If I take a big stack of Thai 1000 baht notes with me to Vietnam, will I have any issues exchanging them for Dong in places like Hanoi and HCMC?
OR Would I be better off converting all my excess baht into USD before leaving Thailand for Vietnam?
I don't have specific experience with THB, but yes, they do have exchange places. I specifically remember some in Hanoi. But of course, most town will also have banks and they should take your THB as well as USD.
I'd tend to take both currencies: exchange some THB to USD, but keep the rest in THB, and use this first, keeping the USD for backup.
You will be better off exchanging your THB for USD in Thailand,don't use a bank,but one of the licensed money changers,you will get a better rate.You will not get a good exchange rate in Vietnam for THB.
It depends on the bank.Some ATM's allow only 2,000,000 VND (=100USD),some allow more.What I have done is go into the bank,tell them the ATM isn't working,(whether it is or not)and take out the amount you want(up to your own banks daily limit) over the counter.You will need your passport,and to input your PIN into a hand held device.It also costs less to do it that way-maybe 40,000VND as opposed to 5x 30,000VND for 5 separate withdrawals
So the standard ATM fee for making a withdrawal is about 30,000 ($1.50)? Well, that's better than the 150 baht ($5) fees I'm used to in Thailand.
I get hit with a $5 fee from my Australian bank, Westpac whenever I withdraw from overseas ATMs, hence usually go for amounts larger than $100.
Going rate for a US buck seems to be 20,000 Dong if you try and spend it in a cafe or whatever (though it's 21,000+ on exchange info sites like this)
I guess you're in Hanoi now so don't need an answer to your original question, but regarding ATMs, you can withdraw at least 4milllion (c. $200) from most ANZ ATMs as well as some others - I can't remember which now as I just use ANZ. Also you can withdraw up to 20million from the cashpoint outside the main ANZ branch by Hoan Kiem lake.
Regarding exchange rate, people will convert it at the rate which suits them best. Usually either 20,000 or 21,000, but sometime a bit higher (if they're converting from USD to VND). Make sure you double check the exchange rate on any large expenses - such as hotel bills - but on small purchases it doesn't make much of a difference.
Yes, I'm in Hanoi now. I'm about to do a withdrawal and tossing up between ANZ and HSBC. I remember the latter didn't charge a local atm fee when I used them in Malaysia, but I don't know if that's the case here.
Not sure if I'd get any sort of break on fees using an Aussie ATM like ANZ's when I'm with Westpac. They'll probably still whack the $5 overseas ATM use charge on there.