Exchange rate: Vietnam currency is Dong or VND as most call it. 1 USD is equivalent to 23,000 VND, 1 Euro is equivalent to 27,000 VND, and 1 pound is equivalent to 30,600 VND. Most smartphones have apps to quickly convert rates with the click of a button, which makes comparing and planning much easier.
However, handing over more of your Dong is a serious problem for newbies in Vietnam. Be careful.
23,000 Dong = 1 USD
Remember, 20,000 Dong looks a lot like 200,000 Dong. 50,000 Dong looks a lot like 500,000 Dong (because there are so many zeroes). Also the colour of the notes: 20,000 Dong looks almost the same like 500,000 Dong, 10,000 looks almost the same like 200,000 Dong.
Check your bills twice over before handing them over. It’s a small, easy mistake that could cost you a day’s budget!
We also want to remind you about some folk, will try and take advantage of you! When they set a price with you, like 15 but after using their services, they will ask you 50 (they will say I said 50). So you should make the precise number and/or ask them to write it down!
Above all, be friendly to the sellers, do not pay too low a price for small items sold by poor people along the road. A few dollars will likely mean little to you, but can help the poor of Vietnam to support their whole family. Some tourists drive a hard bargain for purchases, but this impacts the poor. Conversely, we find most are willing to spend hundreds of dollars for hotels and spending in restaurants and bars! Surely, it’s better to be respectful, honest and polite during your stay in Vietnam. Thank you!