Should I Tip?

should I tip for service in Thailand

Luxury holidays

Stacey Dooley tries out the Ban Thai Hotel's five star luxury for 1500Baht per night on the tropical island of Phuket. With 290 rooms and 320 staff to wait on your every desire it is opulence. 360º view.

With luxury pools, spa's, gym, massage, and 24/7 service it also has its' own private beach on the Patong riviera where the hotel staff will serve food and drinks. It is Thai hospitality at its best and amongst the best in the world.

They want only that you have a holiday you will never forget from lounging around in the sunshine to scuba diving in the coral shores along with jetski's, paragliding, and hundreds of other activities.

If you have a list of things to do before you die you can probably fulfill most of them here.

Hotel staff

The cost of living is only one third of the UK but for working a 72 hour week the hotel staff are paid £30. They have employment because of tourism but your low price holiday means low wages for them while tourist requirements brings expensive consumerism. A cup of fresh ground coffee is only 50p. An ice cream is only 40p. Beer is only 90p, but the locals who work in the hospitality industry while having to live there cannot afford these things. Their wages pay for the most basic of needs in life. Your 20 Baht tip means a bottle of drinking water or not having to walk home after a hard days work.

Tourists give the waiter or the bar staff or the taxi driver a tip and forget about the cleaning staff and the room maids. They forget the workers at the bottom of the pay ladder. And the locals who lived there had to give up their life and their homes so the hotel complex could be built. They all pay a high price for your holiday so please...
Don't be mean, don't make excuses, give them something.

Koh Pha-Ngan's Full Moon Party

CORRECTION: every year 8 Brits die at full moon parties.

A mind blowingly good party time for youngsters. A party to end all parties. The music is loud, the booze is cheap, the Police non-existent, and whatever your bag, you can buy it somewhere and probably without being arrested. A party that starts at sunset and ends when the last dude collapses in a heap and sleeps it off on the beach. It's a gas!

You are also going to have the mother of all hang overs but boy will it remind you of the breathtaking time you had..
The people of Koh Pha-Ngan will welcome you and serve you and host one hell of a party. An orgy of music, drugs, sex, and drunken debauchery. Who wouldn't want some?

They do this to make money. But the next day there is a mess to clean up and the municipal services are minimal on this tiny island of 1600* residents. They have to clean up the mess and they do not get paid for it. They volunteer. So when you see the local ambulance service or morgue collecting donations please give something - even if it is only 20 Baht.
* the current population is 8000 but 6400 of those are migrant hotel employees.


Would you be surprised if I told you at the top of the page on the left is Tanawat Chaiprasit who saved a child from drowning in a hotel swimming pool and on the right is Sia Ka Tian who returned half a million pounds to its rightful owner. How much tip should they get?