In Indonesia it is common to show your appreciation by giving a tip.
This is seen as a normal part of the reward system. It is useful to keep some small change for tipping (notes of 5,000 and 10,000 rupiahs) in your pocket.
Of course, giving a tip is never mandatory, but it is certainly appreciated.
The following amounts are general guidelines; your tip will of course mainly depend on your satisfaction:
- At the hotel your suitcase is often carried to your room for you. It is customary to tip around 5,000 to 10,000 rupiahs per suitcase.
- At the station 10,000 rupiahs per suitecase is normal.
- In restaurants, often the tip is already included in the price, or you automatically pay extra for tipping when paying. If the tip is not yet included in the bill, 10% is normal.
- For guides at sightseeings sites it is normal to give around 30,000 rupiah (or 100,000 rupiah for the entire day).
If you are unsure whether a tip is appropriate in a certain situation, you can always ask your driver for advice.
In Indonesia there is no social safety net. The moment someone cannot turn to family when ill or unemployed, there is no income. Many of these unfortunates take the opportunity to provide small services. Keep this in mind when you take a picture of someone, or if someone helps you cross the road, but never feel obliged to tip:
Most people in Indonesia are very friendly and are happy to help you, whether they receive a tip or not.