Are you planning a trip somewhere in Thailand and curious if tipping in Thailand is common?
When a traveler visits a destination for the first time, it’s typical to be curious about its tipping culture. Here’s everything you need to know about tipping etiquette in Thailand.
The short answer is technically no. Tipping in Thailand isn’t customary. However, there are many times when tips are expected, and it would be appropriate to give one!
We’ll cover all scenarios in Thailand, including when tips are expected and when they aren’t, but when you may want to consider giving one anyway!
Side note: Thai people are some of the friendliest, kindest people on earth and greatly appreciate any tips. I mean, there’s a reason the country’s nickname is “the Land of Smiles.”
The local currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht; at the time of this article, $1 US is 35.80 THB.
Tipping in Thailand at Restaurants
In Thailand, you’ll find yourself dining in many different settings, including your typical restaurant, fine-dining restaurant, night markets, Thai-style cafeterias, mall food courts, and beach clubs.
You don’t need to tip if you’re dining at a typical restaurant with a waiter or waitress in Thailand. However, if you decide to, it’s greatly appreciated.
But if you’re at a fine dining restaurant, staff expect a tip, and you should tip between 10% and 15%, depending on how you found the service/food you’ve received.
Fine Dining Restaurant: Tip between 10% to 15%, maybe 20% if the service and food are good.
Besides fine dining restaurants, tips aren’t expected in Thailand when dining, but in recent years, tipping has become more of a norm throughout the very touristy spots in Thailand. That doesn’t mean you need to feel that you must tip.
Dining at open-air restaurants like Thai cafeterias, large mall food courts, night markets, and beach clubs, you don’t need to tip, and it’s not expected to tip at these places.
But if you’ve received excellent service, you could consider a small tip, and locals greatly appreciate it. Here are a few amount suggestions:
Average Restaurant: Similar to fine-dining restaurants, you can tip 10% to 15% of your bill
Night Markets: At night markets, vendors don’t expect tips; you don’t need to tip vendors here. The only time a tip is suggested to vendors is if you’re a returning customer and the vendor has served you well; at that point, you could consider giving 5 to 20 baht as a tip. So if your Pad Thai cost 60 Baht, give 70 Baht.
Food Courts: There’s no reason to tip at food courts, and I wouldn’t suggest tipping. Some restaurants now have tip boxes, so if you’d like to, go ahead, but it’s not expected.
Beach Clubs: If you’re spending the day by the beach snacking on appetizers and sipping cocktails for the afternoon, whether at a beach club or any beach with vendors, tips aren’t expected.
If you spend the entire afternoon at the beach and you’ve been consistently taken care of by one attentive staff member, a small tip of 20 to 100 Baht would be recommended/appreciated.
Tipping in Thailand at Bars & Cafes
Tipping is only sometimes customary at most bars and cafes in Thailand, but it is appreciated for good service. You don’t need to feel like you have to tip at bars and cafes.
On the other hand, if you find yourself at a high-end cocktail bar or upscale cafe where skilled bartenders or baristas craft your drinks, tipping is usually expected in places like these.
As a general guideline for tips at bars/cafes, a small tip of around 10-20 Baht (approximately 0.30-0.60 USD) per drink is customary, and any tip is greatly appreciated.
If you’ve had several drinks at the bar, and the service was great and the staff attentive, you may consider leaving a larger tip.
Something to remember, especially in Bangkok, is that some upscale bars may include a service charge in the bill, so it’s always a good idea to check before adding a tip. You may not want to tip at that point, considering you’ve paid for a “service charge” at the bar.
Tipping in Thailand Taxi or Grab Driver
Is it customary to tip taxi or Grab drivers in Thailand? Unlike restaurants where tipping is common, you are not expected to tip your taxi or Grab drivers in Thailand. Whether you’d like to tip or not is completely up to you.
Tips are not expected but still appreciated for trips under 30 minutes. However, you are not obligated to tip for short trips unless you want to.
If your trip is longer than 30+ minutes, such as leaving/going to the airport, the driver assists you with your luggage. Tipping your driver 10 to 15% after your trip would make sense; this applies to taxi and Grab drivers.
After your Grab driver drops you off, the Grab app prompts you to rate the trip/driver from 1 to 5 stars and suggests various tipping percentages: 5%, 15%, and 20%; the company states that all 100% of the tip goes towards your driver. You can also close the prompt if you don’t want to tip to give your own custom tip amount.
Personally, I always tip a taxi or grab driver anywhere in the world for a trip longer than 30 minutes. Also, if they suggest good local restaurants, I always show my appreciation.
If you are unfamiliar Grab, it’s a popular ridesharing app in Southeast Asia. It is very convenient for getting around most places in Thailand, and it’s a must-download app when visiting Thailand or anywhere in Southeast Asia.
If you’ve ordered food for delivery on Grab, a tip is recommended; similar to riding with Grab, the app will prompt the percentages as the suggested tip amount for your Grab driver delivering your food order. You can also always round up the amount to make things easier!
Tipping in Thailand Tuk Tuk Driver
It’s not expected to tip your Tuk Tuk driver in Thailand, and you shouldn’t. Some drivers are known for overcharging tourists for rides, and it’s usually slightly more expensive to take a Tuk Tuk than a taxi or Grab.
On some occasions, when your Tuk Tuk driver offers a fair price for the ride and takes you to your destination quickly and safely, you may consider a 10% tip.
If you’re uncomfortable negotiating and would like to take a TukTuk, prepare to be overcharged for your ride.
A great way to negotiate a Tuk Tuk is this: use Grab and see how much Grab charges for your trip, and negotiate with the TukTuk driver around this price; if you pay slightly more, it’s okay, considering TukTuks are fast/convenient. Paying slightly more is okay, but don’t pay much higher.
Tipping in Thailand Hotel
Tipping the bellboy and housekeeping staff at hotels in Thailand is a common practice to show appreciation for their service, but it is not expected. It is typically a small gesture that can make a difference in their monthly income.
The bellboy should receive a tip of 20-50 Baht (approximately 0.60-1.50 USD) per bag.
For housekeeping, it’s not as common to tip, but if they have taken good care of your room during your stay, you can leave a tip of 5-20 Baht per day,
However, it’s important to note that tipping bellboys/housekeeping at a hotel is completely up to you. The amounts are up to you, and they’re not expected, unlike at fine dining restaurants or after a massage.
If you are staying at a higher-end hotel, tips are usually expected. The suggested tip amounts are slightly higher than the suggested amounts mentioned above.
Ultimately, tipping is a personal choice and should be based on your own judgment and level of satisfaction with the service received at the hotel.
Tipping in Thailand for a Massage
How much should you tip in Thailand for a massage? Depending on how you found the massage and the overall treatment you’ve received at the spa, you should tip anywhere from 10% to 30%.
Tips for masseurs in Thailand are expected because being a masseur is not an easy job. During your massage, you will often notice masseurs making an effort to make sure your massage is enjoyable and checking up on you throughout the massage.
No matter where you visit Thailand, you will notice countless Thai Massage parlors. After all, Thailand is world-famous for its signature Thai massage, which you must experience when in Thailand.
By the way, you should know that the amount you pay for the massage doesn’t completely go to the masseur; some of the money goes to the masseur, and the remaining goes to the manager, usually someone who owns the massage parlor.
Always tip your masseur after a massage in Thailand; consider 10% to 30%, depending on how well the massage was. Tipping after a massage is customary worldwide.
Tipping in Thailand after a Tour
A good tour guide can greatly enhance or ruin an entire day trip, and it’s common to tip a tour guide in Thailand.
Therefore, if you have had a positive experience with your tour guide in Thailand, you should tip them at least 10%. A 15% to 20% tip would be appropriate if you have truly enjoyed yourself.
Like receiving a massage, you will notice the effort put into the service your tour guide provides. Throughout the tour, they will likely share interesting facts about the places you visit and experience. They will also check up on you throughout the tour and assist you with things.
Another optional way to show appreciation for your tour guide after the trip is by leaving them an excellent review online. Some tour operators may even provide bonuses to guides who receive outstanding reviews. Ultimately, positive reviews help other travelers discover great tours as well.
Keep in mind tips for tour guides make a significant difference to their salaries, and many day tours in Thailand are 6+ hours; being a tour guide and euphuistically touring tourists around daily is a taxing job; tip your tour guide!
The amount can be adjusted based on your judgment and satisfaction with the service. It’s always a thoughtful gesture to show appreciation for a memorable and well-organized tour.
If you attend a private tour and your guide is helpful and ensures you have a great time, it would be best to tip 15% to 20% for the tour. During a private tour, the tour guide relies on your tip!
Last but not least, there are free walking tours in Thailand, and if you choose to attend one, make sure you tip. These tours operate on tips alone, and they’re made possibly because tour guides work on a “give as you like” basis. There’s no specific amount, but tip something; it’s rude not to tip during a free tour.
Tipping in Thailand — Final Thoughts
Is tipping in Thailand customary? No, overall, it’s not customary to tip in Thailand. However, there are many instances where you should tip.
Ultimately, based on your satisfaction level, you can tip as much as possible and when you’d like to.
If you’re getting a massage, going on a tour, or dining at a fine-dining restaurant, it’s strongly advised to tip during all these times, assuming you enjoyed yourself and were provided with good service.
All other scenarios, such as a taxi, dining at a Thai-style cafeteria, coffee cafes, etc, are completely up to you and how you feel you’ve been served and cared for.
Travel is expensive overall, and many of us travel on a strict budget; I’ve done so myself a few times, so I get it. But please consider the locals and the service provided, and tip when appropriate.
RELATED: Is Thailand Cheap to Visit?
Is tipping expected in Thailand?
Overall, tipping is not expected in Thailand. However, sometimes it’s more expected than not, assuming you’ve received good service.
If you’ve dined at a fine-dining restaurant, received a massage, or gone on a tour, these are times when it’s recommended to tip in Thailand, anywhere between 10% to 20%.
Is it rude not to tip Thailand?
No, it’s not rude. Tipping isn’t customary in Thailand. However, there are times when it is recommended, like at fine-dining restaurants and after massages. While recommended, it isn’t rude not to do so either.
Is 20 baht a good tip?
Depending on what you’re tipping for, tipping in Thailand isn’t customary, so any tip is appreciated.
A 20 Baht tip is a good tip for a hotel bell boy, average restaurant, or quick taxi trip. But if you’ve received a massage or just taken a tour, 20 Baht is slightly low.
Is 50 baht a good tip?
It depends on what you’re tipping for. In most scenarios, a 50 Baht tip is excellent. However, it would be considered a lower tip if you dined at a fine-dining restaurant.
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