I decided to explain this topic since many guests asked me if they had no idea if tipping in Thailand was appropriate or viewed as offensive.
Here is the clear answer from me as a very local Thai man.
Tipping in Thailand is fine. Especially in the service industry. The person who makes a service is pleased to be tipped.
Everyone is happy when he gets money. Besides the income that he received, the tip indicated that he had done a great job or service to the customer.
I would say almost everyone providing service expects a tip, especially in transfer and restaurant areas.
Tip also indicated the service enjoyable and being friendly. Why does it show the customer who gives til is friendly?
Because tip is not a must, but is a free willingness. Even if you enjoy the service so much, it is fine not to tip.
Sometimes people think that tips should be a common action when they finish a meal at a restaurant even when the service at least a standard is (not top). Then they can tip as the standard amount also.
- How much should they tip people in different places and situations?
There are many different situations to give tip and the amount and way to do it is also different. The difficult thing about giving is how much should it be appropriate and not reduce your wallet weight as much.
Places to tip
This is a common place where tipping occurs.
You can use a standard tip of 10 % to estimate the tip. And plus or minus the amount for your enjoyment. For if the service costs 500 Bath, the standard tip (10%) is 50 Bath.
If you found the service is very excellent then add another 50 Bath. If you find 100 Bath is affected your wallet, then go a half also 70 Bath.
- Transfer service
Taxi or Transfer in Thailand is not only a car with a driver. But it is a Car + driver + a bellman + initial town guide. This means the driver does everything mentioned.
The guide ability however is not for every driver, it depends on luck, and which driver you have.
The drive that people tip is the drive from the airport to the hotel and reverse. The common agency transfer or public taxi price is 350 – 700 BHT.
The tip then should be 100 – 200 BHT. It happens very often that customers tip the transfer driver 500 BHT (the same amount as the transfer itself).
# Common transfer service in Samu
# Agency’s transfer or public taxi?
- Bell service
Bell Man is the service to takes your luggage from the reception to your room. We normally have seen this man at the lift.
In Samui, 90 % of hotels have no lift.
Most hotels in Samui are bungalows or villa-style. # Hotel styles in Samui.
That has a large area, so the bellman needs to walk bringing your luggage to the room.
If the hotel is a big enterprise, they will use a buggy to transfer both you and your luggage to your room.
After you arrive at the room with your luggage you can tip him about 100 Bath as a standard tip.
- Room clean service
To top a room attendant is a little bit tricky. Some clients like to tip her at the end of their stay. Some at the beginning.
I would recommend you not to tip at the end of your stay. Consider tipping the first 1-2 days you arrive.
If you tip her on the very first days, I am sure you will get your room more clean for the next few days. Otherwise, you can divide your tip budget for everyday tip for her.
One-time tips should range from 150 – 500 Bath plus minus your enjoyment.
50 Bath for everyday tip is fine.
- Spacial case help
The unexpected situation that tipping takes place when you need special help and someone helps you find the solution involved in serving your money from that situation.
You need to extend your visa of stay and have no idea how to do it.
You then ask your customer service representative to come with you to the government office arrange everything and pay for the visa document just a little price.
If fine to give him a tip with the amount you want (I don’t know what the exact amount should be as the matter does not happen commonly)