Currency, like every thing else in VietNam, is changing and some older paper notes/bills have expired and the forgers have even managed to copy the latest polymer (plastic) versions.
Avoid any paper bills / notes over VN Dong 10,000 as some are no longer legal tender and will require unlucky recipients to exchange them at a bank. Some will refuse, VietComBank will not.
The inks on some VND20,000 and 50,000 have smudged or faded, again a visit to the bank will be required - better still refuse, to accept them.
Excellent forgeries of VND500,000 bills / notes have surfaced since polymer notes were introduced so Travellers are advised against accepting / using them.
Coins are now in circulation and the most common are gold / bronze coloured with denominations of VND1,000 - 2,000 - 5,000. A pocketful of VND5,000 will always defeat the taxi drivers plea of "Sorry, no change".
The Vietnamese don't like coins as they are 'heavy'.
Note that VND5,000 (paper) notes are the same colour as VND20,000 and are best differentiated by folding the 5,000 in half when placing them in a bill fold.
It is a legal requirement that all businesses render bills in VND AND accept VietNam Dong in settlement - even for visa transaction.
The VietNam Government has announced that the currency will be convertible on the international foreign exchange market. Until then, use those Dong up before you leave the country.
#1 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349
CatBa, you are a life saver ! What's the official us$ /VND exchange ? And trusted money changers? Are there any in the old quarters or city center ? Will us$ in very small denominations be useful ( like in Cambodia & Loas ?)
Torn and faded Uncle Sam's notes not acceptable but would they reject notes pre-1996 like in Bali ?
#2 KPTham1 has been a member since 26/9/2006. Posts: 52