Although tipping is a personal choice and it is not mandatory by law, tipping is a common practice in Bhutan, especially to the guide and driver. This culture was introduced by visitors when the tourism industry began in Bhutan.
If you are trekking in Bhutan, your trekking crew consisting of the cook, assistant cook and horsemen will also expect a gratuity.
If a gratuity is offered to the guide and driver, it is done at the end of the trip and gratuity is placed inside of an envelope.
How Much To Tip Your Guide And Driver In Bhutan?
This is a difficult question to answer as there is no hard and fast rule on it. Most guests would leave a tip to their guide and driver and it ranges from USD50 dollars to USD1000 dollars (in a few cases). If it’s a big group, tour leaders would collect USD100 dollars from each member and get it divided amongst the guides and drivers as a tip.
It will also be good to consider the following points in order to decide how much to tip your guide and driver.
- While guides and drivers are paid for their time and service by the tour operator, only 8 hours of their time is accounted for, i.e. 09 00 hrs to 17 00 hrs. On most days, they have be on duty for more than 10 hours. You will get a proper understanding when you are traveling Bhutan.
- Guide and driver will be at your service, 24 hours a day, if ever required. Be it for early morning photography or festival visits or late night nightlife experience.
- Bhutan being an under developed country, our per capita income is USD3300; USD270 a month. Earning a tip is great income opportunity for guides and drivers and hence, most guides and drivers will dedicate themselves to providing the best service to their guests.