Tipping is different everywhere in the world, so how about tipping etiquette in Asia?
The list below contains tipping guides for (at the moment) 20 Asian countries and is based on over 80 sources, including TripAdvisor forums, Business Insider, Conde Nast Traveler and the websites of the official tourism boards. If you do feel something is off for a certain country, let me know and I'll make a note of it for a future update.
For what concerns tipping hotel staff, the tips mostly apply top mid-range to higher end hotels. No need to tip a bellboy if there isn't one :-)
Pick a country or simply scroll down to see them all.
(Not tipping etiquette in Asia you're looking for? Check out tipping etiquette around the world for the continent of your choice.)
Tipping in Asia
Giving gratuity is not obligatory, but service workers receive it with appreciation and even effusive thanks. In most cases, the favored note for tipping is a $2 bill.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: The baseline tip for satisfactory service is 5%, but you can go as high as 10% if the service is phenomenal. Alternatively, $1 per diner is also a reasonable tip. At bars, a 5-10% gratuity is suitable if you received attentive service.
Tipping tour guides: The recommended tip for guides is around 10% of the tour cost. If you don’t want to compute percentages, $2-$4 per day per person is a good estimate. If you have a driver for the tour, give him $1-$2 or buy him lunch.
Tipping taxi drivers: The usual deal is to simply round up or add $1 on top of the fare.
Tipping hotel staff: Bellhops and porters look for $1-$2 per bag. Cleaning staff should be tipped the same amount per day.
Good to know: There are no strict tipping rules in Cambodia, and in the end you should give whatever you're comfortable with. If the service is lackluster, it's okay not to tip extra.
Tipping on mainland China is rare and even banned in some establishments. On the other hand, it is widely practiced in the tourist metropolis of Macau and Hong Kong.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: It's unnecessary to tip in roadside eateries, pubs, and local Chinese restaurants. Some top-end establishments include gratuities in the bill, and you don't have to tip in addition to that. Restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau usually include a 10-15% service charge.
Tipping tour guides: Tipping guides in tours catered to international visitors is now becoming common. A guideline is 80-150 RM per day, although the amount still remains at your discretion.
Tipping taxi drivers: No need to tip when taking a taxi. In Hong Kong and Macau, it is suggested that you round the fare up or tip a couple extra dollars.
Tipping hotel staff: At high-end hotels, porters expect around 5 RMB per bag while room attendants look for 10 RMB per night. You're not expected to tip when staying at inns and hostels. In Hong Kong, the Tipping hotel staff may expect a higher tip, probably a dozen Hong Kong dollars per bag for porterage.
Good to know: An alternative to tipping in cash is giving a small gift to your guide or driver. It may be anything from a bottle of wine, shirts, or chocolates.
The tipping culture in Cyprus is not very prevalent, but there are some exceptions.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: Tipping in restaurants is entirely up to you. The most common tipping custom is to simply round up the bill, but you can leave a larger amount of around 10% for excellent service. No tip is expected in pubs and bars.
Tipping tour guides: Tipping guides is optional, although an additional 10% of the tour price will be appreciated.
Tipping taxi drivers: No need to tip taxi drivers. However, feel free to round up the fare.
Tipping hotel staff: For porters, 1 to 2 euros per suitcase should suffice. Hotel housekeeping will not expect tips, but you may give any amount between 2 to 4 euros.
Good to know: It may be uncommon for Cypriots to tip taxi drivers, but they are known to give delivery guys an extra 1 to 2 euros. It's out of sympathy for those who have to ride a scooter under the rain or on a hot day to deliver food.
Indians are not great tippers, but the practice of tipping is something expected of visitors in the country. As a tourist in India, keep tipping to a minimum because overtipping may come off as rude.
Tipping at Restaurants and bars: The standard tip for restaurant servers is 7-10% of the bill. Many restaurants in Mumbai and Delhi levy a service charge, wherein additional tips are no longer expected. Don't confuse the service charge with the government-mandated service tax.
Tipping tour guides: For a city tour lasting a couple of hours, the suggested tip is 400 to 500 rupees. For a whole-day tour, you can tip as much as 1000 rupees for exemplary service.
Tipping taxi drivers: Taxi drivers or tuk-tuks are not accustomed to tipping. However, tourist taxi drivers in the cities often expect a tip amounting to 10% of the fare.
Tipping hotel staff: In a budget hotel, the tip for porters ranges from 20-50 rupees. Upmarket hotels usually warrant a higher tip for porterage, which is around 150-250 rupees. Chambermaids receive roughly the same amount. Concierges who go out of their way to perform tasks for you should be tipped any amount from 100-300 rupees.
Good to know: Bring a lot of small bills (5, 10, and 20 rupees) to make tipping easier.
Tipping is not the way of life in Indonesia, but this is slowly changing as foreigners bring their tipping habits in the island country. The general rule is to tip when you feel it is deserved.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: You will almost always receive satisfactory service in Indonesia. Many restaurants incorporate a 10% service fee in the bill structure. If you don't see an included charge, round up to a convenient figure or throw down small change.
Tipping tour guides: Tip tour guides $10 per person per day. For shorter tours, around $2-$3 should suffice.
Tipping taxi drivers: Taxis in Indonesia are metered, and you're not expected to pay beyond the stated fare. Rounding up is what most people do. For instance, pay Rp 30,000 if the total fare is Rp 28,500.
Tipping hotel staff: In hotels, a 10% service charge is already added. Tipping on top of this is up to your discretion. Bellboys and hotel maids will appreciate a tip of $1-$2.
Tips of any size are welcome in Israel, with the suggested amounts being almost similar to that in Western countries. You're expected to tip especially if the quality of service warrants it.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: Israelis tip as a gesture of kindness and appreciation for low-earning wait staff. The regular tip for a restaurant waiter is 10-15% of the bill. The nicer the restaurant, the bigger the tip you should leave. Tipping bartenders is uncommon, but a 10 NIS coin will be appreciated.
Tipping tour guides: For coach tours, the average tip is around 30-50 shekels per person per day. If you hire the services of a private guide, a higher tip of 50-80 shekels is suggested.
Tipping taxi drivers: Cab drivers in Israel are not used to receiving tips. Rounding up the fare is a nice gesture if you feel like the driver is efficient and helpful throughout the ride.
Tipping hotel staff: Hotel porters, on average, receive 20 shekels for carrying bags to your room. Chambermaids should be tipped 10-15 shekels if they keep your room spotless clean.
Good to know: If you attend a wedding reception or bar mitzvah, it is common courtesy to tip the serving staff. The normal way to do it is to slip a 20 NIS note in the server's palm, or just leave it by your plate when you finish eating.
Tipping does not exist in Japanese culture. Not only will tips be refused, they are even considered offensive in many cases. The service sector in Japan is known to over-deliver, which means you're guaranteed to receive exemplary service at all times. Service workers perform their job with pride rather than in hopes of receiving a tip.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: As a rule, you don't tip in any Japanese restaurant. Leaving a cash tip on the table will likely result to the server running after you to give it back. Similarly, bartenders and cocktail servers don't accept tips.
Tipping tour guides: There are a few exceptions to the strict no-tipping rule, one of which is when you're in a tour. Most guides are used to foreign visitors who offer gratuities. Although by no means obligatory, it is not insulting to tip your tour guide. A few dollars should suffice.
Tipping taxi drivers: When riding a taxi, you’re not expected to tip the driver.
Tipping hotel staff: Hotel service staff normally refuse tips and gratuities. Do not feel offended if your tip is refused. In rare cases, you can tip discreetly by placing cash in an envelope and leaving it in your room. Never tip the person directly as this is considered rude.
Good to know: When offering your tip, use a nice envelope and seal it. Locals are generally displeased when you pull money out of your wallet in full, public view. Instead of cash, you may choose to tip your guide with a souvenir or a local item from your country. Alternatively, you may offer to treat them to lunch or coffee if you’re with them for a whole day.
In Jordan, tipping is a fundamental part of the service and tourism industry. Any amount you choose to tip will be appreciated by the underpaid staff, but consider your level of satisfaction and never feel obliged to reward poor service.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: At mid-range and classy restaurants, you'll see that a 10% service charge is included. Servers generally expect a 5-10% additional on top of this. Tip bartenders 1 dinar per drink or a small percentage of the total bill.
Tipping tour guides: If you're touring with a group, tip the guide 4 dinar per person per day, and the driver 2 dinar per person per day.
Tipping taxi drivers: If you travel via taxi, it is polite to pay the rounded-up figure stated on the meter. Hiring a driver for the day means you have to agree on a fixed fare beforehand. Usually, the gratuities are already included in the pre-negotiated price.
Tipping hotel staff: Tip porters 1 dinar per bag, and chambermaids the same amount or a little more per night. If you plan to ask special favors from the concierge, say, securing tickets to a show, then consider tipping in advance.
Good to know: In the ancient city of Petra, you may come across Bedouins who will ask for tips even if they've already been paid. In that case, it is perfectly fine to decline.
You hardly need to tip in Laos. Tipping is practically not a Lao custom, but it can be expected in some Westernized establishments that cater to tourists.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: In top-end restaurants in Vientiane, a 10% gratuity is expected if it hasn't already been added to the bill. No need to tip in mid-range restaurants.
Tipping tour guides: The only people you probably need to tip in Laos are tour guides. If you're in a package tour, the suggested tip for guides is the equivalent of $3-$5 in Laotian kips. For a whole-day tour, allow up to $10.
Tipping taxi drivers: No need to tip taxi drivers as fares are pre-negotiated.
Tipping hotel staff: In Laos, hotel staff are less inclined to expect a tip. Only tip if a staff member goes out of their way for you. If you wish to tip bellboys who carry your luggage, $2 per bag should suffice.
Tipping is discouraged in the Maldives. It is even banned at airports. However, the practice is starting to be accepted in touristy cities, with a guideline of keeping tips at a 10% maximum.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: A 10% service charge is usually included in restaurant and bar prices. Still, it's a good idea to leave a 5-10% cash tip especially since you're not completely sure if the whole ten percent is given to the serving staff.
Tipping tour guides: Maldives package tours are generally not cheap, and tipping your guide is optional. Should you wish to tip, the recommended amount is $10 for a full-day tour.
Tipping taxi drivers: No need to tip taxi drivers. An exception is if you take a boat taxi, in which case an additional $5 at the end of the trip is suitable.
Tipping hotel staff: Offer porters $1 per item of luggage. In some resorts, a staff tip box is available in the reception. A good idea is to leave $10-$20 for a weeklong stay. Tipping individual staff (housekeepers, bar staff, waiters) is at your discretion.
Good to know: You don't have to worry about tipping in local currency. US dollars is an official currency in Maldives.
Tipping service staff has not been common in Omani culture, but is slowly becoming more so. It is generally only expected in five-star establishments.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: Compared to other countries, locals do not frequently eat out and so tipping is not a huge part of their culture. Fancy restaurants normally include a service charge, but if none is included, 10% is the standard gratuity. Rounding up to the bill to the next Rial is also acceptable. In mid-range diners, leaving small change should suffice but it's not obligatory. Most locals will not tip in this case.
Tipping tour guides: It's not required to tip your tour guide, but no one will stop you from rewarding excellent service.
Tipping taxi drivers: Don't tip taxi drivers in Oman. Some will even overcharge you or claim that they don't have change for a large bill, hoping that you will let them keep it. With that, it is often best to negotiate the fare with your driver beforehand. Any gratuities should already be included in this amount.
Tipping hotel staff: It is customary to find a government tax and a service charge incorporated in the bill structure. Tipping on top of this is entirely optional. 1 rial is the normal tip for hotel porterage and housekeeping service.
In the Philippines, tipping is not obligatory but is considered an act of goodwill. An average Filipino may be less inclined to tip compared to a tourist on vacation. However, among the middle and upper class, tipping good service is customary.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: Some sit-down restaurants will automatically include a service charge (usually 10%) in the bill. By law, 85% of this charge goes to the employees, and the rest goes to management. If you're feeling generous or have received exemplary service, it's acceptable to leave an extra 20 or 50 peso bill. At bars, you may simply round up the total bill or leave loose change.
Tipping tour guides: Tips for tour guides is subjective, but a good idea is around 10% of the tour cost. If you're on a private tour, Php 200 per day is a sufficient amount.
Tipping taxi drivers: Most people will just bump up the metered fare to a rounded-up value. If your driver has been especially friendly and helpful, adding Php 20-50 is a nice gesture. In some beaches and trekking trails, you may have to take a tricycle to reach the site. Tricycle fares are pre-negotiated, so be wary of drivers who might overcharge you.
Tipping hotel staff: A 20-peso tip is customary for porters, although you can go as high as 50 pesos if you have a lot of luggage. Hotel housekeepers can be tipped 20 to 50 pesos per day. Leave it on your bedside table in an envelope or with a thank-you note.
Good to know: At malls, restaurants, and resorts, if a security guard assists you while parking, a 20 or 50 peso tip is customary. In smaller parking spots, unofficial attendants will help you park and proceed to watch over your car while you go on with your business. Give them spare change or a 20 peso note.
Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world. Despite that, workers in the service sector receive very low salaries. Locals have different beliefs when it comes to tipping, but as a rule of thumb, you can tip anyone who renders you good service.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: The standard tip at restaurants is 10-15% of the amount you pay. When ordering drinks at a bar, you can tip the serving staff by rounding up the bill.
Tipping tour guides: Tip guides 18-20 Riyals per day, more if you especially enjoyed the tour under their service.
Tipping taxi drivers: Rounding up a taxi bill is customary. You may leave an additional 5 Riyals if your driver helped carry your bags or gave useful information on the area.
Tipping hotel staff: Hotel porters are usually given 5-10 Riyals. Chambermaids receive a slightly higher amount per day.
Good to know: Establishments in Qatar have different tipping policies. Some prohibit their staff to pocket cash tips, while others have a centralized tipping box. Avoid tipping via credit card as this only goes to the management. Also, tipping should be done discreetly.
Only recently has tipping become a thing in Russia. In cities like St. Petersburg and Moscow, it is considered customary to leave a tip if you receive good service.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: Restaurants rarely include gratuities in the bill. Tip 10-15% in cash and hand it directly to your server. For a smaller order, you can simply round up. Some establishments in Russia do not accept credit cards so always bring cash with you. Tipping bartenders is optional.
Tipping tour guides: For guides, 600 Rubles (around $10) for a whole-day tour is appropriate. Also tip the tour driver a few hundred Rubles. If you hire a private guide, it is courteous to pay for their lunch or snacks.
Tipping taxi drivers: No tip required for taxi drivers. However, you can round the fare up to the nearest 50 or 100 for convenience.
Tipping hotel staff: Tip porters $1-$3 per trip made, and cleaning staff the same amount per day. You can also tip a concierge who helps you secure hard-to-get reservations. $5-$10 is the suggested amount.
Good to know: Russians appreciate personal touche in gifts and gratuities. When you tip an excellent guide or a friendly driver, you can include a thank-you note with the cash. Giving gratuity is not limited to cash – you may also give your favorite wait staff a small present, which can be a local delicacy or a souvenir.
Singapore has no tipping culture. Most restaurants and hotels add a service charge anyway, so tips are unnecessary. Their government actively discourages the practice of tipping, so you may want to refrain from it if you can.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: At sit-down restaurants and bars, a 10% service charge is automatically added to the bill. This is stated as “++” which means “plus service charge and taxes.” You are only expected to pay the exact amount, nothing more. If an establishment does not include service charge, then tipping is at your discretion. No more than 10% is recommended.
Tipping tour guides: No need to tip your tour guides.
Tipping taxi drivers: No need to tip taxi drivers. It is, however, acceptable to round up the amount to the nearest Singaporean dollar.
Tipping hotel staff: Room rates at mid-range and upscale hotels include a 10% service charge, which theoretically covers porterage, cleaning, and concierge service. Only budget hotels and inns do not have this type of charge. Most people will still tip porters $1 per bag and housekeepers a couple of dollars per day.
Good to know: Tipping is strictly prohibited at airports. You're not allowed to tip any of the staff there, whether it's a store attendant, waiter, or a porter.
Sri Lanka is a country appreciative of tips. Service employees are not embarrassed when it comes to encouraging tips from customers. This is observed in the purposeful wait and subtle questions of whether you're satisfied with their service.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: When paying your bill at a mid or high-end restaurant, allow an additional 10% cash tip. Tipping bar staff is not required, but you may give 100 rupees for attentive service. This tip is already for the whole evening.
Tipping tour guides: Gratuities are usually included in the package tour cost, but you can always tip more if you think it's deserved. A good idea is 300 to 500 rupees for a day's service. If you have a driver during the tour, you can give him roughly the same amount.
Tipping taxi drivers: It's a polite gesture to tip your taxi drivers in Sri Lanka. The cost of taking taxis is relatively cheap that you may even want to hire one for a day. The normal tip is 200-400 rupees for a 3-hour trip, or 500 rupees for a full-day service.
Tipping hotel staff: Porters get 100 rupees per bag; hotel maids get around 100-500 rupees per day. At upscale hotels, concierge staff are called ‘butlers.' They are usually rewarded 500 rupees per day if they provide excellent service.
Good to know: If you find yourself availing a spa and ayurveda treatment in Sri Lanka, consider tipping your therapist 10% of the total bill.
In Thailand, tipping is a matter of personal choice. Even with the influx of Western tourists and serving staff starting to expect tips, you should never tip if you're unsatisfied. It is not a legal requirement.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: The better the establishment, the more likely a gratuity is expected there. Locals never tip at street stalls, but at upmarket places a 10% tip is standard. At bars and nightclubs, you don't pay per order but run a tab instead. Tipping bartenders is optional. 20 Baht is okay if you've had a drink or two, but 50-100 Baht is more appropriate if you were there the whole evening. In some establishments, tips are placed in a pot to be equally divided among the bar staff.
Tipping tour guides: The recommended tip for guides is $10 per day. Again, you're under no obligation to follow this and can skip the tip if you don't want to give one.
Tipping taxi drivers: No need to tip your taxi drivers. If you feel your driver has been especially helpful, or if you were in a rather long journey, a small tip is acceptable. When riding tuk-tuks or three-wheeler taxis, fares are agreed upon with your driver. No further gratuity is expected.
Tipping hotel staff: Porters and bellboys receive 20-50 bahts; room cleaning staff receive around 20 bahts per night.
Good to know: Never leave a one-baht coin as tip. It is practically an insult to any serving staff because the denomination has very little value.
Turks are modest tippers, but those in the service industry are having greater expectations because of foreigners who bring their tipping habits in the country. Tips are well-received and must reflect the caliber of service rendered.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: In cheap eateries, tipping is not required but will be appreciated. Most people tip the standard 10-15% at upmarket bars and restaurants. In some establishments, you may encounter musicians who will play for tips. It's polite to give at least 5 TL, but if it's not your thing then it's okay not to tip.
Tipping tour guides: For guided tours, the average tip is TL20 to TL30 for the whole group. Tip drivers a little less than this amount.
Tipping taxi drivers: No need to tip your taxi drivers. What most people do is just round the fare up. If you avail a private transfer service, tipping isn't usually expected but you may give 5% if you wish.
Tipping hotel staff: Porters receive TL2 to TL4 per item of luggage they carry for you. Chambermaids receive TL5 to TL7 per day for keeping your room clean.
Good to know: Turkish lira is the preferred currency for tipping but any foreign note is acceptable. Avoid tipping foreign coins as they are difficult to exchange for liras.
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
The United Arab Emirates have no strict protocols when it comes to tipping. Like most Asian countries, giving gratuity for services is mostly down to your personal preference.
Tipping at restaurants and bars: Typically, a 10-16% service charge is already added in restaurant bills. Further tipping is not needed. If no service charge is included, the key figure is 10%, but allow up to 15% if you're especially satisfied with the service. For bartenders, rounding up the bill is a sufficient tip.
Tipping tour guides: Both guides and drivers can be tipped anywhere between 5-10% of the tour cost.
Tipping taxi drivers: Most passengers will just round up the bill to the nearest note. If your driver was efficient and polite, consider giving an additional AED 1-3.
Tipping hotel staff: The customary tip for hotel porters is AED 5-10, more if you have heavier luggage. Room cleaning staff can be tipped AED 2-5 per day left on your pillow.
Good to know: Other people you may consider tipping are car window washers, delivery drivers, grocery baggers, and petrol station attendants. AED 2 or small change is usually given.
Tipping is not traditionally done in Vietnam, but Western influences introduced the practice to locals. Now, tips are still non-obligatory but they are received with good grace. Particularly in the city of Hanoi, you can tip when eating in restaurants, drinking in bars, and staying at hotels.
Tipping restaurants and bars: Most bars and restaurants levy a 5% service fee and 10% tax in the bill structure. However, the amount paid for service goes mostly to management, and very little reaches the servers. With that, you may consider leaving a 5-10% additional if the service is satisfactory.
Tipping tour guides: If you hire a guide, consider a tip amount of $15 per day. Tour drivers should be given half of that. In lieu of cash tips, Vietnamese guides will also appreciate a small present as gratuity.
Tipping taxi drivers: For taxi drivers, no tipping is necessary. You may do as the locals do and simply give a rounded-up amount.
Tipping hotel staff: Porters get a dollar per bag. Chambermaids get a couple of dollars, left on your bedside table on the last day of your stay.
Good to know: If no gratuity is included in the price, a $5 to $10 tip is customary at fancy spas. Of course, you only need to tip if you feel it’s deserved. Spas offering days-long services will sometimes state their tipping policy so you’ll know how much to leave.