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gift ideas for guides/drivers etc?

Melbourne
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369 posts
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gift ideas for guides/drivers etc?

hello, does anyone have ideas of what would be a nice gift for guides and drivers on our Vietnam tour? We will of course tip as money is probably most useful but i would also like to buy something for them as well as our tour operator. Would it be worth bringing something from australia? if so what do you think would be a good idea - fine chocs, wine, aussie themed pressie? Or is it better to buy things in Vietnam?

i would also like to bring some little gifts for children we encounter. Any ideas?

thanks heaps!!

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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1. Re: gift ideas for guides/drivers etc?

"We will of course tip as money "

Tipping is not part of the culture.

Having said that, the search box should reveal lots of info if you search first on 'tipping' then on 'gifts'.

Melbourne
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369 posts
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2. Re: gift ideas for guides/drivers etc?

oh yes sorry O&O, I should have done a search on gifts before I asked - thanks there are some great ideas there :)

I shouldn't have said tipping but we will give our guides and drivers a bit of extra money as a 'gift'

thanks

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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3. Re: gift ideas for guides/drivers etc?

Tipping is not manditory, but appreciated. A bag of chocolate bars you would hand out at halloween will go a long way with the kids. Those little Koalas that grasp pencils are also a hit

A reasonable tip for guides is about 5 dollars per day.......... pp if you feel generous and happy with the service, and the driver half that.

Owee

www.owee58.com

Sunderland, United...
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4. Re: gift ideas for guides/drivers etc?

I took bags of balloons and bubbles for the children, they loved them.

Melbourne
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369 posts
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5. Re: gift ideas for guides/drivers etc?

thanks everyone these are great ideas. The chocolate bars are a good idea - maybe I will get caramello koalas they are yummy and australian ;) bubbles and ballons sound good too!

Australia
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6. Re: gift ideas for guides/drivers etc?

Watch the chockies - due to the climate you may end up giving warm sludge. I bought a big bag of local lollies and walked down the road handing them out to kids (word travelled ahead and they were there waiting for me).

I can't work out why O&O says tipping is not part of the culture - it isn't in the local areas, but in the tourist scene it is highly expected. Plus I try to tip good service to hopefully encourage that, because unfortunately among some service providers there is an inclination to rip people off.

We took stuffed toys, and simple handbags to an orphanage and that was well received. Apparently they do well for clothes via donations from local factories.

At the Orphanage/temple the nuns were kind enough to invite us to stay for the vegetarian lunch, so then a healthy donation to support the children is in order.

I don't think tour operators are big on mementos from Oz - cash talks more loudly.

Adelaide
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7. Re: gift ideas for guides/drivers etc?

Just a word on the chocolates and other sweets. We visited a Red Dzao village just out of Sapa, where the beautiful scenery was marred by hundreds of chocolate & sweet wrappers that were given by well meaning tourists to the local kids. These people are yet to develop the "put it in a bin" mentality that most tourists have grown up with, so spare a thought for their environment before adding to the mess.

vietnam
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for Nha Trang
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8. Re: gift ideas for guides/drivers etc?

Just asked a female tour guide I know your question. She said she would like a key ring with a koala bear on it. Guess the driver would be happy with that too.

Ho Chi Minh City...
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9. Re: gift ideas for guides/drivers etc?

Save these gifts until the end of your trip, & only give them if the service has been good - same applies to tips. Too many tourists tip indiscriminately, particularly those from the US, and this is creating a culture where a tip is seen as a right rather than a reward for good service. I've had complaints about guides asking for tips, and I've even been asked for a tip at bars/restaurants on occasions.

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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10. Re: gift ideas for guides/drivers etc?

AustraliaNomad: "I can't work out why O&O says tipping is not part of the culture - it isn't in the local areas, but in the tourist scene it is highly expected. Plus I try to tip good service to hopefully"

You answered that yourself, did you not? Also see post #9 by CAGV.

Tipping has been discussed endlessly on this forum. No need to rehash it here.