Tipping & Service Taxes in Thailand
The practice of giving a tip is not usual in small restaurants, taxis and tuk-tuks. However, tipping the waiters, porters, maids, drivers and guides is appreciated as elsewhere in the world, but this should relate to the pleasure felt by the guest. The tip helps the service staff eke out their somewhat meagre income.
But in general Tipping is strictly optional in Thailand.
If you are in a group, even only two or three people, it is customary for one person to settle the bill in a restaurant, as only one bill per table is given. If you require to have separate bills for each person, it is essential to request this at the outset when ordering.
At many hotels and hotel restaurants or other up marked places your will find at the menu / price list notes as 456 THB ++. Restaurants and hotels often publish only the net prices and when you pay your bill you will find a 7 % VAT and a 10% service charge on the bills. In this case a tip is not necessary.
If you have been served well, give a 10% tip at restaurants if a service charge is not included. You may wish to round this up to 10% plus loose change. A hotel porter expects 20 THB - 40 THB per piece, and the room maid is also happy to find a small financial token of appreciation (20 THB - 40 THB per day) after your departure. The amount is dependent on the category of hotel and length of stay. If in a beach hotel you wish to give an amount in the first few days, this will be highly appreciated, the rest can be given at the end of your stay.
7 % VAT is on all goods and services which includes meals and rooms. And any expressway toll need to be paid also separate.
Selected department stores offer refunds for tourists, but VAT is generally non-refundable. Read more about the Tax Refund and VAT here
Guides or crew from tours are expecting a tip, since their salaries are mostly not so high. But also here use your opinion. If you wish to show you appreciation for a good service go for it!
Fine more information on our blog: How much should I tip in Thailand?