Vietnam Currency & Using Money in Vietnam

The currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong. It is often abbreviated as VND, and its symbol ₫. You can find out the Vietnamese Dong exchange rate against the US dollar at VND to USD rate. The current Vietnamese Dong rates along with the currency converter have been listed below.

Currency in Vietnam

  • The currency used in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong

  • The abbreviation used for the Vietnamese currency is VND

  • The symbol used for the Vietnamese Dong is ₫

  • The exchange rate of Vietnam currency against the US dollar is 0.000043, with 1 USD ≈ 23,251.60 VND

Vietnamese Dong

The very first đồng coins came into existence in the late seventies. They were made up of aluminum and were issued in the East side of Germany. Owing to the increasing rate of inflation, the State Bank of Vietnam temporarily stopped the circulation of the dong coins until December of the year 2003, when new dong coins were issued. They were issued in the denominations of 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5,000. Despite the persistence of the Vietnamese government for the banks and people to accept them, they have been rejected as Vietnamese currency and became a collector's item. The reason is that they have little to no value when compared against the US dollar. For example, a 500-đồng coin is currently only worth 0.01075 USD. 

Current Vietnamese Dong coins and banknotes

In the late seventies, the National Bank of Vietnam circulated the very first banknotes in Vietnam. The denominations for the respective notes were 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 dongs. A couple of years later, the denominations of 2 and 10 Dong notes were also added that were closely followed by the 30 and 100 Dong notes. To date, there have been a total of five series of banknotes in Vietnam. Minus the series that was issued in the year 2003, all the other series were mixed, resulting in no fixed pattern/design.

Presently in Vietnam, you will find the following banknote denominations that are accepted; 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10 000, 20 000, 50 000, 100,000, 200,000 and last but not the least 500,000 Vietnamese Dong notes.

Banknotes of Vietnam

As mentioned earlier, the State bank of Vietnam joined the Dong currency in the year 1978 - following the fall of Saigon. It resulted in issues bank notes to be issues in small denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 đồngs. A few years later, in the mid-eighties the State bank of Vietnam stopped the flow of the old banknotes and released new bank notes. These new notes were worth 10 of the preceding đồng. Only two years later, because of the continual increase in inflation, the Government was yet again forced to release new banknotes. This time the denominations were up to 5 000 đồngs which went up to 50,000 đồngs in the year 1990. The year 2003 saw a 500,000 đồng banknote being issued out as well.

Currently, the denominations used in Vietnam are the banknotes above 10,000 đồngs. The lesser valued banknotes have become objects of nostalgia rather than having any substantial value in the market. Although, it's been a while since the Bank issued any new smaller denomination banknotes, 5,000 đồng and lesser, they are still accepted in the Vietnamese market. The older banknotes, commonly referred to as cotton, were brightly colored while the modern ones, referred to as polymer banknotes look and feel more like the banknotes from all other countries across the globe.

Banknotes of Vietnam before 2003

Banknotes of Vietnam before 2003

2003 Polymerseries

vietnam currency 2003 Polymerseries

Using the money in Vietnam

Although the national Vietnamese currency is the dong, the preferred currency for import and within Vietnam is the US dollar. Euros are also accepted, although their exchange rate is less favorable, nonetheless, there are no problems with transactions in both these currencies. This is a huge pro for the travelers traveling to Vietnam as hotels, tours and transport are all stated in US dollars. You can pay either in dollars, the dong or in both currencies together.

Currency exchange in Vietnam

You can exchange currency in Vietnam at several places such as the exchange offices, the banks, your hotel, the airport or in the malls.

Of course, the rate of exchange will be different in different places. You can exchange around fifty to hundred dollars to get around and then search for the best exchange rate.

Beware that the "Money Exchange", ATM's and the "Banks" often give a lesser rate than the rate that you might find on the streets.

Your odds of finding the best exchange rates are high at a jewelry shop. Let me give you an example. Say the official exchange rate has been set at 20 700 VND per dollar, chances are you can get an exchange rate of around 21 100 VND against the jewelry item(s) you have bought. The difference may seem minor but when calculated against 100 USD, you can end up buying drinks for the day.

So, in our experience, for the best exchange rate, head to a jeweler's store. Don't worry if you cannot speak Vietnamese, just hold up a dollar note, and they will show you their exchange rates. Bargaining is acceptable. Make sure to count your money carefully.

Exchange rates (approximately in 2018)

A few popular currency exchange rates, against the Vietnamese dong, have been given below:

1 American dollar (USD) ≈ VND$23,000

1 British Pound (GBP) ≈ VND$32,000

1 Euro (EUR)≈ VND$28,000

1 Swiss Franc (CHF) ≈ VND$24,000

1 Canadian Dollar (CAD) ≈ VND$18,000

1 Australian Dollar (AUD) ≈ VND$18,000

1 New Zealand Dollar (NZD) ≈ VND$17,000

1 Japanese Yen (JPY) ≈ VND$200

1 Singaporean Dollar (SGD) ≈ VND$17,000

1 Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)≈ VND$3,000

1 Taiwanese Dollar (NT$) ≈ VND$800

1 Thai Baht (THB) ≈ VND$700

See more Vietnamese travel guides

How to plan your first time travel to Vietnam

Top 10 places to visit in Vietnam

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