Currency in Ho Chi Minh City
Currency in Ho Chi Minh
What currency is used in Ho Chi Minh?
At this stage, there are two versions of Vietnam currency in use - the country stopped using coins in 2011- : the Polymer note (500,000 VND, 200,000 VND, 100,000 VND, 50,000 VND, 20,000 VND, and 10,000 VND) and Cotton note (5,000 VND, 2,000 VND, 1,000 VND, 500 VND, and 200 VND).
What is the exchange rate?
Is it easy exchanging money in Ho Chi Minh?
Best places to exchange money in Ho Chi Minh
- The airport: you can buy local currency upon arrival at the airport. The exchange rate will probably not be favorable but it might be necessary to pay for taxi fare and other immediate needs.
- Near Ho Chi Minh Square: Located at the heart of the city, the Ho Chi Minh Square is a well-known place for currency exchanging in the city. Its streets are flooded with money exchange shops
- Around Ben Thanh Market: the money changers and gold dealers at Ben Thanh Market are the first choices of locals and visitors when it comes to currency exchange and they can be found within and outside the market. Most of these shops are located at Le Thanh Ton street.
- Bank branches on and around Pham Ngu Lao Street (backpacker area): Most mainstream banks in the city such as Vietcom Bank and DongA Bank have their own branches within the area.
- Some big hotels in Ho Chi Minh also offer currency exchange service, use it for your convenience only as the rates are quite poor.
Tips for when you exchange money in Ho Chi Minh
- Take a quick look at currency converters online such as google.com; xe.com; vietcombank.com.vn … to know how much money you roughly can get in VND when you want to exchange your money.
- The 20,000 VND note and 500,000 VND note look quite similar in their color. You need to pay attention and calculate the amount of VND when you receive it.
- There are many exchange currency spots in Ho Chi Minh, especially in the tourist areas, so you should always check the rate with several shops before changing your money somewhere
ATM's in Ho Chi Minh
Most Vietnamese Bank ATM’s will have a maximum withdrawal of 4-5 million Vietnamese dong but you can make multiple withdrawals until you hit your own bank withdrawal limit. Commonwealth Bank allows withdrawals of up to 9 million dong (~450 USD) so makes a better option if you are withdrawing a large amount of cash.
- When withdrawing money, always choose the option “Without Conversion”, and not “With Conversion”. This way you’ll get a better exchange rate.
- It’s a good idea to withdraw some extra cash before traveling to remote destinations in Vietnam, especially if you want to buy crafts or textiles directly from local artisans.
Cash or card?
While cash is used for small purchases and street vendors in Vietnam, most establishments accept payments from major credit card providers such as Visa. Hotels, tour operators, boutiques, restaurants, grocery stores, and spas all generally accept international debit and credit cards.
Is traveling to Ho Chi Minh expensive?
How much do things cost in Ho Chi Minh?
Ho Chi Minh city food costs on average USD 10-15 daily if you eat mostly street food. You can double that to USD 20-30 daily if you prefer eating inside in cheaper air-conditioned restaurants. If you want to enjoy luxurious food in hotels expect to pay up to USD 200 daily.
Like anywhere else in the world, eating local is always the cheapest option! You don’t need to pay more than 15,000-35,000 VND for a bowl of pho. You can expect to pay no more than 40,000-50,000 VND for a tasty baguette filled with vegetables and pork.
Getting around in Saigon is ridiculously cheap. A cab from the airport to your hotel will cost around $5. A motorbike Grab ride, which is Asia’s version of Uber, costs $1-$2 to go to most places!
At a typical bar or nightclub, a beer will cost $2-$4. Cocktails and wine will cost a lot more, usually around double the price of beers at every venue. Coffee is super cheap, starting from around $1 for a standard coffee to about $3 for the fancier Western-style coffees like a cappuccino or latte.
- Budget hostel - 300,000 VND (13 USD)/night
- Mid-range hotel - 700,000 VND (30 USD)/night
- Luxury hotel - 3.5 million VND (150 USD)/night
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