Do You Tip in Taiwan? Understanding the Local Tipping Culture

Written by Jim Belt in How Much To Tip

Unlike some Western countries where tipping can feel mandatory, the cultural approach to tipping in Taiwan is noticeably different. This guide covers if and when to tip in Taiwan and explains local customs.

Tipping is generally not customary in Taiwan, and in many cases, it may not be accepted. Service charges are often included in the bill at restaurants and hotels, so additional tips are not expected.

Tipping Customs

Tipping not customary


  • Tipping is not customary for most services in Taiwan.
  • Small tips are appreciated by hotel bellhops and valet drivers.
  • Avoid tipping in everyday situations where it's not the local practice.

Understanding Tipping in Taiwan

When you visit Taiwan, understanding the local tipping etiquette is essential to ensure that you respect the customs and interact appropriately with service providers.

Tipping Culture Overview

Taiwan's approach to tipping is distinct; it is traditionally a non-tipping culture. You'll find that tipping is not expected in most of the service industries. However, a service charge is often added to your bill in certain establishments, such as high-end restaurants or hotels, which substitutes for gratuity. This means you won't need to calculate a tip on top of your bill—the work is done for you.

Where Tipping Is Expected

While tipping isn’t commonly practiced across Taiwan, there are certain scenarios where it is expected, especially in service industries catering to international standards.

Service Type Tipping Practice Additional Information
Restaurants and Bars Not standard, small gratuity for exceptional service Modest tips appreciated
Hotels Expected for bellman/porter and valet A few dollars per bag or for valet service
Personal Services (e.g., spas) Not obligatory, reflects satisfaction
Tour Guides Expected for a day's work
Taxi Drivers Not expected, rounding up fare is kind

Restaurants and Bars

In restaurants and bars, tipping is not a standard practice. However, if you experience exceptional service or are at a higher-end establishment that caters to an international clientele, a small gratuity is appreciated. Usually, any tips provided should be modest.

Hotels and Accommodations

When you are staying at hotels in Taiwan, specifically upscale international hotels, tipping can be anticipated for certain staff members. It's customary to tip the bellman or porter a few dollars per bag, and if there's valet parking, a small tip is welcomed.

Personal Services

For personal services such as those provided in a spa, tipping can be practiced as a gesture of your satisfaction with the service. While it's not obligatory, tipping your massage therapist or beautician can reflect your appreciation for their work.

Tour Guides and Drivers

If you're utilizing the services of tour guides or taxi drivers, especially those who go above and beyond to enhance your experience, a tip can be a generous way to say thank you. While guides may expect a tip for a day's work, taxi drivers typically do not, though rounding up the fare is a kind gesture.

Guidelines for Tipping

When visiting Taiwan, knowing when and how much to tip can enhance your experience, particularly in service scenarios where tipping may be appreciated.

General Tipping Amounts

In Taiwan, tipping isn't a widespread practice as it may be in Western countries. However, there are occasions when it's considerate to tip hotel bellhops a small amount for their services. If you feel inclined to leave a tip for exceptional service, keeping it modest is the norm. For example, hotel porters are often tipped around 30 New Taiwan Dollars (NT$30) per bag.

When to Tip in Cash

When you decide to tip, it's best to do so in cash. This ensures that your tip goes directly to the service provider. It's also helpful to note that smaller denominations are preferable, making it easier for individuals to accept and manage the tip. Keep some lower denomination New Taiwan Dollar bills on hand for such instances.

Understanding Service Charges

When dining out or using services in Taiwan, you may notice a service charge on your receipt. This is common in the hospitality industry, where a fixed percentage—typically 10%—is added to your bill in lieu of tipping. Remember, this charge goes to the establishment, not directly to the service staff.

Here's what you need to know:

Service Charge Tips:

Understanding the service charge ensures that you can manage your expenses accordingly and shows respect for local customs.

Tipping Etiquette for Travelers

When you're traveling in Taiwan, understanding the local tipping etiquette can enhance your experience as it shows respect for the customs. Whether you're in bustling cities like Taipei or exploring rural areas, the approach to tipping can vary.

Tipping in Taipei and Major Cities

In Taipei and other major cities such as Kaohsiung, tipping is not a common practice. Restaurants often include a service charge in your bill, so there's no need for an additional tip. If you're staying at a high-end hotel, it's polite to tip the bellhop or valet NT$50 to NT$100 for their service. For taxi rides, rounding up the fare is appreciated but not expected.

Tipping in Rural Areas and Off the Beaten Path

As you explore rural areas away from the urban centers, tipping becomes even less common. Locals value humility and hard work, and they do not expect extra payment for services. However, if you are on a guided tour and the guide goes above and beyond, offering a small tip as a token of appreciation is a kind gesture.

Non-Tipping Situations

When exploring Taiwan, you'll find the local culture does not generally practice tipping. Let's break down where you won't need to worry about leaving extra gratuity.

Service Type Tipping Expectation How to Show Appreciation
Restaurants and Eateries Not expected Say "xièxiè" and smile
Taxis and Private Drivers Not expected Offer kind words
Hotels and Accommodations Not expected (except for high-end bellhops) Display good manners and respect
Spa and Salon Services Not expected Say thank you to express satisfaction

Restaurants and Eateries: Enjoy your meal without the added concern for a tip. It's commonplace to simply pay your bill. Showing gratitude with a smile and a thank you, or "xièxiè," is appreciated and aligns with local customs.

Taxis and Private Drivers: Your fare covers the journey, so there's no need to tip your "driver". Feel free to express your politeness through kind words.

Hotels and Accommodations: Except for bellhops at high-end establishments, staff at most hotels do not expect tips. Good manners and respect go a long way in showing your appreciation.

Spa and Salon Services: Receive your pampering without the stress of calculating a tip. Your patronage is valued, and a heartfelt thank you is often enough to express your satisfaction.

Remember, your interaction with service professionals is more about the exchange of respect and thanks than it is about financial rewards. When in doubt, just ask if tipping is customary.

Additional Insights on Tipping

In your travels around Taiwan, knowing who to tip and when can add ease to your cultural experience.

Tipping at Night Markets and Street Food Vendors

Night markets in Taiwan, famous for their array of delicious street food, typically do not have a tipping culture. Whether you're savoring bubble tea or feasting on stinky tofu, the price you pay includes the expectation of service, rendering tipping unnecessary. It's not expected to offer a tip to the vendors or bartenders at these bustling market spots.

Understanding Tipping for Delivery Services

When it comes to delivery drivers, while a tip isn't mandatory, some may choose to tip for exceptional service. If you order food or parcels to your stay in Taiwan, it's okay to reward a delivery driver with a small token of appreciation, especially if they've navigated inclement weather or busy traffic to deliver your items promptly. However, this should be seen as a gesture of thanks, not an obligation.

Tipping for Other Services

In Taiwan, the culture of tipping can vary greatly beyond the usual restaurant and hotel scenarios. Here’s what you should know about tipping for services like transportation and personal care.

Taxis and Private Transportation

When you ride with a taxi or private driver, tipping isn't expected. Drivers are typically salaried and don't rely on tips as part of their income. However, if you experience exceptional service or convenience, you might choose to show your appreciation with a small tip, though it's certainly not required.

Spa, Therapist, and Beauty Services

In contrast to transport services, when visiting a spa or seeing a therapist for personal care, a tip can be a gesture of thanks for exceptional service. At a spa, tipping about 10% of your total bill is considered generous and is a kind way to express your satisfaction, especially if you've received personalized attention or additional services.

Hotel Staff Beyond The Ordinary

If a housekeeper or housekeeping staff provides services that go above and beyond normal duties, such as handling special requests or delivering exceptional room care, a tip can be a thoughtful token of gratitude. While not obligatory, it reflects your recognition of their extra effort and personal dedication to your comfort.

Language and Cultural Nuances

When visiting Taiwan, understanding local language expressions and respecting cultural customs around tipping is important.

Mandarin Phrases for Tipping

Learning a few phrases in Mandarin can greatly enhance your interaction with service providers. If you decide to tip, which is not customary in Taiwan, you might say "Xiè xiè, zhè shì yī diǎn xiǎo fèi" (谢谢,这是一点小费), meaning "Thank you, this is a small tip." Remember, expressing politeness and gratitude is highly valued within Taiwanese culture.

Respecting Local Customs

Taiwanese society values modesty and respect; thus, tipping is often not expected. In certain situations like high-end hotels, you might encounter staff such as bellhops for whom a small tip is appropriate. Emphasizing politeness, a respectful nod or a simple thank you can also be an appropriate way to show appreciation without a monetary tip.

Comparing Asian Tipping Etiquette

When you travel across Asia, you'll notice that tipping customs can vary significantly. In Taiwan, the culture of tipping is quite straightforward – it’s generally not expected. Your service experiences at restaurants, hotels, and taxis won't typically require you to leave extra money. Hotel bellhops and valet drivers are the exception where tipping is appreciated but still not mandatory.

Moving to Japan, the scenario is quite similar. Tipping is not part of the culture and could even be considered rude. Their impeccable service is provided without the expectation of a tip.

Contrast this with countries like India, where tipping at restaurants is customary, usually about 10% of the bill if service charge isn’t included. Similarly, in the bustling streets of Thailand, tipping is more common, especially where tourism is involved, but again isn't strictly required.

Here’s a quick comparison:

While in Taiwan, enjoy the easygoing approach to tipping. Your friendly drivers, servers, and hosts prioritize service without the expectation of a tip. To respect the unique customs of Taiwan's tipping culture, follow the local practice and only tip when it feels most appropriate.

Published: 24-01-2024

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