Tipping Policy in China
Tipping is not expected in China, but it is enormously appreciated. For a person who earns US$ 100 per month, a US$ 10 tip is about 3 days' wages. Up-market hotels and some restaurants may slap a 5% service charge on top of the government's 10% value-added tax (VAT).
This service charge might be considered a mandatory tip, though it's doubtful that much of it reaches the employees. In general, if you stay a couple of days in the same hotel it's not such a bad idea to tip the staff who clean your room - US$ 2 should be enough.
You should also consider tipping drivers and guides - after all, the time they spend on the road with you means time away from home and family, especially when they accompany with you at night for overtime.
There are always "optional programs" recommended by your tour guide, they might be the highlight in that area where you are visiting. Because the competition between travel agents, many interesting items are deducted from the daily visiting list, especially for the shows in the evening.
If you buy the optional shows at night or other optional outdoor activities during the day, usually you do not need to pay extra tips. In the case of night show, when your tour guide and driver are really helpful, and you realize that they works for extra hours, it is also polite to tip them for today's long work.
If you take a day tour with a group - the guides and drivers are paid next to nothing. Typically, travelers on minibus tours will pool together to collect a communal tip separately for guide and driver.
For group of 1-4 passengers, recommend tipping policy is:
About US$ 5 per day (per tourist) for guide, US$ 2 per day (per tourist) for driver is standard. Of course, give more if you're feeling generous, but if you find a genuine reason not to tip, don't.
For group of 5 passengers and above, recommend tipping policy is:
About US$ 2 per day (per tourist) for guide, US$ 1 per day (per tourist) for driver is standard. Of course, give more if you're feeling generous, but if you find a genuine reason not to tip, don't.
Tip everyday, or tip at the end of the trip?
We highly recommend you to tip every day, when you go back to the hotel and say bye-bye to your tour guide and driver. It is a good chance to encourge better service in the next coming days.
Testimonials of our trip advisors: Allan Bobby Choury Christine Libby Michelle Nancy Sara