Money in Vietnam

Dec 19th, 2010, 07:01 PM
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Money in Vietnam

I've read that American dollars are accepted in most places in Vietnam. Is this correct or do I need to get Vietnamese currency? Thanks!
Maggie68 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2010, 07:10 PM
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You really do need VN currency, the dong. Using US dollars marks you as a naive tourist willing to pay way too much for anything. You can easily get dong from ATMs, or you can opt to bring US$100 bills to exchange.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 19th, 2010, 09:04 PM
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When I went there last year the general recommendation was to bring along US dollar. But it turned out that you could get local Dong at ATMs and most people wanted to be paid in Dong. So I would recommend you to use Dong. Here is a trip report with some photos and links:

Gard - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Dec 20th, 2010, 12:24 AM
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almost places in Vietnam accepts you to pay in usd, but it's better you can have both USD and VND.
lanphuong is offline  
Dec 20th, 2010, 11:25 AM
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Inflation is very bad in Vietnam right now. Everyone, at least in metro and their outlying areas will take dollars in a snap. We just came back and everyone is hungry for dollars because the Dong is loosing value daily. Bring $100.00 bills to your comfort level. While getting Dong from ATM's is safe in that you do not have to carry cash, you are getting about 19,000+ to the dollar. Go to anywhere they buy and sell gold and silver and you get 21,500. Buying in dollar or dong does not mark you as a smart or dumb buyer, bargaining does that. Way too many tourists pay asking or a little below. When we shop we usually pay 40% of asking and they take it, so they are still making money. If they don't want to play we just look somewhere else. I usually decide to pay in dollar of dong depending on the negotiated price and whether I am paying the cheapest price in actual terms no matter the currency. This is because everyone's exchange rate is not the same. If they are asking 21500 it is a wash if that is what your exchanged rate was. Lots of times they make a quick conversion of 20,000 to the dollar in which case it is cheaper to buy in Dong, because you get to pocket the 1,500/1USD. Adds up after a while. As a matter of fact it adds to about 10%.
horitak is offline  
Dec 20th, 2010, 05:38 PM
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i spent two weeks there in november and never saw a dollar bill used once, not heard anyone ask about using them....when i was there 10 years ago people often asked for you to pay in $$...

their economy seems very strong just now and i think their dong is holding its own...
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 21st, 2010, 04:56 AM
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I was there a few weeks ago and several times quoted prices in USD, but usually the exchange rate is not as favorable as when you exchange it yourself, so it's better bring and pay in dong.
Lizzie_17 is offline  
Dec 21st, 2010, 05:53 AM
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We frequently paid in $ when we went in Nov 2009. However there were many times we paid in dong also.
Smeagol is offline  
Dec 21st, 2010, 02:41 PM
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we were there 3 weeks in november and not quoted prices in us dollars however we did pay a few hotels in us dollars because they did not accept credit cards. IMO dongs are better than US currency for Vietnam. No need to carry any there, there is an ATM machine at the airport and on almost every street corner.
Ladouca is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2010, 09:12 AM
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As I said above the Dong is not very stable just read this.
horitak is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2010, 11:07 AM
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The stability of the dong is not really an issue for visitors spending money in VN, but is an issue for VN trying to preserve their savings. Keeping one's savings in high-karat gold jewelry is traditional in many Asian countries. Given inflation, it appears it is becoming more popular in VN.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2010, 05:31 PM
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Stability is an issue as I see it. Because under normal circumstances the legal exchange rate would be so close to the free market rate that I would not bother trying to find a place to exchange. But at a 10% premium you better believe I am looking for the best exchange rate.
horitak is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2010, 07:11 PM
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Pay in Dong. No reason to pay in USD. You can get 21,000+ if you exchange at the right places.
Bisbeee is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2010, 07:15 PM
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Note that the dong is not exchangeable outside of VN. Spend all of your dong or give them away before you leave the country. (This is also true for the Lao kip and Cambodian riel, not exchangeable outside of their own country.)
Kathie is offline  

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