Travel Guide




The official currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). The Dong is not a freely convertible currency and at the time of writing, the exchange rate is approximately 25,000 VND to 1 USD. US dollars, preferably new bills, are widely accepted at major shops and restaurants. Traveler's checks can be exchanged at authorized foreign exchange points and banks, requiring the presentation of a passport. There is typically a transaction fee of 2 to 5% when exchanging traveler's checks. Visa and MasterCard are increasingly accepted at many major hotels and restaurants, especially in large cities.

Make sure that the Vietnamese notes you receive are not torn, as many shops and restaurants will not accept them. Additionally, try not to exchange too much money at once, as you will end up with a large bundle of notes. The largest denomination currently is 500,000 dong (approximately 25 USD). The government has issued new 500,000 and 50,000 dong notes made from plastic (similar to Australian dollars) instead of regular paper. In 2004, Vietnam began circulating coins for smaller transactions. These include denominations of 200 dong, 1,000 dong, and 5,000 dong. Other paper denominations include 2,000 dong, 5,000 dong, 10,000 dong, and 20,000 dong. Most are clearly distinguishable by color.

There are several international banks operating in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with 24-hour ATM facilities, including ANZ Bank in Hanoi and HSBC in Ho Chi Minh City. Here, you can withdraw cash using Visa, MasterCard, and other cards such as Cirrus. Please note that the Vietnamese Dong cannot be exchanged for foreign currency outside Vietnam.

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