Tipping in Vietnam, what should you know?

tipping jar

You might be familiar with tipping in many countries all around the world. Tipping in Vietnam, however, can be a kind of art and psychological game. Is tipping expected in Vietnam? And how can you give it? This writing will prepare you with all the information need in Vietnamese tipping.

Is tipping expected in Vietnam?

The donation of a small amount of money after serving existed from ancient times from east to west. In many countries all around the world, this is regulated as a standard of art like the way people learning to use wine or rules about knives, forks, and table manners nowadays.

When giving the tips, you must combine your experience and sincerity together with the knowledge of destination culture. In the service industry, tipping is a kind of psychological game where you can make the professional waiter receive tips respectfully and comfortably.


tipping in vietnam

Tipping in Vietnam is an optional amount

Tipping in Vietnam is an optional amount. Whether or not fostering depends on many factors, in some cases “tips” even imply negativity, according to those who make long-term tourism. Vietnam custom tip is quite distinctive, which is different by region, customer group, and type of service. Now the question is how you can give your tips?

Tipping in Vietnam guides

In general, while in Vietnam tour packages through some big cities such as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city, you can tip base on the type of services you use.

Tipping in the coffee shop

When you go to a place that offers minimalist serving like an egg coffee shop, or shop requiring pick up at the counter, you do not need to tip. Even if you see a glass jar offering with tips, you can just walk calmly if there is no particular reason.


tipping jar

It is optional for you to tip or not in a coffee shop

You can leave in a reasonable amount of money if the staff shows an effort to please you. For example, if he greats you or he gets you a warm cup of water to take medicine without you asking, the tip is possible.

In these shops, whether you give tips or not, it is not the matter. Cleaning the table when you leave is even more important than offering tips in this case.

Tipping in Vietnam restaurants

Small restaurant

In traditional Vietnam restaurants like on the street side or local houses, giving tips is not welcome. Most of these restaurants do not use to get tips, and they can get upset easily if you give them tips. It is better if you give them an honest compliment like: “The dishes you make is the pinnacle! Delicious! I will come back with my friends and tell people about your restaurant”. With that compliment, you can help the waiter and staff working in that restaurant a pleasant day with a positive attitude from the restaurant boss.

The average restaurants

In the average, pretty, colorful restaurants that care about the design, you can tip for the beautiful decoration style, air-conditioned space, and friendly staff who are nice and pay attention to serve you.


tipping in a restaurant

Tipping in a restaurant is an encouragement amount

Please remember that this is also optional. Giving tips, in this case, is just like an encouragement amount. The tip amount can be not much as in fact; these restaurants do not sell expensive food. You can also give a tip differently each day, for example, VND 10,000, VND 20,000 (~US$ 0.5 – 1), etc. without the need to care about the percentage of your bill. After you eat a dish, drink a glass of water, and stay for about 10-20 minutes and the staff still cared, served and smiled at you, a little tip is possible.

The luxurious restaurants

These places are usually international quality. Therefore, its culture is quite open and the same as in western countries, where you are almost encouraged to tip. Your tip here can show your sophistication, experience, and evaluation, social understanding, even the ability to lead others to please you.


put your tip in a leather cover

You can put your tip in a leather cover

In luxury places, you need to follow their arrangements and service processes through waiters, supervisors, and restaurant managers. You can completely change the arrangements such as asking for a different table or even changing a vase or candle on a table, but you need to speak politely rather than make an order.

On average, in this place, the tip is about 5% of the bill which is pre-collected by restaurants owner. If everything is perfect according to you, you can tip 10% more.


  • Ask to borrow a leather cover and put money in it. In cases of force majeure must bring cash to the table, make it discreet and quick.
  • You should also give only one money sheet to make the restraint owner happier! For example, the owner will prefer the VND 200,000 sheet than a pile of 10,000, 50,000, 20,000, 5,000 clutter worth VND 207,000.
  • When giving tips for service, gently put them on the table, and waiters can come back and get it later.
  • When you decide not to tip, or tip very little in a luxurious place, for compelling reasons, let the waiter, supervisor, manager know it. This is helpful for the restaurant to improve its service latter. Express your frustration about their service discreetly and courteously when you return a dish that is raw, broken or wrong.

That is some things you should know about tipping in Vietnam 2019. Again, tipping in Vietnam may be different in regions and restaurants. Try to take a trip and have your own experience during Vietnam tours 2019 to see if it is right for you or not. Hope you have the best time discovering the unique cuisine of Vietnam!


Phuong Dao – Travel lover