When and How Much to Tip in China?

In China, to tip or not to tip? This is a question to many foreign visitors who travel in China.

Although China (except Hong Kong & Macau) has no tradition of tipping, it has become more and more popular as kind of etiquette as well as bonuses for service providers like that in the west. So tipping is widely accepted and expected by tour guides, hotel staff and tour bus or car drivers, in recognition of their good service.

Let’s focus on some detailed questions and regulate our way to deal with the tipping issue properly in China.

  1. Question 1: Do I have to tip in China?
  2. Question 2: What is tipping practice for visitors to China?
  3. Question 3: How much should I tip?
  4. Question 4: How to tip? Should I always tip in cash?
  5. Question 5: How to tip on Yangtze River cruises?

Check out the detailed answers below!

Do I have to tip in China?

Tipping is not generally expected in mainland China. You have your own choice of giving or not giving since tipping is a personal matter. While in Hong Kong and Macau, tipping is very common and important, just like many parts of the world.

What is tipping practice for visitors to China?

  1. Tipping tour guides and car drivers on an organized private tour or group tour
  2. Tipping waiters and maids in high-level western restaurants
  3. Tipping bellboys who take your luggage to the room at your luxury hotel
  4. Tipping the staff on Yangtze River Cruises

Yangtze River Cruise Staff

While, there is no need to tip taxi driver, street side restaurants, normal Chinese restaurants, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, pubs and bars, massage studio, hostels or inns…

How much should I tip?
In general, US$ 2 or 3 should be enough for the waiters and maids if you stay at the same hotel for a couple days. For the bellboys, US$ 1 for each piece of luggage carried for you may be appropriate. And a guideline 80 – 150 RMB/day would be usual for the guide and half amount to a driver, given separately to each person is preferable.

How to tip? Should I always tip in cash?
Cash is usually a common way to tip. Another way, in which you can express your appreciation of service from your tour guide or driver, is the small gifts such as books, music tapes and personal items, candies, hats, T-shirts, wine, foreign cigarettes etc.

How to tip on Yangtze River Cruises?
Almost all the 4 to 5-star yangtze ships require a compulsory ship tip which is required to be paid when checking in at the reception counter; it is the regulation of the ship companies which passengers are supposed to follow. The tip amount differs from different cruise lines and will be specified in our confirmation letter, please kindly note this so that inconvenience can be avoided.

Century Cruise line pre-charges the tips, so the tips is actually included in your Century Cruise cost, there is no need to pay again on board.

Hopefully you could act easily and properly and have great time with all the guys you have met during your China tour.  

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