Dollars to dong

Jan 4th, 2017, 04:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 3
Dollars to dong

Hi...My family and I will be flying to Hanoi in Feb., and I'm wondering the best way to get a first round of dong when we arrive. Exchange cash at the airport? We'll need it for tipping driver, etc. Once in Hanoi, I've read that gold stores offer the best rate of exchange? Best when using an ATM to withdraw larger amounts as the fee is the same for small or large withdrawal? Any help will be greatly appreciated.
lisaP53 is offline  
Jan 4th, 2017, 06:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,783
Best way to get local currency is from an ATM in the airport, you'll get cash from ATMs in the city as you are there longer. Exchanging cash never gets you as good a rate. Do withdraw the maximum amount form the ATM as there is a per use fee.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 4th, 2017, 06:21 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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Kathie said it all--dont go to a "travelex" type desk; ATM rate is better.
There are ATMs in the big arrival hall area after you exit Customs.If you've prebooked a driver, this is where they likely will be waiting too.
I dont know what "gold stores" are. there are omnipresent ATM machines in Hanoi.
CaliNurse is offline  
Jan 4th, 2017, 06:41 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
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ATM's have the best rates. Start in the airport, and then you can find machines all over the city, even in the Old Quarter.

However, I would be reluctant to get too much cash, as there is some crime in Hanoi. I have a couple of accounts with ATM cards that have no fees of any kind, one is from Schwab, and the other is from New Republic Bank. There are several other choices as well. I have never, ever paid an ATM fee, and you should not have to either.
CaliforniaLady is offline  
Jan 4th, 2017, 10:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2014
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I've got US$600 burning a hole in my pocket after our trip to Nicaragua last May. So theyll buy a few billion dong when we hit the Hanoi tarmac on 10 February.
LancasterLad is offline  
Jan 5th, 2017, 10:06 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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Gold shops do offer better rates than banks or card providers but the difference is negligible and not wort the the bother of finding one IMO.

When we spent a few months in the country in 2015, I found that HSBC and ANZ banks offered the best deal in terms of high withdrawal limits - 8million and low charges - 40k. Both banks can be found close to the east side of Hoan Kiem lake in the old quarter

Tipping is not expected in Vietnam so I wouldn't worry too much about withdrawing at the airport, especially if you accomodation has arranged transport.
crellston is offline  
Jan 5th, 2017, 10:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,783
Since I use taxis from the airport, I need some dong as I leave the airport. But Crellston is correct, if you are having your hotel arrange transport, you won't need dong until later.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 7th, 2017, 05:56 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 3
Thanks so much, everybody. ATMs sound like the way to go. Now to wrap my head around a 22,550 dong to one dollar conversion. Yikes. Again, thanks for the help.
lisaP53 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2017, 11:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,948

Let a simple Brit help you out...

Approx 20,000 dong = 1US$
Approx 100,000 dong = 5$
Approx 500,000 = 25$
Approx 1,000,000 = 50$

There are no coins, so that's a blessing.
Try not to get lumbered with 500,000 notes, as they can be difficult to change, particularly with taxi drivers,and small shops.
Keep the low denomination notes separate from the big stuff.
Very easy currency, a lot simpler than a lot of countries.

When you leave the country you can exchange back to $ at the airport airside, at just under what you get in town.
LancasterLad is offline  
Jan 8th, 2017, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,783
And do change your dong back at the airport, because they are worthless (non-exchangeable) outside of VN.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 8th, 2017, 11:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,948
When I changed back our dong at Saigon Airport I handed the pile of dong notes across the counter. I don't think the girl at the kiosk realised that I'd counted the money, and she offered me less than half of the value. Once I'd put her right she tried to give me £10 notes instead of £20 notes. So be careful.
LancasterLad is offline  

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