“Do You Tip in Hanoi? Absolutely! Here’s How to ‘Phở-get’ About It”

By John Goldsmith •  Updated: 11/03/23 •  4 min read

Do You Tip in Hanoi? Absolutely! Here’s How to ‘Phở-get’ About It


Tipping is a significant aspect of various cultures around the world. It is a way to show appreciation for good service and is often seen as an essential part of etiquette. However, tipping customs may vary from country to country, and it’s important to understand the appropriate practices when traveling abroad. In this blog post, we will explore the tipping culture in Hanoi, Vietnam, and provide guidance on how to tip appropriately in different situations.

Tipping Culture in Hanoi:

In Hanoi, tipping is not mandatory but greatly appreciated by service staff. The general rule of thumb is to tip around 5-10% of the total bill. However, it’s important to note that while some establishments may include a service charge in the bill, it does not always go directly to the staff members.

Who to Tip in Hanoi:

Tipping is common in various situations and for different people in Hanoi. When dining at restaurants, it is customary to leave a tip for waitstaff. Additionally, hotel services such as bellboys or housekeeping also appreciate tips. Tour guides and drivers deserve tipping as well for their exceptional service during excursions or day trips.

Tipping Etiquette for Restaurants:

When dining at restaurants in Hanoi, it’s customary to leave a tip ranging from 5-10% of the total bill. This percentage can vary depending on the overall quality of service received. When paying the bill, it’s important to hand over cash directly instead of adding it onto your credit card payment.

Furthermore, be mindful that not all restaurants accept tips or have a designated tipping area on their receipts. In such cases, you can discreetly hand over your tip directly to your server or leave it on the table before leaving.

Tipping Guidelines for Hotel Services:

In hotels within Hanoi, there are several instances where tipping is appropriate. For example, if a bellboy assists you with your luggage, it’s customary to tip them around 10,000 to 20,000 Vietnamese Dong (VND). Additionally, showing appreciation to the housekeeping staff by leaving a small tip of 20,000 to 50,000 VND per day is appreciated.

It’s important to note that tipping expectations may differ between budget accommodations and luxury hotels. In upscale establishments, a higher tip amount might be expected.

Tipping Tour Guides and Drivers:

When participating in guided tours or hiring drivers for day trips in Hanoi, it is customary to tip the tour guide or driver at the end of your experience. The recommended amount can vary based on the length of the tour and the quality of service provided.

For tour guides in Hanoi, a tip of around 100,000 VND per person per day is generally appreciated. As for drivers, it is customary to give them about 50% of what you would give a tour guide.

Understanding Cultural Norms When Tipping:

It’s crucial to understand local customs and norms when it comes to tipping etiquette in Hanoi. While tipping may not be obligatory in many situations, showing appreciation through tips can enhance your overall experience and leave a positive impression on the service staff.

In Hanoi’s culture specifically, it’s important to be respectful when handing over tips. Avoid making a big show or drawing attention when giving tips as this may embarrass both parties involved.


In conclusion, while tipping is not mandatory in Hanoi, it is greatly appreciated by service staff. Understanding the appropriate practices can help you show appreciation for good service during your visit. Remember that different situations call for different amounts of tips; therefore being mindful of cultural norms and expectations will make your trip more enjoyable for both yourself and those providing services.

John Goldsmith