Tipping is not customary in Thailand, locals tend not leave a tip. As the minimum wage in Thailand is quite low, if you have received good service it’s nice to show your appreciation by leaving a few Thai Baht as a thank you or Khop Khun in Thai.
As a tourist it’s important to get the tipping etiquette just right, to avoid causing offence. You also should be respectful when handling Thai currency as the King’s portrait is printed on Thai notes and coins. It is actually illegal to step on Thai money.
This tipping guide will explore the dos and don’ts of tipping in Thailand, and provide useful Thai phrases to help you navigate tipping with ease.
Tips on tipping in Thailand
1.In restaurants a tip of about 10% of bill is recommend.
2.In other scenarios, small gratuities for great service are very much appreciated.
3.Just arrived in the country – try to break larger denomination notes for tipping or alternatively ask your travel money provider for a mix of denominations.
Tipping in Thailand Guide:
Our guide will answer your questions like When and How much to tip?
- Tipping in restaurants
- Tipping in bars
- Tipping in hotels
- Tipping taxi drivers
- Tipping tuk tuk drivers
- Tipping tour guides
- Tipping in Spa
- How to calculate the tip easily
When eating out in Thailand, it’s likely the question “do you tip in Thailand?” will come up. Although tipping in Thailand restaurants is not expected, it is nice to show your appreciation by leaving a 10% tip.
How to ask for the bill in Thai?
You would say ‘kep tang khap’ (if you are a man) and ‘kep tang ka’ if you are a woman.
Check the menu and the bill:
It is a good habit to check the menu outside the restaurant, not only to get a feel for the price of food and drink but also check if a service or cover charge will be added to the bill.
Before leaving a tip, check to see if a service charge has been added. If there is no charge and service was good, it’s nice to leave a 10% tip as thanks or ”khawp khun” in Thai.
Tipping in Thailand restaurants guideline:
On average a three course meal for two people in mid-range restaurant costs about 650 Baht(*) so with a 10% tip of 65 Baht, the total costs would be 715 Baht.
When drinking at a bar, you might want to tip the bartender a few spare coins. But if you’ve received table service, a 10% tip is more appropriate.
An average pint of local beer or “bia” in Thai is about 79 Baht(*). For round of two pints which costs about 158 Baht with 10% tip of 16 Baht, the total cost would be 174 Baht.
Wondering, how much to tip hotel staff? Tipping hotel staff in Thailand is not mandatory. That said, if hotel staff have been helpful it’s good idea to tip to say thanks or “khawp khun” in Thai.
- Bellhop: 20-50 Baht per bag is customary
Housekeeping: can be tipped 20-50 Baht per day
- Concierge: If they’ve gone above and beyond, you can leave a tip of 100-200 Baht
Most taxis are metered so it isn’t necessary to negotiate the fare before getting into the cab. But you should insist the meter is turned on before your leave for your destination.
Generally you should round up your taxi fare, so for a 45 Baht journey you could round up to 50 Baht.
If you prefer there are some taxi apps that are popular in big cities like Bangkok such as Grab which is the Thai equivalent to Uber.
Tuk Tuk Drivers
For tuk tuk drivers, negotiating the price before the ride is customary, and tipping is not mandatory. If the driver has been particularly helpful or friendly, a small tip of 20-50 Baht is appreciated.
We recommend that you always negotiate the fare before getting into the Tuk Tuk.
In Bangkok, Phuket and other big cities in Thailand, they are known for overcharging or bringing you to shops that they will get a commission from.
Taking a tour of a city is a great way to explore your surrounding and to gain some local insight and knowledge.
How much you tip depends on the length of the tour, the size of the tour and if you enjoyed the tour.
- For a full day tour you should consider a tip of around 300 Baht.
- For shorter tours a tip of 100-200 Baht per person is considered appropriate.
- A good rule of thumb for calculating the tip is 10% of the price of the tour.
If you receive a massage or spa treatment, tipping the therapist is customary. Around 10-20% of the total bill is a suitable tip.
How to calculate the tip easily
Once you’ve checked your bill for service charges, calculating a 10% tip is easy. Simple move the decimal point to the left to calculate a 10% tip.
Useful Thai Phrases
- How are you – Sabai dii mai
- Hello/Goodbye – Sawatdii
- Thank you – Khop Khun
- Asking for the bill – ‘kep tang khap’ (if you are a man) and ‘kep tang ka’ if you are a woman
- If the food is delicious – Aroy
- Spicy food – Phet
- Really spicy food – Phet mak
- Having fun – Sanuk mai?
- It’s a lot of fun – Sanuk mak
Remember to say “Khop Khun” along with a smile when receiving the bill or leaving a tip to show your appreciation.
For these scenarios when you want to tip, it’s useful to carry some baht on you.
If you’re visiting Thailand soon, you can buy Thai baht online for our best exchange rate.
*Data source: average cost of living survey Numbeo.com, October 2019.