Tipping in China: Tipping When Joining a China Tour

Generally speaking, tipping in China is not a must but will be greatly appreciated. Since it is a personal matter, please do not feel uneasy about it. Whether, how much or when to tip depends entirely on how you rate a service but you are not under any obligation to do so. However, in inbound tourism industry of China, it is a common practice to give tips. It seems that tipping tour guides in China has been an unwritten rule for foreign tourists. Tipping in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau, and other large international cities is more common than in small cities.

Whom to tip and how much should I tip in China?

Quality service deserves a good tip
Quality service deserves a good tip

In recognition of the good service, tipping waiters and maids in high-end western restaurants, guides and drivers from an organized tour group, as well as bellhops in hotels who take your luggage to the room has become gradually accepted as common practice in China as elsewhere in the world. Tipping in high-end restaurants is mandatory; the tips, about 10 to 15% of the total cost, are usually included in the bill. 

If you are joining a tour group, the tips for tour guides and drivers are to be shared by all the group members. The more the group members, the less you will need to pay. As to how much to tip the guide, you may refer to the below chart. Drivers also get tipped, but about half per day as a guide depending on the amount of driving required.

Tour Group Size China Tour Guide Tipping per Day
1pax 100 RMB
2pax 120 RMB
3-4pax 150 RMB
5-6pax 200 RMB
7-9pax 250 RMB
10+pax 300 RMB

For tipping in China hotel to bellboys, 10 - 30 RMB (1 - 5 US dollars) may be appropriated. Remember that it is not necessary to tip when taking a taxi, hiring a car, or dining in roadside eateries, snack stalls or even quality Chinese restaurants. Sometimes the bill in quality Chinese restaurants may have already included about 5% - 15% service charge. Tipping luggage porters at airport or railway station is also unnecessary.

​FAQs on Tipping in China When Joining a Tour

 1. Shall I tip the tour guide and the driver separately or give all the tips to the tour guide?

 It’s recommended to tip the tour guide and the driver separately. Tipping the guides and the drivers of an organized tour is now frequently done in China to express tourists’ gratitude to their services. By tipping separately, you can extend your thanks to both the driver and the guide in person. Also, tipping separately can avoid any misunderstanding between the guide and the driver, better than asking the tour guide to transfer the tips to the driver. 

Our travel consultant with guests
Our travel consultant with guests
 2. Shall I tip the tour guide and the driver every day or at the end of the tour in each city?

 In most cases, one can tip the tour guide and the driver at the end of the tour in each city. This can save troubles compared with tipping every day. The tour guide and the driver are usually based locally and do not move on with tourists from one city to another, therefore, it’s necessary to tip at the end of the tour in each city.

 3. Do I always have to tip in China Yuan? Are US dollars accepted?

 You can either tip in Chinese Yuan or US dollars. Both are welcome. Besides, another way in which you can express your appreciation of service from your tour guide or the driver, is a small gift such as foreign cigarettes, wine, candies, hats or T-shirts, even a lipstick or nail polish. Small gifts or spare change left in the room for maids is also appreciated.

 4. Can I include tip into the tour price when I book it with the China tour operator?

 No, you cannot. The quotation offered by China tour operators usually does not include the tips for tour guides and drivers. If you are satisfied with their services, you should tip them yourself.

Please visit our China Tours to select your favorite itinerary.
- Last updated on Nov. 26, 2020 -
Questions & Answers on Tipping in China
Asked by Michale Johnson from USA | Aug. 25, 2019 15:13Reply
We have a private guide and driver in Tibet for 6 days How much should we tip the driver and guide ?
How much should we tip our driver and guide for a private 6 day tour?

Please respond now

Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Mason from CANADA | Aug. 26, 2019 02:34

Well, China doesn't has tipping culture. You just need to pay them what you've talked about before.
Asked by Elizabeth from SOUTH AFRICA | Sep. 06, 2018 23:35Reply
How much do we tip him?
4 of us are being picked up at the airport by the tour company's driver and taken straight to a midtown hotel.
Answers (1)
Answered by Darren from USA | Sep. 09, 2018 23:50

Dear, there is no tip culture in China so you don't have to give a tip to the driver. If you have booked the tour in this tour company and they have the responsibility to pick you up and drive you to the hotel. In China, there is no need. Whether you give or not depends on yourself.
Asked by Brian Morris from UNITED KINGDOM | Feb. 27, 2018 11:26Reply
How much to tip on a private tour?
The two of us going on a private tour to Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai for 10 days. Is it likely we have same guide and driver in each city? Should I tip each separately? Is it expected on each day or at the end of each section of the tour and how much?
Brian M
Answers (1)
Answered by Bernice from FINLAND | Feb. 27, 2018 19:24

As I know, the travel guides and drivers are different in each city. It will be ok for you to give tips at the end of each section of the tour. Generally speaking, CNY 20 will be suitable.
Hope helpful!
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)