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Currency and obtaining it in Vietnam

Travel Forums Asia Currency and obtaining it in Vietnam

1. Posted by rag7 (Budding Member 41 posts) 7y

Hi guys,

I have booked several trips and hotels in Vietnam for my stay there and all of them require me to pay cash on arrival and the prices are quoted in US$. I am going to be in Thailand pre Vietnam and intend to use my debit card at ATMs to get my currency but i am unsure what to do about Vietnam. I have been told that most ATM only allow you to withdraw Vietnamese Dong and limit you to an amount roughly equal to $80-90 plus you are charged 2-3% on the transaction. This doesn't seem great when i need to withdraw $800-1000 worth.

Any Advice?

2. Posted by soliqa (Respected Member 284 posts) 7y

Yes, it's true most ATM's will only let you withdraw 2 million dong (which is about US$115), but there are definitely some that will let you withdraw an unlimited amount - particularly in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Never once saw an ATM that dispensed $US though, so you might need to get some money exchanged. However I also can't think of one place during the whole 3 1/2 weeks we were there that wouldn't accept Vietnamese dong. Sure the prices were quoted in US$ but using dong was perfectly accepted, and even common practise. Does it say anywhere that the hotels you have booked definitely want to be paid in $US?

3. Posted by rag7 (Budding Member 41 posts) 7y

Ok, so hopefully there will be atms that allow bigger withdrawels. Any idea which banks?

None have specifically stated that the payment has to be in V.Dong but then my concern is who decides what the exchange rate is for the payment?

4. Posted by soliqa (Respected Member 284 posts) 7y

I can't really remember which banks, we just did a bit of trial and error until we found one that allowed us to withdraw more cash. I think some ANZ ATM's allowed you to in HCMC, at least up to 4,000,000 dong anyway.

The hotel will generally decide the exchange rate, but in the time we were there we never got ripped off by anyone (well, not that we know about anyway!). That said others may tell you different, but just make sure you check their calculations when it comes time to pay the bill.

5. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 7y

I wouldn't get your "dong" out in Vietnam, look what happened to Gary Glitter!! (Probably only you guys from the UK will get this lame attempt at a toilet humour/near to the knuckle "joke" )

[ Edit: Edited on 06-Mar-2009, at 01:39 by bwiiian ]

6. Posted by soliqa (Respected Member 284 posts) 7y

I wouldn't get your "dong" out in Vietnam, look what happened to Gary Glitter!!

I'm pretty sure anyone who has ever been to Vietnam makes a similar joke at least once while they are there!!

7. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 7y

Quoting soliqa

I wouldn't get your "dong" out in Vietnam, look what happened to Gary Glitter!!

I'm pretty sure anyone who has ever been to Vietnam makes a similar joke at least once while they are there!!

I thought dong was only funny in the UK. I need to "bone up" on my double entendres

8. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1593 posts) 7y

Quoting rag7

Hi guys,

I have booked several trips and hotels in Vietnam for my stay there and all of them require me to pay cash on arrival and the prices are quoted in US$. I am going to be in Thailand pre Vietnam and intend to use my debit card at ATMs to get my currency but i am unsure what to do about Vietnam. I have been told that most ATM only allow you to withdraw Vietnamese Dong and limit you to an amount roughly equal to $80-90 plus you are charged 2-3% on the transaction. This doesn't seem great when i need to withdraw $800-1000 worth.

Any Advice?

You can simply take some US dollars with you too!

Make sure your bank or card provider knows that you will be in Vietnam using their card - if not the withdrawal may be denied! Without telling the bank you will be out of the country any withdrawal from a foreign ATM may be suspected of being some sort of fraud.

When you leave Vietnam make sure you spend down or change your dong back to dollars or pounds because no one wants to change VN money in most other countries.

Good luck.

9. Posted by kiwiniels (Budding Member 8 posts) 7y

The ANZ atm's allow you to take out 4 million VND a pop. I know there is one on the corner of bui vin and de tham street (maybe i got the spelling wrong here) in the 'Go Go Go bar'. You shouldn't have much trouble finding it sine it is right in the middle of district one where all the tourist hotels are.

Another option is to visit a bank and withdraw an arbitrary amount using your credit card. I did this at the Eximbank in Can Tho. Note that you are charged a 2 or 3% commission.

By law hotels have to accept VND, after all it is the official currency of Vietnam:) I would be very surprised if they force you to pay in USD. Just take VND. IN fact, you usually end up getting a better rate if you pay VND.

Good luck!

10. Posted by hasatour (Budding Member 6 posts) 7y

Quoting kiwiniels

The ANZ atm's allow you to take out 4 million VND a pop. I know there is one on the corner of bui vin and de tham street (maybe i got the spelling wrong here) in the 'Go Go Go bar'. You shouldn't have much trouble finding it sine it is right in the middle of district one where all the tourist hotels are.

Another option is to visit a bank and withdraw an arbitrary amount using your credit card. I did this at the Eximbank in Can Tho. Note that you are charged a 2 or 3% commission.

By law hotels have to accept VND, after all it is the official currency of Vietnam:) I would be very surprised if they force you to pay in USD. Just take VND. IN fact, you usually end up getting a better rate if you pay VND.

Good luck!

Dong or US$ are same in Vietnam but question is what rate they are charging you. Anyhow, Dong is almost encourage especially when small transaction of few bucks happened. We can't get good exchange rate for small papers like 1,5,10,20 while 50 and 100 are welcome.