Vietnam Money and Books

Vietnam Money and Currency


Vietnam’s currency issued by the Vietnam State Bank is the Dong (VND). Vietnamese use both coins and paper notes. But as Vietnam is currently changing its money system, there exists parallel two different money systems (old and new) which can cause confusion.

Coins include VND 5,000; 2,000; 1,000; 500 and 200. These values have paper note equivalences.

The following values: VND 500,000; 200,000; 100,000; 50,000; 20,000; 10,000. exist both in the new polymer form and the old normal paper notes.

Cheques with value as Vietnamese dong include: VND 1,000,000 and 500,000.

Exchange rates

In general, 1 USD is approximately 20,500VND and 1 EUR approximates 26000VND

You can exchange your money at the airport before leaving, or at banks and official exchange centers in Vietnam. It is strongly recommended that you do not exchange money in the black market.

Method of payment

Direct payment of cash is most popular in Vietnam. Small shops, restaurants and markets usually do not accept any other payment.

Major credit cards (such as Visa, Master Charge and to some extent American Express) are increasingly being used, especially in big cities and tourist places, but only in restaurants, hotels or big shopping malls with a transactional fee (3%-5%).

Traveler’s cheques are an easy method of carrying money around, and can be cashed at major banks (but not small banks in small towns).

ATM machines

For those hesitant to carry a large amount of cash around, ATMs (automatic teller machines) have become increasingly popular in Vietnam (mostly in cities) and have attracted many foreign visitors.

Most banks offer this service and the registration for an account is simple and fast. All ATMs are locally interconnected. However, ATMs only give in VND.

Banking hours

The hours may differ from bank to bank. Generally banks open from Monday to Friday: 8:00 – 11:30 and 1:00 to 4:00. Some large banks also open through lunch or on Saturday mornings. Banks are closed on public holidays.

Two tier pricing system

In many places in Vietnam, foreigners and visitors still have to pay a much higher fee for entrance or services. However this system is slowly changing as prices are being standardized.

Recommended Books

Lonely Planet - The new 8th edition remains the most thorough mainstream travel guide to Vietnam available. Whether you travel with a backpack or a matched set of designer luggage, Lonely Planet's Vietnam Travel Survival Kit has the historical, cultural, and practical information necessary to explore and enjoy Vietnam. Lonely Planet also publishes a travel atlas, a Vietnamese phrase book, and a pocket guide to Ho Chi Minh City. List price: $22.99. Order today for only $15.63.

Lonely Planet also publishes regional guides worth reading. Click on the cover for more information.

The Men of Viet Nam - Yes, there is a gay scene in Vietnam. In Ho Chi Minh City, in fact, it is large and complex. But you have to know exactly where to look and there is plenty you should know before you go. This first-ever guide to Vietnam for gay travelers is more than just an extensive list of places to make new friends.

Both thorough and entertaining, the book presents culture, history and tradition in ways that will enhance the reader's understanding and appreciation of Vietnam and her people. From the same publisher as Eric Allyn's highly-respected The Men of Thailand. Because of its wit, its cultural sensitivity, and its "inside" information, this is a darn good travel book, even if you're not gay. $18.95.

Passport Vietnam: Jeffrey Curry and Jim Chinh Nguyen wrote this brilliant pocket guide to Vietnamese customs and etiquette for business travelers. If you plan to visit Vietnam for business and are not already thoroughly immersed in Vietnamese culture, values and business practices.

This book should be considered required reading. It will help you build better business relationships, negotiate more effectively with your Vietnamese partners, and avoid costly mistakes and delays. You can order this book now for only $5.56.