Money & Budget

LOCAL CURRENCYVIETNAM DONG (VND)
The money in Vietnam is the Vietnam Dong. You can find notes of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10 000, 20 000, 50 000, 100 000 and 500 000 VND. The official exchange rate is $1 = 23 166.01 VND  (January 2020)
MONEY SUGGESTIONS
Major currencies can be exchanged practically anywhere in Vietnam, but not all exchange facilities are created equal. It can be easily exchanged in authorized shop and the banks (Vietcombank, BIDV, Techcombank etc.). Banks in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will exchange foreign currencies and most travelers’ cheques.
Always bring new notes; any damaged or dirty notes will be charged an additional two percent of the note’s face value.
ATM AND CREDIT CARDS
International credit/debit cards such as VISA and MASTERCARD are accepted in most ATMs and shops/stores that accept card payments. With a foreign card, a small percentage of the amount withdrawn/paid will be charged; however this amount remains quite low. The money withdrawn at ATMs is always in Vietnam Dong.
TRAVELER CHEQUES
Only banks located in big cities such as (Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh) keep accepting traveler cheques. We recommend you to have another means of payment.
BARGAINING
Bargaining is part of the Vietnamese tradition. You have to bear in mind that everything (or almost everything) is worth a certain price, but the price varies (sometimes a lot) according to the client. You can be sure that with your foreign face you won’t be offered the best price…so bargaining is essential! You can even halve the price or even more sometimes. Be careful, however, not to offend the vendor and to keep smiling and stay polite in any circumstance. Don’t push too much and do not bargain in any place it is not welcome: shops with fixed prices are not open to negotiation.
TIPS
Tips are not part of the tradition of Vietnam. However, in some situations and thanks to the many generous travelers that have preceded you, tipping is becoming more popular.
For example, you can tip your guide after a whole day or several days of travel. You can also tip luggage porters and taxi drivers. It is not usual to tip a waitress/ waiter.
When visiting temples or pagodas, you will usually see some donation boxes near the entrance/exit in which you can place some money. In this case, we do not call it tips but donations, dedicated to the maintenance of the site. Vendors and other people within the venue may also invite you to pray with them with an incense stick, but if you accept, some of them will likely ask you for some money in exchange.

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