Vietnam Facts

  • Capital: Hanoi - North Vietnam
  • Other Major Cities: Hue, Danang & Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
  • Vietnam Currency: VND - Vietnamese Dong (approximately 23,000 VND to US$1)
  • Language: Vietnamese
  • Population: 95.54 million (2017)
  • Area: 331,210 km²
  • Electricity Voltage: 220 Volt at 50Hz.
  • Electricity Sockets: Power plugs – Type A: 2 vertical pins, Type C: 2 round pins,
    Type F (also known as Schuko plug): 2 round pins

You will find more and more hotels in Vietnam will offer power sockets for all major power types. We have come across quite a few places but I would still advise to bring an adapter just in case. Power plugs throughout Vietnam tend to be the two pin type.

Vietnam Currency

An interesting Vietnam fact is that although the Vietnam currency is officially the VND (Vietnamese Dong). Vietnam also uses the USD in some situations and can be accepted in Travel Agents, Hotels and in the airport. But for local shops and restaurants it's best to deal in the official Vietnamese currency, VND. They will accept on some occasions but you'll not get the best rate when when you receive VND in change.

Vietnam money comes in varying denominations from 200 VND to 500,000 VND. You will need to take care when handling Vietnam money because a couple of notes are quite similar. Tourists past and present get caught unawares when dealing with it and lose out, so keep an eye out.

Below we will show the currency in Vietnam by denomination so you can stay clear of any mistakes when using Vietnam money.

*prices accurate at the time - Nov 2020

Detailed explanation below!

200 & 500 VND

These VND notes are not used so much and cannot really buy you anything in the shops. Sometimes an odd number like this will not be given in change. Therefore supermarkets will hand you over a sweet/candy instead.

Interesting Vietnam facts - On the reverse side of the 500 Vietnam currency note is a picture of a boat in Hai Phong Harbour. An important trading port contributing much to the north Vietnam economy.

1000, 2000 & 5000 VND

These notes are more common in Vietnam and will be issued as change. These are certainly handy to have in your wallet/purse. They can be definitely used to buy lighters, sweets, Bia Hoi (7k VND) or even left in tips jars. No doubt you will see doughnuts being carried around by the ladies. They officially cost between 2k - 3k per doughnut, definitely make sure you are not conned. They are certainly not worth more.

Interesting Vietnam facts - The reverse side of theses Vietnam currency notes depict the following; 1000 VND - Lumber production, 2000 VND - Textile production and the 5000 VND depicts Trị An hydropower plant.


10,000 & 20,000 VND

10,000 VND could buy you a large bottle of water, small snacks or two glasses of Bia Hoi. Although nowadays the price is more likely to be 7k VND per glass of beer.

20,000 VND used to be generally termed $1 but with the exchange rate changing over the years. It is slightly less now, but still a good way to determine how much you have.

Definitely be careful with this note, it is slightly similar to the 500,000 VND note. That is worth around $21, this is worth $1. Getting a $1 and $21 note mixed up can cause you a bit of a loss, especially if grouped together in one payment.

Also, be wary when receiving change from taxi drivers or street vendors. They can mix up these to fool you & this can be a regular occurrence.

Interesting Vietnam facts - The reverse side of these Vietnam currency notes show the following; 10,000 VND - Oil and Gas rigs, 20,000 VND - Cau Pagoda in Hoi An.


vietnam currency
vietnam currency

50,000 VND

This is without a doubt one of the most distinguishable notes amongst the VND currency. Being red in colour and unmistakable when dealing with vendors and getting the right change.

With a value of around $2, this will get you a meal at lunch time with change left over for a drink too. It will also certainly get you a little merry with Bia Hois at 7k VND a glass.

Pho Ga (Chicken Soup) or Pho Bo (Beef soup) for example will cost you in the region of 35,000 - 40,000 VND.

Interesting Vietnam facts - The picture on the reverse side is of Nha Rong Port in Ho Chi Minh City.


vietnam currency

100,000 VND

The green note is 100,000 VND and another visibly different note from the others. This is actually worth in the region of US$4.30 now, but stick to US$4 when mentally making conversions in your head.

What 100K VND can buy you in Vietnam is quite a lot. If you think a lunchtime soup costs around 30k - 35k VND, thats 3 meals.

Please don't buy doughnuts from the ladies in the Old Quarter. They tend to overcharge we hear of customers being charged 100,000 VND for 6 small doughnuts!


currency in vietnam

Interesting Vietnam facts - The picture on the reverse side of the 100,000 VND currency is the Temple of Literature. The first University in Vietnam and is located in Hanoi.

200,000 VND

Another note in our Vietnamese currency list is the 200,000 VND note, worth approximately US$9. It can certainly be annoying to lose this note in change at a restaurant or bar.

This can usually buy you a couple of days of street food (for backpackers). Or a dinner for two at a restaurant in the Old Quarter of Hanoi.

Don't buy 12 doughnuts this time from that doughnut lady you saw yesterday!!

Interesting Vietnam Facts - A picture of Halong Bay is denoted on the back of the 200,000 Vietnam currency note.


currency in vietnam

500,000 VND

Now it's last but not least by any means of our list of Vietnam money. This is the big boy of the Vietnamese currency, 500,000 VND. Yes that's half a million and is worth around US$21!

Some dodgy taxi drivers will attempt to distract you. Grab this note out of your purse or wallet. Sneakily swapping it with a 20,000 VND note. Folded up, you would certainly not be any the wiser.

Keep an eye on these and keep them separated from your smaller bills.

Interesting Vietnam facts - The picture on the back of the 500,000 Vietnam currency note is Uncle Ho’s house in Kim Lien.


currency in vietnam

Fake Money

Finally, there is fake currency in Vietnam. But this is only for religious ceremonies and the remembrance of loved ones.

This fake Vietnam money can be found in USD or VND. Along with paper clothes etc will be burned for their loved ones anniversaries to help in the after life.

Please keep an eye out for these, here is one shown above which is quite obvious but the USD notes maybe not so.