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What Currency Is Used in Vietnam? Is It Better to Use USD or Dong in Vietnam?

It is essential to understand currency and payment differences before traveling. Vietnam supports the use of local currency and USD, as well as modern payment options like credit cards and online payments.

To help prepare for your Vietnam tour, understand when and where to use different forms of payment.

What Currency Is Used in Vietnam? How Much Is 100 USD in Vietnam?

The local currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese dong (VND). The name is from the Vietnamese word for copper, the material used in the past to make the earliest coins. Since 2011, coins are no longer in use in Vietnam. Small denominations from 200 VND to 5000 VND come in paper notes.

More durable polymer notes are used for denominations from 10,000 to 500,000 VND. The smallest denominations of 200, 500, and 1000 VND are rarely used. The value is so low that they are not even suitable for tipping.

Currently, 100 USD is worth more than 2,500,000 VND. At a 1:25,000 exchange, your money can go pretty far there. A bottle of water usually costs around 5,000-10,000 VND or 0.2-0.4 USD.

Vietnamese dong (VND)
Vietnamese dong (VND)

Can I Use USD When Traveling to Vietnam? Should I Bring Dollars to Vietnam?

USD can be used in Vietnam, and you will need to bring cash in USD if you are getting a visa on arrival. The visa stamping fee must be paid in USD. USD can also be more convenient for payment in large cities like Hanoi or larger hotels and stores. It is common to see restaurant menus with prices in USD or hear street vendors calling out prices in dollars.

One advantage of bringing USD is that you can avoid the high exchange fees at the airport and some banks. However, local shop owners and taxi drivers might set their exchange rates, so pay attention to the conversion.

Local currency is needed for small purchases or outside of tourist areas. Exchange a small amount of USD to keep some VND on hand. USD can be exchanged almost anywhere. The rates offered by money changers at the airports are often unfavorable. Look for money changers in the old quarter of Hanoi or behind the Ben Thanh market in Ho Chi Minh City, and compare rates before changing money.

Vietnamese dong (VND)
USD can be exchanged almost anywhere Vietnamese dong (VND)

Is Vietnam Cheap or Expensive for Traveling? What Can You Buy with 100 Dong in Vietnam?

Vietnam is generally not an expensive place for traveling. 100 dong won’t buy you much, but 10,000 VND is enough for a can of soda or a pound of rice. Taxi fares start at around 15,000 VND (0.7 USD), and a cup of excellent local coffee costs around 50,000-75,000 VND (2-3 USD).

Mid-range hotels are around 25 to 50 USD, depending on the time of year. Small local restaurants average 3-7 USD per person, and a street food meal, which is a must-try, is 1-3 USD.

Tourist activities like visiting temples or museums often cost between 1 and 5 USD. A good spa treatment or massage costs between 10 and 50 USD. Getting around in cities is easy by taxi. Fares are 0.5 USD per mile, and drivers usually round up to the nearest dollar.

Do I Need Tip When Visiting Vietnam

Tipping is not expected in Vietnam, but it’s a good idea to tip your guide and driver. If you’re satisfied with the service, 10-20% is a standard amount. Bars and restaurants frequented by American customers may have gotten used to receiving tips. Small amounts like 1 USD are appropriate and best given to the staff directly.

At street Vietnamese food stalls and small local restaurants tips are not expected. Taxi drivers typically round up the fare, and you don’t need to add more. Tipping service staff at hotels, spas, and salons is common. Upscale restaurants and cafés may add a service charge, so check before adding anything extra. It’s not expected to tip on top.

More Tips

1. Before traveling, check to make sure that your ATM card is compatible with the bank machines in Vietnam.
2. Notify your bank before traveling to ensure your credit card doesn’t get flagged for suspicious activity.
3. Credit cards are accepted in large cities at hotels and upscale restaurants. Smaller establishments, taxis, and guesthouses usually only accept cash.
4. Haggling is expected when shopping in Vitenam night markets. Stay polite, and don’t be too aggressive. Offering 20-30% of the original price is a good starting point.
5. Grab is a local ride-hailing app similar to Uber. You can use it to book cars or motorcycles to get around the city. Payment is cashless through credit cards. 


With both VND and USD widely accepted, payment is convenient in Vietnam. Local currency for small purchases and USD at major establishments will cover most situations you will encounter there. Finally, feel free to contact us for a tailor-made itinerary just for you in Vietnam!

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