Over the past few years Vietnam has become one of the world’s top holiday destinations. There are many reasons why Vietnam’s popularity is on the rise. Here are some tips and tricks for planning a Vietnamese holiday along with information on currency in Vietnam.
Vietnamese’s unit of currency is the dong (VND). A typical joke amongst tourists after exchanging money is that they are “instant millionaires.”
The lowest denomination bill in circulation is a 10,000 note, the highest is 500,000. One pound is worth a little over 30,000 VND, one euro is worth almost 27,000.
At one point many shops would accept pounds, euros and US dollars as payments; however that practice has largely been abandoned. Additionally paying with VND usually offers you a better deal.
Currency exchanges can be made at banks, hotels and gold and silver shops. Surprisingly the small family owned shops often offer the best rates. Be sure to bring clean bills as many money exchanges will charge an additional fee for dirty or torn notes.
Disregard rumours that black market exchange rates are better.
Other Vietnamese currency tips
ATMs are relatively available. Just remember that you will be receiving a large number of bills. It is better and safer to withdraw just the amount of money you expect to need for the day than to withdraw large sums.
Credit card use can be a bit tricky. Most restaurants and hotels will accept credit cards but cash is preferred at many smaller shops and family owned restaurants.
Vietnamese bills are made from polymer that tends to stick together. Make sure that you are giving out the right number of bills.
Many bills look a bit alike. Check the denominations of your bills carefully.
The major restaurants and hotels add a service charge of 5%. You should tip drivers, guides and servers at smaller restaurants.
Budgeting For Your Trips
Vietnam is a truly bargain destination. If you are travelling on a budget you can easily cover your food and lodging for £25 a day. You can upgrade to a more luxurious lodging for around £35 to £60 a day.
Top Vietnamese Travel Destinations
Vietnam has a little something for everyone; exciting nightlife, ancient shrines and temples, stunning landscapes, a diverse range of shopping experiences and scenic beaches. Vietnam is also very popular with backpackers.
- Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is the most popular tourist destination in Vietnam. The 120 kilometre coastline is dotted with thousands of islands all topped by lush jungle vegetation. The small islands are home to caves, lakes and floating fishing villages.
- Con Dao Islands
The French sent prisoners to Con Dao Islands. Now the 16 small islands off the southern coast are home to a wide variety of water sports, including some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling spots in the country.
- Bac Ha Market
The weekly Bac Ha Market is one of the best in the country. The market is packed with locals and tourists and offers incredible Thai and Vietnamese food, fabrics, spices, crafts and, if one is so inclined, water buffalo.
- Marble Mountains
The Marble Mountains located south of Da Nang are very picturesque and home to a large number of caves. Many of the caves were used as Buddhist sanctuaries and are home to shrines. Others served as hospitals and sanctuaries during the Vietnam War.
- Hang Son Doong Cave
Dating back almost three million years, the Hang Son Doong cave is one of the largest in the world. It is possible to camp inside the lushly green lined walls. A river runs through the cave and a number of blue water lakes can be found inside.
- Temple of Literature
The Hanoi Temple of Literature was built in the 11th century and is dedicated to Confucius. The temple was home to Vietnam’s first university.
- My Khe Beach
The Da Nang Beach is home to perfect white sand beaches and clear waters. The beach is very popular with tourists and locals alike.
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