In Chinese mainland, tipping or gratuities are not common practice in most sectors of life, but it has become okay to tip tour guides, drivers, and hotel bellboys in recognition of their good service.
Tipping in Hong Kong and Macau is more common due to the Western influence.
Below, you will find practical and helpful tips for tipping in China, including Hong Kong and Macau.
Tipping in Chinese Mainland
Tipping in Chinese mainland is not expected or required, and in some places it is even frowned upon. However, superior hotels and restaurants catering to many Western travellers, porters, room service and wait staff may have become accustomed to receiving small tips. If you wish to you can tip these people in cash, or even through some small gifts brought from your country.
The currency used in China is renminbi (RMB), also known as yuan (¥). Other currencies may not be accepted, except in the largest hotels. 1 yuan is equivalent to about $0.15 U.S. dollars.
Tipping at Hotels
In upscale hotels, tipping 5–30 yuan (1–5 USD) to the bell boy who carries your bag(s) may be appropriate.
If you are uncertain about how much to give, just tip based on your bill. Generally, 10–15% of the bill is the most proper amount. In some hotels a service charge is already included within your payment so an extra couple of dollars should be enough for the room attendant if you stay at the same hotel for a couple of days.
Tipping at hostels or inns is generally not expected.
We have more guidance on China Hotels.
Tipping at Restaurants
In the past it has not been customary to leave tips at restaurants in China, with the exception of upscale restaurants due to Western influence. Tipping at fast food restaurant, roadside stands, and most restaurants is neither necessary or expected.
At fine restaurants in larger cities where they are more accustomed to Western visitors, you can leave small tips to your waiter to show your appreciation of their service of about one or two dollars, that is if you are satisfied with the service. Leave more if you are happy with the service or none if you are not.
Due to the uncertainty of when one should or should not tip in China, it may be a better idea to leave the tip on your table rather than giving it directly to the waiter in order to avoid awkwardness.
Recommended tour: 11-Day Classic Wonders (Beijing – Xi'an – Guilin/Yangshuo – Shanghai)
Tipping Taxi Drivers
Tipping taxi drivers in China is not required. In fact, in some places such as airports or other establishments it may illegal. However, if the driver helps you with heavy luggage or makes a special effort to reach your destination on time, then offering a small tip may be well-received.
A good rule of thumb is to keep smaller Chinese bills with you since drivers don't always have change, especially since most transactions in China today are done through WeChat and AliPay.
Do not worry if taxi drivers refuse your tips as it is sometimes against the law for them to take tips or some may have moral objections to tipping for fear of it's negative connotations within Chinese culture.
Tipping Your Tour Guide and Driver
We pay our guides and drivers a good salary plus a performance bonus. However, we realize that some people might like to tip guides or drivers for their service. The amount of your tip is your decision. Our suggestion would be:
- ¥150-¥200/day, for 1 person
- ¥100 day/person for 2 people
- ¥50-¥70 day/person for 3-5 people in a group
- ¥40-¥50 day/person for 6-9 people in a group
- ¥20-¥30 day/person for ≥10 people in a group
For a driver, the cost would be half the amount, and a separate offer from each tourist is best. Of course, only tip if the service has truly satisfied you.
Olivia Tian, a sunshine tour guide!
In October, my friend Amy booked a tour with Chinahighlights, Olivia Tian was our guide in Beijing, she is such a sweet n happy person to be around, not only she gave us the best guide service, also very accommodating, alter the plan as per our interest, took us to very local shopping n food district. Above all, she takes awesome pics, very patient!! Thank you so much for such pleasant 5 days in BJ, look forward to see you when we are back in China, Olivia!!more
Dec 2023, Venture216019
One whole of a good experience !
Kevin was always making flexible arrangements for us making sure we meet our needs. Kevin also walked us to our desired restaurant daily making sure all are well before he left. Kudos to the whole team. Highly recommend ?more
Dec 2023, Cornelius C
China is Amazing Wonders that do not stop coming at you.Great country
Great job,Loved every minute of it,Ethan did an amazing job,True Ambassador of China,Just like the Chinese people,Friendly, dignified and hardworking,Very happy.China Highlights exceeded expectations and then some,I will never even think of travelling with another company.more
Dec 2023, Philip Sardar /Maps10321171537
Wonderful trip to Beijing and Xian
Had a great trip to bejing n xian. Our guide lily liu is so well versed in english and we have no worry here at all. We managed to dine in great halal restaurants though out our trip. Highly reccomended to all muslims travellers.more
Dec 2023, Efen Reyes
Great experience, highly recommended!
Additionally, she helped me with all my personal needs like getting a SIM card, finding an ATM, shopping, dining, checking in at the train station, hotel, suggested a couple additional very entertaining art events. Was also punctual and spoke good English.more
Nov 2023, Wayne S.
Excellent tour with Tom from China Highlights
We used China Highlights for the 3 days of our Beijing trip. Tom was a fantastic guide. Very knowledgable with excellent English. He was able to accommodate changes to our tour at short notice, allowing us to make the most of our limited time. Couldn’t recommend highly enoughmore
Nov 2023, Ross
Wow this tour was honestly the best tourI have ever taken! Our guide Simon Yao was simply superb! His English was excellent and he was very easy to talk to. He was personable and friendly but not overpowering or overbearing. Very knowledgeable about history. Thankfully the weather was good so we were not super hot !Finally at the wall we were amazed by it's beauty and grandeur. It really is something and pictures don't do it justice.more
Nov 2023, Annika M
Excellent two day visit to Great Wall
Our guide ‘Mark’ was incredible. So friendly, knowledgable and funny. The itinerary was perfect, we got to see two different parts of the Great Wall (one of which at night which was magical) and our hotel stay in Gubei was wonderful. Highly recommend to anybody visiting Beijingmore
Nov 2023, James_Wolstenholme
Great Experience from start to finish!
Jack was my guide and his local knowledge and English skills were fantastic. He was punctual, friendly and willing to flex as we went about our tour. Couldn’t recommend China Highlights more!more
Nov 2023, Scott Smith
Helen in Beijing - thanks for paying great attention to details, for your small surprises for the children every day, for selecting amazing restaurants, and leading wonderful walking tours. Your cheerfulness added to our enjoyment.more
Nov 2023, Kamila
Great day out with Mark, thanks China Highlights!
We did a 1 day private tour with China Highlights to see Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, and the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. Communication was great throughout - from trip planning/booking with Roger and from our guide Mark who contacted us the day before to confirm meet up time/location. Avoided a lot of the queues and definitely learned quite a bit of history from our guide Mark…thanks again! No language barriers/issues…highly recommended.more
Nov 2023, ykeezy
China Three (3) Cities Tours
To the tour guides, Ethan, Jason and Tony, you guys have made my visit an awesome and memorable experience. All the tour guides spoke english and communicated very effectively. They are knowledgeable about all the sites visited including, Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, Panda Breeding and Research Center, Leshan Giant Buddha, Hallelujah Mountains, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon and Glass Bridge, and Tianmen Mountain. The tour guides ensured I got the most out of my time I stayed in the various cities Beijing, Chengdu and Zhangjiajie.more
Nov 2023, Kadar
13 days in China
We booked a 13 day’s tour of China with China Highlights. Our travel advisor, Ms Leah Zhou organised an itinerary that suited what we wanted. She was really helpful and patient will all our needs. Leah helped us organised our 30th Wedding Anniversary Dinner and my 60th Birthday celebration?? in Beijing. For this to be possible, she had to liaise with our guide in Beijing. The flowers and cake were a real surprise. My husband and I, were really touched at the good service provided by China Highlights and Ms Leah Zhou. Thank you China Highlights and Ms Leah Zhou for your constant care of your customers. I will certainly recommend China Highlights to my friends.more
Nov 2023, Eda Adams
Perfect Beijing experience
Covering all major sights our exploration of Beijing and surroundings was flawless guided by Lily, along with her knowledgeable and balanced information on Chinas culture and history. In particular, Lily was able to adjust the tour according to personal preferences, e.g. focus on photography, as well as suggesting additional activities like an impressive authentic artistic show. I highly recommend China Highlights as China tour operator and Lily Liu as excellent guide regarding the Beijing area.more
Nov 2023, Perfect Beijing experience
Our first trip to Beijing
Our tour guide was Lucy Yubo. She was awesome. Very friendly, informative and passionate about her job. We really enjoyed her company and guidance.more
Nov 2023, Sreelatha Reddy
Anne and Bob’s tour of Beijing
We did the China Highlights tour of Beijing with our excellent guide Mark and his driver. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Beijing highlights including the Lama Temple, the Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Lama Temple. The Summer Palace with the boat ride and the Garden of Virtue and Harmony were memorable also and the Mutianyu Great Wall was a highlight. We were impressed with Mark as a guide. He knew his history and he was kind and thoughtful. He took us to some excellent restaurants and we were introduced to some beautiful food. We enjoyed his company and will always remember him.more
Nov 2023, BendigoBob
Excellent end to end service
Helen is a positive, full of knowledge, experienced guide.She provided us an implacable service abd experience for 3 days .Highly recommendedmore
Nov 2023, Sariel Engel
Amazing Beijing Tour with Risa!
Risa gave us a wonderful tour of the city! She thoroughly explained the cultuaral importance of each exhibit while also educating us on the Chinese culture. Appreciated having this wonderful Beijing trip with Risa:)more
Nov 2023, Angelica M.
Amazing Beijing Tour With Risa!
We were very kindly received in Beijing by our tour guide Risa. She gave us a very thorough tour of the city and showed us wonderful places, while also explaining the important history/culture of China! Very beautiful city filled with many things to do and full of culture! This was very well planned and made it very easy for us to visit the city and foreigners:) Thank you Risa!more
Nov 2023, Angelica M
Do Beijing like a local
They organised my trip very quickly and efficiently. On the day, Anna was very friendly to me, my mum and my baby. Very accommodating to our needs. The car was immaculately clean and very comfortable. We visited everything we initially wanted and more. Also, Anna took us to the best meal we had in China. It makes a difference to have a local choosing the dishes!more
Nov 2023, Natali A
Tipping in Hong Kong
Tipping in Hong Kong is appreciated and important, just like the rest of the world. The official currency used in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). HK$1 is equivalent to US$0.13.
Tipping at Hotels
HK$10 to 15 for per piece of luggage carried for you is appropriate.
2% of the daily room charge will suffice for the room attendant as well as any smaller change when delivering room service or anything else to the room.
Tipping Waiters and Waitresses
HK$ 5 to 10 at inexpensive restaurants, and about 15% of the bill at fine restaurants, where deserved. Although be aware, this may automatically be added on to your bill as a service charge.
Tipping in the Bathrooms
What many travelers may not be aware of before coming to Hong Kong is that in some hotels and upscale bathrooms you will find attendants in the bathrooms ready to hand you a towel to dry your hands or freshen you up with a spray of perfume or aftershave.
An unspoken rule of thumb in Hong Kong is to leave bathroom attendants a few coins as it is much appreciated.
Tipping Taxi Drivers
Please round the fare up to the next convenient bill size. For example, if your ride comes to HK$48.53, the best practice would be to pay HK$50 and let the driver keep the change. If you prefer, you can also choose to tip a few extra dollars, especially if the driver helps with heavy luggage or takes special efforts to get you to your destination on time.
Some drivers may object to receiving tips (for the same reasons given above for Chinese mainland), whilst others may expect a tip and not give you change automatically assuming it is theirs to keep.
Tipping Your Tour Guides and Drivers
For a 1 person tour, we suggest paying HK$100 to 200 a day for a tour guide. For a driver, it would be HK$100 per day for 1 person. Keep in mind that in some guide and driver jobs, workers are dependent on tips to sustain their income in order to earn enough money, though we ensure our employees are paid a suitable salary.
Our China Tours can be customized to include the natural wonders that capture your imagination.
Tipping in Macau
Tipping is not common practice in Macau as a 10% service charge is included in the price of most goods. However, a small tip is generally appreciated by bellhops and waiters.
The currency used in Macau is the Macanese Pataca (MOP). 1 Macanese Pataca is equivalent to 0.12 U.S. dollars.
Tipping in Macau Casinos
Tipping is not always necessary whilst on one of our tours which include a visit to a casino in Macau. This is due to the high amount of visitors although it is appreciated every now and then from hardworking staff.
Usually, the croupier keeps 10 to 15% of the winning. With bar staff and waiters, a small tip off a couple of USD is appreciated dependant on their helpfulness and quality of service.
In general, there is no entry fee charged in the casinos of Macau, however, you must be over 18 years old to get admission and passport ID may be required.
Our Guides and Your Tour Style
China Highlights guides are trained to a high standard to deliver our high-quality, flexible, and customer-focused tours. We can even pick a guide to suit you.
In a country where pay is tight, tipping is rare, and corners are often cut where service is concerned, you'll be pleased to know we promote a culture of going the extra mile to give you a great China experience.
Our travel experts specialize in designing trips to customer requirements, so that you can discover China your way. Before you set foot in China let us know exactly what you want.
Find out the China Highlights difference by exploring our tour descriptions.