There are no written rules about tipping in Indonesia. But yes, sometimes people – hotel bellboys, servers in restaurants, salon stylists, dive guides, etc – do expect a tip, especially when the guest (local or foreigner) is considered rich. And yes, many Indonesians still asume that people from developed countries are rich, because even when they’re not, the currency exchange rate would make them ‘rich’ in Indonesia.
Unfair perception? Of course. Nevertheless it is a perception that one has to deal with when coming to Indonesia. But before you decide to walk away without tipping or even cancel your travel plans, please consider this: there is a widespread underpayment of labor in Indonesia. A few thousand rupiah can make a world of difference to Indonesians struggling to make ends meet. You just have to recognize the places and situations where tipping may be expected.
Where & Who:
- Hospitality and service providers such as hotels, restaurants, spas, salons, gyms, golf courses, tennis courts, dive shops, etc.
- Areas heavily frequented by tourists.
- If you want a specific person to receive the tip, then hand it to that person directly.
- Tips should be based on the level of service provided but, generally, 5 – 10% of your bill is considered appropriate. A tiny bit more is okay if the service is outstanding.
- Don’t tip too much, even for really good service.
- When a gratituity or ‘service fee’ is already added to your bill, no additional tip is necessary (but would still be highly appreciated).