Bali is well known as an island with generous and friendly citizens. As a tourist, you will always be welcomed by the locals with a warm smile and great hospitality. However, unlike in Europe or USA where giving tips in return for satisfying service is common sense, in Bali giving a tip is not mandatory. Tipping in Bali is generally just like tipping in Asia—it is fully up to you.
What Services to Tip for?
For several services like those in restaurants, spas, or shops, the service fee is already added to your bill (which is usually about 5-20% of the total). The servers, therapists, and other staff will not complain behind your back if you don’t tip them. But it is okay if you still want to add a tip on top of the service fee you’ve already paid.
How Much to Tip?
For other sectors of services in Bali such as hired drivers and guides, housekeepers and staff in your accommodation, or a porter who takes care of your belongings, there are no specific rules about the size of the tip. Normally if you hire a driver, you need to give a tip around 50.000 to 100.000 IDR plus one or two meals a day. For a porter, you can give a tip around 10.000 to 20.000 IDR per piece of luggage, while for a housekeeper who takes care of your room you can give around 30.000 IDR/room/night.
Again, if you decide to tip or not is fully up to you. It depends on the business the employee or waiter works at. Sometimes an establishment will even put up a sign saying ‘no tipping' to prevent the customer being burdened by the need to give a tip to the worker. If you cannot find the sign, then it is safe for you to tip the worker when you see his/her service is satisfying. Remember, not giving a tip is not the same as being rude, it is fully up to you to tip or not.