Tipping is generally a common practice, however far beyond that practiced in Europe or America. The first thing to know is that tipping in Thailand is by no means mandatory, but it will of course always be very appreciated. Generally, Thais do not tip, neither for taxi nor for accommodation or other services.
Tips in Thailand
Normally, in Thailand you pay exactly what it costs. However, tourist areas have adapted to western customs. It was the many international tourists who brought this behavior to Thailand.
So, should you leave a tip in Thailand, in restaurants, after a massage, in the hotel, or for the taxi? Considering the tips in Thailand, it is worth bearing in mind that many service people in Thailand earn less than 350 THB per day so tips are very welcome, but it is not obligatory to pay them every time.
When traveling on your own, sometimes it is difficult to know how much each tip should be. In general, it is incredibly difficult to set firm rules for tips, but 20-50 THB for a normal service and up to 100 THB for a really top service will certainly be enough. However, tips should depend on the destination you go to and what kind of service you receive. We can suggest the following tip amounts that will be appreciated for services.
Tips for Taxi, Tuk-Tuk driver
There are taximeters in Thai taxis and the amount is charged exactly. In a taxi, it is recommended to pay the exact amount, so prepare small bills and coins.
How much to tip for taxi?
If you were happy with the trip and you wish to give the driver a tip, you can leave them change or round up to an even amount. For example, if the taxi ride costs 94 THB, it is advisable to round up to 100 THB. Many Thais are also doing like this.
Unmetered Taxis, Tuk-Tuk and Motorbike Taxis or drivers who negotiate the price in advance are often overcharging you already, so it is not necessary to tip additionally. If your driver is exceptionally nice and obliging, you can leave 20-50 THB.
Tips at the restaurant
In most restaurants, a flat fee is always included for the service. You can see that on the invoice. The service fee is usually added around 10% of the total amount. This amount is distributed to all service staff and they receive it in addition to their basic salary. An additional tip is not expected from the guest in the restaurant. It can be expected that you will tip 5-10% of the bill if a service fee is not included.
To give tips in restaurants, you don't give the money directly to the serving staff. When you pay bills, you will get the receipt and change back in the folder where the invoice was delivered. When you go out, you leave some money there. Without a folder, you just put it on the table.
How much to tip in restaurants?
At restaurants you should tip around 20-50 THB if you consider the service good.
In a small local or street restaurant or an ordinary canteen, they do not expect to receive a tip. If you do, they will likely be confused and return what they consider to be an overpayment. In fast food, no tips are expected as well. Most of the food sold there is fixed price, which is usually clearly displayed. However, if you see a tip box and it was really delicious, you can leave a few coins there.
Tips at the hotel
Tips at hotels in Thailand are not expected but are always welcomed. You can personally hand over small money as a reward to the maid, bellboy, porters, room service, or butlers.
How much to tip at hotels?
You can give 20-40 THB to the porter or for those who help with luggage depending on service level and number of bags.
Cleaners or maids do not expect any tips, except in luxury hotels. Sometimes they won't know that the money left in the room is a tip and won't take it. It might sound strange, but if you've left a 50 THB banknote on the bed, it might end up on the desk, assuming you've forgotten it. You can simply give money to them or put around 50 THB per day in an envelope with clear writing that it is a tip on a pillow or bedside table if you want to show your gratitude.
Tips for Thai massage / Spa
Massage therapists, spa technicians and beauty salon employees could also be tipped by 10% or more. If you go to a Thai massage or Thai foot massage, you can tip them. Most of masseuses only get a small amount of money. To give the tips, you should give it directly to the masseuse after a relaxing massage to make sure the right person receives it.
How much to tip for Thai massage?
You can leave a tip between 50-100 THB, depending on the massage price.
Tips for the guide
Travel guides accompanying travelers throughout the tour usually receive slightly higher tips than local guides, drivers and porters. If you book a private tour in Thailand, don't forget to tip the tour guide. Tipping your guide should depend on the length of the excursion, the service and how happy you are.
How much to tip for a guide?
For private tour guides, it is common to leave a larger amount, such as 50 THB for a short visit or 100 THB or more per person for a day trip in your group can be a good starting point or at least that his meals will be offered to him if he accompanies you on a long trip.
Tips in karaoke / bar
In Karaoke or Bar, if a waitress comes to sit with you to serve and chat, you must leave a tip.
How much to tip in karaoke or bar?
The tips depend on the time spent and how much food and drinks you order. You should leave tips from 50 THB to more.
Guidelines and standards for where and how much to tip are constantly changing as cultural norms and income change in destinations around Thailand. If you are travel in touristy area, you can expect to pay more. Above mentioned are all the minimum amounts, you are free to be more generous, no one will stop you or take offense.
If you accidentally think about leaving a 1-2 THB tip for someone, don't do it as it would be an insult.