Tipping in Bali 2013.07.20

tipping When traveling abroad, it can sometimes be a little confusing when it comes to tipping for services. This is especially true if you are not used to tipping and simply don't have a clue what an appropriate amount would be.

In Bali, it is not expected to leave a tip. It's obviously greatly appreciated if you do, however it won't be considered as rude if you don't. So what is an acceptable amount? The following is information regarding tipping Bali, as referred to in guide books, travel websites and the common sense of residents in Bali. Ready? Go!

A few guide books' suggestions

 Basically, you don’t need to give a tip if the prices of hotels and restaurants include a service charge. However, when you are treated to really good service or when you ask a favor to be done, it is better to leave a tip. The price depends on the guest's satisfaction; the following are just a guideline:

 [ Restaurant ] It differs from the grade of restaurants, but usually add 5% to 10% of the total charge of the bill and round the amount off, or alternatively leave change on the table for your waiter. [ Hotel & Spa ] For porters in a hotel and massage therapists, give about Rp.20,000.

[ Taxi ] Usually, don't ask for your small change back from the driver. It probably won't make much difference to you anyway.

Generally speaking, there is no custom of tipping in Bali; give Rp.10,000 to Rp.20,000 for porters and housekeepers at a hotel if you would like to. There is no need to leave a tip at restaurants as most of them usually already include a service charge on your bill. Cheaper warungs don't charge a service charge therefore any tip would be appreciated.

 

Major hotels: Many hotels' services are inclusive of 21% tax. 10% is a mandatory government tax, the other 11% is a legally unenforceable service charge. Tipping is not mandatory. However, if you want to tip, perhaps provide 5-10% of the total bill.

Restaurants: some restaurants will include 5-10% service charge to their bill. But if they don't levy any service charge, you can tip between Rp10,000 to 10% of the total bill. A 10% government mandated restaurant tax is applicable, but smaller restaurants and certainly warungs will not be levying that and would likely never pay it to the government if they did.

Taxi drivers: tipping is not mandatory. Although all taxis are metered, some drivers do not carry either coins or small notes, or may not be able to locate them when required. Many passengers round up thier bill. For example if your taxi meter shows Rp27,750. You might round up to Rp30,000.

Car-hire drivers: It is not mandatory; however if service is satisfactory a basic Rp10,000 tip is deemed appropriate. (Full day car-hire drivers generally expect a larger tip.)

Reviews about tipping in Bali

KURA KURA Editorial Department’s research, opinions of residents in Bali:
 PorterHousekeeperWaiterGuide & Driver
  Handling luggage at the airport or hotel, for 1 piece of luggage Cleaning hotel room, for 1 room/night Good service at a restaurant One-day touring around Bali, for 1 person
Sacyo Rp.20,000 Rp.20,000 No Guide Rp.100,000 Driver Rp.50,000
Irina Rp.5,000 Rp.5,000 No Rp.10,000
Takuya Rp.20,000 Rp.20,000 No Rp.50,000
Aiko Rp.5,000 Rp.20,000 No Rp.50,000
Michael Rp.20,000 Rp.5,000 Rp.20,000 No
Annga Rp.10,000 - 20,000 Rp.5,000 No No
Rizal Rp.10,000 Rp.20,000 No Rp.50,000
What do you think about this? According to my research, I realized that it differs from person to person and the situation whether to give a tip and how much. I usually give about Rp.20,000 at a massage store, but I don’t leave a tip at when staying at a hotel.
 
Our director, who is the master of golf, had this to say about tipping and golf, “In Bali, the price of tip for caddies is fixed; Rp.50,000 for 9 holes, Rp.100,000 for 18 holes.” He also said that there was a notice to give Rp.100,000 as a tip.
 
I don’t really understand this fixed rule of tipping in golf; maybe it's higher because golf is the sport of gentlemen. Aside from golf, which seems to have a fixed price, I think you should just give a tip when you feel "I enjoyed that a lot” or “That was good service” using the small money in your wallet.
Summary
  • Giving or not giving a tip is up to you
  • Not giving a tip = Not rude
  • When leaving a tip, the minimum is Rp.5,000 to 10% of total charge
  • Give a tip after receiving satisfactory service. At a restaurant, leave your tip on the table
  • For golf caddies, players must give a tip of Rp.50,000 for 9 holes and Rp.100,000 for 18 holes


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