Vietnam Country Guide



Your Money

Vietnam is still cheap by most standards and a month's stay can start from USD250 for basic rooms, local food and open bus transportation. Tipping is not expected in Vietnam, with the exception of bellhops in high end hotels. In any case, the price quoted to you is often many times what locals will pay, so tipping can be considered unnecessary in most circumstances. To avoid paying a tip when a taxi driver, for example, claims they don't have small change, always try to have various denominations available.
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Prices are widely advertised in U.S. dollars, namely because of the unstable currency valuation of the dong. However, unlike neighboring Cambodia, payment is often expected in dong only, especially outside major tourist destinations. It is also easier to bargain with dong, especially since dollar prices are already rounded.

Credit Cards, Transfers and Traveller's Cheques
For credit card payments, there is usually a 3% surcharge, so cash may be advantageous for large transactions. There are branches of money transfer companies like Western Union, but this is always one of the more expensive ways to get money.
Traveller's cheques of well known companies (such as Thomas Cook, Bank of America and American Express) are widely accepted but usually charged a small fee. There are mentioning in some popular travel books about Vietcombank not charging any commission to cash AMEX travelers cheques but this is not true anymore.

Shopping mall in Ho Chi Minh City by WiNG

Banks and ATMS
The f
ees charged might be the only thing that would keep you from getting cash advances on your Visa or Mastercard at most banks. Through both ways you can also get hold of U.S. dollars but there will be even higher fees.
ATMs are becoming more and more common and can be found in most bigger cities and every tourist destination. They will accept a selection of credit and bank-cards including Visa, Mastercard, Maestro or Cirrus. Typically withdrawals are limited to 2,000,000 dong per transaction and will incur a 20,000 dong service fee.

Bakery in Da Nang by Dragfyre

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