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Tipping in Bali

Posted under: Bali in General

A few annoying Western customs, like tipping, have caught on. Never tip waiters in restaurants, bartenders, reception people in small hotels, hairdressers, medical personnel, or tailors. Only tip taxi drivers and porters for unusually good service or extra-heavy bags. It is good to give them better.

Do not contribute to this cancer. Tipping in the Western sense is not part at Balinese culture. When you do give a tip for your houseboy or cook, it is always unexpected and thus has more impact. Save tipping only for those instances when it is really deserved.

In the places where you are supposed to tip for individual services, a 10% service charge (plus 21% government tax) is added to your bill. Expect these charges to be added in the big tourist hotels of Nusa Dua, Sanur, and Kuta.

As in Europe, only high-priced hotels and leading restaurants add the charge. Airport porters expect a payment (not a tip) of Rp 15.000 per bag; this is posted.

Hired drivers (sopir) and guides (petunjuk) may be tipped Rp 15,000-25,000 per day but only if you are pleased with their performance.

Although bribery in the civil bureaucracy exists, it is unlikely that travelers or tourists will ever need to resort to it. In most cases you will not even know if you have just paid a bribe because its deftly institutionalized and masked behind some official fee or charge.


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