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travel to vietnam currency

  • Currency and payments in Vietnam

All photography by Christian Berg

With a wealth of affordable cuisine, hotels, and things to do, Vietnam is an excellent destination if you’re looking for value for money. Prepare for your first time in Vietnam by getting to know the local currency and payment systems, so you can enjoy your holiday here even more. Here’s a quick guide to money matters for travellers in Vietnam. 

Vietnamese currency.

vietnam currency guide

The official currency in Vietnam is the Vietnam đồng, symbolised by ₫ or VND. Vietnamese notes are a mix of small paper bills (no coins are used), and larger polymer bills, in values from 10,000 VND to 500,000 VND. If you’re confused by all the zeros, mentally remove three zeros to get a simpler number. To quickly convert from VND to USD, just remove three zeros and divide by 23. 

TIP: The 20,000 VND bill and the 500,000 VND bill come in similar shades of blue -- double check before you pay. 

Cash withdrawal and exchange

credit cards vietnam

Upon arriving in Vietnam, you’ll want to have some cash in the local currency. You can find ATMs accepting international cards just outside the arrival gates at all major airports. ATMs are a common sight in Vietnamese cities, and you should have no trouble locating one in most destinations. International cards such as Visa are accepted at more than 20,000 ATMs nationwide. If you need help finding the nearest ATM, just ask your hotel. Withdrawal limits per transaction range between 2 million VND (just under 100 dollars) and 3 million VND with local bank ATMs; and between 5 million VND to 10 million VND with international bank ATMs.  

You can also find currency exchange vendors inside Vietnam’s international airports just before the exit gates. Once you’re in your destination, you can usually exchange currency at your hotel, in tourist hotspots and at local banks. 

TIP: It’s a good idea to withdraw some extra cash before travelling to remote destinations in Vietnam, especially if you want to buy crafts or textiles directly from local artisans. 

Card payments in Vietnam

vietnam currency guide

While cash is used for small purchases and street vendors in Vietnam, most establishments accept payments from major credit card providers such as Visa. Hotels, tour operators, boutiques, restaurants, grocery stores, and spas all generally accept international debit and credit cards. Conversion rates and swiping fees will be set by your card provider. With few exceptions, your larger travel expenses in Vietnam can be covered by card, on the spot or online in advance, reducing the need to carry and convert large sums of cash on the road.

Local prices 

how much do things cost in vietnam

Wondering how much money to prepare for your trip in Vietnam? If you’re on a budget, eating street food and staying in homestays is a great way to go, and will still give you an enriching experience of Vietnam. If you’ve got a little more to spend, Vietnam’s mid-range hotels and local restaurants offer wonderful value and heartfelt service. And if you’re here to indulge, our five-star properties and private tours offer superb quality and unforgettable moments. See the list below for some average prices:

Sidewalk coffee  - 25,000 VND (1 USD) Street food meal with ice tea  - 45,000 VND (2 USD) Cappuccino in a cafe  - 55,000 VND (2.50 USD) Three-course restaurant meal  - 450,000 (20 USD)/person Inner city taxi - 35,000 to 100,000 VND (1.50 to 4 USD) 60-minute foot massage at local spa  - 350,000 VND (15 USD) Budget hostel - 300,000 VND (13 USD)/night  Mid-range hotel - 700,000 VND (30 USD)/night  Half-day group tour - 1 million VND (43 USD) Luxury hotel - 3.5 million VND (150 USD)/night

Safety and security 

vietnam shopping tips

Vietnam is generally very safe for travellers, but use common sense to keep an eye on your money and avoid drawing attention to valuables while out in public. Use the hotel safe in your room to store cash, cards and valuable items when going out. Keep wallets and purses close to your person and take extra care when in crowded places. Cards with safety technology such as Visa’s 3D security system can help protect against loss or fraud, and lessen worries around the safety of your money. 

TIP: Many businesses and taxi services in Vietnam now accept Visa contactless payments , done by tapping your card directly on a terminal. These payments add peace of mind and reduce health risks, as your card never leaves your hand.

Tipping etiquette

vietnam currency guide

There’s no set rule about tipping in Vietnam as it’s not a normal part of Vietnamese culture. However tipping is increasingly common in some situations, such as in beauty salons and for private tour guides. Tipping in restaurants and cafes is not expected but always appreciated. When deciding how much to tip, considering that the cost for a local meal here is about 30,000 VND to 40,000 VND can help you decide the value of your tip to its recipient. 

In casual shopping hubs and markets, bargaining is a common practice. If you’re shopping in an area that receives many tourists, you can usually get a price reduction through some gentle negotiation. Browse and inquire with a few shops or vendors to get a general idea of the price before you settle.

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travel to vietnam currency

travel to vietnam currency

What's the Best Currency to Take to Vietnam in 2023?

Byron Mühlberg, writer at Monito.com

Monito's Managing Editor, Byron has spent several years writing extensively about financial- and migration-related topics.

Links on this page, including products and brands featured on ‘Sponsored’ content, may earn us an affiliate commission. This does not affect the opinions and recommendations of our editors.

Are you travelling to Vietnam and wondering which currency you should take there? Vietnam uses the Vietnamese đồng, meaning that, except in tourist establishments, airports, or hotels, you normally won't be able to use major currencies like the US dollar or British pound to pay your way.

To pay while you're in Vietnam, you'll either need to buy Vietnamese đồng banknotes before or during your trip, use your credit card, or use a low-cost multi-currency debit card like Revolut 's or Wise 's travel cards.

In a rush? Here are our recommendations for how to pay in Vietnam if you're...

  • from the UK:   Revolut 's debit Mastercard
  • from the USA:   Chime 's VISA debit card
  • from Canada:   KOHO 's debit Mastercard
  • from the EU, Australia, or Singapore:   Revolut
  • wanting local banknotes:   ChangeGroup

In this short guide, we'll discuss what's the best currency to take to Vietnam, how you should pay when you're there, and what your cheapest options are to avoid paying hefty exchange rate charges.

Key Facts About Currency in Vietnam

Best currency to take to vietnam.

  • 01. Currency in Vietnam scroll down
  • 02. Best currency to take to Vietnam scroll down
  • 03. How to pay in Vietnam scroll down
  • 04. FAQ about currency in Vietnam scroll down

Overview of Currency in Vietnam

As we saw earlier, the currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese đồng .

As the official legal tender in Vietnam, it's the sole currency recognized by the Vietnamese government, and you can use it to settle all financial obligations in the country, from paying for your hotel stay, to the entrance fee at the Temple Of Literature, to a bite to eat in Ho Chi Minh City.

Because it's the local currency and because you won't have any trouble buying goods with it, the best country to have on hand and spend while visiting Vietnam is, unsurprisingly, the Vietnamese đồng.

However, if you're taking another currency along with you, the US dollar is a safe bet, as it's highly exchangeable at banks and currency exchange offices in Vietnam, even if it's neither official nor used ubiquitously across the country.

You can check out the prevalence of a few of the most popular tourist currencies in Vietnam below:

Although US dollars aren't offically accepted in Vietnam, you can often use them anyway. Airports, hotels, or shops and restaurants in major tourist areas always let you pay in dollars, but even non-touristy establishments sometimes quote prices in both đồng and dollars. If you're from the USA, we recommend using Chime 's debit card, which charges no foreign exchange fees, to make low-cost card payments while travelling in Vietnam. However, out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees and over-the-counter advance fees may apply.

You cannot use British pounds to pay while visiting Vietnam. However, you can withdraw đồng from a local Vietnamese ATM or exchange your pounds for US dollars or đồng at a local bank or currency exchange office. If you're from the UK, we recommend using Starling Bank 's debit card, which charges no foreign exchange fees, to make low-cost card payments while travelling in Vietnam.

You cannot use euros to pay while visiting Vietnam. However, you can withdraw đồng from a local Vietnamese ATM or exchange your euros for US dollars or đồng at a local bank or currency exchange office. If you're from the European Union or EEA, we recommend using Revolut 's debit card, which charges no foreign exchange fees, to make low-cost card payments while travelling in Vietnam.

Although Vietnamese đồng is the best currency to use and the US dollar can be helpful at times too, exchanging currencies in the form of cash almost invariably leads to poor exchange rates for tourists (we've seen as high as 20% commissions, although the average is between 5% and 15% of the amount exchanged).

For this reason, it's generally a better idea to use your credit or debit card to pay at local points of sale wherever possible or (if cash is urgently needed) to withdraw some money from a local ATM. This will let your card provider handle the conversion, which is usually, although not always, a better deal than bringing foreign currency into Vietnam and exchanging it there. However, as we'll see below, a conversion-friendly debit card is the best choice of all!

ChangeGroup

ChangeGroup  is a viable option If you need physical Vietnamese đồng in cash in hand before your flight abroad to Vietnam. When it comes to popular currency pairs like  GBP to EUR , ChangeGroup maintains a low FX markup of approximately 2.2%.

For less common currency pairs like GBP to Turkish lira, however, their rates may be comparable to those offered by traditional services, hovering around 15%. This is why we tend to recommend Revolut and Wise for less common currencies.

  • FX Margin : 2.2% - 28.7%, varies by currency pair
  • Home Delivery: For a fee
  • Cash Pick Up : Free
  • Guaranteed Buyback: For a fee
  • Availability: UK, USA, Australia, Germany, France, Austria, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Finland

How to Pay in Vietnam

When it comes to paying your way in Vietnam, you'll have the following three options broadly speaking:

Method 1: Cash

As we mentioned earlier, cash is an important medium of exchange in Vietnam. Pretty much all shops, restaurants, and commercial establishments around the country will accept Vietnamese đồng banknotes, and we recommend having some on hand when you travel. Foreign cash can be purchased before your trip from your bank in your home country, or during your trip at a local Vietnamese bank or currency exchange office or (most affordably) from an ATM.

Note that in Vietnam, currency exchange offices normally go by the name tiệm đổi tiền , so if you want to exchange your home currency for Vietnamese đồng, be on the lookout for signage with this name.

  • Cash prevalence in Vietnam: Very prevalent
  • Cost to exchange: 5% - 15% on average

Method 2: Credit Card

Although cash is king in Vietnam, credit and debit cards issued by major global providers like VISA and Mastercard are commonly accepted too. If your card is issued by American Express, Diner's Club, or another card company, there's a good chance they'll also be accepted in Vietnam, but we recommend checking with your bank or card provider directly to make sure that Vietnamese đồng currency conversion is indeed supported, and that card machines and ATMs in Vietnam commonly support cards of this type.

  • Card prevalence in Vietnam: Prevalent
  • Cost to exchange: 2% - 5% on average

Method 3: Travel Debit Card

Just like credit cards, prepaid debit cards (which are also normally issued by VISA or Mastercard) provide an excellent way to pay while visiting Vietnam, the main difference being that you normally pay lower fees and exchange rates . Depending on where you live, you'll probably have options from your bank or a third-party provider to use a commission-free debit card or a multi-currency card which can help you dodge high Vietnamese đồng conversion costs, including DCCs .

According to our analysis of dozens of providers, the top two options for travelling to Vietnam, in general, are the following:

Revolut is an excellent option for paying in Vietnam. Its mobile banking app and debit card offer competitive exchange rates to the Vietnamese đồng and low fees. What's more, you can easily manage everything through your money through Revolut's user-friendly app.

Go to Revolut ❯

  • Trust & Credibility 8.9
  • Service & Quality 7.9
  • Fees & Exchange Rates 8.3
  • Customer Satisfaction 9.4
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Card type: Mastercard debit
  • Card payment cost in Vietnamese đồng: 0.5% - 1.5%
  • Cash withdrawal fee: 0% - 2%
  • Vietnamese đồng balance: No
  • Vietnamese đồng bank details: No

Wise Account

The Wise Account is another great option for paying in Vietnamese đồng. It gives you the lowest possible currency exchange rates with complete transparency and no hidden fees. It also allows you to hold and manage over 50 currencies in one account and provides fast and secure cross-border money transfers at a fraction of the cost of traditional banks.

Go to Wise ❯

  • Trust & Credibility 9.3
  • Service & Quality 8.9
  • Fees & Exchange Rates 7.6
  • Customer Satisfaction 9.6
  • Card type: VISA debit
  • Vietnamese đồng balance: Yes

Wise and Revolut are excellent options that are available in many countries around the world. However, depending on where you live, you might have access to better deals still. We go over a few of them below:

United Kingdom

  • Starling Bank : Best full bank account with no fees (even abroad)
  • Revolut : Best spending and budgeting app.
  • Wise : Best for multiple foreign currency balances.

United States

  • Chime ®: Best all around; no fees for non-USD transactions.
  • Revolut : Best all-around spending app.
  • Wise : Best for foreign currency spending and holidays.
  • KOHO : Best all around; just 1.5% on foreign transactions
  • Wise : Best for foreign currency spending and holidays.

European Union

  • Revolut : Excellent for spending abroad.
  • N26 : Best full bank account with low fees (even abroad)
  • bunq : Best credit card (also a fully-licensed bank).

FAQ About Currency in Vietnam

The best currency to take to Vietnam is the local currency, the Vietnamese đồng. US dollars are also highly exchangeable at local banks and currency exchange offices. However, instead of converting physical banknotes, the cheapest way to pay in Vietnam is to use a multi-currency travel debit card like Revolut or Wise .

Generally, we don't recommend exchanging currency before travelling to Vietnam. Although having some Vietnamese đồng cash on hand can be helpful, we recommend drawing some from an ATM once you've arrived in Vietnam using a prepaid multi-currency card like Revolut to avoid the hidden currency exchange fees.

It depends on the country you're visiting and the expenses you will have. Credit cards are widely accepted in many countries, including Vietnam, and can offer benefits such as rewards points and fraud protection. However, some places may only accept cash, especially in more rural areas. It's a good idea to have both cash and credit cards on hand and to research the best way to access your money while travelling.

The best way to avoid currency exchange fees when travelling to Vietnam is to pay using a multi-currency travel debit card like Revolut or Wise . This way, you can make low-cost conversions to the Vietnamese đồng every time you tap your card or withdraw cash. Other excellent debit cards that don't charge conversion fees include Starling Bank in the UK and Chime in the US.

Take a Look at These Related Guides

travel to vietnam currency

Travelling to Another Country Too?

Take a look at the best currencies to take to other countries:

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Travel money guide: Vietnam

Everything you need to know about using cash and cards in vietnam.

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In this guide

Travel card, debit card or credit card?

These are your options for spending money in vietnam, compare travel credit cards, buying vietnamese dong in the us, a guide to the vietnamese dong banknotes, how much should i budget to travel in vietnam.

Travel money type

Compare more cards

Top picks of 2021

The official currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese dong (VND). Because the dong is tied to the US dollar, you can use your money at most hotels and big shops. To make things easier, prices are often quoted in US Dollars in tourist areas. But beware — you’ll pay twice as much if you pay with your US dollars, so exchange your money before you arrive in Vietnam.

Credit cards, debit cards and cash are all accepted, but cash is by far the most accepted form of payment. Outside of major tourist areas, cash should be your primary go-to during your trip.

Our picks for traveling to Vietnam

50+ currencies supported

Wise Multi-currency logo

  • 4.33% APY on USD balances
  • $0 signup or subscription fees
  • Withdraw $100 per month for free from ATMs worldwide
  • Send, spend and withdraw 50+ currencies at the live rate
  • Freeze and unfreeze your card instantly

For multi-currency accounts

Revolut logo

  • $0 to $16.99 per month
  • Spend in 140+ currencies
  • Premium and Metal plan:
  • Up to $600 in baggage expense coverage
  • Up to $5,000 in trip cancellation protection

Join to save up to 10% on hotels

SoFi Checking and Savings logo

  • 0.50% APY on checking balance
  • Up to 4.60% APY on savings
  • $0 account or overdraft fees
  • Get a $300 bonus with direct deposits of $5,000 or more

Credit cards can be used for big ticket purchases in Vietnam. For example, in Hanoi mid- to high-end hotels, restaurants and retailers will take Visa and Mastercard — you’ll struggle to find merchants who take American Express credit cards and prepaid travel cards. Everywhere else you’ll need to pay with cash.

If you bring your debit card, you can expect to pay between $1 and $2, on top on any fees your bank charges. Find a debit card that allows you to withdraw from any ATM without charging a fee. You should never use ATMs to withdraw money from your credit cards — they immediately charge high fees and interest on your withdrawal.

Vietnam is a popular destination for experiencing the rich culture and natural beauty for rock-bottom prices. Plan to bring a number of payment options on your Vietnamese vacation for peace of mind.

Credit cards are good for bigger purchases, and you can earn travel rewards, but cash is what you’ll need the most. Only carry the cash you need, keeping the rest on your debit or prepaid cash card.

Trying to decide how to pay for your vacation to Vietnam? Compare these travel money options and see what works best for you.

stack of credit cards

Using a credit card

Travel credit cards give you the most purchasing power on expensive items like hotels and flights when traveling in Vietnam. However, you’ll find credit cards less useful outside of major hubs or tourist areas.

Find yourself a credit card that waives foreign transaction fees to cut back on extra expenses, such as the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card . Carrying a credit card gives you the added benefit of travel insurance and discounts, depending on your provider (Terms apply, see rates & fees ).

Some travel cards that offer travel perks and waive fees may charge an annual fee, so make sure the fee is worth it before you bring it along on your travels. If you’re ever in a jam, credit cards also offer cash advances, though we don’t recommend it. You’ll pay high fees and interest rates apply the moment you get your money.

  • Tip: It’s worth researching credit cards that offer travel benefits and rewards for things you’ll buy anyways like flights and hotel stays.
  • Use for big ticket purchases
  • Protected by PIN and chip
  • Accepted worldwide
  • May come with benefits like travel insurance
  • Interest-free days when you pay your account in full
  • Emergency card replacement
  • Fees and interest for cash withdrawal

Explore top debit cards with no foreign transaction fees and travel credit cards by using the tabs to narrow down your options. Select Compare for up to four products to see their benefits side by side.

  • Credit cards

Debit card being swiped in a POS station

Using a debit card

A travel debit card could be a good travel money choice to take to Vietnam. You’ll have access to cash each time you come across an ATM, without carrying lots of cash on you all at once. Because you’re spending your own money, you avoid interest charges.

A debit card that reimburses or waives international ATM fees, like one from Betterment Checking , is an ideal debit card to have on hand to cut down on extra costs.

  • Tip: A debit card can be used to shop over the counter, online and for ATM withdrawals in Vietnam.
  • Use at stores and hotels, online and ATMs
  • Spending your own money means avoiding interest charges
  • International ATM and currency conversion fees
  • No access to cash advances

person at laptop with credit card and phone

Using a prepaid travel card

Travel cards can lock in conversion rates once you load USD. Use it for purchases without worrying about rates each time you spend — debit and credit cards often charge 3% for each transaction.

Where you save in the conversion rates you may pay in fees. You’ll pay fees each time you load the card, ATM withdrawals and sometimes even an inactivity fee.

  • Tip: Banks that provide travel cards make money by applying a higher margin to the exchange rate. Get a better rate using a debit card or credit card.
  • Lock in exchange rate when you convert USD to VND
  • Emergency card replacement and backup cards.
  • Reloadable online
  • Come with lots of fees for loading and reloading, inactivity and ATM withdrawals.
  • Businesses won’t accept prepaid cards

Vietnamese notes

Paying with cash in Vietnam

In Vietnam cash is king , so be sure you have access to plenty of it. Make sure you don’t get any damaged or ripped banknotes — merchants in Vietnam won’t accept them. Dongs are delicate, so carefully place money in your wallet rather than in the bottom of your bag or pockets.

  • Tip: Exchange your money at banks or other licensed exchange stores — Vietcombank doesn’t charge a commission. There’s a black market for exchanging money in Vietnam that charges a lower exchange rate and — most importantly, it’s illegal.
  • Payment flexibility
  • Convenience
  • More difficult to manage expenses
  • High risk of theft

While you’ll get a better rate if you wait to get Vietnamese dong in Vietnam, you can purchase dong in the US from your bank or a foreign exchange provider like Travelex. If you’re flying into Vietnam directly, and you want to get a visa on arrival (VOA), be ready with cash to pay the fee when you pass through customs. Here are some popular ways to exchange your US currency into dong.

  • Wise (TransferWise)

Refreshing in: 60s | Sat, Feb 24, 05:14AM GMT

The Vietnamese dong is the major currency used in Vietnam. The dong comes in denominations of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000 and 200,000, each a different color. Be sure to pay the right amount when you make your purchases, and always count your change. Familiarize yourself with what the currency looks like and how it works will avoid confusion when handling your money.

The main banks in Vietnam are:

  • Vietcombank
  • Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV)
  • Military Bank
  • Techcombank
  • Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB)
  • Maritime Bank

Using an ATM

Mastercard and Visa cards can be used to make cash withdrawals from a majority of ATMs in Vietnam. The maximum withdrawal limit varies depending on the machine.

Machines from American banks often have a higher daily withdrawal limit compared to Vietnamese banks. But Vietnamese banks often charge a lower withdrawal fee. You can sidestep some fees, such as international ATM fees, by using a debit card from a bank that reimburses such fees, such as Betterment Checking .

  • Tip: Keep yourself and your money safe when using an ATM. Block your PIN from cameras and onlookers. And be sure to use ATMs in busy areas or inside a business.

ATMs in Vietnam

Your money will go along way in Vietnam. Accommodation, food and tourist activities cost a fraction of the price of what they cost in the US. If you want a travel on a backpacker’s budget, $40 or less a day will do.

For a more comfortable trip, you can budget $60 to $100 per day. If you have expensive taste, it’s easy to find a five star experience with prices to match at a budget of $200 a day. All prices are in US dollars.

Case study: Dean’s trip to Vietnam

We interviewed Dean, a finder.com user who traveled to Vietnam, and asked him about his experience using travel money. He spent two months in Southeast Asia, including a month adventure in Vietnam. He flew from Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh, finished his trip in Hanoi and took a bus to Laos. He was there for the Tet Festival in December — which Dean said is a must-have.

Do you have any other travel money tips?

Dean says make sure you do the following:

  • Tell your credit card and debit card provider about your travel plans in Southeast Asia.
  • You’ll be carrying cash on you so use caution and make sure it’s out of reach from thieves and pickpockets.

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Kyle Morgan

Kyle Morgan is SEO manager at Forbes Advisor and a former editor and content strategist at Finder. He has written for the USA Today network and Relix magazine, among other publications. He holds a BA in journalism and media from Rutgers University.

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Money Suggestions for Travelers in Vietnam

How to Change, Spend, and Save Money

travel to vietnam currency

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 and cotton notes with multiple zeroes: VND 10,000 is the smallest polymer bill you'll find on the street these days, however, there are still cotton 1000, 2000, and 5,000 bills in circulation. The highest banknote that you'll find is the VND 500,000 bill.

At the present exchange rate (between 20,000-21,000 VND per US dollar), changing a fifty-buck note gets you 1.172 million dong. Ka- ching .

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.

  • Currency Converter: USD to VND - XE.com

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 Hanoi's Old Quarter , 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 Hanoi 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 or those near some of Vietnam's top beaches ) 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).

Finding and Using ATMs

You're certain to find an ATM to withdraw from in any of Vietnam's major cities, but smaller towns have also begun to bring their A-game. That's not guaranteed, though, so it still makes more sense to withdraw in the cities before making your way out to the boondocks of, say, Mai Chau .

Are ATMs better than changing dollars at the airport? It really depends who you ask.

If you're spending more than a few days in Vietnam , changing all your money to Vietnam dong increases the risk of theft: one robbery and you'll be broke till the end of your trip.

Some will say that the peace of mind that comes with just withdrawing every couple of days from an ATM is worth the withdrawal fees charged.

Fees and charges vary: ATMs near backpacker districts like Pham Ngu Lao in Saigon reportedly charge an extortionate rate of three percent on top of your usual bank charges. More reasonable fees may hover down to about 1-1.5 percent per transaction.

Banks allow a maximum withdrawal of between VND two million to VND ten million, dispensing 50k- and 100k-dong notes. As millions of dong can add up to a thick wad of cash, be careful when withdrawing large amounts from an ATM.

Using Credit Cards

Cash rules in Vietnam, though credit cards are accepted in many restaurants, hotels, and shops in Vietnam's big cities. Visa, Master Card, JBC and American Express are the most common credit cards honored in Vietnam.

You can use ATMs to get cash advances on your credit cards; in a pinch, you can visit Vietcombank to get an advance over the counter.

For credit card transactions, you may be charged an addition 3-4 percent per transaction.

Can US Dollars Be Used?

Not very often. Shops that used to accept payment in dollars are now obliged to ask for payment in the local currency only. You're better off exchanging your money at banks or other authorized currency exchange centers .

Besides, paying in Vietnamese dong gets you better value than paying in dollars. Better to spend day-to-day using VND, while keeping a stash of dollars around for emergency purposes only.

Do You Need to Tip in Vietnam?

Not really. Major hotels and restaurants in Vietnam add a 5% service charge to bills, so you can choose not to tip at these places. Elsewhere, small tips are always a good thing. Waiters, hired drivers, and guides should be tipped.

Follow the guidelines below for calculating tips:

  • Restaurants and bars: Many restaurants don't require tipping, as a 10% service charge is already tacked onto your bill.
  • Porters: A tip with American coins will be greatly appreciated.
  • Hotel Services: Government-run hotels will add a 10% service charge on your bill.
  • Taxi: Tips aren't necessary, but a small gratuity will be greatly appreciated.

When to Haggle

There’s one golden rule to shopping in Vietnam: bargain, and bargain hard .

“Fixed prices” at most tourist shops aren’t really fixed at all; the listed prices are about 300% higher than the last price you can pay if you dicker long enough. Bargaining is an exacting discipline, and quite exasperating for the novice traveler who’s not used to the grueling back and forth.

And Vietnamese sellers aren't exactly the most cheerful bargainers. In areas with high tourist traffic, sellers sometimes refuse any attempts at bargaining down, knowing that there will always be another tourist willing to pay the prices they quote.

So, in Ho Chi Minh City, sellers at Ben Thanh Market (high tourist traffic) will gouge you hard, while their counterparts at Russian Market (low to middling tourist traffic) will give you some leeway.

It all boils down to: you're a tourist, pay tourist prices. The only effective way of avoiding the “foreigner tax” is to get a Vietnamese friend to haggle on your behalf.

How Much to Budget Per Day

Your $100 can go a long way in Vietnam . Budget travelers can expect to spend up to $25 a day on food and lodging. Middle-budget spenders can enjoy good restaurant food, hire cabs, and stay comfortably in good hotels for about $35-65 a day.

To keep costs down, eat street food for every meal; it's not just good money sense, it's an experience you shouldn't miss when in Vietnam. Street food in Hanoi is exquisite , worthy of Presidents and international TV hosts , at a surprisingly low cost.

Domestic air travel has become significantly cheaper, with the advent of VietJetAir ( Vietnam's only budget airline ) competing with full-service airlines like Vietnam Airlines and the “Reunification Express” train service .

More Vietnam Money Tips

Don't mistake one bill for another. As if the multiple zeroes aren't confusing enough, some VND denominations can look very similar to the untrained eye. Many tourists have overpaid with VND 100,000 bills, mistaking them for the similarly greenish VND 10,000.

Warning: polymer notes stick. The 2003-issue Vietnam dong are made of long-lasting polymer, not paper: and these plastic notes can stick together, presenting another risk you'll overpay for your goods. Flick or peel your notes carefully when paying for a purchase.

Avoid paying in high-denomination bills. Very few vendors will willingly change your VND 500,000, so make sure you're carrying smaller bills when going shopping.

Don’t change your currencies on the black market . The legal exchange rate beats black market rates any time; claims of better rates are probably just the lead-up to a scam.

Pay the proper respect, literally. When visiting a pagoda , leave a small donation just before you leave.

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Travel Advisory July 24, 2023

Vietnam - level 1: exercise normal precautions.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.                    Exercise normal precautions in Vietnam.

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Vietnam.

 If you decide to travel to Vietnam:

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.   
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .   
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for Vietnam.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .    

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Quick Facts

Must have six months’ validity remaining.

One visa page required for entry stamp.

Not required.

None. However, Vietnamese Dong in excess of VND 15,000,000 or foreign currency in excess of 5,000 U.S. dollars or equivalent must be declared.

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Hanoi - Consular Annex 170 Ngoc Khanh Ba Dinh District Hanoi, Vietnam Telephone:   From outside Vietnam: +84-24-3850-5000 From the U.S.: 011-84-24-3850-5000 From landline within Hanoi: 3850-5000 From mobile or landline within Vietnam: 024-3850-5000

Emergency:   From outside Vietnam: +84-24-3850-5000 or +84-24-3850-5105 From the U.S.: 011-84-24-3850-5000 From landline within Hanoi: 3850-5000 or 3850-5105 From mobile or landline within Vietnam: 024-3850-5000 or 024-3850-5105 Fax: (+84-24) 3850-5010 Email:   [email protected] Facebook

U.S. Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City 4 Le Duan, District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Telephone: From outside Vietnam: +84-28-3520-4200 From the U.S.: 011-84-28-3520-4200 From landline within Ho Chi Minh City: 3520-4200 From mobile or landline within Vietnam: 028-3520-4200

Emergency: From outside Vietnam: +84-28-3520-4200 From the U.S.: 011-84-28-3520-4200 From landline within Ho Chi Minh City: 3520-4200 From mobile or landline within Vietnam: 028-3520-4200 Fax: (+84-8) 3520-4244 Email: Contact Us Here

EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS WITHIN VIETNAM

Police: 113 Fire brigade: 114 Ambulance: 115

Destination Description

Learn about the U.S. relationship to countries around the world.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Entry Requirements:  You must have a valid passport and a visa (or pre-approval for a visa on arrival) to enter Vietnam. Your passport must be valid for six months beyond your planned stay, and you must have at least one blank visa page (not including the endorsement page). Visit  Mission Vietnam’s website  for the most current information. If you arrive in Vietnam without an appropriate visa (which could be an e-visa) or pre-approval for a visa on arrival, you will be denied entry . The U.S. Mission to Vietnam cannot assist U.S. citizens who arrive in Vietnam without required visas. U.S.-Vietnam dual nationals should consult the Department of State’s information page for Travelers with Dual Nationality and the Embassy of Vietnam for travel requirements. You must enter and exit Vietnam on the same passport. If using a Vietnamese passport to enter and exit the country, your passport must have at least six months’ validity from your return date to the United States.

Visas:   The Government of Vietnam requires a “visa sponsor” for all visa categories, except for E-visa. A visa sponsor is a local business or travel agent to apply for a pre-approval letter with a Vietnamese Immigration Office in Vietnam on behalf of the traveler. Only on receipt of the pre-approval letter can a foreigner apply for an appropriate visa at a Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate abroad, or for a visa on arrival. For more information about this process, please visit the website of the Vietnamese Embassy here . When you apply for a visa to enter Vietnam, be sure to request the visa category that corresponds to your purpose of travel. Please refer to  Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website  for information detailing visa categories. If you plan to work in Vietnam, you must obtain a work permit  before  applying for your visa. If you change the purpose of your visit after you have received your visa, you must obtain a new visa outside of Vietnam appropriate for your new activities before beginning those activities. Under local immigration law, employment-based visas are based on a petition from a specific employer, and workers may be unable to switch jobs without securing a new visa. In addition, employers may prevent the departure of contracted employees from Vietnam if they violate contract terms. Before accepting employment in Vietnam, make sure you understand the conditions of contracts and employment-based visas.

Note that travelers with a U.S. APEC Business Travel Card will still need a valid visa to enter Vietnam.  The United States is a transitional member of APEC and does not reciprocate with other economies regarding full pre-clearance benefits to applicants.  As such, no countries are listed on the back of U.S. APEC Business Travel Cards and card holders are required to present any travel or identity documentation, such as a passport and visa (where applicable), required by Vietnam. If a  U.S. APEC Business Travel Card  holder does not conform to Vietnam’s entry requirements, the card holder may be refused entry.

Please consult  Mission Vietnam’s website  for more information.

Please note that Vietnam requires a valid visa, residence card, or approval from the Immigration Department to leave the country. Immigration officials will apply a fee to replace lost/stolen visas or will assess a fine for any visa overstays. The Government of Vietnam has recently increased the penalties for visa overstays, and fines can be substantial. In addition, the processing of exit visas for cases involving visa overstays can take one to two weeks, and longer for more complex cases.

If your U.S. passport is lost or stolen in Vietnam, you will need both a replacement passport and a replacement Vietnamese visa to legally remain in or depart Vietnam. The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and the Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City can usually issue you a limited validity replacement passport in as little as one business day for emergency purposes; however, the Vietnamese government requires three to five working days to issue a replacement visa. For lost and stolen passports, immigration officials will also request a police report. You must file a report of a lost or stolen passport with the police in the location where the loss or theft of your passport occurred, or authorities may refuse to accept the report. The U.S. Embassy and the Consulate General cannot expedite the replacement of your Vietnamese visa.

If you plan to travel from Vietnam to Laos by land, you should request that an adhesive visa be affixed to your passport instead of a detachable one. Lao immigration officials require proof that travelers have departed Vietnam, something that can only be shown with an adhesive visa. Vietnamese officials remove detachable visas from passports when travelers depart Vietnam, leaving travelers with no proof of their Vietnam departure. This situation can result in Lao officials requiring travelers to return to Vietnam.  

Pre-approval for Visa on Arrival:   The Government of Vietnam has authorized some businesses and travel agencies to arrange for pre-approval for a “visa on arrival” at the airport. On a receipt of a pre-approval letter, travelers may then travel to Vietnam and apply for a visa upon landing to Vietnam. Please be advised that you should not travel to Vietnam without having been issued a pre-approval letter as it may result in a denial of entry by immigration authorities. To avoid having to rearrange your travel date, please do not make travel arrangement before you receive your pre-approval letter.

E-visa:  U.S. citizens can apply online for an E-visa on the  Vietnam Immigration website . The E-visa is valid for a maximum of 90 days, single or multiple entry, and does not allow for renewal or extension from within the country.   The E-visa is valid for a maximum of 90 days, single or multiple entry, and does not allow for renewal or extension from within the country. An E-visa is usually processed within three to five working days after the Vietnam Immigration Department receives the completed application and E-visa fee. E-visa holders must present the printed E-visa and valid passport at the port of entry. Prior to your travel with an E-visa to Vietnam, we recommend travelers to carefully check their E-visa to make sure all information is correct, and that you will enter/exit Vietnam through a port of entry that you had selected at the time of application. An error on E-visa, including minor differences between the information on the application and the biographical information on the passport, may result in a denial of entry by immigration authorities. The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General are unable to change the information on your E-visa or help expedite the process as Vietnamese E-visa is under the sole jurisdiction of the Vietnamese government. 

Certificate of Visa Exemption:  Vietnamese nationals residing abroad indefinitely, their spouses, and their children may apply for a Certificate of Visa Exemption. The certificate has a maximum validity of five years, during which time the holder can enter Vietnam and stay for up to six months without applying for a visa. More information can be found on the  Vietnam Embassy website .

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Vietnam. 

Immunization information for travelers can be found on the  Centers for Disease and Control’s website .

Information about  dual nationality  or the  prevention of international child abduction  can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our  Customs Information page . 

Safety and Security

The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens overseas always maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness while traveling internationally. Please visit  www.travel.state.gov  for up-to-date information. 

Messages regarding weather-related events are posted  here  and on the Embassy/Consulate General  website . 

While in Vietnam you are subject to Vietnamese laws. U.S. citizenship will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be arrested, expelled, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Vietnamese authorities routinely do not provide timely notification of the arrest of a U.S. citizen to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General or approval for consular officials to visit U.S. citizens. The delays for both – particularly for access – can take several weeks. Note that if you enter Vietnam with a non-U.S. passport, the Government of Vietnam has different notification and access responsibilities for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General. See our  webpage  for further information. 

Small-scale, peaceful protests occasionally occur in Vietnam’s major cities, but large-scale demonstrations are rare. As in any country, you should avoid large protests, as they can become violent with little or no warning. 

The Government of Vietnam may not allow or authorize travel to certain areas of the country that are deemed sensitive. Check with local authorities before visiting border areas to see if you need to obtain a travel permit issued by local authorities. U.S. citizens have been detained after traveling in areas close to the Vietnamese borders with the People’s Republic of China, Cambodia, and Laos. These areas are not always marked, and there are no warnings about prohibited travel.

Safety standards in Vietnam are not at the same level as those in the United States and vary greatly from company to company and province to province. This is especially true for fire safety codes. Travelers should be aware that many buildings, including hotels, shops, and restaurants, have limited or no fire safety equipment or emergency exits. Ground and water transportation also lack safety regulations. 

Travelers to Vietnam should have no expectation of privacy and should safeguard all personal documents and electronic devices. Exercise caution when discussing sensitive or proprietary information.

Crime:  Crime in Vietnam is rated high. Exercise vigilance and the same commonsense security precautions you would in any major metropolitan city in the United States.  

Violent crime against foreigners is rare; however, petty crimes, such as theft, bag grabs, and pickpocketing occur regularly, especially in crowded areas and tourist locations. Typically, there is a rise in petty crime during the Christmas and Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday seasons, including during the day and in well-lit areas. Motorcyclists are known to snatch bags, cameras, cell phones, and other valuables from individuals riding or walking on the street.   If you are targeted by thieves, do not resist, and report the incident immediately to local police and to the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi or the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. Keep a tight hold on bags as you enter and exit vehicles and as you walk around. Hold tightly to cell phones when using them outside and lock and stow phones until you actually need to use them.

Some U.S. citizens have reported threats of death or physical injury connected to business-related disputes. You should report such threats to local authorities and if you feel unsafe, you should depart the country. 

Keep your passport and other important valuables in your hotel in a safe or another secured location at all times and carry both photo and digital copies of your passport. You should immediately report the loss or theft of your U.S. passport to the local police and the U.S. Embassy or the U.S. Consulate General. See section on “Visas” for information on what to do if your passport/visa are lost or stolen.

Sexual Assault:  Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Sexual assault, harassment and rape do occur. To minimize the risk avoid travelling alone, especially at night; remain particularly vigilant in less populous areas; and be careful when dealing with strangers or recent acquaintances. Local authorities may not always respond adequately to reports of sexual violence and harassment. If you are the victim of a sexual assault, you should report it immediately to local authorities and to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General. Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum, or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

Male violence against women and sexual harassment is often ignored by the police. In areas foreigners frequent, women have reported harassment and assault such as men exposing themselves, asking for sexual favors, and groping.

Drugs:  Recreational drugs available in Vietnam can be extremely dangerous and can result in death. Drugs sold in Vietnam may be fake, synthetic, or laced with toxic ingredients undetectable to the buyer. This includes nitrous oxide balloons widely available in nightlife establishments. You should also avoid purchasing liquor or cigarettes from street vendors or strangers, as the authenticity of the contents cannot be assured. 

Victims of Crime:   U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General for assistance. Vietnam’s local equivalent of an emergency line is 113. Local police will issue a report of a crime, but generally will only initiate investigations for crimes they determine serious, which do not always equate with U.S. standards. Investigations can take several months or even years to complete.

In the event you are a victim of a crime, local police will issue a crime report in Vietnamese, but generally will only initiate investigations for crimes they determine serious. While the overall situation is improving, some police have asked for bribes, ostensibly to support local police efforts or to facilitate investigation of a crime. If you are involved in a situation where a police officer is soliciting money, contact American Citizen Services at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General.

See our webpage on  help for U.S. victims of crime overseas .

We can: 

  • Help you find appropriate medical care. 
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police. 
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent. 
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion. 
  • Provide a list of local attorneys.
  • Provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States. 
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited support in cases of destitution.
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home.
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport.

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy or Consulate General for assistance .  Note that local authorities take a different attitude towards domestic violence cases and are hesitant to get involved in cases involving foreigners. Vietnam has very limited infrastructure to support victims of domestic violence.

Tourism:   The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more  information on insurance providers for overseas coverage .

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:   You are subject to Vietnamese laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Vietnam are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines, or even the death penalty. Police periodically raid nightlife establishments suspected of engaging in the drug trade and during these raids will subject all patrons present to drug testing at the police station. A positive result, regardless of whether drugs were consumed in Vietnam or before entry, may result in criminal charges.

In Vietnam, you may be taken in for questioning if you do not have proper ID, such as a passport or a copy of your visa. Driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in a fatal accident could lead to immediate imprisonment. If you break local laws in Vietnam, your U.S. passport  will not  help you avoid arrest or prosecution. Note that the Vietnamese legal system allows for lengthy criminal investigation periods that can lead to prolonged pre-trial detention; some investigations can last years without any explanation.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. You can be  prosecuted in the United States  for engaging in sexual conduct with children or for using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country regardless of the legality of these activities under the host country’s laws.

Arrest Notification in Vietnam:    If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General immediately. There are often delays in notification by the Vietnamese authorities to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General and officials have been known to delay consular access to prisoners for several weeks. 

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or forfeit them upon return to the United States. See the  U.S. Department of Justice website  for more information.  

Gambling:  Gambling is highly regulated by the government and persons or businesses running games or gambling halls are required to be licensed. The Government of Vietnam pursues cases of running or playing in unlicensed games aggressively. There are currently U.S. citizens serving jail sentences of three to five years because of illegal gambling.

Dual Nationality:  Dual nationality is accepted by the Vietnamese government in some, but not all, circumstances. However, dual nationals should be aware that Vietnam recognizes their Vietnamese citizenship as primary before others. In such cases, the U.S. Embassy and Consulate General may be limited in the consular services we are able to provide. U.S. citizens who also hold Vietnamese citizenship and are currently residing in Vietnam may wish to contact local authorities and/or seek competent legal advice on how local laws may affect their status. For detailed information on Vietnamese nationality law and other legal issues visit the  Embassy of Vietnam website . 

Work Authorization:  The Government of Vietnam maintains strict laws with respect to foreign workers. U.S. citizens planning to work in Vietnam should make sure that they are in full compliance with Vietnamese regulations. Penalties can be severe and include deportation, fines, or detention. Vietnam immigration law allows for companies sponsoring foreign employees to exercise control over their employees’ visas, including prohibiting their exit from the country if they have any outstanding debts.

Teaching English:  We advise those considering accepting an English teaching job in Vietnam to carefully review the terms of the contract regarding working and living conditions and to ask for multiple references from persons familiar with the institution, especially former U.S. citizen employees, before committing to contracts. Some U.S. citizens have reported their employers have reneged on contract terms, including offering significantly lower salaries than agreed or seizing their passports, and employers have caused complications with the exit visa process for employees who quit, complicating the exit visas required to depart the country. 

Hotels:  Hotels in Vietnam require you to present your passport (and visas, if issued separately) upon check-in so that your stay can be registered with local police. Every guest in a hotel room or private residence must be registered, regardless of nationality. If you stay at a private residence (i.e., at the residence of family or friends), you must comply with registration requirements by visiting the local police station and registering your stay within 24 hours. Some provinces allow registration online.

Exports:  Vietnamese law prohibits the export of antiques. However, these laws are vague and unevenly enforced. Customs authorities may inspect and seize your antiques without compensating you, and the determination of what is an “antique” can be arbitrary. If you purchase non-antique items of value, you should retain receipts and confirmation from shop owners and/or the Ministry of Culture and the Customs Department to prevent seizure when you leave the country.  

Imports:  Vietnamese authorities have seized documents, audio and video tapes, compact discs, literature, and personal letters they deem to be pornographic or political in nature or intended for religious or political proselytizing. It is illegal to import weapons, ammunition, explosives, military equipment and tools (including uniforms), narcotics, drugs, toxic chemicals, pornographic and subversive materials, firecrackers, or children's toys that have "negative effects on personality development, social order, and security."    For up-to-date information on Vietnam Customs information, please visit the  Vietnam Customs website .

Freedom of Expression:   The Government of Vietnam maintains strict control over all forms of political speech, particularly dissent or speech it deems as critical of the government and/or party. U.S. citizens have been detained, tried, and convicted for political activities (including criticizing the government or its domestic/foreign policies or advocating alternatives to Communist Party rule), possession of political material, and non-sanctioned religious activities (including proselytizing). Authorities have also detained U.S. citizens for posting messages on blogs or online chatrooms that are perceived to be political or critical of the government. U.S. citizens of Vietnamese descent should be especially careful with their online postings. Review the latest version of the  Vietnam Human Rights Report  for the latest information on Freedom of Expression in Vietnam.

Association with Groups:   Persons whom the Government of Vietnam perceives to be associated with dissident or political groups may be denied entry to Vietnam, prevented from departing, detained, interrogated, placed under surveillance, or even tried and convicted. Note that if arrested, you could be subject to lengthy detention without access to an attorney or family members. U.S. citizens of Vietnamese descent should be especially careful about associating with dissident groups. U.S. citizen travelers have been summoned by immigration or local security officials for reasons that are unclear or not explicitly related to any suspected or alleged violation of law. We recommend that U.S. citizens finding themselves in this situation contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General immediately for further information and/or assistance.

Photography: Taking photographs of anything that could be perceived as being of military Taking photographs of anything that could be perceived as being of military or security interest may result in questioning by authorities, fines, or delayed travel. You should be cautious when traveling near military bases and avoid photography in these areas.     Disputes: The Vietnamese government has occasionally seized the passports and blocked the departure of foreigners involved in commercial disputes. U.S. citizens whose passports have been seized by Vietnamese authorities should contact the Embassy or Consulate General for assistance . 

Civil Procedures:  Civil procedures in Vietnam, such as marriage, divorce, documenting the birth of a child, and issuance of death certificates, are highly bureaucratic and can be slow. Local authorities may refuse a request to include a non-Vietnamese name on a birth certificate. In addition, for those wishing to get married in Vietnam, you will need a notarized affidavit of single status. Please contact the  Vietnamese Embassy in Washington, D.C. , or the  Vietnamese Consulate General in San Francisco  or  Houston  concerning documentary requirements for these services. Enforcement of civil orders is frequently difficult or non-existent. 

Women Travelers:   See our travel tips for  Women Travelers . 

LGBTQI+ Rights:  There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or in attending LGBTIQ+ events in Vietnam. See   our  LGBTQI+ Travel Information  page and section 6 of our  Human Rights report   for further details.

Accessibility: Most public places and public transportation are  not  accessible to persons with disabilities. Sidewalks, curb ramps, restrooms, road crossings, and tourist areas are not equipped to assist such individuals. New, modern buildings and facilities in larger urban cities are regularly built with ramps and accessible entryways. 

Students: See our  Students Abroad  page and  FBI travel tips .

Medical facilities in Vietnam, including emergency response services, frequently do not meet international standards and may lack medicine and supplies. We strongly recommend travelers purchase medical evacuation insurance before visiting Vietnam.

  • Medical personnel generally speak little or no English. Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health services. You may obtain lists of local English-speaking physicians from the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi or the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City from our  website . 
  • International health clinics in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City can treat minor illnesses and injuries, but more serious problems often require medical evacuation to other cities in the region. 
  • Although you can purchase many prescription and non-prescription medications at pharmacies, some common U.S. medications may not be available. You should bring adequate supplies of medications for the duration of your stay in Vietnam and ensure with the Ministry of Health that the medicine you need is allowed to enter Vietnam. You should carry a copy of your prescription if carrying medicine in a travel case or container.
  • We strongly recommend travelers purchase medical evacuation insurance before visiting Vietnam. 
  • Travelers to Vietnam are at risk of the following diseases: Tuberculosis, Dengue Fever, Zika, Avian Influenza (H5N1), and HIV. You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the  CDC website .  

We do not pay medical bills. The U.S. government cannot pay medical bills and does not provide medical assistance. Also, be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept upfront payments. See our webpage for more  information on insurance providers for overseas coverage . Visit the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas. If covered by TriCare, check the TriCare website ( https://www.tricare.mil/ ) for additional information about overseas coverage. 

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation as it can cost many thousands of dollars. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. 

It is extremely important  that travelers have sufficient funds and/or insurance to cover any potential medical costs.  Frequently hospitals will hold onto a patient’s passport as collateral for payment, and patients may have difficulty getting their passport back without paying their medical bills in full.  Patients who do not pay their medical bills in full also run the risk of being barred from departing the country.  

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all  vaccinations  recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Air quality: Air pollution is a significant problem in Vietnam’s major cities, and you should consult your doctor prior to travel and consider the impact that seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution may have on you. To obtain information on the air quality in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, please follow the link to the Environmental Protection Agency’s  AirNow website . Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City’s Air Quality Index (AQI) can be observed either by clicking on the Vietnam location on the map, or by selecting Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City in the “Select a City” option on the upper right part of the page. The page provides AQI over the last 24-hour period as well as pollutant concentration and a downloadable historical document. 

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Traffic in Vietnam is dangerous, chaotic, and undisciplined. Road conditions are poor; traffic accidents are the leading cause of death, severe injury, and emergency evacuation of foreigners in Vietnam. Long-distance buses and trains do not meet U.S. safety standards. Buses and trucks are often overloaded and travel at high speeds with little regard to other modes of road transportation.  

Traffic Laws:  Driving in Vietnam is not comparable to driving in other countries. Vietnamese drivers routinely ignore traffic laws, causing traffic fatalities on a daily basis. We strongly discourage you from operating a motorcycle or scooter in Vietnam. Vietnamese drivers and pedestrians may not behave in a manner to which Americans are accustomed. If you do choose to operate a motorcycle or scooter in Vietnam, wear a helmet and  always  yield to larger vehicles. Motor bike fatalities are a leading cause of death or serious injury among foreign nationals visiting or living in Vietnam, with several fatalities having occurred on major roads and rural routes within the past year. If you are the victim of a serious motor bike accident in Vietnam, the prognosis for full recovery and survival is low due to Vietnam’s poor medical infrastructure. A motorbike license is required to operate a motorcycle or scooter in Vietnam. Motor scooter drivers without a license can be held criminally liable for injuries to or death of a victim in an accident, and you may be held in custody for an extended period of time without the ability to speak to family or a lawyer during the investigation. 

Pedestrians should always look carefully  in both directions  before crossing streets, even when using a marked crosswalk with a green “walk” light illuminated or when crossing what is believed to be a one-way street. When walking on sidewalks, be mindful of scooters that may be behind you. Vietnamese commonly drive their scooters against traffic and on sidewalks. 

Because the United States is not a party to the Convention on Road Traffic, international driving permits and U.S. drivers’ licenses are  not valid  in Vietnam. Foreigners renting vehicles risk fines, prosecution, and/or imprisonment for driving without a Vietnamese license endorsed for the appropriate vehicle. If you wish to drive in Vietnam, contact the Provincial Public Transportation Service of the Vietnamese Department of Communications and Transport to obtain a Vietnamese driver’s license. Note that you may be required to take a medical examination as part of the driver license application process. 

For more information, please refer to Vietnam’s national tourism office website.

Public Transportation:

Bus System:  While Vietnam does have an extensive bus system, buses can be overcrowded and are often driven with little or no regard for passenger safety. 

For-hire vehicles:   Major taxi companies tend to be reliable. Occasionally boutique taxi companies have rigged meters, particularly on routes to and from the international airports. Exercise caution in choosing ground transportation upon arrival at the airport in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Some travelers have reported being robbed by drivers who greeted them upon arrival with a placard showing the traveler's name. If you are expecting to be picked up, ask the company for the driver’s name, phone number, and license plate number before you travel. Areas outside of large cities typically have only rudimentary public transportation and often do not have metered taxis. Travelers are advised to use caution in these situations. 

We strongly discourage the use of motorcycle taxis (known as “xe om”). Motorcycle taxis are unregulated and unsafe, and the helmets provided to riders offer little to no protection against injury in the case of an accident. 

Smartphone-based for-hire vehicle services:  GrabTaxi and local taxi companies are readily available, accessible via Smartphone apps, and routinely utilized by foreigners and locals. 

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Vietnam’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the  FAA’s safety assessment page .

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Vietnam should also check for  U.S. maritime advisories and alerts . Information may also be posted to the  U.S. Coast Guard homeport website , and the  National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) broadcast warnings website  portal.

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  • See the  State Department’s travel website  for the  Worldwide Caution  and  Travel Advisories .
  • Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Vietnam . For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act ( ICAPRA ) report.

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Backpack Moments

Money in Vietnam: A Tourist Guide to ATMs, Cards and Exchange

This is for all travelers to Vietnam who want to know how to handle money and payments in the country of the Dong.

I will tell you all about withdrawing from an ATM, exchanging currency, and paying by card.

Do you want to know which ATMs don’t charge an access fee? ( hint: TPbank )

Do you wonder if you can use Revolut and Wise in Vietnam? ( Yes, no problems at all )

This is the full guide to money in Vietnam for tourists!

Currency in Vietnam

The currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese đồng with code VND.

First things first – don’t laugh at the name! It’s the name for the copper material of the coins in Vietnam’s ancient past . In modern times it just means money, plain and simple.

It’s one of those currencies with a lot of zeroes. Rampant inflation after 1985 resulted in one of the weakest currencies (unit for unit) in the world to this day. And the proliferation of the joke that everybody is a millionaire in Vietnam.

2 banknotes of 500.000 Vietnamese dong each

There are no coins in Vietnam anymore.

The banknote denominations are 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10.000, 20.000, 50.000, 100.000, 200.000, and 500.000.

All banknotes 10.000 and over are now made of polymer making them very durable ( unlike money in Uzbekistan where you also have to carry lots around and they get ruined pretty quickly being of cotton )

The biggest banknote of 500.000 VND (~21$) means you don’t have to carry a thick lump of money like with the Indonesian Rupiah .

Can you use your card in Vietnam?

Yes, you can use your foreign card to pay for some things in Vietnam.

Foreign card payments are not that common though. It’s only true in cities and popular tourist hotspots. Bigger hotels, bigger supermarkets, and most tour operators will accept payment by foreign cards.

However, most still charge 2% to 4% commission.

Smaller supermarkets, traditional open-air markets, family-run guesthouses, etc. of course still only accept cash. Imagine going to a floating market on the Mekong Delta and trying to pay by card, ain’t happening mate!

3 debit cards (Visa and Mastercard) from Monese, Revolut and Curve

All kinds of cards are accepted: Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, and American Express.

ATMs in Vietnam

ATMs are everywhere in the cities of Vietnam. You won’t have to walk more than a few meters to find an ATM.

In more remote locations like Ha Giang region in the far north or rural villages around Sapa finding an ATM may prove to be an impossible task.

travel to vietnam currency

Visas and Mastercards will almost always be accepted by ATMs. For Maestro and AMEX you may have to try a few ATMs.

The maximum withdrawal amount on ATMs is between 2 and 5 million VND. The maximum is at TPbank ATMs at 5 million.

Withdrawal Fees

Here comes the tricky part – avoiding those pesky ATM withdrawal fees. I’m not talking about the fees you get charged on your end from your bank – those you can avoid by using a FinTech solution like Revolut, Curve, or Monese .

Most ATMs in Vietnam charge a withdrawal fee between 20.000 and 50.000 VND (0.8-2$).

ATMs without withdrawal fees

After searching for a while I found only 2 banks that offer free withdrawals – TPbank and VPbank as of 2024.

Although most ATMs will tell you if there’s an access fee, some in Vietnam don’t. You will only realize you paid a 50.000 VND fee when you check your bank statement. Urghh!

If you want to avoid these fees, only use TPbank and VPbank!

VPbank is the best ATM to withdraw money in Vietnam

And yes, I did try most of the other different banks, including Agribank, Vietinbank, Vietcombank, BIDV, Shinhan Bank, HSBC, and more that I don’t remember the names of. They all charge an access fee.

Some travelers report that Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB) also doesn’t charge a fee. I haven’t tried myself. If you do, let me know in the comments below.

You can find TPbank ATMs on Google Maps. They’re not the most common but there are at least 1-2 in every city ( and more in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City ).

It’s easily recognizable by its vivid purple colors ( although it may have started rebranding to green and red ).

Exchanging Money in Vietnam

You don’t have to exchange money in Vietnam if you have a card with low fees like Revolut. It will probably turn out to be more expensive due to the exchange rate margins.

But I understand if you carry cash when traveling and exchange it for the local currency. It’s normal and safe. So here’s how to be prepared about exchanging money in Vietnam.

What currency to bring

As with almost anywhere in the world right now, the US dollar is the best foreign currency to carry to Vietnam.

You will have no issues exchanging these currencies too:

  • British Pound;
  • Japanese Yen;
  • Chinese Yuan;
  • Swiss Franc;
  • Australian Dollar;
  • New Zealand Dollar;
  • Canadian Dollar;
  • Singaporean Dollar;
  • Malaysian Ringgit;

If your currency is not on the list it’s a good idea to change it to something more widely accepted.

I once tried to exchange 20 euros in Vietinbank where they told me they only change US dollars. But the bank next door, Agribank gladly accepted the euros and exchanged them in a few minutes.

Where to Exchange Money

Vietnam is a popular travel destination and exchanging money is common, widespread, and standard.

You can exchange at:

  • Banks ( long procedure and % fee. Bring your passport! )
  • Airports ( worst rates )
  • Exchange bureaus in a city ( Best rates )
  • Hotels ( just okay )
  • Tour Agencies ( bad rates considering there’s usually a bureau nearby )
  • Gold and Jewelry stores ( Subpar rates )
  • Dodgy guy at the market ( you’re setting yourself up to be scammed )

Tips for Changing Money in Vietnam

Most of these are common sense and not any different from other countries. Here are my top tips:

  • Higher denominations = higher rates;
  • Damaged banknotes = lower rates + fee ( if accepted at all );
  • Don’t accept foreign banknotes with ANY damage ( if changing Dong back to USD for example );

Pro Tips and Common Scams

I’ve compiled some smart tips from my travels to Vietnam and fellow travelers’ confessions to give you a heads-up.

  • Polymer STICKS when even a little wet. Count your banknotes slowly and twice!
  • Never take any banknotes with tears or holes
  • Check banknotes against light ( use your smartphone flashlight in the dark ) to confirm they are not forgeries
  • Mentally ignore the last 3 zeroes to make calculations easier. 50.000 is just 50k, 20.000 is 20k.
  • Know the multiple of your currency. Say you use US dollars and 10.000 VND is 0.4$. Your multiple is 4. If the price of something is 40.000 VND, ignore the zeroes, multiply by 4 and you have 16, i.e. 1.6$; Quick maths: 230k VND? -> 2.3*4 =9.2 USD.
  • 10k, 50k, and 200k are in a similar shade. Be careful!
  • 20k and 500k are also in a similar shade. Be very careful with these two!
  • The most common scam is when you pay with 500k, the payee then secretly switches it to 20k and pretends he only received 20k. He starts being aggressive, it can get ugly quickly. Change to smaller notes at reputable establishments!

How much cash to bring to Vietnam?

This depends on your way of traveling and your budget. Using your card in Vietnam is pretty easy so there’s no need to go overboard with physical cash.

My advice is to have at least 200$ just in case something goes wrong with your bank cards and you need emergency cash until you sort it out.

travel to vietnam currency

When I went to Vietnam I had exactly that much stashed away but since I exclusively used my Revolut and Curve cards , I’ve only ever changed 20 euros once.

On the other hand, if you’re wondering how much money you need to travel to Vietnam, you can check out my backpacker’s budget report for Vietnam .

Example prices

These are actual price ranges from 2023. Inflation isn’t very high right now, so they should be similar in 2024. ( Note: 10.000 = 10k, all prices in VND )

  • Coffee with milk: 10 – 25k;
  • Pho soup: 35 – 50k;
  • Banh Mi sandwich: 6 – 25k;
  • Passionfruit cooler: 15 – 25k;
  • Can of beer (supermarket): 8 – 20k;
  • Can of beer (street bar): 15 – 40k;
  • Museums: 20 – 200k;
  • Public bus ticket in HCMC or Hanoi: 6 – 10k;
  • 1-hour full-body massage: 200-400k;
  • Budget hostel : 30 – 220k ( usually breakfast included ); 
  • Mid-range hotels  – 300 – 800k;
  • Half-day group tour  – 500k – 1 million;
  • Overland bus travel – ~50k per hour of travel

travel to vietnam currency

See my budget report for Vietnam for more details.

Bargaining is an inseparable part of shopping in Vietnam.

In the eyes of locals, any foreigner is rich. Thus, the first price you will hear will be at least x3 what the locals pay.

It’s not uncommon to get a price 10 times higher than the actual!

As a foreigner, you will never get the locals’ price. But if you bargain playfully and politely, you can easily get a 50% discount most of the time.

Tipping is not mandatory in Vietnam.

It’s not expected and it’s not common. Vietnamese people rarely tip.

However, tipping is very much appreciated and will bring about a few smiles your way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s answer some of your most burning questions about money in Vietnam.

What is the ATM withdrawal limit in Vietnam?

ATMs commonly have a withdrawal limit of 2,500,000 VND (~100$).

Some ATMs ( TPbank for example ) allow you to withdraw up to 5 million VND .

Can you use US dollars in Vietnam?

You can use US dollars to pay for SOME things in Vietnam.

For example, tours are usually advertised in dollars and payable in dollars too.

For most daily transactions though, only Vietnamese Dong is accepted.

Can you use Revolut in Vietnam?

Yes, Revolut cards work in Vietnam. Both VISA and Mastercard work. You can withdraw from ATMs and pay on POS terminals with your Revolut card.

Similar fintech apps like Wise, Monese, Curve, N26, and Starling also work there.

If you are going to other Southeast Asian countries, you may want to read my money guides for them too:

  • Tourist Guide to Money in Indonesia ;
  • Tourist Guide to Money in Laos ;
  • Tourist Guide to Money in Timor Leste .

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  • 19 Best Things to Do in Yogyakarta Besides the Temples (2024)
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RepeatTravels

The Vietnamese Dong: Your Ultimate Guide to Vietnam Currency

Vietnam Currency

Last updated on November 21st, 2023 at 04:18 pm

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Vietnam currency, where we will dive into all you need to know about the Vietnamese Dong, commonly known as VND. Vietnam, a captivating Southeast Asian nation, is renowned for its rich history, diverse culture, and picturesque landscapes. Before you embark on your exciting journey, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the local currency and understand how to handle money during your stay. Grasping the intricacies of the Vietnamese Currency Guide is rather challenging. Therefore, I will introduce you to Vietnam’s Currency, one of the most confusing currencies in the world

Table of Contents

If you are going to Vietnam, I would like to congratulate you on becoming a multi-millionaire or even a billionaire there. However, you should not be too excited because almost everyone there is a millionaire. You can become a millionaire in Vietnam for less than $50 USD thanks to the crazy exchange rate. $1 USD is equivalent to over 23,000 VND. Because of this, many foreigners feel that using Vietnam’s currency is quite troublesome and inconvenient. You have to spend millions every day to pay for basic needs like a hotel, food, entertainment, etc.

Luckily for you, online payments and credit cards are starting to be widely accepted in Vietnam’s major cities. You should be safe as long as you own a credit card from VISA, Master Card, JCB, American Express, etc. However, cash is still king. It is much more convenient if you carry both credit cards and cash with you in case your destination does not accept plastic, you want to pay quickly, or simply tip a staff member.

Vietnamese Dong

The Vietnamese Dong (VND) is the official currency of Vietnam, denoted by the symbol “₫”. Its fascinating history dates back to the 19th century, and it has gone through various denominations and redesigns over the years. As of 2023, the Dong is issued in both coins and banknotes, with multiple denominations catering to different monetary values.

Currently, the Vietnamese Dong is available in banknotes of various denominations, including 1,000₫, 2,000₫, 5,000₫, 10,000₫, 20,000₫, 50,000₫, 100,000₫, 200,000₫, and 500,000₫. Each banknote features distinctive designs and vibrant colors, showcasing prominent figures, historical landmarks, and cultural symbols of Vietnam.

To avoid confusion when using cash, please note some common VND bills as follows. First, we will talk about the smallest denomination bills. In this list, you will have 1000 VND, 2,000 VND, and 5,000 VND bills, which are roughly equivalent to half a cent, 1 cent, and 2 cents. You can use these Vietnamese Dongs to buy yourself a street iced tea or a mint.

Vietnam Money

Next, we will have polymer banknotes with larger denominations. With these bills, you’re starting to be able to actually purchase something. In this category, we will have 10,000 VND bills equivalent to 50 cents, 20,000 VND bills equivalent to 1 USD, 50,000 VND bills equivalent to a little more than 2 USD, and 100,000 VND bills equivalent to about 5 USD. These are the most popular Vietnamese Dong notes and they will become your best friends in your journey to discover Vietnam.

Vietnamese Dong

And finally, we have 200,000 VND bills equivalent to nearly 10 USD, and 500,000 VND bills corresponding to a little more than 20 USD. These are bills that are considered large in Vietnam and are not so common in everyday life. However, if you want to pay cash for everything or buy something expensive, you’ll need a lot of those bills, because, at the end of the day, they’re just tens and twenties. So, a perfect combination of cash and card would be: you have a credit card and about 2 million VND in cash (some 10,000 20,000 50,000, and 100,000 bills plus 1 or 2 200,000 and 500,000 just in case).

Vietnamese Currency

Price Examples of Vietnams Currency Exchange Rate

Obsolete vietnam money.

A small note is that Vietnamese currency bills with a denomination of 10,000 VND will be made from polymer. If you have banknotes with a denomination of 10,000 VND made of paper, it is highly likely that they are old bills and are no longer in circulation. Do not worry because you can exchange them at the bank for a very small fee, or you can also keep them as souvenirs because of their scarcity. The second small note is that VN has discontinued the use of coins. If you have VND coins, you can process them by changing them at the bank or keeping them as souvenirs.

Vietnams Currency

Now that you possess knowledge about Vietnam’s banknotes, it should be enough for you to survive and explore Vietnam without any problems. I hope that you found this Vietnam Currency Guide useful and look forward to new articles with more interesting knowledge about Vietnam.

Conclusion of Vietnamese Currency Guide

In conclusion, understanding the Vietnamese Dong and how to handle money in Vietnam is crucial for a smooth and enjoyable travel experience. By familiarizing yourself with the currency, its history, denominations, and exchange options, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the financial aspects of your journey. Embrace the adventure, immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, and savor the delightful experiences that Vietnam has to offer. For a quick currency conversion calculator, please visit XE.com

Is the US Dollar widely accepted in Vietnam?

While some businesses in major cities may accept US Dollars, it’s generally advisable to use the Vietnamese Dong for transactions. Exchanging your money to the local currency will ensure you get the most favorable rates and avoid any inconvenience.

Can I exchange Vietnamese Dong back to my home currency after my trip?

Yes, you can exchange your remaining Vietnamese Dong back to your home currency at authorized currency exchange offices in Vietnam or international airports upon your departure.

Are credit cards widely accepted in Vietnam?

Credit cards are increasingly accepted in urban areas and popular tourist spots, but it’s essential to carry cash, especially in rural areas and smaller establishments where card payment options may be limited.

What is the best time to exchange currency in Vietnam?

It’s advisable to exchange your currency during regular banking hours at authorized banks or reliable exchange offices to ensure you receive competitive rates and avoid potential scams.

Are there any restrictions on the amount of foreign currency I can bring into Vietnam?

Yes, there are specific regulations on the amount of foreign currency you can bring into Vietnam. Currently, the limit is 5,000 US Dollars or equivalent in other foreign currencies. Make sure to check the latest regulations before your trip.

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Vietnam currency | how to recognize 11 types of vietnam money.

vietnam currency

Getting to know a new currency is just as fun as learning a new language. In this article, we offer an ultimate guide to help travelers clarify the Vietnam money, exchange rate, and useful ways to help you recognize 11 types of Vietnam currency.

Vietnam Currency Information for Travelers

The official currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese “Dong” or in the shorter way, Dong. At this stage, there are two versions of Vietnam currency are in use: the Polymer note (500,000 VND, 200,000 VND, 100,000 VND, 50,000 VND, 20,000 VND, and 10,000 VND) and Cotton note (5,000 VND, 2,000 VND, 1,000 VND, 500 VND, and 200 VND). However, the last two cotton notes are rarely used since the value is too small.

Vietnam money

Vietnam Currency Exchange Rate to US Dollar

Up to September 2020, the exchange rate between Vietnam Dong and US Dollar is 1 US$ ≈ 23,231 VND . Please see the below Vietnam currency exchange rate chart for further information

Vietnam Currency Rate to Other Currencies

Australian Dollar: 1 AUD ≈ 17,000 VND British Pound: 1 GBP ≈ 30,500 VND Euro: 1 EUR ≈ 27,000 VND US Dollar: 1 USD ≈ 23,000 VND Japanese Yen: 1 JPY ≈ 209 VND Singaporean Dollar: 1 SGD ≈ 17,000 VND Malaysian Ringgit: 1 MYR ≈ 5,700 VND Hong Kong Dollar: 1 HKD ≈ 3,000 VND Russian Ruble: 1 RUB ≈ 405 VND Thai: 1 THB ≈ 700 VND

Click here for further information about ATMs and Credit cards in Vietnam .

How to Recognize Vietnam Money

Vietnam money made from polymer, 500,000 vnd polymer note.

Two sides of the same 500 000 VND vietnam money

200,000 VND Polymer Note

Two sides of the same 200 000 VND vietnam currency rate

100,000 VND Polymer Note

Two sides of the same 100 000 VND vietnam money

50,000 VND Polymer Note

Two sides of the same 50 000 VND vietnam currency

20,000 VND Polymer Note

Two sides of the same 20 000 VND vietnam money

10,000 VND Polymer Note

Two sides of the same 10 000 VND vietnam currency

Vietnam Money Made from Paper

5,000 vnd paper note.

Two sides of the same 5 000 VND vietnam money

2,000 VND Paper Note

Two sides of the same 2 000 VND vietnam currency

1,000 VND Paper Note

Two sides of the same 1 000 VND vietnam money

Low-valued Vietnamese Paper Note (Not recommended to Receive these During Payment)

500 vnd paper note.

Two sides of the same 500 VND vietnam currency

200 VND Paper Note

Two sides of the same 200 VND vietnam money

Vietnam Currency Tips

Classify similar notes.

The couples of note 500,000 VND vs note 20,000 VND and 200,000 vs 10,000 VND are quite confusing for travelers to draw a distinction because of their similar colors. Remember that the size of the low denomination is always smaller than that of the high one. Before purchasing, check the size and numbers on the notes carefully to avoid wasting your money.

Other Accepted Currencies in Viet Nam

A common question that many travelers on their Vietnam vacations frequently asked: Is there other currency accepted in Vietnam? The answer is “Sure”. Although the official currency in Vietnam is VND, some big shops, restaurants, or hotels still accept paying in USD or Euro. However, if you pay in these currencies, the vendors often convert the price with an exchange rate in favor of them because prices in Vietnamese shops are often given in local currency. Therefore, you’re suggested to pay in VND when possible.

Travelers’ Cheque

Travelers’ Cheque is no longer used in Vietnam so remember that no banks or travel companies in Vietnam will accept this type of payment. Instead of buying travelers’ cheque for your Vietnam travel, you’re advised to bring US Dollars, AU Dollars, European or GB Pound, and exchange into the local currency on arrival.

Bargain in Vietnam

Rule number 1 when shopping in Vietnam is “bargain, bargain hard and bargain harder”. Therefore, when you want to buy something, propose a lower price than the one vendors offer you. If your discount is acceptable, they are willing to sell their product immediately. The effective way to avoid “foreigner price” is to go shopping with a Vietnamese to help you with the bargain.

bargain in vietnam vietnam currency rate

Vietnamese Symbol “K”

You will see “50K”, “100K”, or “1000K” in the price tags at many shops in Vietnam. “K” actually represents a thousand so just add three more zeros to replace the letter “K” to know the exact. Therefore, “50k” is 50,000 VND; “100K” is 100,000 VND; “1000K” is 1,000,000.

Dot or Comma

Vietnam has the opposite use of dot and comma for numbers. Dot is used for thousand units while a comma is used for decimal numbers. Remember this carefully otherwise you will mistake the price of 200,000 VND into the one of 200 VND!

travel to vietnam currency

3 thoughts on “ Vietnam Currency | How to Recognize 11 Types of Vietnam Money ”

travel to vietnam currency

Interesting information abt Vietnam currency and exchange rate. Really useful for my Vietnam vacation. Good job!

travel to vietnam currency

I have 100 rupees of Vietnam Money I want to exchange how to exchange the money

You can exchange your Vietnam money at bank agencies which can be easily found in big cities in Vietnam. Remember not to exchange it at unreliable stores as you may be cheated and it is an illegal action.

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Vietnam Travel How To Manage Your Money in Vietnam

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Traveling to a new country can be both exciting and daunting, especially when it comes to managing your money. Planning to visit Vietnam? Whether you’re going for just a few days or a few weeks, here are some tips on how to manage your money while traveling in Vietnam .

Get local currency as soon as you can

save money in vietnam

Book Your Dream Vacation in Vietnam

photo: Niels Steeman

If you’re coming to Vietnam for the first time, it’s important to get local currency as soon as you can. The best way to get local currency is from an ATM or currency exchange at the airport as soon as you land. That way, you’ll have cash on hand for taxis or other transportation, and you won’t have to worry about finding a place to exchange money later.

You may also find ATMs in big cities and tourist areas like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City . Be sure to bring a credit card that works in Vietnam—not all do!

Know the conversion rate

You’re probably already familiar with the idea of converting money from one currency to another. But when it comes to traveling abroad, you need to be extra careful about how you do that. If you don’t get the conversion rate right, you could end up spending a lot more than you intended—or even not having enough money for your trip!

us dollar

photo: Sergei Starostin

travel to vietnam currency

Find Cheap Hotels for Any Destination in Vietnam

The US dollar has been slowly gaining ground against the Vietnamese dong over the past 20 years which makes it a budget friendly place to visit for Americans. The exchange rate between the two currencies has seen a steady increase since 2003, with fluctuations, but overall it is still moving upward. In 2003, the US dollar was worth VND 15,089 per $1 USD. In 2022, this number has risen to VND 23,530 per $1 USD.

Before you travel, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the current conversion rate between your home currency and the local currency. That way, you’ll have a better idea of how much things cost in real terms.

Budget for activities and souvenirs

budgeting

photo: Karolina Grabowska

One of the best parts about traveling is experiencing new things and bringing home memories or souvenirs from Vietnam . But activities and souvenirs can add up quickly, so be sure to budget for them accordingly. otherwise, you may find yourself running out of money prematurely.

If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam, it’s important to plan ahead for all expenses related to your trip. For example: meals, lodging, transportation, and activities should all be taken into consideration when creating a budget.

With a little planning ahead, managing your money while traveling in Vietnam can be a breeze. Be sure to get local currency as soon as you arrive, familiarize yourself with the conversion rate, and budget for activities and souvenirs. Following these simple tips will help ensure that you have a fun and financially stable trip.

The Best Times to Visit Various Regions in Vietnam

The top 10 attractions in ho chi minh city.

lotus-flower

Managing your finances in Vietnam is a breeze with these helpful tips! From getting the right currency to budgeting for your activities, you’ll be able to make the most of your trip and create lasting memories in this beautiful country.

RinieTran

Traveling to Vietnam can be an enriching experience, and with proper planning, budgeting, and safety measures, you can make the most of your trip while respecting the local customs and traditions.

gamer_girl_2005

I’ve always dreamed of traveling to Vietnam, and this article has given me some great tips on how to manage my money while I’m there. I’m definitely going to exchange my currency at a reputable establishment and inform my bank before using my cards. Thanks for the helpful advice!

compasstraveler

Having a plan for managing your money in Vietnam is key for a stress-free trip! It’s great to know that you can access cash from ATMs and that credit cards are accepted in most places.

NguyenHien1998

Interesting! I’m sure it’s beneficial to have a combination of both cash and cards when traveling abroad. Have you had any experiences managing money in Vietnam?

music_lover8

When traveling to a new country, it is always important to do your research on the currency and how to best access your money. I’m glad this article provides some helpful tips on managing your money while in Vietnam. From what I understand, it seems like using ATMs, banks, and money changers are the best way to go. Also, be sure to check with your bank about any credit card fees before using one in Vietnam.

SunlitAvenue60

I found this article to be very helpful! I am very familiar with the country and was able to manage my money very effectively. Thank you for writing this article.

AngelZhao

I’m sure this will be helpful for those who are looking to travel to Vietnam and want to know what to do with their money.

PopQueen92

I have been living in Vietnam for over a year and I have learned a lot about how to manage my money. I would recommend that people start by learning about how to buy and sell goods and services in Vietnam. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the different banks and financial institutions in Vietnam. Lastly, it is also important to be careful with how you spend your money.

foodie_girl

I definitely agree with this! Before traveling to a new country, I always make sure to look up their currency and what the best way to carry money is. I’ve definitely been in situations before where I didn’t know the currency and got ripped off because of it.

SaigonSoul

You should budget your money and make sure you’re using a safe and secure money transfer service. You should also be sure to keep track of your spending and save as much money as you can.

NeonVibes

@SaigonSoul

I completely agree! I always budget my money and make sure I’m using a safe and secure money transfer service. I also make sure to keep track of my spending and save as much money as I can.

Caphezilla

This article provides tips on how to manage your money in Vietnam.

kamikaze

There are a few things you can do to manage your money in Vietnam. First, be aware of the currency and how it is used. Second, be aware of how to save and invest your money. Finally, be aware of the scams that are common in Vietnam.

BiN22

This article provides great tips on managing your money in Vietnam. I found it helpful and will be using some of the advice to help me with my finances in the future.

MekongSoul

Thanks for your feedback! I’m glad you found the tips valuable. Managing your finances in Vietnam can be a bit challenging, but with the right strategies, you’ll be on your way to financial success. Don’t forget to also consider opening a secure savings account at a reputable bank and exploring potential investment options to make your money work for you. Keep up the great work and best of luck on your financial journey!

bookworm99

There are a few things you can do to manage your money in Vietnam. First, be aware of your spending and save as much money as you can. Second, be aware of your money-saving tips and use them regularly. Finally, be sure to keep your money in a safe place and use it for emergencies only.

tricky

If you’re coming to Vietnam for the first time, it’s important to get local currency as soon as you can

Kristina9e5

Excellent advice! I especially appreciate the tip about getting local currency as soon as you arrive – very important for a stress-free trip!

Boo_chan

These are great tips. I think people can get very overwhelmed when having to deal with currency they are just not used to. I think it sometimes puts people off from traveling to new places too. 

Joan Kelly

Great advice! Following these tips will make my trip to Vietnam stress-free and enjoyable.

Chadia Aras

I recently visited Vietnam for the first time and I can attest to the fact that following these tips is essential to having a great trip and making sure your finances are managed properly! I was able to get local currency quickly and easily at the airport, and I was able to familiarize myself with the currency conversion rate beforehand so I knew exactly how much things cost in real terms. I also budgeted for activities and souvenirs so I could make the most out of my trip without worrying about running out of money. Following these tips made my trip to Vietnam both exciting and stress-free, and I’m already planning my next trip back!

amandagibbs

Great tips for managing your money in Vietnam!

HaLongStar

Thanks for the kind words! Managing your money in Vietnam can definitely be a challenge, but with a few smart strategies, it becomes a breeze. One tip I’d recommend is to always carry a mix of cash and cards, as not all places accept cards. Plus, make use of the various budgeting apps available to track your expenses and stay on top of your finances. Cheers!

canabee11

I agree about the credit cards. It makes using money easier. They do the currency exchange for you and the people you are paying so you don’t have to worry about money needing to be exchanged. 

Jack

The advice on using credit cards is really helpful for my upcoming trip

bananamilk

These tips are not just applicable to Vietnam, but to any country I visit. Thanks for the reminder.

anon23

Vietnam is such a beautiful country to explore, and managing your money well will make your trip even better! You don’t want any money fights with your love one while vacationing.

Umph

Great tips for managing your money while traveling in Vietnam!

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A Travel Guide about Vietnam Currency | Denomination, Cash Withdraw, Exchange Rate and Fun Facts

A Travel Guide about Vietnam Currency | Denomination, Cash Withdraw, Exchange Rate and Fun Facts

Before leaving for a new country, many questions arise about the situation in that country: when is the best time to travel, and the best places to visit. Among these, there arise some popular ones for those planning a trip to Vietnam about Vietnamese currency like  How to withdraw and exchange money in Vietnam? How to pay in Vietnam? Is cash or credit card more convenient? How is the travel tip in Vietnam? Further, we will also reveal some interesting facts about Vietnam money . See all the answers in this article!

1. General information on Vietnamese money

1.1 vietnam's official currency.

vietnam money

The Vietnam official currency is called Dong. Its symbol is ₫ while the code is VND. Currently, only the State Bank of Vietnam has the legal title to issue Vietnamese banknotes.

According to current Vietnamese law, the Vietnam Dong is the only legal means of payment in Vietnam, which means that goods or services in the Vietnamese market must be listed in VND.

1.2. Denominations of Vietnamese currency

Banknotes in circulation in Vietnam range from denominations of 100 Dong to 500,000 Dong. However, the habit of rounding and not saving the small denominations of the Vietnamese is causing the 100 Dong and 200 Dong notes on the bank to disappear. The 500 Dong and 1,000 Dong banknotes are in the same situation but are still in circulation. Coins are available in 200 Dong, 500 Dong, 1000 Dong, 2000 Dong and 5000 Dong but due to inflation, they have not been minted since 2013 but it is still legal to trade in coins. Because of memory value, many decide to keep them for collection.

Currently, both polymer banknotes and paper banknotes are used in Vietnam.

  • Polymer banknotes exist of 10,000 Dong, 20,000 Dong, 50,000 Dong, 100,000 Dong, 200,000 Dong, 500,000 Dong

vietnam money 10000 dong vietnam

Paper banknotes that have often circulated in denominations of 500 Dong, 1,000 Dong, 2,000 Dong, 5,000 Dong

vietnam money 500 dong vietnam

2. FAQ about Vietnamese currency

2.1. how to change and withdraw cash in vietnam.

As explained above, the only legal commercial currency in Vietnam is the Dong (VND). However, it is almost impossible to exchange Dong in advance from your country because Vietnamese currency is not so popular all around the world. This means that if you travel to Vietnam, you can bring your currency (USD, Euro, ect…) directly and exchange it for Vietnamese currency.

cash withdrawal and exchange in vietnam

In Vietnam, you can exchange and withdraw money from:

Bank : this is the safest transaction method, ensuring that you receive real, new banknotes to use during your trip. Please note that you need to bring your passport with you to exchange or withdraw Vietnam money . Most banks are open from Monday to Friday during business hours while only a few are open on Saturday mornings. Some big banks in Vietnam are Vietcombank, Techcombank, Agribank, BIDV, Vietinbank,...

ATMs : these are available everywhere and will make it easy for you to withdraw Vietnam money at any time of the day. However, these ATMs usually have a limit of 2,000,000 - 5,000,000 VND for a single withdrawal. My only caveat is that some ATMs can swallow your card, so you have to prepare a reserve card. Some international banks such as Citibank, HSBC and ANZ allow larger withdrawals, limited to a maximum of VND 8,000,000 and VND 10,000,000.

Hotels, restaurants, jewellers : some locations will allow money to be exchanged (but not all places with currency exchange signs are allowed). You should pay special attention to the exchange rate, the integrity of the banknotes and, if possible, ask a friend or guide to help you see if the banknotes are real or fake.

Withdrawal fees : In addition to any fees you may have to pay to your bank for a cash withdrawal abroad, you will also have to pay an additional fee to the bank operating the ATM. Normally, this is between 30,000 VND and 50,000 VND, with some even charging 100,000 VND for each withdrawal.

2.2. What is the exchange rate in Vietnam?

best way to exchange money in Vietnam

In Vietnam, you can update exchange rate information on the official websites of the big banks. You can make references by clicking on each bank:

  • Vietcombank
  • Techcombank

You can also check the exchange rates on the International Exchange Rates page. Some locations may accept the exchange rate on this website .

2.3. What are the payment methods in Vietnam?

There are many convenient payment methods for tourists in Vietnam. Take a look at some of the following

Cash : this is the most convenient and fastest payment method that you can use anywhere, from fancy restaurants to small shops and even markets. However, try to familiarise yourself with banknotes and exchange rates when you choose to pay in cash!

Credit cards : can be used in some restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops. Some taxi companies also accept credit cards such as Mai Linh, but not all cars are equipped with Pos machines. Some places may accept your credit card with a fee of 1.7 - 2% for Visa/Master cards and about 4% for Amex cards. Therefore, you should explicitly ask for this fee to avoid unexpected payments. Visa/Master cards in Vietnam are more popular than Amex, so you should also consider and ask in advance if the place where you buy or use the service accepts this card.

Payment apps : currently in Vietnam it is quite popular to pay via a number of mobile apps such as Momo, Viettel Pay, Zalopay. By simply downloading these apps and linking your current account to the app, you can easily pay via QR codes at convenience stores, supermarkets, restaurants,....

cash or card in Vietnam

  • Traveller's cheques  are not widespread in Vietnam, so to avoid any unforeseen circumstances you do not need to prepare them during your trip.
Our advice is to use cash and credit cards flexibly. You can bring your own country's currency and exchange it when you arrive in Vietnam. You can change a little bit, without changing all your money at once to avoid being confused by too many zeros in Vietnamese banknotes. In fact, with only about 40 euros you can already become a millionaire in Vietnam. . As for using your card, consider when you can use it where the commissions are good and well informed in advance.

3. Interesting facts about Vietnam money

3.1. vietnam travel cost.

It will be a little difficult to give an exact figure for the cost of living or travelling in Vietnam. Just like in your home country, this depends entirely on what you consume, where you choose to stay and what services you use. In Vietnam, simple meals in popular restaurants will cost around 2 USD, while in restaurants this price is around 15 USD. In high-end restaurants, the average price per person for a meal will be between 50 USD. If you are considering how much a trip to Vietnam will cost, I will give you some examples like this:

  • The cost for a backpacking trip, simple local meals and hostels is around 50 USD/person/day
  • The cost for the mid-range trip, including eating in some local restaurants and staying in 2-3 star hotels is 110 USD/person/day.
  • The cost for a 4-star trip, including meals in a more typical restaurant, will be around 150 USD/person/day.

The figure may not be accurate if you use more luxury services and dine in more exclusive restaurants.

3.2. Money burns in Vietnam

vietnam money facts

Sometimes you might be surprised to see a set of one-dollar notes with a numer of 100 usd being burned in Vietnam? In reality, they are just counterfeit money. The Vietnamese believe that there is another world after death and the spirits of loved ones must also spend the money. That's why they burn counterfeit money for their relatives. Don't be surprised when they even burn iPhones, villas, mercedes cars, jewellery or even the COVID-19 Green Certificate.

3.3. Lucky money for blessing

vietnam money facts lucky money

In Vietnam, there is a custom of giving money as a blessing. During the Tet festival - the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, the Vietnamese have a tradition of giving children some money in different denominations as a wish for a healthy New Year. In addition, some elderly people also receive this lucky money as a wish for longevity.

Not only that, if you go to a wedding in Vietnam, a month-long baby shower, to celebrate a new home, it is quite common to use money as a gift. Even at funerals, the Vietnamese also give a sum of money to the relatives of the deceased as a small help with funeral expenses.

3.4. Asking for a discount

bargain in vietnam

Many places say that in Vietnam you can bargain down to half, even a third. In fact, bargains are quite normal in some markets with many tourists such as Dong Xuan market (Hanoi), Ben Thanh market (Ho Chi Minh City), Dong Ba market (Hue) or some ethnic minority fairs in mountainous areas such as Bac Ha market . However, bargaining for half the price is too much. The best way is to go around and check the price of your favourite item and set a price for that product yourself.

Also, it should be noted that the Vietnamese are very careful about the first customer who visits the shop because they believe that the good deal that day will depend on that customer. It would be a bit bad to go there, bargain, then buy nothing and leave. If you want to bargain, consider late afternoon shopping.

3.5. Paying with QR code

payment in vietnam qr code

Vietnam is a developing country. Since the outbreak of the Covid epidemic in Vietnam, it is quite popular to pay without using cash via apps, bank transfers. You will not be surprised that even stalls in local markets will have a QR code for payment. This does not mean that everywhere you can pay with a QR code, but it has now become a very popular payment method, from pavement restaurants, to cafés or some meat and vegetable stalls in the market,...

3.6. Vietnam tipping and service charges

travel tips vietnam

Service charges and tips are quite common all over the world. In some countries, these commissions are charged directly. However, the price listed in Vietnam usually does not include these 2 charges, it is the original price of the service you use. In some 5-star hotels and restaurants, you may see a quote that includes two + signs, which means the price have not included 10% VAT and 5% service charge. However, other mid-range services usually do not include service charges and tips. The Vietnamese do not want to force their customers to a fixed number, but will try to serve them well to receive a commensurate tip corresponding to customer satisfaction.

If you are travelling in Vietnam, you can feel free to tip for good services. The service providers will be happy and appreciate your thanks.

4. Extra notes

  • Make sure that the banknotes you exchange are in very good condition. In fact, merchants may refuse to accept torn, damaged or inscribed banknotes.
  • Confusion about the denominations of the banknotes 20,000 and 500,000 is normal because they are both polymeric and blue in colour.
  • Keep in mind that polymer banknotes might stick to each other when getting wet. For this reason, it is advisable to check them before handing them out to others.
  • Please note there is no maximum amount of money to bring into Vietnam. However, when entering Vietnam with more than USD 5,000 in cash, you will have to declare it at customs.

>>  A Thorough Guide to Find the Best Vietnam Travel Agency

>>  How to Plan the Best North Vietnam Itinerary ?

>>  Vietnam and Cambodia Itinerary in 15 days

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Velia Sangalli

  • Velia Sangalli Italy

Un'altra cosa, è bello che il Vietnam Dong sia realizzato in polimero resistente all'acqua.

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TRAVEL to VIETNAM – Tips and Information Guide (2024 Edition)

Everything you need to know about travel to Vietnam in our comprehensive 2024 Vietnam travel guide.

We get it. You’re wondering what the absolute best destination to travel in Southeast Asia is.

You’ve spent hours researching.

Talked to friends.

Scoured the internet for blogs.

Watched YouTube videos.

And you’ve finally realised something.

Without a doubt, Vietnam is the place for you.

And trust us, as a couple that have travelled the world for over a decade, we think you’ve made the right decision.

There’s a reason Vietnam is our all-time favourite country…

From the tropical coral reefs of Nha Trang to the northern mountains of Sa Pa, travel to Vietnam is one of the most adventurous yet culturally empowering experiences you can have.

One moment you will find yourself haggling for banh mi deep within Saigon and later that day you could be watching a breathtaking sunset from the Mekong Delta.

Vietnam is more than a country. It’s an experience.

You’ll find yourself immersed among street food vendors cooking up exotic cuisines such as pho along streets with stores selling suits and ties.

Or you’ll be cruising the waters of Halong Bay while monkeys jump from island to island.

Or you might find yourself trekking to the highest peak in Vietnam, Fansipan soaring to over 3,100 metres!

Not into adventure activities? Homestays are the perfect way to spend your day as the monsoon rains fall across the endless snaking rivers of the Mekong.

Vietnamese hospitality is unrivalled and is something that you should experience once in your life, so what are you waiting for? Say good morning Vietnam! And go get lost!

So we’ve convinced you to travel to Vietnam? Awesome!

Now check out the basic information about the country in our Vietnam travel guide.

Than Uyen Rice Terraces Travel To Vietnam

TRAVELLING IN VIETNAM: AT A GLANCE

Here are the basics about travel to Vietnam.

DON’T FORGET TO PACK THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: TRAVEL INSURANCE !

TOP 5 TRAVEL EXPERIENCES IN VIETNAM

With so much to see and do in Vietnam, it really is hard to pick the top experiences.

However, we think that to truly appreciate Vietnam you need to plan to do these 5 activities during your visit.

Train Tracks Hanoi

Take the Overnight Train from Hanoi to Sapa

Said to be one of the most eye-opening train rides in the world, as you pass through lush forests, rice paddy fields on your way to the Vietnamese – Chinese border.

Book your train ticket here .

Hike Through the Rice Terraces of Sapa

Explore the area with the local hill tribes. Stay with them during your trek. And enjoy the beautiful terraced countryside for which Sapa is known.

Here’s our full post about trekking in Sapa .

Sapa Trekking

Cruise the Mekong Delta

Probably one of the ‘must do’s of Vietnam.’ The Mekong Delta is full of hidden gems including floating markets, friendly locals and late afternoon storms.

Book a multiday tour of the Mekong Delta

Go Caving in Phong Nha

Caves there can fit a 747 plane in it. They are massive and spectacular. This is an adventure you will never forget.

Book your Phong Nha cave tour

Things To Do In Vietnam

Ride a Motorcycle

Yes, that’s right! Hiring a motorcycle or scooter is a must. But maybe do it out on the country roads. Opt for the famous ride to the mountain village of Dalat, or pretty much anywhere throughout the country.

Read about how to ride through the famous Hai Van Pass

Other Things to do in Vietnam

Learn to cook Vietnamese food . Eating delicious Vietnamese food is one thing. Eating it after you’ve learned to prepare it is another!

Scuba dive in Nha Trang. You may not think of Vietnam as a big scuba location, but there is some great diving to be had in Nha Trang.

Go canyoning in Dalat. Rappel, slide, jump and climb your way through canyons in this gorgeous place!

Explore the Marble Mountains in Da Nang. These beautiful mountains have been mined for marble for years and have incredible views and temples to visit along the way.

Sandboard down the sand dunes in Mui Ne. It’s like snowboarding, but down massive sand dunes! Enjoy this rush!

Visit the Giants Causeway in Ghan Da Dia. Half the world away from the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, be amazed at this unique geologic structure .

Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels outside of Ho Chi Minh City. No trip to HCMC is complete without touring these historic tunnels that were used during the war.

Conquer the Hoi An Pass on a motorbike . This is known as one of the most beautiful sections of highway in the world. Enjoy!

Explore the world’s biggest cave . We have a special connection with Hang Son Doong as it is where we were engaged. Make your own special moment too!

Climb the highest mountain in Indochina in Sapa. Fansipan is over 3,000m above sea level and offers incredible views along the way to the top!

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THESE OTHER AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN VIETNAM

Hang Son Doong Travelling In Vietnam

BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN VIETNAM

There are plenty of amazing places to visit in Vietnam. Depending on your interests, trip duration and time of year you will find plenty of things to do during any length of stay. 

Day Trips From Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

When slurping a bowl of pho in a local market or exploring an ancient temple, it’s easy to feel like you’ve stepped into a time machine in Ho Chi Minh City.

Plan your 3-day Ho Chi Minh City itinerary

A collection of over 3,000 limestone islands providing endless kayaking opportunities. Take the time to relax aboard a boat or venture to Cat Ba National Park for mystical waterfalls!

Book your tour of Halong Bay

Halong Bay Photo Essay

The capital of Vietnam is also one of the most ancient capitals in the world. The history of Hanoi is rich, devastating and full of legends. This mystical city is also known for its cuisine, silk, buzzing nightlife as well as cultural diversity.

Plan your 3-day Hanoi itinerary

My Son Temple

Ancient temples dating back 1,000 years give a culture understanding into Vietnam’s past all while showing the scars of the war.

Book an early morning tour of My Son

Temples Of My Son Near Hoi An

For more information on specific things to do in the top places to visit in Vietnam, reference our following city travel guides: 

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THESE OTHER AWESOME PLACES TO VISIT IN VIETNAM. 

Spend Your Day Relaxing And Drinking Cold Coconuts.

BEST VIETNAM TRAVEL ITINERARY

We’ve put together a few Vietnam itineraries that are sure to leave you wanting for nothing at the end of your visit. 

There are so many amazing things to do in Vietnam that planning an itinerary for your travel can be a little overwhelming. 

Even though the country is one united nation, you can think of it geographically as being divided into a northern and southern region.

So depending on how much time you have, you may want to explore the northern region, southern region or the entire country.

Of course, no one-size-fits-all plan will suffice. But if we were to head back to Vietnam these are the top places and things that we would want to do! 

1-Week Vietnam Travel Itinerary Highlights

Most people spend at least a month went hey travel to Vietnam. But if you had just one week, or were willing to split a few weeks between the northern and southern regions, this is how we’d spend our time! 

Northern Vietnam

  • Fly into Hanoi
  • 2 nights – Hanoi
  • 2 nights – Halong Bay or Bai Tu Long Bay
  • 2 nights  – Sapa
  • Alternative to Sapa –  2 night in Hue
  • Fly out of Hanoi

Central Vietnam

  • Fly into Hanoi or HCMC. Get a local flight down to Dong Hoi
  • 3 nights – Phong Nha
  • 2 nights – Hue
  • 2-3  nights – Hoi An
  • Fly out of Da Nang to either Hanoi or HCMC to leave

South Vietnam

  • Fly into Ho Chi Minh City
  • 2 nights – Ho Chi Minh City
  • 2 nights – Mekong Delta
  • 2 nights –  Dalat
  • 1 night – Mui Ne
  • Fly out of Ho Chi Minh City

READ MORE: Check out this post for more details on our Vietnam travel itinerary . 

Hoi An Streets

VIETNAM TRIP PLANNING

Best time to visit vietnam.

The best time to travel to Vietnam really depends on what you are looking for in terms of weather, scenery and budget.

Peak season occurs from mid-December through to February. But expect prices to double during this time. The low season is perfect for those on a budget.

  • Low Season – April to June, September to November
  • Shoulder Season – December to March
  • High Season – July & August

Northern Vietnam  – The best months to travel Northern Vietnam are April to May or September to October. There are mostly sunny days and the rain has stopped.

The weather gets really cold from December to March and is not suited for hiking or sailing a junk boat in Halong Bay that time of year.

Central Vietnam –  The best months for travel to Central Vietnam are January to June. There are heavy rains in October and November and the really hot months are from May to August.

Southern Vietnam  – The best months to explore Southern Vietnam are January to April where conditions are beautiful.

You really can travel the south at any time of the year. Just note that from May to November there are afternoon downpours.

Things To Do In Hanoi

VIETNAM TRAVEL BUDGET GUIDELINE

Vietnam is a cheap country to travel if you want it to be, this all depends on what your budget is like. Our advice is always over-budget when making plans, and if you come home with money, it can go towards your next trip. All prices below are in USD per day.

Budgeting Tips

To make your money go further here are a few tips: 

  • Eat street food as often as possible. You can usually fill up for $1-2USD.
  • Travel in groups when possible. Staying in hostels will lead to making friends. And with friends, you can split transportation costs and barter on other expenses.
  • Negotiate taxi fares before taking the ride. Vietnamese taxi drivers are notorious for flexible fares that tend to fall int heir favor. Don’t be afraid of a little negotiation.
  • Drink bia hoi . Sure it’s not the more delightful beer. But it is shipped in fresh each day, it’s cheap and it’s what the local drink.
  • Take in the sights for free. Do a little research and walk the streets on your own. You’ll also find there are a number of free tours and other opportunities if you ask around.
  • Sleep on overnight busses for longer trips. Combine the transportation and accommodation line items of your budget and save a few dollars.

But there are a few things you should know about the different budgets at which you can choose to travel.

Note: Budgets shown as Single Traveller / Couples per day. 

Budget Traveller ($35 Single / $50 Couples)

If you are on a backpacker budget and planning on staying in dorm rooms, getting street food, drinking a few nights of the week, I would budget for about $35 a day.

A single hostel bed can be $5-$8 per person. A budget basic private room is $15-$20. A street food meal can be $1-$2. A bottle of beer is about $1- $1.50 and a bia hoi is $0.20 per cup. This is not the nicest beer. But it is passable and you get to make new friends when drinking it.

Walking or taking public transport will keep your budget down. There are many free things to do, you just need to think outside the box.

Mid-Range Traveller ($100 Single / $120 Couple)

If you have a little more cash in your budget your travels in Vietnam will become a lot more comfortable.

A nicer hotel is definitely affordable.

There are restaurants where you will pay more than the street food price. But the food is definitely of nicer quality (most of the time). The local beer can get a little too much sometimes so you will be able to enjoy an international beer or wine.

For the attractions you are most interested in, get a guide and learn more about the history of the country. You’ll be able to commit much more of your budget to do things rather than cutting corners just to stay alive.

Luxury Traveller ($90+ Single / $120+ Couple)

You don’t have to have that much more to enjoy a luxury trip to Vietnam. With a few more dollars in your budget, a nicer hotel is definitely affordable. Eat and drink anything you would like at virtually any restaurant.

You can hire transportation without having to haggle. And you can pretty much do any tour you would like to do when visiting any part of Vietnam.

Steaming Grain Best Compact Travel Camera

GETTING TO AND AROUND VIETNAM

Entry requirements.

Most travellers are required to have visas when travelling to Vietnam, which can typically be arranged upon arrival. You are typically allowed to stay for 3 – 6 months, depending on nationality.

For information about your specific visa requirements click  here

Additionally, Vietnam has introduced an electronic visa (e-visa), which costs $25 USD and is granted for single entry visits for up to 30 days.

You no longer will have to apply through an agent to get an invitation letter or queue at the airport immigration for hours waiting to receive your visa upon arrival.

Apply in advance  here .

Once you are approved, all you need to do is print the visa out and present it on entry to Vietnam. Don’t lose this e- visa print out as you will need this during your travels in Vietnam.

Hotels will ask for it on check-in at the accommodation and travel agents may ask for it if you are booking flights.

Also, print out your  travel insurance  as well. Immigration will ask for this also as they want to know you are covered if you fall ill or get injured during your stay.

Japanese Bridge In Hoi An

Getting to Vietnam

There are a number of different ways to travel to Vietnam, depending on where you are coming from and how you like to get around with transport.

There are a lot of different airlines that fly to Vietnam from all over the world. There are two major international airports in Vietnam: Tan Son Nhat Airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City in the south and Noi Bai Airpot (HAN) in Hanoi in the north.

Direct flights to Vietnam from Australia, Europe and North America are still limited, but it is improving. You will most likely have to book a flight with a stopover in either Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul or Singapore.

There are many domestic airports scattered among the country. Vietnam Airlines is Vietnam’s national carrier. We have flown with them several times and they are amazing.

You can cross into Vietnam by train from China, all the way from Beijing to Ping Xian. This is the Dong Dang Crossing which is 160km from Hanoi.

After you have crossed the border hop on a train to Hanoi. Don’t buy the direct ticket from Beijing to Hanoi. It works out cheaper to buy your ticket from Beijing to Ping Xian then cross the border and purchase another ticket from Dong Dang to Hanoi.

If you do the train trip from Beijing through to Hanoi, it will take 36 hours so it is best to book a sleeper. Make sure you have your visa organised before getting to the border.

You can bring your own food and drinks for the train or purchase them from the cafeteria on board. There are squat toilets on board and areas to store your luggage.

You can get to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City through either the Cambodia, Laos or China borders. There is a route from Vientiane (Laos) to Hanoi, and one from Siem Reap or Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City.

Most travel agents in Vientiane, Siem Reap or Phnom Penh will sell the tickets or at your accommodation. You can also get a minivan from Guangzhou through to Hanoi.

Make sure you have your visa ready. The border crossings by land may not be set up as well as others.

If you want to book any of your bus trips online rather than trying to deal with travel agencies in the country, you can do so on the popular website  Bookaway .

Man In Rickshaw

Getting Around Vietnam

Getting around Vietnam is surprisingly easy. Public transport goes everywhere, and there are plenty of moto-taxis that are happy to take you to the places that public transport won’t reach.

Travelling by Air

The fastest way to get around the country, of course, is by air. There are many domestic airports all over the country and you can fly in from major cities.

You can get cheap flights within the country through VietJet Air and Vietnam Airlines. For the best deals head directly on the airline’s website.

Travelling by Taxi, Tuk Tuk Or Mototaxi

When you are in the cities and town catching a taxi, tuk-tuk or moto-taxi can be the best way to get around. For taxi companies, look for the biggest and most reputable companies as you can be ripped off.

For the tuk-tuks, ask your accommodation the average price to your destination so you can agree on a price with the driver.

We recommend Uber and Grab (car or motorbike) which you can use an app and get the price.

Travelling by Bus

It is possible and advisable to travel by bus throughout Vietnam. Busses inside of cities can be complicated and should be a last resort.

However, when travelling long distances in Vietnam busses are a great option. This is especially true if you take night busses and sleep during the ride.

Travelling by Motorbike

We think travelling by motorbike is the best way to see Vietnam if you have the time. Buy your own motorbike and ride the length of the country. Or you can choose one area and explore Northern Vietnam or South Vietnam.

Here’s our post to help guide you on  how to buy a motorbike in Vietnam .

Travelling by Train

Taking the train is a great way to get around the country. They are great for overnight journeys as the trains have bed cabins.

In Vietnam, there are many places with roadwork that can last for years. So trains can be the best way to go.

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APPS AND TECHNOLOGY

We know you’ll absolutely love travelling in Vietnam. But technology has made it easier, more affordable and safer to travel than ever.

Here are a few apps we think you should definitely acquaint yourself with prior to your travels:

Grab – Use this app to catch a ride from any metro area in Vietnam.

XE Currency – Transfer, monitor and calculate currency as the need arises. This app may not be totally necessary as you are typically tied into rates the banks charge for services. But it is handy to have around. 

Express VPN – This will protect your sensitive information wherever you travel – not just in [Country]. Be sure to have this to keep your online information secure as you travel. 

iTranslate – Even if you don’t know more than a handful of Vietnamese words, iTranslate will help you communicate as you travel in Vietnam. 

WiFi Finder – With this app, you no longer have to guess whether the next place on your itinerary has WiFi or scramble across town looking for hot spots.

Market Be Your Own Travel Concierge

BEST THINGS TO EAT IN VIETNAM

When you travel to a foreign country one of the new and most exciting things you will experience is the food. There are so many amazing food choices in Vietnam, and Vietnamese food is delicious.

Here are a few of our favourites.

Goi Cuon:  This is a rice paper packed with greens, coriander and various combinations of minced or shredded pork, shrimp or crab. It will be served with a sweet and sour sauce or a delicious homemade peanut sauce.

Sometimes to make the experience even better, you get to hand roll them yourself. This was our favourite dish.

Banh Mi:  With this one, it will be different in every corner of Vietnam. This is a baguette sandwich that is filled with meat, greens, pata, pickled vegetables, soy sauce, cilantro and sometimes an omelet.

The meat filling will be roasted pork belly, grilled pork loin, barbecue pork, boiled chicken, or a fried egg.

Pho (pronounced ‘fur’):  This flat rice noodle soup is either light beef or chicken broth flavoured with coriander and ginger with spring onions and bits of meat (chicken, pork or beef).

It is a dish you can have any time of the day and is delicious, but it can be hit and miss in some places. If you have an average one, please do try it again. We ate pho a lot for breakfast and never got sick of it.

Bun Cha:  This is a Hanoi specialty and it is deliciously addictive. Bun Cha is served with grilled fatty pork over a plate of white rice noodles. It will be served with a sauce.

It will all be served separately and you combined everything together. You can ask for some little fried spring rolls on top too. It is so delicious!

Coa Lau:  Hoi An is the best (and only authentic) place to try this one. as the noodles are made using water from a special well in town.

It is chewy rice flour noodles with Chinese barbecue pork, bean sprouts, croutons and fresh herbs in a delicious pork-based gravy.

Bun Cha Hanoi

PLACES TO STAY IN VIETNAM

There are accommodation options for all budgets in Vietnam. You can stay in a shared dorm for $5 USD per night, or a luxury hotel for over $300 USD.

The accommodation standards can vary in each destination.

For example, we got a really nice hotel in the middle of nowhere when we were on our bike for $12 a night. But we would not find a place like this in Hanoi, Hoi An, HCMC or Hue for less than $25.

NOTE –  In Vietnam, the accommodation will keep your passport for the duration of your stay. This is to do with the government. Officials will randomly come around and check hotels and hostels.

If they do not have the ID or passport of every person staying there, the accommodation will be fined. The accommodation will keep your passport in a safe. If you are unsure just ask, “do you lock my passport up?”

Types of Accommodations

Vietnam is wildly popular among backpackers. Because the costs are generally incredibly low, budget travellers flock to the country.

This means that there are lots of great hostel options when looking for accommodations in Vietnam.

Whether you are busy spending all your time exploring and are just looking for a cheap place to crash for the night or want to make friends along the way, you will find most of what you are looking for in a variety of hostels throughout Vietnam.

Because costs are generally lower in Vietnam than in most parts of the world your quality of life can go up quite a bit when you travel to Vietnam.

One way you can upgrade your travel experience is by booking rooms in hotels instead of beds in hostels. For a few dollars more you’ll get vastly more space and privacy.

In some towns and villages, hotels are your only option.

But generally, these are very reasonably priced. You can expect to spend USD$20-30 for a decent hotel room in most cities, towns and villages across Vietnam.

Another good option in recent years is AirBnB, and there are more and more amazing places popping up to stay in Vietnam for very affordable prices every day.

As is typical in many destinations where Airbnb accommodations are available, you’ll likely find great value and a little more personal space with an Airbnb stay. 

If you’re looking for an awesome place to stay, we personally love using Airbnb. If you’ve never used the platform before,  sign up using this link to get USD$35 off your first booking .

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Vietnam

We travelled from the south to the north and stayed in many different places. Here are a few accommodation options we highly recommend.

Temple Hoi An

VIETNAM TRAVEL TIPS

The Vietnamese people are friendly, welcoming and hospitable towards travellers. It is a great destination to travel to in Southeast Asia.

The people are very respectful and would like the same back from you. Here are a few things that you should know before going to Vietnam.

GENERAL VIETNAM TRAVEL TIPS 

While we have many basic travel tips we suggest you use when travelling to Vietnam, there are also plenty of Vietnam-specific tips that will make your visit the best it can be. 

Here are a few we recommend you consider as you plan your trip to visit Vietnam: 

Please show respect to their religious beliefs and their cultures . You are travelling to someone else’s country. They have different religious beliefs and cultures in your home. Please respect them.

Watch your belongings. Vietnam is a safe country but unfortunately, there still is petty theft. Whether you are at a restaurant or on a bus always watch your belongings.

Beware of the counterfeit tour agencies . Unfortunately, there are plenty of these around, especially in the main tourist areas. Book through the main owner or operator or any of these tours that we recommend .

Do not drink the tap water. The locals don’t even drink the water. There is bottled water available everywhere. Popular tourist restaurants will usually have on their menu that they wash their salad and veggies in sterilised water and make tea, coffee and soup from that too.

Carry toilet paper everywhere . There are toilets available in restaurants or in public but there may not be toilet paper. Most of the time you have to pay for the public toilet and they may give you some toilet paper, but don’t count on it. Always have your stash.

Toilet paper goes in the bin . DO NOT put the toilet paper in the toilet. Please put it into the bin provided. Vietnam’s sewerage systems are not built for much more than human waste so toilet paper and other items will just clog up your toilet.

Embrace the “bum gun “. Next to every toilet in Vietnam, there is a water hose. This is not to wash down the floor. This is to clean yourself up after you do your business. Don’t be disgusted by this. Embrace it.

Vietnam is bigger than you think . This country is huge and many people underestimate it. Vietnam is about 1,650 kilometres long from north to south. The distance on buses and trains is long so be prepared.

Take note of the Vietnamese money . It will be a new currency for you so do take a look at it before you go out spending. There are more zeros in it than you might be used to (1USD = 23,000 Dong)

Always take photos when you rent a scooter . Renting a scooter in Vietnam is something everyone does. It is a great way to get around and see all the attractions. But where you rent it from can get you into trouble. Whenever you rent a scooter take photos of the bike or else might end up with a crazy expensive bill.

Always wear a helmet. Always . Please wear a helmet. The roads are crazier here than they are in your country. The rules are different and road conditions are not the best. A quality helmet could save your life in an accident.

Make sure you have travel insurance . We tell people who are going travelling, “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.” You do not know what is going to happen while you are away and knowing you are covered will put your mind at ease.

Be confident when crossing the road . The roads in Vietnam are crazy. Crossing the road can be daunting but you need to be confident. Do not walk backward or hesitate. Walk slowly and watch the traffic coming towards you. They will all move around you.

Take your shoes off before entering a temple or a person’s home . It is a custom that stems back to ancient times and a big part comes back to cleanliness. The ground is used for chatting, dining and even sleeping.

Cover your shoulders and knees when entering a temple . This is common in most religious sites. There are always signs suggesting visitors dress ‘appropriately.’ Shoulders and knees should be covered. If it is a hot day and a t-shirt is too sticky, carry a scarf for when you visit to cover your shoulders.

Keep a low profile . Do not be loud, raise your voice in aggression or show off. Do not show dramatic affection publicly like kissing. Save it for the hotel room

Ask for permission before taking a photo of someone . This is polite and ensures you are not intruding on them. The people are not there for your entertainment. If they say no, smile and thank them anyway.

Do not take photos of anything to do with the government or military. This is a big NO in any country and can end up with you in jail.

Do not touch someone on the head . The head is the most important part of the body. Touching someone’s head who you don’t know is like saying you are more important than they are.

Place your chopsticks across the top of the bowl when finished . Don’t have your chopsticks hanging out of the bowl, and don’t point them at anyone when they are resting on the plate.

Riding Northern Vietnam

VIETNAM PACKING LIST

We always travel with a core packing list wherever we go. And when it comes to Vietnam, many factors will affect what else you need to bring along with you. 

Check out our travel essentials and be sure to add any of the other additional items listed below. 

Important Note! Before you book any international trip, we honestly recommend getting travel insurance. You never know when things will go wrong, and medical bills can add up quickly if you get sick or injure yourself overseas.

Our personal recommendation based on our own experience is World Nomads .

STAYING SAFE IN VIETNAM

Vietnam is extremely safe, apart from the one major danger which is the roads. They are crazy, even more so if you try to ride 10’000km around the country on motorbikes as we did!

Aside from that, common sense will keep you safe.

Here are a few reminders of what common sense when travelling in Vietnam means:

As you saw above, Vietnam is extremely safe. We did not feel unsafe once in the 7 months we were there (excluding the roads).

This doesn’t mean you can completely let your guard down though, and petty theft does happen in this country, although it’s not common.

Some tips for protecting your things:

In other words, use common sense and you’ll be fine.

Band Playing In Street Hanoi

STAYING CONNECTED IN VIETNAM

Staying connected with friends and family (and work) when travelling in Vietnam is important. But if you don’t know how to connect you can find yourself greatly inconvenienced or spending too much money.

We feel like your money will go a lot further if you consider a few options. 

Purchase a SIM Card

Picking up a SIM card has become the quickest and typically most affordable way to stay connected in Vietnam or any country for that matter.

If you have an unlocked phone you can use a 4G SIM card to connect to the cellular networks in Vietnam. From there you can cast a hot spot if you need to crank out some work on your computer or want to connect a tablet.

This 3G/4G SIM card is a great and affordable option for a SIM card if you are flying into Vietnam.

Rent a Portable WiFi Device

Alternatively to a SIM card, particularly if you don’t have an unlocked phone, you can rent a portable WiFi device during your travel to Vietnam.

This device will be delivered to you when you arrive in Vietnam and will provide 4G service for less than USD$5 per day.

You’ll be able to connect anywhere you can find service across the country, which will be most of the places you are likely to travel in Vietnam.

Access Free WiFI

Free is always best, if it is convenient. And there are plenty of places throughout Vietnam that will provide free WiFi in public spaces or at restaurants, cafes and hostels and hotels.

We recommend using the WiFi Finder app, which will help you locate WiFi anywhere you travel in Vietnam.

This Image Has An Empty Alt Attribute; Its File Name Is Vietnamese-Market-Lady-1024X683.Jpg

BE A RESPONSIBLE TRAVELER IN VIETNAM

We absolutely love Vietnam. And we love the idea that it will remain a beautiful and friendly place for travellers for years to come.

Here are a few tips specific to travel to Vietnam that will promote sustainable tourism in the country:

Use your own energy to get around. Walk or cycle through town as much as possible. Taking a cyclo-taxi is a close alternative if you don’t have the energy to propel yourself through the city. But this reduces the impact of taxis, busses and other forms of automotive transportation.

Mind your plastic . Plastic is everywhere in Vietnam. But using your own reusable bag for groceries and other shopping, carrying a reusable water bottle and having your own straw are just 3 of the many simple ways you can reduce the amount of plastic you use.

Shop local . Visiting the markets will be one of your top experiences when travelling to Vietnam. Support local vendors as often as possible, including in taking tours when available.

Be mindful of wildlife . Wildlife in the wild is great. But be mindful not to provoke, feed or otherwise molest wildlife. And never purchase any item made of or involving rare or endangered species.

Attempt to communicate in Vietnamese . You’re probably not going to be fluent as soon as you arrive in the country. But knowing a few phrases and doing your best to communicate with locals will show respect and earn trust and make your experience richer.

KEY VIETNAMESE TRAVEL PHRASES

You don’t have to be fluent in Vietnamese to have a great time when you travel to Vietnam. But it does help to know a few key phrases.

This will not only assist you in your travels but it will also show respect to the local Vietnamese people that you are doing your best to assimilate into their culture. 

BOOKS TO READ ABOUT VIETNAM

Maybe you already know everything about Vietnam. Chances are you don’t!

But even if you are well-read, here are a few suggestions that might be worth your time while you’re on the plane to Vietnam. 

The Quiet American (Graham Greene) – Originally published in 1956 and adapted for film twice, this story by Greene became an instant classic. Greene fictionalizes life in 1950s Vietnam as told by a British correspondent trying to understand the roots of the rising conflict set to occur.

At Home In The World (Thich Nhat Hanh) – World renown Vietnamese monk, Hanh reflects on lessons and stories in life from the Buddhist perspective.

Vietnam: Rising Dragon (Bill Hayton) – A piece of nonfiction that looks back on the Vietnam of old and attempts to projects its place in the future of Southeast Asia.

The Sympathizer (Viet Thanh Nguyen) – The Pulitzer Prize-winning book, allegedly influenced by The Quiet American , is told through the eyes of a double-agent during the Vietnam War who struggles to understand the minds and hearts of men engaged in war.

DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products that ourselves or our fantastic editorial team have personally experienced, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!

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Currency in Vietnam - A Full Guide 2024

Claire Millard

Planning a trip to Vietnam? Whether you’re heading there for work or pleasure, you’ll need to know how to pay your way as you travel.

This guide covers all you’ll need to know about the official currency in Vietnam, where to get it and how to keep your costs down during your trip.

What is the currency in Vietnam?

The official currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong, which is issued and overseen by the State Bank of Vietnam. If you’re buying your travel money online you may also see the official code being shown - VND. In stores and restaurants, Vietnamese Dong prices are likely to use the currency symbol ₫.

Once you’re in Vietnam you’ll see costs of items shown in VND and you’ll need to start paying for things in local coins and notes which are often found in the following denominations:

banknotes - 100₫, 200₫, 500₫, 1000₫, 2000₫, 5000₫, 10,000₫, 20,000₫, 50,000₫, 100,000₫, 200,000₫, 500,000₫ and coins (rarely used) 200₫, 500₫, 1000₫, 2000₫, 5000₫.

Can you officially pay in CAD when you are in Vietnam?

You’re unlikely to be able to officially transact in CAD in Vietnam, which is why it’s time to start getting used to VND and learning more about the currency exchange rates so you’ll know what you’re spending on your trip.

This guide will walk through all you need to know, including Canadian dollar/Vietnamese Dong rates and where best to get your travel money from.

VND coins and banknotes

Here’s a full rundown of the VND coins and banknotes you’ll need to be familiar with when you’re in Vietnam.

History of Vietnamese Dong currency

The Vietnamese Dong (VND) was introduced in 1978, replacing the South Vietnamese dong and the North Vietnamese dong following Vietnam's reunification. The dong has been devalued several times to support exports and economic growth.

Is CAD accepted in Vietnam?

As we’ve seen, the official currency in Vietnam is VND. If you carry CAD with you on your trip, you’ll probably need to exchange it before you can spend.

Sometimes when you’re away on a trip abroad you’ll find that merchants will take payments in a selection of major foreign currencies. However, the chances are that where this is offered, you won’t get a good exchange rate for your CAD. Planning smart and convenient ways to spend in VND when you’re away is likely to mean you save on costs in the end.

Usually, having a few different ways to pay and get cash is the best option for travelers and tourists. That’s because you’ll have a back up plan in case one payment method isn’t accepted for any reason, and you can pick the method that’s best suited to the specific transaction. Having a multi-currency card from a provider like Wise or Revolut , plus your normal bank debit card, and some local cash in VND should mean you’ve always got options. You can use your cash for small purchases and tipping, and make low cost payments and cash withdrawals with your multi-currency card, while keeping your bank card in reserve for emergencies.

Use a travel card on your next trip to Vietnam

Using a travel debit card in Vietnam is usually cheap, safe and convenient. A few providers in the UK offer multi-currency cards which come with a linked payment account that lets you convert, hold and spend in VND. That allows you to add a balance in CAD and switch over to VND to lock in the exchange rate and set your travel budget.

Once you have VND in your account there are no extra fees to make payments, and you’ll not have foreign transaction charges to worry about, either.

Here’s a quick overview of a couple of handy travel debit cards you may want to order and use in Vietnam.

Wise travel card

Order a Wise travel card online or in the Wise app, to hold and exchange 40+ currencies and manage your money from your phone. You’ll be able to spend conveniently in VND - and all currency exchange uses the mid-market rate with no markup.

Card holders get some free ATM withdrawals available every month, and there’s no annual or monthly fees to pay, and no minimum balance requirement.

Read a full Wise review here

Green Wise card

Revolut card

Revolut offers several different account plans so you can pick the one that suits your needs and spending, including some with no monthly fees. All account plans let you hold and exchange multiple currencies in the same account, and there’s no-fee to spend currencies you hold.

Depending on the plan you pick you’ll get fixed levels of no-fee ATM withdrawals and mid-market currency exchange every month. Low fees apply once you exhaust your plan no-fee limits.

Read a full Revolut review here

travel to vietnam currency

What is the currency exchange rate for £ 1 CAD/VND?

It’s helpful to get to know the live CAD/VND rate so you can easily calculate how much things are costing you while you’re on your trip abroad. The rate you need to focus on is the mid market rate, which is the one banks and major currency services get when buying and selling currencies. This rate isn’t always passed on to customers. Instead you may find that the CAD/VND rate you get when exchanging travel cash includes a markup - an extra fee.

Find the CAD/VND mid-market rate from a currency conversion site or a website like this, so you can keep an eye on the market and compare the rates you’re offered as you travel against the mid-market rate easily.

Should I exchange CAD to VND before traveling to Vietnam?

It’s a good idea to exchange CAD to VND before you head off to Vietnam, as you can often find a better exchange rate and lower overall costs before you travel.

When you’re in Vietnam you’re going to need VND in cash for some of your spending - particularly when tipping or making smaller value purchases. Buying your VND travel money in advance can get you better CAD/VND exchange rates, and saves you wasting precious time shopping around for a good deal once you arrive in Vietnam.

Tips for exchanging money in Vietnam

At merchants and ATMs, make sure you’re charged in VND. If you’re asked if you’d rather pay in CAD instead, say no. That’s a sign of dynamic currency conversion, which usually means extra costs. ATMs are widely used in Vietnam so withdrawing money in target-currency is easy, particularly in big cities and Hanoi.

Best place to exchange currency in Vietnam

You can get your VND in Vietnam in a couple of ways.

You’ll be able to use a travel debit card from a provider like Wise or Revolut to make convenient payments and cash withdrawals and to convert funds online.

Or if you prefer an offline solution you can carry some cash in CAD to exchange when you arrive. Currency exchange providers are often in airports and hotels, although the exchange shops in a city center are likely to be cheaper overall.

How to pay in Vietnam?

You’ll need to have VND to spend in Vietnam. However, generally having a few different payment methods is a good plan. That means that if a merchant won't accept one, you’ve got a back up. It’s also reassuring to know you have a different way to pay if you were unlucky enough to have a card or some travel cash stolen. Here are your key payment options in Vietnam.

1. Debit or credit card

Card payments can be helpful in shops, restaurants and hotels but there will be places where cash is also important. Order a travel card from a provider like Wise or Revolut for cheap and fast transactions, including card payments and cash withdrawals as and when you need travel money in VND.

2. VND cash

Cash is widely used in Vietnam, so it’s worth having some with you at all times. You may want to exchange money to VND before you leave, but it’s also usually convenient to make ATM withdrawals locally once you arrive in Vietnam.

You’ll usually find you can use a card to make payments in Vietnam, but carrying some cash in VND is also reassuring. It’s often easier for tipping and making smaller purchases, plus you’ve got a nice backup if your card is ever out of action for some reason.

It’s a smart idea to have both a card and some cash in VND when you’re in Vietnam. Some merchants will prefer cash, but having a card for higher value payments and in busier more tourist places is also convenient. Consider using a travel card from a provider like Wise or Revolut alongside your cash for flexibility.

Paying for the trip in CAD

If you’re paying for things in Vietnam with a CAD bank card you might find a foreign transaction fee is added. This pushes up your costs when you spend in a foreign currency, and can be tricky to calculate.

Travel debit cards don’t always work this way. When you make purchases in Vietnam using the Wise card you can either choose to convert your account balance to VND in advance in the Wise app, or just leave your balance in CAD and let the card handle the transaction when you pay. You’ll always get the lowest available fee and there are no extra foreign transaction charges.

Conclusion - Currency in Vietnam

You won’t be able to pay in CAD when you visit Vietnam - so learning about the currency you need is essential. Whether you decide to use a travel debit card from a service like Wise , or stock up on VND in cash in advance, knowing the mid-market exchange rate can help you get the best available deal. Use this guide to learn all you need to know about the options, rates and fees for exchanging CAD to VND, and make your money go further while you’re away.

The official currency in Vietnam is VND. You can’t usually pay in CAD in Vietnam, so you’ll need to plan in advance to get your travel money sorted. Consider ordering a travel debit card from a service like Wise, for low cost conversions to VND and convenient spending and withdrawals - and remember that knowing the CAD to VND mid-market exchange rate is essential to check you’re getting a fair deal on currency exchange.

FAQ - Currency in Vietnam

What is the currency in vietnam called.

The official currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong. You may also see the code VND and the currency symbol ₫.

What's the currency in Hanoi?

The official currency in Hanoi is the Vietnamese Dong. You’ll only be able to spend in VND while you’re there.

What is the old Vietnam currency?

Today the currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong. If you’re worried about currencies changing, why not get a travel debit card from a service like Wise which will automatically pick the currency needed in your destination when making a payment - with no penalties or inflated fees.

What is the best currency to take to Vietnam?

You’ll only be able to spend in VND while you’re in Vietnam. Carrying some money in cash and using a travel debit card from a service like Wise is usually the best way to spend while you’re away from home.

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4 Best Ways to Take Travel Money to Vietnam in 2024

Vietnam is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Australians, with a potent mix of fabulous food, buzzing cities and glorious nature to explore. There are also high numbers of Australian expats who’ve come to Vietnam to work in one of the big cities, or to retire in places like Da Nang and Vũng Tàu.

No matter whether you’re off to Vietnam for a short break or to live long term, you’ll need to figure out the best way to pay for things while you’re there. This guide covers 4 popular ways to take money to Vietnam, so you can pick the one that suits you best.

Best ways to take money to Vietnam

In this guide we’ll walk through 4 of the most practical and popular ways to take money to Vietnam, including our top picks for providers to look at, pros and cons. Here are the common ways to pay overseas that we’ll investigate:

Prepaid Travel Card Travel Money

Prepaid Travel Card

Debit Card for Travel Money

Travel Debit Card

Credit card for Travel Money

Travel credit card

Cash for Travel Money

Prepaid travel cards to use in Vietnam

Ideal for: secure spending and withdrawals, and a digital account you can use to hold and exchange a selection of currencies

Different prepaid travel money cards work in their own ways, which means you can pick the one that suits your spending style. With some prepaid travel money cards you’ll add money in AUD before switching to VND (or a selection of other supported currencies) online or in an app. With others you’ll simply need to add your money in dollars and the card will convert it for you when you spend or withdraw. In all cases you’ll get an app you can use to view your account balance and add money funds, which is convenient when away from home.

Picking a card which supports VND for holding and exchange has the advantage that you can lock in the exchange rate in advance, to set your travel budget. That can be especially handy if you spot a good AUD - VND rate and want to convert your money while you can.

Prepaid travel cards also have some security benefits as they’re not linked to your AUD bank account, which adds security when you’re travelling. If your card is stolen or misplaced, you can just freeze it in the provider’s app, without impacting your normal bank account or card.

Learn more about our picks for the 6 best prepaid cards - there’s more on our top choice, Wise, next.

Wise - our pick for prepaid travel card

With this card:

  • Hold and exchange 40+ currencies in your linked Wise account
  • No annual or monthly fees to pay, and no minimum balance requirement
  • Currency exchange uses the mid-market rate with no markup
  • Some free ATM withdrawals available every month
  • Virtual and physical cards available

Wise Australia Travel Debit Card

Pros and cons of taking money to Vietnam with a prepaid travel card

  • Some cards let you hold VND, so you can convert funds in advance and lock in the exchange rate
  • Not linked to your main everyday account, which increases security
  • Cards are available with no minimum balance or ongoing fees to pay
  • Currency exchange may have better rates than a bank will offer
  • You’ll be able to re-use your card for your next trip - often dozens of currencies are supported
  • Not all cards support VND for advance exchange
  • Exchange rates may include a markup on the mid-market rate
  • ATM fees may apply, depending on the card you pick
  • Some cards have inactivity fees which apply if you don’t use them regularly, or cash out fees if you close your account

Travel debit cards to use in Vietnam

Ideal for: spending and VND cash withdrawals, with no interest or penalty fees

Using a travel debit card offers a few specific benefits compared to using your normal bank debit card when you’re away. You can use a travel card as conveniently as any other debit card, but it can be safer as it isn't linked to your bank account. Many also come with extra benefits such as complimentary wifi, insurance or airport lounge access, plus low or no foreign transaction fees. 

Travel debit cards are commonly issued by specialist providers, and will be linked to a digital multi-currency account you can manage from your phone. Once you have a card you’ll need to add money in AUD, and depending on the specific card you select, you could switch to VND immediately, or let the card do the conversion for you when you spend.

We’ll go into more detail about our top pick for a travel debit card - Revolut - next, and you can also read more about the best travel debit cards in Australia here.

Revolut - our pick for travel debit card for Vietnam

  • Hold and exchange 25+ currencies
  • Choose the account plan that suits your needs and spending, including some with no monthly fees
  • Some no- fee ATM withdrawals and currency exchange with the mid-market rate, based on the account tier you choose
  • Extra perks like accounts for under 18s, plus cash back on card spending for top tier account holders
  • Travel benefits offered for some account plans

Pros and cons of taking money to Vietnam with a travel debit card

  • Cards are often optimised for travel, with ways to cut the cost of spending overseas
  • Different card options available to suit individual customer needs, including some with no ongoing fees to pay
  • Make withdrawals from international ATMs to avoid having to carry a lot of cash 
  • No interest or penalty fees - just top up the amount you want to spend and you’re done
  • Not connected to your main AUD account, adding a layer of security when you’re overseas
  • Not all cards allow you to hold and exchange VTM
  • Unlike with a credit card you’ll need to fund your account upfront
  • Some cards have monthly fees to pay to get full feature access

Taking cash in Vietnam

Ideal for: day to day spending in markets, small stores and taxis, also useful for tipping

In major cities and tourist areas you’ll find that stores, restaurants and hotels can usually take a card payment. However, many vendors will only accept cash in smaller places - and as visiting markets and trying street food is one of the great joys of a trip to Vietnam, you’ll want to carry some dong so you don’t miss out.

If you’re planning ahead of time you can buy VND online from a provider like Travelex before you leave, and collect it at a branch or have it delivered to home. Alternatively you can carry AUD to exchange on arrival, or make ATM withdrawals from time to time. Using ATMs is usually a convenient option as it’s more secure than carrying a lot of cash - and in cities and tourist resorts you’ll find plenty of ATMs to choose from. 

Generally it’s a smart idea to have some cash as well as one or more cards to cover all your spending when you’re in Vietnam. That way you always have a back up plan if one payment method isn’t accepted.

Do I need cash in Vietnam?

Yes. Carrying some cash in VND is a good idea for anything you want to pick up from a market or street stall. Cash is also used for tipping and if you take a taxi, so it’s pretty much unavoidable.

How to buy Vietnamese dong on arrival in Vietnam

Australian dollars in cash can be exchanged to VND on arrival in Vietnam. You’ll find plenty of currency exchange stores in the larger cities, but bear in mind that you’ll struggle in more remote areas. In this case you might end up needing to exchange your money with your hotel, which usually means paying a high fee. 

How to buy Vietnamese dong in Australia?

If you’d prefer to be organised in advance you can also choose to exchange AUD to Vietnamese dong in cash in Australia before you travel. Options like Travelex often let you order VND online and collect your cash later in a branch, or have it delivered to your home. Fees and exchange rate markups may apply.

Best place to get Vietnamese dong from

There’s no single best place to get your travel cash. For many travellers, carrying some VND and AUD in cash, and making some cash withdrawals as and when needed offers both security and convenience. 

Travel credit cards to use in Vietnam

Ideal for: secure spending and the opportunity to earn extra travel perks, rewards or miles. 

If you prefer to spend using a credit card, getting a travel credit card can be a good plan. Not only does this offer the option of getting reward points, cashback or miles when you spend, it could work out to be fairly good value if you pick a card with low or no foreign transaction fees. However, you’ll have to weigh up the benefits against the costs, which can include annual fees, interest and cash advance charges.

In particular, making an ATM withdrawal with a credit card can be very pricey because you’ll usually be charged a cash advance fee and interest which accrues instantly. It’s worth considering getting a travel debit card to use in ATMs, which can mean no fees and good exchange rates, and keeping your credit card for spending directly with merchants.

Learn about the best travel credit cards in Australia here, and read on for more on our top pick.

28 Degrees - our pick for travel credit card

  • Order online and start spending with your virtual card instantly if approved
  • No annual or monthly fees
  • No foreign transaction or currency conversion fees
  • Make ATM withdrawals overseas - fees apply for this service 
  • Unlock perks like discounts on travel bookings and internet roaming packages

travel to vietnam currency

Pros and cons of travel credit cards to Vietnam

  • Convenient and safe way to pay, accepted in major hotels and retail chains
  • Earn rewards and discounts, or get travel perks - depending on the card you pick
  • Some cards have low or no foreign transaction fees
  • Credit cards are useful as a payment guarantee in some situations
  • Cards won’t be accepted by street vendors and at popular tourist places like markets
  • Interest and fees usually apply if you don’t pay back your bill immediately
  • Cash advance fees and interest mean that using your card at an ATM is expensive
  • Eligibility rules and credit checks apply

Travel requirements from Australia to Vietnam

You’ll need to apply for  an e-visa to go to Vietnam. Once issued, your visa will allow a stay of up to 90 days, for business or leisure purposes. Apply in good time so you have all your documents lined up before you travel.

Entry requirements can change rapidly, so checking before you travel is always advised. Check the government’s Smart Traveller website to learn more.

Does Vietnam accept Australian dollars?

No. You won’t be able to spend AUD anywhere in Vietnam. If you’re carrying dollars with you you'll need to exchange them for Vietnamese dong when you arrive.

Best currency to take to Vietnam

You’ll only be able to spend in Vietnamese dong in Vietnam, so you can choose to either carry AUD in cash with you and convert on arrival, or to order your travel cash in Vietnamese dong before you leave. Bear in mind that exchange offices will be hard to find in more remote areas.

How much money do I need per day in Vietnam?

Vietnam is a big place, with everything from high end luxury hotels to rural homestays. That means you can find the accommodation that suits your budget, no matter what you’re planning on spending.

You’ll also find that day to day life in Vietnam is often pretty cheap. To give a flavour, a 3 course lunch for 2 will set you back just over 30 AUD on average, a cheap lunch for one will be around 3 dollars - and a domestic beer about 1.60 dollars.  Do some detailed research to see how much things are likely to cost based on your plans and where you’re headed, so you can set your budget. Get more detailed cost information by city, from Numbeo.com .

How much does it cost to fly from Australia to Vietnam?

Flight costs vary widely depending on where in Australia you’ll leave from and where you’ll visit in Vietnam. At the time of writing (September 2023), the very cheapest flight deals are under 300 AUD return. However, these flights will require a change which can make the overall travel time very long. Non-stop flights are available from some cities in Australia for a slightly higher price - at the time of writing you’d pay around 400 AUD for a flight from Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City, for example.

Generally, whether you’re heading to Vietnam or anywhere else in the world, having a variety of ways to pay is definitely the smartest move. That’s certainly the case in Vietnam, as cards won’t always be accepted, so you’ll need a mix of cards and cash to get by conveniently.

Carrying lots of cash isn’t safe, so for most travellers, using a card to make ATM withdrawals in VND as and when you need to makes sense. You could also find this approach saves you money if you get a travel card - such as a prepaid travel card from Wise or a travel debit card from Revolut. Not only will you get a good exchange rate, many travel cards have some free ATM withdrawals overseas, for a great combination of cost and convenience.

Use this guide to decide which option to take money to Vietnam will work best for you, based on your own preferences and needs.

FAQ - Best ways to take money to Vietnam

Should I exchange money before I travel to Vietnam?

You’ll need to have some cash in Vietnam, so you can exchange in advance or make an ATM withdrawal on arrival at the airport. Using an ATM can also be cheaper than advance exchange, particularly if you have a travel card from a provider like Wise or Revolut.

Can I withdraw Vietnamese dong from a local ATM?

You can’t withdraw Vietnamese dong at an ATM in Australia, but you can use a travel card to make an ATM withdrawal on arrival in Vietnam. This is often one of the most convenient ways to arrange your travel cash for Vietnam.

Are prepaid travel cards a good way to take money to Vietnam?

Travel prepaid cards from services like Wise are a safe way to spend when abroad. With Wise you’ll also get mid-market exchange rates and low, transparent fees which can bring down the costs of your trip.

Can I use cash in Vietnam?

Yes. Cash is unavoidable as it’s the only payment method accepted by many smaller merchants. Carry some cash at all times, and make ATM withdrawals as and when you need to so you never run short.

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What is the best currency to take to Vietnam?

If you want to visit Vietnam, you should carry Vietnam Dong or USD.

Vietnam Dong is officially used in this country, which have become the best currency used in Vietnam. However, this money has many 0 (zero) numbers, which makes many guests confuse to use. USD is the second one, but you need to exchange it at the banks or at the money exchange stations at the airports.

Vietnamese Currency - Vietnamese money

Here is more information about currency to take to Vietnam when you explore this beautiful country.

When you will visit Vietnam, it is easy for you to go shopping or pay the bill in hotels and small restaurants by using Dong or VND.

Vietnam is a country where people like to use cash although the government encourages using the credit card, ATM, Visa, or the other methods without cash.

You will find most small shops and restaurants have not had machines to accept money from debit or credit cards. However, most of the hotels and travel company accept your card payment or online payment.

The currency in Vietnam is the Vietnam Dong (VND) , widely used in the country. And, most of the local people are “millionaires”, and you too because of VND having a lot of Zero. The biggest note is 500,000VND (=nearly 22USD).

Besides, US dollars are accepted in Vietnam in most of the hotels, tourist restaurants, and tourist shops in the big cities; however, it is too hard to spend in the local restaurants and local markets .

Euro, Pound or the other money is not widely to use in Vietnam, but can be exchanged or accepted by a few places.

How to change these currencies into Vietnam Dong? See the next guide as below.

Exchange your money into Vietnam Dong :

As Vietnamdrive mentioned above, USD is can use in Vietnam. USD is very easy to change at many places in Vietnam such as banks, hotels, or gold shops which are allowed to exchange.

Please note that banks of Vietnam are the top places to exchange although some gold shops have a higher rate and quicker services, but it’s risky to exchange at the shops.

For other money as Euro, Pound, and the others, you should change at the banks. You can find some top banks such as Vietcombank, Vietinbank, BIDV for Vietnamese banks in most of the cities in Vietnam , and ANZ, HSBC or Citibank for international banks in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.

Exchange rate at Vietcombank

Use VISA cards, Credit and Debit cards

You can use these cards to pay your services in Vietnam, just in the big cities and at some big restaurants, shops or hotels.

Nowadays, it is easy to use VISA cards, credit or Debit cards to take money from ATMs in Vietnam.

With many guests’ experience, VISA cards are the easiest cards to take money from the ATMs of Vietnamese banks.

>> If you come from US, please check a Vietnam visa for US citizens .

Carry traveler cheques

Although traveler cheques are accepted in Vietnam, just in the big cities, the big hotels and some banks. These cheques are not liked to use in Vietnam.

Thus, you, sometimes, get trouble when you have only traveler cheques left.

In short, when traveling to Vietnam, you should carry cash and VISA cards, this’s the best choice.

Vietnam Dong and USD are preferred to use in Vietnam. And, it is very easy to change USD into Dong at the banks in Vietnam.

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Traveling Internationally? Order Foreign Currency Before You Go

Sally French

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Upon landing in a foreign country, expect a lot of lines. There’s immigration, passport control and customs inspection. But there’s one line you can — and absolutely should — skip: the airport currency exchange.

Not only does the airport currency exchange counter’s line cut into precious time abroad, but it’s typically a terrible money move. Airport currency exchange rates are among the worst you’ll find.

It’s not uncommon to see airport exchanges charging 14% more than the current International Monetary Fund (IMF) exchange rate. NerdWallet even found some premiums exceeding 17%. Some also charge additional fees on top of the poor exchange rate.

So what do you do if you need cash upon arrival to order a cab or tip the bellhop? Consider ordering foreign currency before you fly.

Most banks allow you to order foreign currencies, which you can typically pick up at a local branch before your trip. Some banks offer to ship currencies to you, and sometimes they don’t even charge extra for postage if you order a certain amount.

Plus, the exchange rate can be good. For instance, at Bank of America, the exchange rates we checked in January 2024 average roughly 6% more than the IMF rates — and less than half of what the airport currency exchanges are charging.

» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now

How to order foreign currency from your bank

While the exact process varies by bank, most major banks make it easy to order online.

Typically you can access the currency exchange webpage through your bank’s website or mobile app, or by phone. From there, you usually enter the currency you need, add the desired amount, select the pickup method and place your order.

While you can generally expect a solid exchange rate, use a trusted source such as Reuters or the International Monetary Fund to find current exchange rates and ensure you get a fair deal.

Additionally, understand all the fees involved. For example, Citi charges a $5 service fee for transactions under $1,000, though it’s waived for clients with premium bank accounts .

Or you might get charged a shipping fee. Bank of America’s standard shipping costs $7.50, but overnight shipping is $20. Sometimes you can avoid shipping fees by opting to pick up the cash at a local branch or by being a loyal customer. Bank of America Preferred Rewards program members get free standard shipping.

There’s also generally a minimum amount of foreign currency you can order ($100 or $200 is common) and a maximum ($10,000 within a 30-day period is common).

Video preview image

Other good ways to pay abroad

If it’s too late to order foreign currency from your bank, here are other ways to curtail currency fees :

Find an in-network ATM abroad

Major banks usually have branches abroad or partner with other banks to create a network. Using those ATMs often provides a decent exchange rate while eliminating out-of-network ATM fees.

If you end up using a non-network ATM, pay attention to ATM fees , which vary but usually run about $5 per transaction. Given that, consider limiting ATM debit transactions by withdrawing the amount you think you’ll need for the entire trip, or at least a large portion of it.

ATM availability is more common in some places than others. Macau has the highest number of ATMs per capita with 316 ATMs per 100,000 adults, based on 2021 data from the World Bank Group. Uruguay, Canada and Austria are other destinations with the most ATMs per capita.

But other countries tend to have far fewer. For example, Kenya had fewer than 7 ATMs per 100,000 adults and Nepal had only 20 ATMs per 100,000 adults, according to the same data.

Pay with a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees

Depending on the card, you might get dinged with foreign transaction fees of 1%-3% when you make purchases at non-U.S. retailers abroad.

That’s why it’s wise to carry a no-foreign-transaction-fee credit card abroad.

And more international merchants are taking plastic. This wider card acceptance and increased security are reasons travelers are ditching cash, according to the Visa Global Travel Intentions Study 2023, which polled more than 15,000 people in the Asian Pacific region between April and June 2023.

While this type of card won’t help you pay at cash-only businesses or get money for tips, it’s otherwise one of the smartest ways to pay internationally.

» Frequent travelers: Consider a multicurrency account

Try paying in cash dollars

If all else fails, offer to pay in U.S. dollars. In fact, some merchants or individuals accepting tips prefer it in certain countries. You might find vendors willing to give you an even better deal if you pay with U.S. dollars.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

On a similar note...

travel to vietnam currency

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+84 938 3143 86 ( whatsapp / wechat ), 40+ tips to keep money safe when traveling in vietnam.

In fact, withdrawing and exchanging large amounts of money minimizes the risks and fees and maximize your time going to currency exchanges and ATMs. This means you will travel with lots of money which can be lost on the way. Smart travelers know the best tips to keep their money safe in Vietnam. I would like to share 40+ great Tips to keep money safe when traveling in Vietnam, including dividing your cash, credit cards and other valuable things, hiding them on your person, in your hotel rooms, keeping them safe when you are using public transportation, using ATMs safe and many other tips.

Table of Contents

Rule #1 – Never keep all your travel cash and credit cards in one place

Never keep all your eggs in one basket.

1. Do not keep your money, credit cards and valuable items (eggs) in one place (one basket) such as your luggage, in your hotel room or on your person. You will lose all if the luggage gets lost, a thief enters your hotel room, you are pickpocketed or your bag is snatched.

2. Divide up your cash and bank cards and stash them in different places on your person, throughout your luggage, and in your hotel room.

3. Leave all the cards and cash you won’t need immediately in a secure location in your hotel. Put bags of money in suitcases, safety boxes and other places in your hotel room. We will go into details later.

4. Separate your cash into piles and put them into separated zipper bags, squeeze the extra air out of the bags before hiding them.

Put your money into plastic bags before hiding them.

5. If you’re a solo traveler, keep a backup card in a separate place to the one you use regularly.

Keep a backup card in a separate place to the one you use regularly.

6. If you’re traveling with a partner, split your money and cards between the two of you in order to make sure two of your are ok in case you get separated or something happens to one of you.

Split your money and cards between you and your partner.

Warmest Greetings To All from Tracy Do! If you have any questions about Vietnam, including Vietnam tours, do not hesitate to contact me.

Tracy’s team is proud to provide excellent Vietnam tours and Vietnam travel services to thousands of guests for 10 years. Let us have a chance to show you Vietnam to the fullest.

7. Keep some small cash in an easily accessible pocket or wallet and you will not lose so much money when you pay for a bottle of water or buy an entrance ticket and snatched by a thief.

VND 1,000 note, VND 2,000 note, VND 5,000 note, VND 10,000 note, VND 20,000 note, VND 50,000 note are small-denomination banknotes in Vietnam. You can put some small notes in a separate pocket or wallet which is easily accessible.

VND 100,000 notes, VND 200,000 notes, VND 500,000 notes should be kept in a separate pocket or wallet.

8. Carry small bills and only the cash you need for the day.

9. If you’re forgetful, write the places you hide your cash and credit cards on a notebook or write a not on your smartphone.

Write down the places you hide your money to make sure you will not forget to collect all of them before leaving the hotel room for the last time.

Tips on keeping your money in your hotel room

Put your cash, credit cards and other valuable items in safes in your hotel rooms in order to keep money safe when traveling in Vietnam.

10. You can leave some of the money and valuable things in the safety box in your hotel room. Although some hotels provide safes that let you set your own codes, the safes can be opened by someone on the hotel staff in some ways.

11. Some travelers do not count on safes but hide valuable things in secret places as follows:

  • Inside shower curtain rods, zippered cushions on chairs, covers on the ironing board, shoes.
  • Taped to the bottom of a bottom drawers, bottom of heavy pieces of furniture, the back of furniture against walls.
  • Use a screwdriver to hide money inside frames of older televisions and telephones.
  • Put money into a bottle then drop the bottle into the toilet tank or refrigerator.
  • Put money and toilet paper or tissues into an empty bottle of shower gel or shampoo and put the bottle in the bathroom.
  • Under mattresses, inside teapots, zippered cushions, tissue boxes after the room has been cleaned for the day.
  • In pockets of dirty clothes which are put in a package.

Hide your money inside a curtain rod.

Tap your money at the bottom of the bottom drawer.

Hide the bottle containing money inside the toilet tank in your hotel room.

Hide your money in an empty bottle of shampoo or shower gel which is prepared by you at home and pack it in your luggage. The smaller the bottle is, the more portable and better it is. If it is a transparent bottle, you should use toilet paper or tissues to cover the money. The bottle should be put in the bathroom or in your suitcase.

Hide your money inside a tissue box.

As mentioned above, make sure you remember all the places where you hid all your money and spend your time collecting the money before leaving the hotel.

Tips on keeping money on your person

12. Use rubber bands to wrap money and wallets to make them stickier and harder to steal and keep money safe when traveling in Vietnam.

Rubber bands make notes, cards, wallets harder to be pickpocketed.

13. You can simply keep money in your zipper pockets. So that shorts, pants, jackets, shirts with zipper pockets are good choices. Money and wallets should go in front pockets of your pants or shorts. But the truth is pickpockets easily get money from your zipper pockets. Clothing items with hidden interior pockets are smart things to help you avoid pickpockets.

Zipper pockets are favorite places to keep money of lots of travelers although they are not the most safest places.

Clothes with hidden pockets.

14. Hiding some money in your sock or in your shoes is not a bad idea. Some female travelers hide money in their bras. It is difficult for thieves to steal money from your shoes and bras.

15. Under-clothing storage accessories are effective and useful in case you sleep somewhere and your money in pockets, suitcases and bags may be stolen easily. They are not good wallet alternatives because it is not convenient to get money from on-body storage in front of sellers and cashiers.

  • Most travel experts wear money belts, waist money belt, neck pouches, leg money belts worn around the thigh. Currently, leg money belt is the safest. Pickpockets know how to slice them off some travelers. Bra stashes are recommended by many female travelers.

Leg money belt, neck pouche, waist money belt. Source: travelideology.com, modeherz.de, amazon.com, odytravelgear.com, aliexpress.com.

Waist money belt, bra stash. Source:  travelideology.com, modeherz.de, amazon.com, odytravelgear.com, aliexpress.com.

  • If you are good at cutting and sewing, you can sew a money pocket into the inside of shorts, pants, jacket, long johns, underwear, and undershirts. Otherwise, you can buy the listed items with built-in pocket.

Sew money pockets into the inside of your clothes or buy clothing items with money pockets.

Undershirt, shorts and underwear with money and cellphone pocket.

  • Or you can cut a hole in the cuff or a waistband, slide some cash in there. Smart and crafty, right?

Hide your money inside your cuff.

Or waistband.

15. Keep small bills handy in a wallet and large banknotes in other wallets which should be hidden somewhere.

16. Anti-theft bags, backpacks, wallets, purses which are made from cut-proof and slash-proof fabric and leather, have steel-cable-reinforced straps and locking zippers, are worth buying. These items are sometimes expensive but they are investments that might save you so much money.

An anti-thief backpack is usually more expensive than a normal one. Source: https://www.travelsmarts.ca

17. A dummy wallet containing nothing or paper cards which sample credit cards, small notes, some coins can deceive pickpockets or stop pickpockets before they get to your real wallet.

Put something similar to a credit card, small notes into the dummy wallet, then put them in a compartment of your bag or handbag or a pocket which is more easily targeted by pickpockets.

18. Avoid keeping purses or wallets in the front pocket or outer compartment of your bag or backpack which are less noticed.

Never keep your wallet or money in the front pocket or outer compartment of your bag or backpack.

19. Wear bags and backpacks in the right ways to help you avoid pickpockets and snatch thief:

  • Keep the flap of the bag against your body so that it is harder for pickpockets to steal something from the bag.
  • Sling the strap across your body rather than just over one shoulder.
  • Wear the bag on the front instead of the back.

Wear the bag on the front.

Carry enough money you need for the day

20. Planing what to spend on a day and carrying enough money for the day is one of the smart ways to keep your money safe while traveling.

21. If you join a half-day Cu Chi tour including transport, guide, entrance ticket, bottle of water, tissue, you will carry money to pay for the tour, tip the guide and buy some souvenirs. Research what to buy in Cu Chi Tunnels and the prices before the tour in order to know how much money you should carry.

22. If you go to the War Remnant Museum yourself, you just carry enough money to pay for taxis and the entrance fee to the museum.

Carry enough money for taxi fares and museum ticket.

23. You can buy tickets and tours at tour desks in your hotels or at tour agencies around the hotels. Carrying enough money and shopping at fashion stores, souvenir stores, convenience stores, do laundries, have your meals around your hotels if there is no need to go to further places.

Tips on keeping your money safe while in transit in Vietnam

24. Keep your valuables and money in your carry-on luggage rather than in your checked-in bags. In Vietnam, your check-in bags can be lost or slashed.

You check-in luggage may be damaged or sliced and your valuable things may be stolen. Source: plo.vn, kosshop.vn, sohuutritue.net.vn, vietnamplus.vn

25. Keep money and valuable belongings on your person instead of bags and backpacks when you sleep on planes, trains and buses. There are fewer risks in private cars and private cabins on trains.

26. Try not to sleep when using public transportation if it is a short journey. On-body money storage is a good choice if you want to sleep.

27. Pay attention to everything when:

  • You are waiting at bus stations and taxi stands on the streets, especially at airports.
  • You hop on and off buses and trains.
  • You are in waiting areas at bus and train stations.
  • You are on crowded buses.
  • You move on trains.

Pay attention to your belongings at waiting areas at railway stations, bus stations, airports in Vietnam although there are security cameras and security guards.

Use Money Alternatives

28. There are some money alternatives in Vietnam and you should consider using them in order to avoid carrying so much money while traveling and going out:

29. Book in advance and make online payment for your hotel rooms, tours, bus and train tickets, cyclo rides, meals, show tickets and other services. Certainly, you should check the cancellation policies for the services. Make sure that they refund you in case you need to cancel. Some tour agencies and hotels in Vietnam do not charge if the cancellation is made at least 24 hours before the scheduled tours and check-in date.

  • You can search for hotels and experiences and book rooms and tours on websites and apps of Online travel agencies (OTAs) such as TripAdvisor, Agoda, AirBnb, Expedia, GetYourGuide, Hotels.com.
  • You can book train ticket at http://vetau.com.vn/#/
  • It is easy to book bus tickets at good prices at https://vexere.com/en-US .
  • Book directly on websites of hotels, tour agencies, shows. If you have any questions, just contact them and let them know that you would like to pay in advance.

30. Some hotels and tour agencies accept Paypal when you are in Vietnam.

Paying online to avoid carrying so much money in Vietnam.

31. Keep both printed vouchers and e-vouchers to make sure one of them is lost. For example, you can show them e-vouchers if you forget where your printed vouchers are, the printed vouchers get wet or are torn. If your phone was lost, you show them printed vouchers. I both smartphones and printed vouchers are lost, you can log in your email on any other device and show them the e-vouchers.

32. If you stay in Vietnam for a long period of time, you can use popular Vietnam’s e-wallets such as Momo, Moca (English version), Zalo Pay which are accepted at lots of supermarkets, stores and used to make online purchases on online marketplaces.

Locals pay using Momo e-wallet in Vietnam.

Tips on avoiding from being targeted in Vietnam

33. Do not let them know you are a tourist and newcomer in Vietnam. Carrying bulky bags and backpacks or money belts and clothes with many zipper pockets, you tell thieves that you are a traveler and have lots of valuable things to be stolen. Although European, American, African, Middle Eastern and Indian foreigners are easily recognized in Vietnam, try to look more like a local or an expat by wearing simple clothes and inexpensive-looking backpack or bag.

34. Withdrawing and exchanging money on the street is a good way to get ripped off. At some currency exchange stores and gold shops on the street, customers queue in line. Thieves usually are around these places and may target you. They also observe customers at ATMs and exchange money stores at airports, railway stations and bus stations. Instead of withdrawing cash at an ATM on the street, you can withdraw cash at an ATM in an office of a bank where there are security guards and security cameras. Gold shops and currency exchange stores in houses or buildings are good places to exchange your money.

Stay away from ATMs on the streets because you may get ripped off by thieves. If you must to do that, choose ATMs with doors.

35. Be discreet with your money in public. Never count your money in public places but in secret places such as a restroom.

36. Never leave your bag unattended even you are relaxing at a coffee shop, enjoying your delicious meal at a luxury restaurant, or watching a wonderful show.

Tips on withdrawing cash at ATMs in Vietnam

37. Cover the keypad with your hand when entering the PIN code.

38. Do not use the ATM if there are many people standing too close to you. Choose ATMs in a booth or inside a bank lobby or foyer. In Vietnam, most of the ATMs have security camera inside them. If you become a victim, it will take you lots of time to find the thieves and it may ruin your trip.

39. Count your cash as quickly as possible and prepare a place to keep the cash before.

40. Cancel the transaction and leave the ATM right away if one or more people approach you. They may want to steal your bank information as well as the money in your credit cards or the money in your bags.

41. Never accept the help of anyone except for security guards and bank officers.

42. Withdrawing your cash at ATMs should be done during the day instead of at night.

Do not withdraw or exchange money at night.

Read more about The ultimate guide to ATMs in Vietnam .

Protect your devices with passwords

43. Protect your devices such as your phone, laptop, or tablet with passwords so that thieves can not log in the devices, then access your financial details including bank information and credit card information through apps and emails.

Some Vietnamese people put a card read “Bỏ tật ăn cắp nha thằng chó”, which means “Stop stealing, dude”, in order to abuse and teach the future thieves who would steal the wallets.

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About the author.

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Hi everybody! I would like to say thank you for reading my blogs whether you are planning your trip to Vietnam, expats who live and work in the country, students and researchers who would like to find information about Vietnam, especially Vietnamese culture, foodies who are interested in delicious Vietnamese foods and recipes and others. My friends call me Tracy and I am living in Ho Chi Minh City. Having a huge passion for travel and a master's degree of Information Technology, I have launched some travel projects including Athena Travel Vietnam, Vietnam Trip Advice, Hidden Travel Vietnam, OXO Tour, Scooter Saigon Tour, Ao Dai Saigon Food Tour after graduating from abroad. Thousands of trav elers use our services and 99% of them are satisfied. What are my hobbies? Traveling, going to pagodas, museums and studying beautiful architectural works, visit tourist attractions. I have loved writing since I was a child. Writing blogs as well as sharing travel tips, tourist attractions and lots of hidden places are my top thing to do with my free time. Why are my blogs different from others? Ease of reading is the number one highlight. I have tried my best to use simple structures and vocabulary so that readers feel comfortable and convenient and find it easy to read. You may tend to read articles and blogs written by journalists of famous travel magazines, newspapers, travel websites or big travelers who travel around the world and have their own blogs. My blogs are written by a local so that you have a chance to learn more about less-known things, untold tips, hidden gems and foods. If you like my blogs, just share it on your social media. If you have any question relating to Vietnam, just comment or contact me via live chat, email, WhatsApp, Facebook. If you are going to travel to Vietnam, give our team a chance to show you Ho Chi Minh City and South Vietnam. Tracy's team can handle all of your needs including Ho Chi Minh city tours, Ho Chi Minh scooter (motorbike) tours, Ho Chi Minh food tours, Saigon unseen tours, Mekong Delta tours, Cu Chi Tunnels Tour, Ho Chi Minh City transfer services, Ho Chi Minh City shore excursions.

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Thanks for the information Tracy, I am about to travel to Vietnam in a few weeks and appreciate that you took the time to write this 🙂

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Best Places to Travel Solo | Money

Traveling exposes us to new places, cultures and people. For many, it’s one of the great joys of life. If you’re an independent spirit looking for safe places to travel by yourself, our guide can be an excellent place to start your research.

Keep reading to learn about our top picks for the best places to travel alone and how to make the most of your trip.

Our Top Picks for Best Places to Travel Solo

  • Barcelona, Spain: Best for first-time solo travelers
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Best for solo backpacking
  • Montreal, Canada: Best for solo female travelers
  • Chicago, Illinois: Best for going on solo travel tours
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia: Best budget solo travel destination

Best Places to Travel Solo Reviews

Best for first-time solo travelers: barcelona, spain.

  • Offers many travel experiences in a single city
  • Easy to get around town without a car
  • Year-round good weather means you can visit in any season
  • More expensive than other options on our list
  • Can get very busy during popular travel times

Why we chose it : Barcelona is a beautiful and historic European city with something for everyone to enjoy. It boasts stunning gothic architecture, sandy beaches, a bustling nightlife and prices that will help you stretch your budget.

Spain is considerably affordable compared to other European countries, and Barcelona is its crown jewel. The city has roots tracing back to the end of the 1st century BCE and beautiful architecture throughout its winding streets, such as Gaudí’s Casa Batlló and his world-famous unfinished church, La Sagrada Familia.

If you tire of exploring Barcelona’s impressive history, gorgeous Barceloneta Beach is just a few minutes away from the city center. And at night, you’ll find plenty of entertainment options, from rooftop bars and clubs to concert venues and flamenco shows.

Barcelona is excellent for first-time solo travelers because its compact layout, wide sidewalks and excellent public transportation makes getting around town without a car a breeze. U.S. travelers can also visit for up to 90 days without a visa . However, Barcelona is more expensive than other options on our list and can be very busy during popular travel times.

Best for solo backpacking: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • Very affordable accommodations, food and attractions
  • Is easy to navigate, with a developed transportation system
  • Has a vibrant expat community
  • U.S. citizens need a tourist visa to visit Vietnam

Why we chose it : Ho Chi Minh City is a bustling and affordable city that offers a wide range of attractions for solo travelers, from inexpensive food and accommodations to an abundance of cultural and historical sites.

Visiting Ho Chi Minh City has become something of a bucket-list item for many backpackers. Its vibrant culture, friendly people and amazing food attract millions of tourists annually. And it’s also one of Vietnam’s safest cities .

Try some of the mouth-watering street food available in pretty much every corner of the city (especially Districts 1, 3 and 5), do some shopping at the Ben Thanh Market, visit the Notre Dame Cathedral or book a tour of the Mekong Delta to learn more about the local flora and fauna.

Getting around is also pretty easy, with many transportation options, from the new metro to buses, taxis and motorbikes. However, one thing to keep in mind is that U.S. citizens need to apply for a Visa before they can be granted entry into Vietnam.

Best for solo female travelers: Montreal, Canada

  • Very safe and walkable city
  • Visitors can stay for up to six months without a Visa
  • Toronto is only five hours away by direct train
  • Not a great option for budget travelers
  • The winter weather can be harsh

Why we chose it : Montreal is one of the safest cities in Canada, and it is only a short flight away for travelers from the U.S. The city has a vibrant art scene, a diverse population and plenty of old-world charm with its mix of classic and modern architecture.

Traveling solo as a woman might cause your loved ones some anxiety. But Montreal is a great place for women to travel alone. The city is safe and offers much to do, from beautiful architecture, such as Notre-Dame Basilica, to artisanal shopping in Old Montreal. And while the population is predominantly French-speaking, many residents also speak English, so you should have no problem communicating.

Visitors from the United States can stay in Montreal for up to six months without a visa. It’s also a good point of departure for exploring the rest of Canada. Trains depart for Toronto several times a day, and the trip is about five hours.

Accommodations in Montreal can be more expensive than in other international destinations, but enrolling in the best hotel rewards programs may help.

Best for going on solo travel tours: Chicago, Illinois

  • You can find many different types of guided tours
  • Has an excellent public transportation system
  • One of the best culinary destinations in the U.S.
  • Weather can be unpleasant if you visit at the wrong time

Why we chose it : Chicago is home to some of the best travel tours in the country. From river cruises to walking food and drink excursions, you’ll have no problem filling your time in the Windy City.

Chicago is one of the best places to travel in the U.S. It’s home to a wide variety of guided tours, covering everything from the city’s mob history to its architecture and natural landmarks. And if you love Chicago dogs or deep-dish pizza, you can take a walking food tour to enjoy some of the city’s best restaurants in a single day.

Chicago is also home to inspiring architecture, such as Willis Tower and Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. The city is a more affordable place to visit than other U.S. cities of its size, including San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. And if you visit in summer, you’ll have perfect weather for relaxing on the beaches of Lake Michigan, located in the heart of the city.

Depending on what you’re looking for, visiting the city between May and October could be your best bet, as winters can be very cold, with average temperatures ranging between 22 F and 37 F.

Best budget solo travel destination: Ljubljana, Slovenia

  • A highly affordable travel destination
  • Easy entrance requirements for U.S. citizens
  • Classic European architecture and dining options
  • Plenty of green spaces to lounge and relax
  • Doesn't have a strong nightlife culture
  • Crowds can be overwhelming during peak travel seasons

Why we chose it : Slovenia is one of the most affordable European countries, and Ljubljana is one of the country’s most beautiful destinations. It’s home to classic European cobblestone streets and its stunning architecture and exhibits can keep you busy for weeks without breaking your budget.

Ljubljana is an affordable European destination with beautiful green spaces and incredible architecture, including the Ljubljana Castle and the Robba Fountain. It’s also highly walkable and pedestrian-friendly, as car traffic is banned in the city center.

Hotels are cheaper here than in more popular destinations such as France or Italy, which is a big reason why Ljubljana is one of the best international places to travel . There are also many great affordable restaurants and open-air cafes.

U.S. citizens can remain in Slovenia for up to 90 days without a visa, making it easy to extend their stay with the money they save.

However, Ljubljana is not known for its nightlife, as many bars close earlier than elsewhere in Europe. Plus, it has become more popular in recent years, and crowds are abundant during peak seasons, especially the summer.

Other places to travel solo we considered

We compiled our list of the best places to travel alone by evaluating global destinations based on safety, affordability, cultural and historical sites and convenience, among other factors.

Although the following destinations didn’t make it into our top list, they’re still worth considering as you plan your travels.

Reykjavik, Iceland

  • Close to beautiful natural landmarks
  • It's possible to see the Northern Lights when conditions allow
  • Home to many museums and several Michelin-starred restaurants
  • More expensive than other popular travel destinations
  • The region's weather can be bleak
  • Long periods of darkness and sunlight can interfere with your sleep schedule

Reykjavik is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with stunning mountains and beaches everywhere you look. However, it’s an expensive destination and experiences prolonged periods of darkness and sunlight that may be difficult to adjust to.

  • Some of the best food in South America
  • Miles of beautiful coastline to explore
  • Friendly locals - many of whom speak at least some English
  • Travelers can suffer from altitude sickness in some popular attractions
  • The city is sprawling, which can increase travel times and make traffic worse

Lima is a beautiful South American destination with picturesque beaches and affordable accommodations. It’s also a foodie’s dream, with a wide variety of tasty local and international restaurants available at budget-friendly prices.

Just remember that traffic congestions are common and can make it hard to get around. Additionally, some travelers may experience altitude sickness in high-altitude locations like Cusco and Machu Picchu.

Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Has beautiful outdoor settings
  • Minimal traffic
  • Moderate prices for accommodations
  • There isn't as much to do in Knoxville as in other travel destinations
  • Public transportation options are limited

Knoxville is the third-largest city in Tennessee, but it maintains a small-town feel. It’s home to beautiful attractions, such as the Great Smoky Mountains and the World’s Fair Park, and has enough cultural exhibits and museums to keep you busy.

Nevertheless, there isn’t quite as much to do here as in other cities, and public transportation is comparatively limited.

Places to Travel Solo Guide

Traveling alone can be intimidating, but a little preparation can go a long way. This guide covers some of the best travel tips to help you plan your next solo trip.

Why travel solo?

As with everything, there are pros and cons to traveling alone.

Some of the benefits of solo travel include:

  • The ability to plan trips according to your schedule
  • Paying less for dining and experiences
  • Stepping out of your comfort zone and getting to know yourself better
  • Having more time to reflect and relax in peace

Of course, to enjoy your solo vacation to the fullest, practice general safety precautions. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, do some proper research before visiting new places and consider hiring a guide if you’re doing outdoor activities in remote locations.

How to travel alone

Traveling alone can be a wonderful experience. But it often requires more planning and initiative than group trips. The following tips for traveling alone should help you make the most of your next solo trip.

Research your travel destination extensively

The more research you do before visiting a destination, the more prepared you will be to enjoy it. Pay close attention to the following:

  • Climate : Be aware of the weather conditions at your destination to avoid potential hazards, pack the right gear and plan appropriate activities.
  • Top attractions : Plan your itinerary by mapping out the attractions you want to visit and checking their distance from your accommodations. This will help you create a realistic schedule and determine if you need to book transportation for any day trips.
  • Cost : Consider the average cost of accommodations, meals and attractions to create a realistic budget.
  • Public transportation : This is an important consideration, as visiting a destination with insufficient or unreliable public transportation translates into additional expenses.
  • Language barrier : Consider downloading translation apps or learning basic phrases in your destination’s native language if English isn’t widely spoken there.
  • Food : If you have any dietary restrictions, check the availability of suitable food options at your destination and plan your meals.

Stay connected with your friends and family

When traveling alone, keep your loved ones informed of where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing. That way, your family can call for help if they don’t hear back from you in a reasonable timeframe.

Depending on your destination, you may consider purchasing an international SIM card or an international phone plan with your existing carrier to text and call your people back home.

Finally, you can register your trip with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) through the U.S. State Department. STEP is a free service that allows you to receive automatic safety and travel updates from the U.S. embassy in the country you’re visiting. It also makes it easier for friends and family to reach you in an emergency.

Consider travel insurance

If you’ve spent quite a bit of money on non-refundable travel expenses and it hasn’t been that long since you made your initial trip deposit, consider travel insurance to safeguard your investment. A travel insurance policy can help you recoup a portion of pre-paid travel expenses if you cancel or interrupt your trip for a covered reason.

Travel medical insurance could also be worthwhile if you’re going on an extended trip, as it would cover some of your medical expenses in an emergency, including medical evacuation and repatriation. And some plans even include additional services like language support, which could be helpful if English isn’t widely spoken where you’re visiting.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, check out our guide to the best travel insurance companies .

Try new things

Now that we’ve covered some of the most important things to do before leaving for a solo trip, let’s explore how to get as much enjoyment out of your travels as possible while you’re there. The best advice we can give you is to get out of your comfort zone and try new things.

If you genuinely want to experience everything other cultures have to offer, you can’t spend your days doing the same things you do at home. So take a chance and live as the locals do. You’ll be happy you did.

Interact with the locals

The best way to forget you’re traveling alone is to befriend the locals. Your new friends can keep you company, guide you to the best places in town (the ones that aren’t in any tourist guides) and help to make your trip more enjoyable overall.

Meeting locals is much easier to do now than before the Internet. A wide variety of online resources can connect you to local events and groups where you can meet people. Some of the best options for this include:

  • Facebook expat groups for the destination you’re visiting
  • The subreddit for your destination (such as r/Paris and r/Chicago)

Some professional and religious groups may have international meetups as well. This can be a fantastic way to meet locals with whom you already have something in common.

Take plenty of pictures (with you in them)

Last but not least, make sure you take plenty of pictures to share with your people back home. Landmarks can be great, but you should also be in some of the photos. Most people will happily snap pictures of you if you ask nicely.

What to do when traveling alone

Traveling alone can be one of the best experiences of your life or a challenge that quickly loses its appeal. To give yourself the best chance of having an ideal trip, remember the following strategies during your travels:

  • Be flexible : Flexibility is a must for solo travelers. You’ll have more fun if you take advantage of chance encounters and throw away your schedule when necessary.
  • Take group tours and classes : Just because you arrive at your destination alone doesn’t mean you must spend every minute there alone. Group tours and classes will help you meet people and give you a chance to socialize when you’re feeling lonely.
  • Stay in places that encourage talking : If you’re concerned about feeling lonely, consider staying at a hostel or bed and breakfast. Shared accommodations like these are more affordable than the best hotels and can be a great way to meet people.
  • Gather first-hand advice : You can use Reddit and other resources to read about the experiences other solo travelers have had at your destination. These firsthand accounts can alert you to problems you may not have considered otherwise and new opportunities for fun.
  • Sign up for free rewards programs : Airlines , hotel chains and third-party booking sites often have reward programs that help you save money if you’re a frequent traveler. You may also want to look into the best airline credit cards and best travel credit cards if you plan on traveling alone regularly.
  • Prioritize your safety : Traveling alone can make you a target, so prioritizing safety is important. Be proactive about telling others where you’ll be and take yourself out of situations you feel unsure about to enjoy your trip without incident.

Staying safe is a critical consideration for solo travelers. One way to do that is by avoiding reckless behavior, such as drinking excessively and venturing alone into places locals deem unsafe.

Take the time to thoroughly research your destination, share your travel plans with friends and family and prepare an emergency plan.

Finally, consider travel insurance. If something does happen while you’re traveling alone, it will provide financial support so you can go to the hospital without worrying about breaking your budget.

You could save up enough money to make the cost of travel insurance negligible by signing up for one of the best airline rewards programs .

Places to Travel Solo FAQ

What are the safest places to travel alone, is solo female travel safe, how old do you have to be to travel alone, how we chose the best places to travel solo.

We evaluated the best places to travel solo based on the following criteria:

  • Cost of accommodations, experiences and meals
  • Crime rates
  • Reviews and guides from experienced solo travelers
  • Natural and cultural attractions
  • Strictness of entry criteria

Summary of Money’s Best Places to Travel Solo

© Copyright 2023 Money Group, LLC . All Rights Reserved.

This article originally appeared on Money.com and may contain affiliate links for which Money receives compensation. Opinions expressed in this article are the author's alone, not those of a third-party entity, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed. Offers may be subject to change without notice. For more information, read Money’s full disclaimer .

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travel to vietnam currency

Can I change Vietnam dong in nepal

3 replies to this topic

' class=

It's not on the official list, so likely not:

https://www.nrb.org.np/forex/

You cannot exchange. Better to bring USD or other major currencies.

travel to vietnam currency

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travel to vietnam currency

IMAGES

  1. Guide to Vietnamese Currency in Ho Chi Minh City

    travel to vietnam currency

  2. Vietnam currency in Vietnam tours 2019

    travel to vietnam currency

  3. Vietnam currency in Vietnam tours 2019

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  4. Ultimate Vietnam Itinerary (2-3 Weeks) & Travel Guide

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  5. vnd-5000-banknote-guide-to-Vietnamese-currency

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  6. Vietnam Currency

    travel to vietnam currency

VIDEO

  1. Vietnam 🇻🇳 లక్షల నోట్లు చూస్తారా 😱|| vietnam 🇻🇳 all currency notes VND #ytshorts

  2. What I spent in a day in Vietnam! #budgettravel #saigon

  3. vietnam currency #shorts

  4. Vietnam currency explained #vietnam #shorts #currency #vietnamesedong #rupees #india #travel

  5. Who are the main Tourist Coming to Vietnam ? Plus WHY people Are not coming to Vietnam! 🇻🇳

  6. Vietnam Travel Guide

COMMENTS

  1. Currency and payments in Vietnam

    The official currency in Vietnam is the Vietnam đồng, symbolised by ₫ or VND. Vietnamese notes are a mix of small paper bills (no coins are used), and larger polymer bills, in values from 10,000 VND to 500,000 VND. If you're confused by all the zeros, mentally remove three zeros to get a simpler number.

  2. Best Currency to Take to Vietnam

    Are you travelling to Vietnam and wondering which currency you should take there? Vietnam uses the Vietnamese đồng, meaning that, except in tourist establishments, airports, or hotels, you normally won't be able to use major currencies like the US dollar or British pound to pay your way.

  3. Currency in Vietnam: A Complete Guide

    The Wise Vietnamese dong travel money card lets you top up in your local currency, and switch to dong to spend when you're in Vietnam. You'll get the best rate for spending in Vietnamese dong - and can also hold and spend 40+ other currencies with the same card.

  4. Travel money Vietnam 2024: How to pay & how much to bring

    Sep 28, 2022 Fact checked The official currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese dong (VND). Because the dong is tied to the US dollar, you can use your money at most hotels and big shops. To make things easier, prices are often quoted in US Dollars in tourist areas.

  5. Money Suggestions for Travelers in Vietnam

    The Vietnamese dong (VND), Vietnam's official currency, come in polymerized and cotton notes with multiple zeroes: VND 10,000 is the smallest polymer bill you'll find on the street these days, however, there are still cotton 1000, 2000, and 5,000 bills in circulation. The highest banknote that you'll find is the VND 500,000 bill.

  6. Vietnam International Travel Information

    Yes. VACCINATIONS: Not required. CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY: None. However, Vietnamese Dong in excess of VND 15,000,000 or foreign currency in excess of 5,000 U.S. dollars or equivalent must be declared. CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT: None.

  7. Money in Vietnam: A Tourist Guide to ATMs, Cards and Exchange

    ( Yes, no problems at all) This is the full guide to money in Vietnam for tourists! Table of contents Currency in Vietnam The currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese đồng with code VND. First things first - don't laugh at the name! It's the name for the copper material of the coins in Vietnam's ancient past.

  8. Essential Guide to Vietnam Currency (VND) for Travelers

    Essential Guide to Vietnam Currency (VND) for Travelers This guide is crafted to navigate all knowledge about Vietnam currency, or Vietnam Dong (VND), equipping travelers with the knowledge to handle monetary matters efficiently.

  9. Vietnam currency: What you need to know before your trip

    CNY to Vietnam currency. 1 CNY = 3,433.68 VND. Chinese yuan renminbi (CNY), or CNY, is the official currency of the People's Republic of China. The term "renminbi" means "people's currency," while "yuan" refers to the basic unit of the currency. The symbol of the renminbi is ¥, which is also used for the Japanese yen.

  10. All You Need to Know About Money and Currency in Vietnam

    In recent years, the exchange rate of the Vietnam Dong to the US Dollar is between VND 22,715 to 24,873. At the moment of writing this article, 1 US Dollar equals VND 24,558. How to Withdraw Cash at ATMs in Vietnam? ATMs are available in major cities and tourist areas of Vietnam, but chip-and-pin ATMs are not easy to find.

  11. The Vietnamese Dong: Your Ultimate Guide to Vietnam Currency

    The Vietnamese Dong (VND) is the official currency of Vietnam, denoted by the symbol "₫". Its fascinating history dates back to the 19th century, and it has gone through various denominations and redesigns over the years. As of 2023, the Dong is issued in both coins and banknotes, with multiple denominations catering to different monetary ...

  12. Vietnam Currency

    Up to September 2020, the exchange rate between Vietnam Dong and US Dollar is 1 US$ ≈ 23,231 VND. Please see the below Vietnam currency exchange rate chart for further information Vietnam Currency Rate to Other Currencies Australian Dollar: 1 AUD ≈ 17,000 VND British Pound: 1 GBP ≈ 30,500 VND Euro: 1 EUR ≈ 27,000 VND US Dollar: 1 USD ≈ 23,000 VND

  13. How To Manage Your Money in Vietnam

    bookworm99. There are a few things you can do to manage your money in Vietnam. First, be aware of your spending and save as much money as you can. Second, be aware of your money-saving tips and use them regularly. Finally, be sure to keep your money in a safe place and use it for emergencies only. Guest.

  14. A Travel Guide about Vietnam Currency

    1. General information on Vietnamese money 2. FAQ about Vietnamese currency 2.1. How to change and withdraw cash in Vietnam? 2.2. What is the exchange rate in Vietnam 2.3. What are the payment methods in Vietnam? 3. Interesting facts about Vietnamese money 3.1. Vietnam travel cost 3.2. Money burns in Vietnam 3.3. Lucky money for blessing 3.4.

  15. TRAVEL to VIETNAM

    CAPITAL: Hanoi: OTHER MAIN CITIES: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Da Nang, Hue CURRENCY: Vietnamese Dong (see current exchange rate). 1USD approximately = 23,000 dong. 1 beer = 30,000 dong ($1.30USD) ELECTRICITY: 220 Volt at 50Hz. Power plugs - Type A: 2 vertical pins, Type C: 2 round pins, Type F (also known as Schuko plug): 2 round pins (Be sure to get your universal travel adapter before you ...

  16. Currency in Vietnam 2024

    The official currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong, which is issued and overseen by the State Bank of Vietnam. If you're buying your travel money online you may also see the official code being shown - VND. In stores and restaurants, Vietnamese Dong prices are likely to use the currency symbol ₫.

  17. 4 Best Ways to Take Travel Money to Vietnam in 2024

    Cash Prepaid travel cards to use in Vietnam Ideal for: secure spending and withdrawals, and a digital account you can use to hold and exchange a selection of currencies Different prepaid travel money cards work in their own ways, which means you can pick the one that suits your spending style.

  18. The ultimate guide to exchange currency in Vietnam

    Whether you are a traveler who is going to visit Vietnam or have already been in the country, an expat living and working in Vietnam at the current time or in the near future, this ultimate guide to exchange currency in Vietnam is helpful to you. The ultimate guide to Vietnamese currency Table of Contents

  19. What is the best currency to take to Vietnam?

    The currency in Vietnam is the Vietnam Dong (VND), widely used in the country. And, most of the local people are "millionaires", and you too because of VND having a lot of Zero. The biggest note is 500,000VND (=nearly 22USD). Besides, US dollars are accepted in Vietnam in most of the hotels, tourist restaurants, and tourist shops in the big ...

  20. Thai Baht to Vietnam Dong: Currency travel essentials

    The official currency of Vietnam money is the Vietnamese dong (VND), represented by the symbol "₫''. The term "dong" has historical significance as it originally referred to the copper material used in crafting the country's earliest coins. The dong has been Vietnam's official currency since 1978, with its issuance regulated by the State ...

  21. Traveling Abroad? Order Currency Before You Go

    Airport currency exchange counters generally offer the worst exchange rates you'll find. If you need cash, order foreign currency from your bank before you travel.

  22. Travel to Vietnam

    Currency of Vietnam. The currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND), which is abbreviated as ₫. Here's a roundup of what you can expect to spend in Vietnam: Food. A bowl of Pho (traditional Vietnamese noodle soup): ₫30,000 - ₫50,000; Banh Mi (Vietnamese baguette sandwich): ₫15,000 - ₫30,000

  23. US dollars to Vietnamese dongs Exchange Rate. Convert USD/VND

    How to convert US dollars to Vietnamese dongs. 1 Input your amount. Simply type in the box how much you want to convert. 2 Choose your currencies. Click on the dropdown to select USD in the first dropdown as the currency that you want to convert and VND in the second drop down as the currency you want to convert to.

  24. 40+ Tips to keep money safe when traveling in Vietnam

    2. Divide up your cash and bank cards and stash them in different places on your person, throughout your luggage, and in your hotel room. 3. Leave all the cards and cash you won't need immediately in a secure location in your hotel. Put bags of money in suitcases, safety boxes and other places in your hotel room.

  25. 1 USD to VND

    24,396 Vietnamese Dongs. 1 VND = 0.0000409892 USD. We use the mid-market rate for our Converter. This is for informational purposes only. You won't receive this rate when sending money. Login to view send rates.

  26. Best Places to Travel Solo

    Barcelona, Spain: Best for first-time solo travelers Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Best for solo backpacking Montreal, Canada: Best for solo female travelers Chicago, Illinois: Best for going on solo ...

  27. currency

    Can I change Vietnam dong in nepal : Get Nepal travel advice on Tripadvisor's Nepal travel forum.