Tipping is more an American thing than it is Australian, in fact when I grew up in Australia the only time I tipped was the barmen so I could get a stronger drink. The service industry in Thailand is very similar to the American industry and those who work particularly at pubs clubs and restaurants typically live off their tips. Tipping in Pattaya goes to the extreme level and so it should as people come here to have a good time and those who service people here need to go the extra mile to make those people happy.
That said I have no problem giving a tip for great service, how much though typically depends on two things, how much money is in my pocket and how good the service was. In the USA I would be more inclined to leave a tip of 15-20% (in some cases you don’t have a choice) but in Thailand I’m more likely to give a 20-50 baht tip regardless of how much the bill is unless of course it’s outstanding service which then I might leave a 100 baht tip. I honestly don’t think this is being cheap at all especially when at a go go bar or regular beer bar but that’s just me.
For the above tipping I’m talking about waiters and waitresses as for bar girls and go go girls and for that matter Karaoke girls I rarely tip at all unless they have offerred exceptional service. They still make their tips off me albeit not in the form of cold cash but rather in drinks. That kind of work they are expected by their bosses to get drinks so the bar/club makes more money since they make around 50 baht a drink and you buy them a few I don’t see why you should have to pay a tip on top of that. You can if you want but that’s not how I roll.
Really giving someone a Tip should be because they have offered exceptional service, but what do you do when someone gives you terrible service, should you really give them a Tip? Many hotels especially in the 4 and 5 star category have service charge that is automatically added to the bill. In most circumstances this is ok because these kinds of establishments usually have high level of standards and training that ensure you get the utmost best service possible. But what about beer bars, go go bars, and nightclubs in Thailand, their standards are typically sub par and honestly lacking in any sort of training.
So when you get shit service should you really pay a Tip? I don’t think so but these idiots working at these bars still pester you for one then call you names if you don’t give them one. This kind of thing pisses me off. Take for example the other night I went and tried out this go go club called the Submarine in Soi LK metro Pattaya. I walk into the place and immediately know I don’t like it but you know I walked in and felt like I’m in here now It would be rude of me to just walk out so I sit down and buy a coke (can’t drink every bloody day).
I know this place isn’t the kind of place I like because A. it’s too damn small and B the girls are ugly but like I said I thought I’d have some manners and buy a drink anyway even if it is a coke. I’m sitting there and had a chat to the guy next to me and one of the dancers 19y/0 Oil sits next to me and immediately asks for a drink. I told her to go ask the guy accross the way from me, I kinda wanted to get out of there and really she wasn’t good looking and well I don’t wanna buy her a drink and then have her sit next to me so after a few attempts she moves on. I’m smiling and stuff and still in a good mood even though the place is crap and I shouldn’t be there in the first place. I ask nicely for the bill and the lady says it’s 80 baht (rip off considering a beer is only a few baht more). Whatever I’m still happy at this point and hand her a 1000 baht bill. She says NO loudly and points to the 5 20 bahts in my wallet. I said NO please I want to pay with the 1000 baht bill. No you give me the 20′s. Geez whatever if you wanna be like that about it here’s 4 twenties my 80 baht.
WHERE’S MY TIP? SHE SAYS!
Are you kidding me? First you come over to me with this attitude then don’t accept my money demand I pay with money I don’t wanna use (how am I going to give the motorbike taxi a 1000 baht bill idiot) then have the hide to ask me for a tip! Bitch! So ask her why would I give her a tip when you give me shit service and tell me what to do? Dumb bitch doesn’t get it and starts calling me all sorts of nasty names in Thai and finishes in Thai with ใจดำ Jai Dum which is basically calling me cruel for not giving her a tip. I tell her she has the mouth of a dog and walk out without paying the tip. And to think the only reason I sat down in the first place was because I couldn’t bring myself leave without at least buying a drink.
So when you get crap service in Thailand should you really have to pay for a tip?