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Vietnam Currency

The official currency of Vietnam is the dong, which can be found only in notes ranging from ₫200 to ₫500,000. The word dong is from the term đồng tiền ("money"), a cognate of the Chinese tóng qián. The term refers to Chinese bronze coins used as currency during the dynastic periods of China and Vietnam. The term hào is a cognate of the Chinese háo, meaning a tenth of a currency unit.

While the Vietnamese dong is the official currency of Vietnam, the US dollar is also readily accepted in most locations. Many shops and restaurants will advertise that they take both US dollars and Vietnamese dong, so it is worthwhile carrying both currencies. Many places will also convert cash for you, but be aware that you will probably lose anywhere from 5-10% in the transaction.

The largest cash note available is ₫100,000 (roughly $5). In 2003, the Vietnamese government reintroduced coins, in denominations of ₫200, ₫500, ₫1,000, ₫2,000, and ₫5,000. Coins are most commonly found in the major cities. Many vending machines don’t accept coins, in fact, the only vending machines that do accept coins are machines that distribute condoms. This has led to coins being comically been linked to sex in popular Vietnamese culture.

There are many ATMs within the major cities, and they generally accept western cards such as Mastercard and Visa. The maximum withdrawal, however, is ₫2,000,000 ($100) and you will usually get charged a withdrawal fee. Traveller’s cheques can be exchanged in most banks.

Cash is still the most widely accepted form of money and if paying by card, a surplus charge in the region of 3-4% to cover the transaction fee, will usually be added.





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