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China Tour Tipping Advice

"Do I need to tip?" seems to be a regular question asked by western travellers to China. Here we would like to offer some China tipping advice for you.
Tipping, not generally expected in mainland China, is seeing increasing popularity with the increased foreign tourist marker and is now often part of the tourist experience. Tips are included in the tour price for cruise ships and hotels, though shows of generosity are always appreciated. Although bellboys and staff may have become used to the international traveler giving small tips in large hotels, it is not expected or required. Most larger hotels and some restaurants charge a service fee, e.g. 15%, so any guilt about not leaving a tip can be assuaged with this outrageous fee. Tour guides maybe expect it, otherwise not. Taxi drivers in Beijing, Shanghai and most other Chinese cities are not accustomed to tipping at all because they are required by the law to give a receipt to every passenger. Therefore, no tip necessary. It's a different story in Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, just like the many parts of the world, tipping makes the world go round. Taxi drivers will usually round up to the nearest dollar amount as a tip to himself. In restaurants a 10% service charge is usually already included in most restaurants, unless specified NO service charge. One usually leave the coins or if by credit card, then you would round up to the dollar amount you wish to leave as tip. Leave more if you are happy with the service, leave none if you are not happy at all. Hotels and fine dining restaurants sometimes charge 15% as service charge, especially for large groups usually over 10 guests.
If you do decide to leave a tip, like the change leftover after a meal, your waiter may look quizically at you or even try to chase you down. In larger cities, wait-staff are becoming used to foreign visitors leaving tips so they probably won't chase you down. But it certainly isn't necessary or expected to tip.

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User Comments

Name:Tip Advice Reply

Elma, do we need to tip when we’re traveling in China? What’s the average rate? Do we need to tip the drivers also?

Name:Re: Tip Advice

Yes, foreign travellers tend to tip the guide and driver in China, but it’s your call, no forcement. If you think the guide and driver’s service are good, you can give the guide USD20/day, and driver USD15/day. As for the bellboys in hotels above 4*, usually the tips for every luggage is 2 dollar.