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All You Need to Know About Vietnamese Banknotes

Thien Nguyen
When traveling to Vietnam, it's important to familiarize yourself with the local currency, the Vietnamese dong (VND), and its banknotes. Understanding the value of each banknote, what you can buy with them, and how to differentiate them can greatly enhance your experience while navigating the country. In this blog post, we'll provide you with all the essential information you need to know about Vietnamese banknotes.

1. Value of each banknote

Vietnamese banknotes come in various denominations, ranging from the smaller denominations to the higher ones. Here are the current values of the most commonly used banknotes in Vietnam:

10,000 VND: Approximately 0.43 USD

20,000 VND: Approximately 0.85 USD

50,000 VND: Approximately 2.14 USD

100,000 VND: Approximately 4.28 USD

200,000 VND: Approximately 8.56 USD

500,000 VND: Approximately 21.40 USD

2. What you can buy with each banknote

1,000 VND, 2,000 VND: commonly used for small-value transactions, such as purchasing a single piece of candy or as change.

5,000 VND: holds a slightly higher value, used for motorbike parking fee or a cup of iced tea.

10,000 VND: A small snack or a bottle of water

Small banknote in Vietnam.jpg
Small banknote in Vietnam.jpg

20,000 VND: A cup of coffee or a local street food dish

50,000 VND: A cup of egg coffee or a bowl of pho at a restaurant or a taxi ride within the city

100,000 VND: A short-distance taxi ride or a cinema ticket or a Local Buddy for 1 hour

200,000 VND: A night at a dorm at a hostel

500,000 VND: A night at a single room at a hostel or a homestay or a fancier meal at restaurant with craft beer of wine

Vietnamese polymer banknote.jpg
Vietnamese polymer banknote.jpg

3. How to differentiate banknotes

Observe the Colors

Each denomination of Vietnamese banknotes has a distinct color. Pay attention to the color of the banknote to quickly identify its value. For example, the 10,000VND banknote is predominantly yellow, while the 20,000VND banknote is blue. And people often mistake 20,000 VND for a 500,000 VND banknote and vice versa because they have the same color as blue.

Examine the Size

Vietnamese banknotes also vary in size. The higher the value, the larger the banknote. By familiarizing yourself with the size differences, you can quickly distinguish between different denominations by sight and touch.

Inspect the Design Elements

Take a closer look at the design elements on the banknotes. Each denomination features unique patterns, symbols, and images. These may include historical landmarks, cultural symbols, or famous Vietnamese figures. Pay attention to these details to differentiate between banknotes.

Observe the Numbers and Text

Vietnamese banknotes display the denomination in both numbers and words. Take note of the numerical value printed prominently on the banknote. Additionally, the text describing the denomination is usually written in Vietnamese, making it another indicator of the banknote's value.

Feel the Texture

Vietnamese banknotes have specific textures and tactile features that can aid in differentiation. Some banknotes have embossed elements or raised ink, providing a distinct feel when touched. Running your fingers along the banknotes can help you identify them by touch.


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