Dông (VND). Notes are in denominations of VND 500,000, 200,000, 100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 200 and 100. Coins are in denominations of VND5000, 2000, 1000, 500 and 200.
The US Dollar is the most favoured foreign currency. Australian, British, Japanese, Singaporean and Thai currency, as well as the Euro, can easily be changed in the larger cities; great difficulty may be encountered in trying to exchange any other currencies. Hotels generally change major foreign currencies at the prevailing bank rate. Do not change any money on the streets, there is no advantage for doing so. Do change them at a jeweller (one that sells gold); shop around and you’ll get a better rate than at the state-controlled bank.
Credit / Debit Cards and ATMs
An increasing number of outlets accept MasterCard and Visa. Amex representations are growing rapidly. Most outlets that accept credit cards will charge you an extra 3% per transaction. Outside main centres, it is wise to carry cash even though ATMs are becoming more common. The withdrawal limit is 2 Million VND (US$100) per transaction and the usual cost for each is around VND20,000 (1 Euro).
hints on tipping & Bargaining
- Tipping is not customary, but is becoming more usual and expected in tourist areas, especially in the south.
- Keep your tip within the VND20,000-50,000 limit. Upscale restaurants and hotels may add a service charge to the bill.
- Taxi drivers should not expect to be tipped but this is changing fast also.
- Don’t feel awkward or rude about bargaining, everyone bargains in Vietnam and you’ll look like a green tourist if you don’t.
Travellers Cheque Advice
These are widely accepted in hotels and banks. Travellers are advised to take traveller’s checks in US Dollars or Euros.
Import and export of foreign currency over US$7000 is subject to declaration. Proof of all expenses should be kept.
Monday to Friday from 0730/0800 to 1130 and 1300 to 1600. Do take your passport with you or a good copy as this is necessary for all dealings.
Approximate exchange rates (01/01/2007)
1USD = 21,000 dong
1AUD = 19,000 dong
1CAD = 19,000 dong
1GBP = 35,000 dong
1EUR = 28,000 dong
For up-to-date exchange rates, please visit e.g. www.oanda.com