19/01/2018 10505 views





The Dong has been the Vietnamese currency since 1978.

The government stopped issuing coins in 2003,

making your wallet significantly less heavy and transactions way less complicated.

So there are only paper notes now.

Tourists visiting Vietnam love to joke about walking away from the moneychangers as “instant millionaires."

The Vietnamese Dong (VND), Vietnam’s official currency, come in polymerized notes with multiple zeroes: VND 10,000 is the smallest bill you'll find on the street these days (coins of as low as VND 200 have long been phased out), with the upper limit hit by the VND 500,000 bill.

At the present exchange rate (between 22,800-23,000 VND per USD dollar), changing a fifty-buck note gets you 1.150 million dong. 


Getting a grip on all those zeroes can be challenging for the first-time visitor to Vietnam. With a little time and practice, buying and spending Vietnamese dong becomes second nature to the Vietnam visitor.

Where to Change Your Money

Major currencies can be exchanged practically anywhere in Vietnam, but not all exchange facilities are created equal. Banks and airport moneychangers can change your money at a high cost relative to a jewelry shop in Ham Tien Market at the gold shop , so it pays to ask around before trading dollars for dong.

Banks. The government-run Vietcombank can exchange dong for US dollars, Euros, British Pounds, Japanese Yen, Thai Baht, and Singapore dollars. Banks in major cities like Mui Ne , Phan Thiet and Ho Chi Minh City will let you change foreign currencies and most travelers' checks. You'll be charged a commission rate of between 0.5 to 2 percent for the latter.

Always bring new notes; any damaged or dirty notes will be charged an additional two percent of the note's face value.

Hotels. Your mileage may vary with hotels: larger hotels can offer rates competitive with banks', but smaller hotels (like those in the Old Quarter of Hanoi) may tack on an additional fee for the service.



Gold and jewelry shops. The rates in these mom and pop establishments can be surprisingly fair, with no fees (unlike those in hotels and airport bureaux de change). Shops in Hanoi's Old Quarter—particularly Hang Bo and Ha Trung streets—offer better deals, as do gold and jewelry shops in Ho Chi Minh City's Nguyen An Ninh Street (near Ben Thanh Market).


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