It's important to get this right - here's the lowdown.
Tipping is not expected in Myanmar except for tour guides and drivers. It is somewhat common, but still not obligatory or expected, for hotel and restaurant staff.
It’s fine to tip in either US dollars or kyat – just do whichever is more convenient for you.
Here are some suggested ranges.
Please tip the top end of the range only for exceptional service.
Guides: $5-10 per day
Drivers: $3-5 per day
Hotel and restaurant staff: small change left over from the bill (up to K1,500)
Please be aware that overly generous tipping has had negative consequences in some countries (including Peru) where generous tips for guides have led to people deserting poorly paid professions in droves - even creating, for example, shortages of medical professionals and teachers.
Pay rates in Myanmar are low and a tip that seems fair to you could distort somebody’s expectation of life. Professional tour guides in Myanmar earn around $20-30 a day – a lot less than they do in Peru. The average wage of a qualified professional in Yangon works out to about $10 a day.
Please be mindful of all this and do not overtip.