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Updated by Joanna James on Oct 01, 2019
Headline for Hacks to Save Money in Vietnam - Top Money-Saving Tips for Travellers Heading to Vietnam
Joanna James Joanna James
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Hacks to Save Money in Vietnam - Top Money-Saving Tips for Travellers Heading to Vietnam

Visitors may find that they are millionaires on local terms but travelling on a budget may still prove difficult during a holiday in the country. Here are some penny-pinching tips to help cut costs.


Bring Crisp Notes

Those who are bringing US dollars or any other foreign currency to exchange in Vietnam should make sure the notes or bills they bring are in prime condition and not torn or dirty. Vietnamese money exchangers are notorious for turning down dirty or old dollar bills so make sure every bill is in tip-top condition and without any blemishes.


Change Money at the Right Locations

Gold shops in Hanoi's Old City quarter, as well as other money exchangers, are omnipresent throughout the country but they are not all created equal. Some currency exchangers will offer less for US dollars than others so rely on the money exchangers at the Hanoi Airport and currency exchange counters at local banks for the best rates in town. Not only are the rates more reliable, one is less likely to get swindled during the transaction. Those based at PARKROYAL Saigon or any other Saigon hotel can ask the accommodation provider about the nearest local banking facility.


Withdraw Cash in the City

Although ATM machines are now propping up in even rural areas of the country, withdrawing cash when in a major city is always a good idea for those who are venturing beyond city limits. Paying for goods and services in villages and less touristy areas of Vietnam are done solely in cash and those who wish to spend their Dong with ease should stock up on the local bills before leaving the city.


Withdraw at One Go

Regardless of one's home bank facility and its overseas money withdrawal policies, most banks will charge a nominal fee every time cash is withdrawn in a foreign land. Minimize this service fee by withdrawing all the cash one requires in one instance instead of withdrawing several times throughout the day from different ATMs.


Use Your Credit Card When Possible

Most restaurants, night clubs and hotels in Vietnam will accept credit card payments and performing cash-less transactions are a safe way to pay for services when possible. Don't hesitate to pay via credit card when the opportunity arises as it is safer than carrying wads of cash around.


Carry a Calculator

The US dollar is still used as a form of payment in Vietnam in addition to the local Dong. This means certain eateries and boutiques will list the prices in either Vietnamese Dong or US dollars. Stay on top of the conversion rate regardless of the currency by using a calculator to do the math before paying for items and services. Local vendors are known to quote dubious exchange rates to their advantage when items are priced in dollars so avoid this scam by punching in the numbers.


Haggle Away

There's no such thing as a fixed price for products in most local shops so haggling is not only acceptable but expected. Haggle down the prices of souvenirs and other commodities by maintaining a friendly composure. If one is travelling with a local companion or a business associate, it is better to leave the negotiations to them as foreigners will always be charged more.

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