A Guide to Understand Vietnamese Currency

A Guide to Understand Vietnamese Currency

If you are about to spend sometimes in Vietnam, it might be important to note that dong is the legal currency of Vietnam and are expected everywhere for any commercial transactions within the country.

If you are about to spend sometimes in Vietnam, it might be important to note that dong is the legal currency of Vietnam and are expected everywhere for any commercial transactions within the country.

Yes, dong. Vietnam dong.

Even though many vendors, especially in the tourist areas surely will not shy away from the dollars; you should know that the exchange rate will be their call. And when using dollars in Vietnam, you might get changes as a bunch of Vietnam bills anyway. Don’t ever just rely on credit cards or travelers’ check as they are accepted only in many tourist areas, or where payment facilities are available.

All the more reason to spend Vietnam dong while you are travelling in Vietnam and be a currency-mindful traveler. It is time to be back to basics and here are some basics about Vietnam bills for you too:

  1. Understand the value and budget yourself

First, keep track of the exchange rate. The Vietnamdong is traditionally anchored to the value of the dollar under the abbreviation VND and a quick look on internet can let you know how much Vietnam dong you will have after conversion. The USD – VND exchange rate though is fluctuates daily, but is around 21.000VND at this moment. Check with your bank, local business newspapers or on the Internet. Usually travelers who choose to exchange to dollars in Vietnam can go directly to some major Vietnamese bank for the most exact rates.

Since Vietnam dong cannot be used anywhere else, exchanging while in Vietnam only might be a good idea to avoid you from ending up with a bunch of Vietnam dong after coming back to your home country and having another exchange rate that is of less favor for you. In order to do that, you might need to estimate your daily travel spending in Vietnam. A budget traveler can expect to spend up to $25 day on food and accommodation, providing that they stay at hostel and eat street food. Middle-budget would be of about $65 for comfortable hotel and good restaurant. Transportation is of various choices with cost ranging from low to high but in average of 0.5 USD per km.

A Guide to Understand Vietnamese Currency

  1. Familiarize yourself with the bills

The first and formost thing about Vietnam bills is that they have a lot of zeros, easy enough to be a millionaire and being confused at the don’t worry, that why I am here for you. I trust you have noticed of pictures taken of different Vietnamese bills posted along this articles (click for bigger view) and am very glad to introduce them as most of the most popular bill in Vietnam: the denominations of  500 dong, 1,000 dong, 2,000 dong, 5,000 dong, 10,000 dong, 20,000 dong, 50,000 dong, 100,000 dong, 200,000 dong and the biggest 500,000 dong notes. Yes, let behold all the zeros and compliment yourself that you are right to intend to bring a small calculator with you on your Vietnam trip.

The second thing that we would like to note is that, Vietnam dong comes in both paper and polymer. Since all the big notes are in polymer, you might have paper notes only from changes. After being replaced by polymer, all the big notes in paper has pretty much become invalid and you can’t spend them, except 5000 dong, 2000 dong, 1000 dong and 500 dong. So, if getting changes as paper bills, don’t hate on them ok? Just make sure none of them are bigger than 5000 dong.

However, do hate on coins. Despite being in circulation several years ago, Vietnamese hate them and you should too. No, just kidding. They are rarely accepted in major retails and mostly unaccepted in pretty much everywhere else.

  1. Now get yourself the best rates!

Once arrive Vietnam, you will see that many place provide exchange service. There will be some place at the airport you arrival. The gold shop nearby your hotel will do too. But always go to the bank for the best rates and reliable services.

Banks are available at cities throughout Vietnam so if you haven’t been able to access the bank yet, exchange a small amount to get by until you can.