Tipping in Bali: Guide
As a world traveler now residing in Bali, I’ve noticed that tipping etiquette can vary greatly from one country to another.
To ensure you navigate this aspect of Balinese culture with ease, I’ve created this guide on how to tip in Bali.
You’ll also learn its nuances, when it’s appropriate to tip, when it’s not and how it compares to other countries.
Is tipping customary in Bali?
While tipping is not as customary in Bali as it is in Western countries, it is becoming increasingly common due to the growing tourism industry. Balinese people are known for their warm hospitality and although tipping isn’t mandatory, it’s a nice way to show your appreciation for exceptional service. As a rule of thumb, if you’re satisfied with the service provided, feel free to leave a tip.
When to tip in Bali
Tipping is most commonly practiced in hotels, restaurants, bars, and spas. For hotels, it’s appropriate to tip the bellboy, room attendant and any other staff who provide outstanding service. In bars, consider tipping your server or bartender. Finally, in spas, it’s ideal to tip your therapist, especially if you’ve enjoyed a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
When not to tip in Bali
In some situations, tipping is not expected or necessary. For instance, you don’t need to tip taxi drivers, as they usually round up the fare to the nearest thousand rupiahs. Additionally, tipping is not customary in local markets or street food stalls, as prices are generally low, and haggling is the norm.
Tip is never required. The amount you tip depends on your satisfaction with the service and your budget – it’s completely up to you. Generally, a tip of 5 – 10% of the total bill is appreciated in restaurants and spas, while a smaller amount (around 10,000 to 20,000 rupiahs) is suitable for hotel staff or tour guides.
The most ideal situation to tip is for when you hire a private driver for a full day or longer – driving you all around Bali as effectively your chauffeur (not taxi drivers, in fact, you should avoid taxis at all cost here). These workers deserve a nice big tip.
Another occasion I always tip is to Gojek drivers, whether for food delivery, shipping or transportation – I give what I can to these hardworking but lowly paid workers. The fact that tipping is done seamlessly through the app makes it easy.
Ultimately, the decision is up to you and any amount is appreciated, even the smallest of denominations, but maybe don’t tip with coins.
Tipping in Bali vs. other countries
Compared to other countries, tipping in Bali is relatively relaxed. In the United States, for example, tipping is expected and in some cases it’s required, with a standard rate of 15-20% for restaurants and a few dollars per service in hotels.
In Europe, tipping varies by country, with some places having a more formal tipping culture (such as France and Italy), while others are more casual (like Spain and Germany). In Asia, tipping customs differ, with some countries like Japan and South Korea considering it rude, while others like Thailand and Indonesia are more receptive to the practice.
Tipping in Bali is not obligatory, but it’s a kind gesture to show your appreciation for excellent service. By following the guidelines in this ultimate guide to tipping in Bali, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate this aspect of Balinese culture, ensuring a pleasant experience for both you and the service providers. Remember, when in doubt, a small tip is always better than no tip at all.