China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Guides & Tipping in China

There is little tipping in China. Most service charges are in the cost of food, hotels etc. Guides and drivers however do expect tips as part of their living. I am often called "ChinaDave" because of working in China for the past 22 years with local associate Chinese partners. You see me above in my standard working clothes while in the countryside checking out new areas and sites. Guides are often like friends showing you around their area that they know best. Most often the guides and drivers do not eat with you as that is their break time but in the countryside sometimes they will join you too. Drivers seldom speak English so sharing lunch with the guide is a chance for them to relax and speak their own language. The driver in the center photo and the guide joined me this day for lunch. The driver loved food and made sure that I was taken to many different restaurants to taste a wide variety of local foods. In the bottom photo in the countryside the guide and driver joined my wife and I for lunch outside. This very popular restaurant was full so the guide had them set up a table and chairs out in the garden which was great. Guides and drivers become good friends as they enjoy showing their local area to us.
Tips for guides are between $10 and $15 per day and for the driver about half of that unless he or she drives a long ways during the day. For more information on tipping, contact me at Tours to China has been my business for over 20 years but the Culture is my real passion.

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