong Kong, exploring key highlights...