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Laos tipping guideline

The custom of tipping varies widely between countries, but it is usually the standard of service that determines tips. Travelers are often confused about the tipping culture in Southeast Asia, especially in Laos, one of Custom Asia Travel’s destinations. Tipping is a firm and expected element in the tourism industry today and Laos is no exception.

Most of the tours, booked by Custom Asia Travel’s customers are private ones. Therefore, tipping for independent travel is not compulsory and is at the customers’ own discretion. However, private guides and drivers do expect a tip where good service has been provided and it is very much appreciated. In other words, tip when you are pleased with the service received, and do not tip if you don’t feel you have been given good service. Never feel obliged to tip - it is always discretionary.

The following is just a guide to gauge an appropriate amount to tip and not all inclusive:

The official national currency in Laos is the Lao kip (K), but US dollars are accepted at most places, and can also be used for tips.

Tour Guide  
FIT < 6 pax US$  12 - 15 /grp/day
Group 7 - 15 persons US$ 20 - 25 /grp/day
Group 15 persons up US$ 35 /grp/day
Tour Guide - Adventure trip (Trekking, cycling...)  
FIT < 6 persons US$ 25 /grp/day
Group 7 - 15 persons US$ 35 /grp/day
Group 15 persons up US$ 45  /grp/day
Local way leader/ Cook (trekking tours) USD $5 - 7 /grp/day
Driver US$ 12 /group/day
Incentive  Groups US$ 10/day/group
Bus boy (helper) US$ 5 /group/day
Cyclo, Tuk - Tuks US$ 2 /person
Boat crews  
Short tour (1 - 2 hour) US$ 2 /person
Long tour (half day) US$ 4 /person
Cruise with O/N US$ 4 /person
Porters US$ 1 /luggage