Cat Ba National Park


Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 193 2




Cat Ba National Park was established in 1986 and was Vietnam’s first ever national park. It covers an area of 15,200 ha and is located 15km west of Cat Ba town. It is recognized nationally and internationally for its importance in biodiversity conservation.

As a result of this high concentration of biodiversity, the Cat Ba National Park was recognized as a World Biosphere Reserve in 2004, and the area plays an essential role in developing the local economy, tourism, aquaculture, fishery and aquaculture and scientific research.

The park is also made up of a range of different ecosystems including both terrestrial and marine and covers areas both on Cat Ba Island itself as well as areas on the surrounding islands and had been attracting an increasing number of visitors each year.

cat ba national park
Cat Ba National Park

Flora and Fauna

Cat Ba National Park is home to 282 species of fauna of which 32 are mammals; 78 are birds; 20 are reptilian and 11 are amphibian.  Perhaps the most famous creature to live amongst the dense jungle is the golden-headed langur also known as the Car Ba langur. There are only 66 recorded Cat Ba langur left and these are found only in the coastal mountains.

The jungle contains a diverse range of rare and unique botany as well. The main forest is rain forest and evergreen forest. Due to the topography some secondary forests also exist such as limestone and mangrove forest.

There are 745 different species of plants recorded in Cat Ba National Park.This includes 118 different types of timber and 160 plants known for their medicinal value. An interesting tree called ‘Cay Kim Giao’ is also found here and the wood was once used to make chopsticks for the kings and nobles. This was because it was said the timber would turn black if it came into contact with a poison.

Things to do in Cat Ba National Park

One of the most popular activities inside Cat Ba National Park is trekking. People can hike to the top of  Ngu Lam mountain to enjoy spectacular views of the jungle and the rocky mountains right across the national park. Here you can rest for a while to catch your breath or choose to continue to trek through the jungle for 4-5 hours which will eventually take you to the remote fishing village of Viet Hai.

As you follow the path you may come across lizards darting across the track; vibrant butterflies, spectacularly colored birds; insects and even some snakes; curling themselves around the trees.

You will pass a variety of different trees; plants; flowers and vines as well as Frog Lake which is home to a side range of amphibians unique to this part of the world.

How to get to Cat Ba National Park

There are several ways to reach Cat Ba National Park. All long distance busses  from anywhere in Vietnam must pass through the national park on their way to Cat Ba town and you can ask the driver to drop you off on the way. Note there is no accommodation available in the park so you must arrange for someone to watch your luggage and find a way to get to Cat Ba once you have finished exploring.

Alternatively if you stay in Cat Ba town you can either book a guided tour which is the easiest and most stress free way to enter the park or rent a motorbike and travel to the park independently.  If  you travel independently be aware that the park gates open at 6am and close at 7pm.  Driving back to Cat Ba town in the dark is quite dangerous so be sure to head back well before sunset.

It is also possible to commission a taxi from Cat Ba town however this option is much more expensive than booking a tour as you must pay extra for the driver to wait for you whilst you trek.

Cat Ba National Park


Don’t worry if you struggle to find a course of action- contact me. I will help you as best as I can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available all of the time to help you out.

I am here to listen to you

Whatsapp number: +84936516991 – Viet

Skype: ducvietdz


Good luck with your amazing journey in Viet Nam!

Wait, you would love these tours so much!

Coming to Cat Ba Island


Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 331 0


During your travels in Vietnam, you may have heard of Cat Ba Island – the Pearl Island of the north. Cat Ba’s beauty attracts many visitors but for a lot of people, this island still retains much mystery by its compelling mountainous landscape, never ending green forests and fascinating culture. You will not only fall in love with the lifestyle here but also the people. Let’s find out why visitors love Cat Ba so much! Following the links below to find a helpful part of the article for you:

bãi biển Cát Bà2

Cat Ba History

The name of Cat Ba Island means “Women’s Island.” Legend has it that three women of the Tran Dynasty were killed and their bodies floated to the island. Local fisherman found the bodies on three different beaches, and the residents built a temple for each woman. 

Prior to 1945, Cat Ba town was quite literally just named Cat Ba Street, later renamed to Cat Ba commune, located in the Cat Hai district of the Quang Yen province. In 1957, the town was renamed to Cat Ba Town and was absorbed into the Hai Phong province.  

cat ba national park
Coming to Cat Ba Island


According to a northeastern Vietnam folk story, Cat Ba island was once the harem of the first man to exploit lacquer in this area. When he discovered the precious bay with many beautiful islands, which later became known as Ha Long, it was also his time to conquer the fate of the island’s many lonely women, whose husbands had passed away. Later, on another sea trip full of uncertainty through the area, to freely exploit the area of Hon Gai, Bai Chay, he gathered all the women to live on a beautiful, rich and isolated island in the middle of the sea, located in Lan Ha Bay. That is how the island received its name Cat Ong (Man’s Island) to go along with Cat Ba (Women’s Island).

biển Cát Bà

Cat Ba Geography

Cat Ba Island is part of an archipelago made up of 367 large and small islands. Cat Ba Island is the main island of about 140km², 50 kilometers  away from Haiphong port, located in the southern part of Ha Long Bay. It creates a massive island complex and contains a large number of caves on the land and on the sea to fascinate visitors. Come to Cat Ba island, you can enjoy the fresh air and blend in with the beautiful nature.

biển bao làng

Cat Ba National Park

Cat Ba Island is a giant green carpet, containing many mysterious and interesting attractions. Cat Ba National Park is the third biosphere reserve in Vietnam; now recognized by UNESCO as the World Biosphere Reserve. The total area of ​​the Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve is over 26,000Ha; with two core zones (strict conservation and no human impact), two buffer zones (allowing for limited economic development but combined with conservation) and two transition areas (economic development). The Cat Ba biosphere reserve is a convergence of tropical rainforests on limestone islands; mangrove forests; coral reefs; rug and cave systems. Cat Ba Island also has the Cai Beo site, belonging to Ha Long culture, a group of people who lived here from 6475 – 4200 years ago.

làng viet hai
nước biển cát bà

Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island contains varied garden topography; with mainly limestone mountains; and many interesting caves; alternating with smooth; white sand beaches; where visitors can swim and relax. The limestone mountains have an average height of 150m; with the highest peak being Cao Vong; 322m above sea level. Cat Ba has 300 species of marine fish; 500 species of mollusks and crustaceans; of which many can be used as raw materials for producing fine art items such as tortoise; dragon shrimp; pearl oyster; coral; sea shells; and more …

Boulder Corner

Cat Ba Weather

Cat Ba Island weather is very cool, fresh, suitable for comfortable relaxation. Located in the tropical monsoonal zone influenced by the ocean, the average temperature, humidity and rainfall indexes of Cat Ba Island are similar to those in the surrounding areas. Winters are typically warmer than usual and summers are cooler than usual than the mainland.

In Detail: Precipitation: 1,700-1,800 mm / year, seasonal fluctuations. The rainy season is mainly July and August. Average temperature in Cat Ba Island is around 25-28 ° C.

In the summer it can be above 30 ° C, with average winter temperatures of 15-20 ° C, but may drop below 10 ° C (when the winter monsoons occur). Average humidity: 85%. Tidal oscillation: 3.3 to 3.9 meters. Sea salinity: From 0.930% (rainy season) to 3.111% (dry season).

làng viet hai 3

Must See Places On Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba attractions offer natural, ecological tours that cannot be separated. There are many archaeological relics of the Neolithic, cultural relics Ha Long, and traces of the ancient Vietnamese

In addition, you also have the opportunity to visit the famous public beaches of Cat Ba: Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, Cat Co 3, and an opportunity to join the beach party on Tung Thu Beach. Riding a motorbike on the road through the island; you have the opportunity to visit the unique places that are not available anywhere else, such as Trung Trang cave, Huong cave, Hospital cave, Thien Long cave, Gia Luan bridge – the most beautiful bridge in Cat Ba, and trekking in Cat Ba Nationl Park

Cat Ba visitors are not only attracted to the island by the caves and green canopy of the mountains, but also by the local food and boat trips. You will enjoy the fresh air of the sea and kayak visits to famous sites: Bright cave, Dark cave, and enjoy the clear waters at Three Peaches beach. Furthermore, joining the night cruise is another activity you can expect to enjoy in Cat Ba. You can go all over Lan Ha Bay – Ha Long Bay, and visit more than 100 different large beaches

thưởng thức bữa trưa ven biển
Watch the Cat ba island

Cat Ba National Park

Established in 1986, Cat Ba National Park has a forest, a sea rich with resources, beautiful scenery, and a variety of rare plants and animals. The total area of the park is 15,200ha, with the forest area being 9,800ha and the sea area being 4,200ha. The topography is diverse, made up of mainly limestone mountains with many caves. Each mountain, with an average height of 150m, has many small passages such as Da Lat Pass, Eo Bich Pass, Cao Pho Pass … and many large streams year around, such as Thuong Luong Stream, Treo Stream, Viet Hai Stream. Cat Ba is a tropical forest with special soil types. The limestone forest occupies the largest area, intermingled with natural forests on the mountain, especially in the Trung Trang area where the Kim Giao forest grows naturally. 

The fauna here is also rich

The flora here contains 620 species from 123 families such as Dogs, Trai Ly, Lat Hoa, Dinh, Kim Giao …. These are trees that need protection for proper development. The fauna here is also rich with 20 species of mammals, 69 species of birds, 20 species of reptiles and amphibians, especially white-headed langurs, which live in cliffs along the coast. Rare and now only in Cat Ba. The cave on Cat Ba island is also very rich in plant and animal life. Each cave has a different beauty, creating beautiful natural paintings that will amaze anyone. The most visited caves are Luon cave, Trung Trang cave, Gia Luan cave, Thien Long grotto … with gorgeous stalactite stalks.

How To Get Cat Ba?

In the past, it was very difficult to reach Cat Ba island. Normally, from Ha Noi, tourists had to go to Hai Phong city by bus or train, then buy tickets at the Binh harbour to go to Cat Ba. Currently, reaching Cat Ba Island is much improved. Many bus companies are expanding direct routes from Hanoi (and other locations) to Cat Ba and from Cat Ba to other locations in Vietnam. This has been improving convenience for visitors, allowing them to have more choices to reach Cat Ba if they have a strict travel schedule. 

You can ride a bike from your location to Cat Ba to enjoy the beauty of nature and scenery on the island road here


Don’t worry if you struggle to find a course of action- contact me. I will help you as best as I can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available all of the time to help you out.

I am here to listen to you

Whatsapp number: +84936516991 – Viet

Skype: ducvietdz


Good luck with your amazing journey in Viet Nam!

Wait, you would love these tours so much!

cat ba monkey island


Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 218 0


Coming to Cat Ba Island, visiting Monkey Island is one of the most exhilarating and unforgettable activities. With a perimeter of only 3 square kilometers, but Monkey Island keeps a lot of interesting things. Fascinating visitors by the pristine, breathtaking view of the mountain and beautiful white sand, Monkey Island is an ideal destination whilst traveling in Cat Ba to have a truly amazing time and relaxing moment during your stay.  Let’s break down the article by following these links below to find a helpful part for you


Monkey Island Introduction

What to do on Monkey Island

How to get Monkey island

Be careful on Monkey Island

I’m here to help you out

Wait, you would love these tours so much!


Monkey island introduction

Monkey Island is not a strange name to visitors when traveling in Cat Ba. Only 15 minutes away from Beo harbour by boat, Monkey Island is the first place in the trip to visit Lan Ha Bay and Ha Long Bay . On the way, you will have the opportunity to visit fishing villages and fish farms, learn about the living habits and lifestyle of local fishermen in Cat Ba. This will be an enjoyable experience for you. Monkey Island was originally called Pineapple island because it has pineapple trees growing on sand. In the past, fishermen in Cat Ba often came to the island to pick up wild pineapple to make a remedy as a cure for diabetes. Currently, there are more than 20 wild monkeys living on the island. They usually come down to the beach to receive food from visitors. Time by time, it has been called Monkey Island to make the island more familiar to tourists

biển Cát Bà
làng Việt Hải
lang viet hai
làng viet hai 3

What to do on Monkey Island 

Coming to the island, you will have the opportunity to enjoy golden sunlight on white sand beach. From here, you will be seeing the beauty of Lan Ha Bay with mountainous limestone karsts surrounding neighborhood area. Monkey Island’s white sand beach is also one of the highlights of the island. You can lie on the long white sand beach to enjoy the sunshine or spend minutes to immerse yourself in the cool blue crystal clear water. 

On Monkey Island, you can also kayak to explore the islets and small sand beaches around Monkey Island. With 200,000 VND ( $9 USD), you can rent a kayak to explore yourself. In addition, hiking on the mountain is also worth considering when visiting the Monkey Island. Only 10-minute hike, you will have the opportunity to capture panoramic photos from the top of the mountain. Not only that, you can also see the community of monkeys playing on it.

biển bao làng

How to get Monkey island 

The island is one of the attractions in the trip to Cat Ba. You can book daily boat tour and nature tours for a chance to visit Monkey Island and other famous sightseeing places on the tour schedule. Besides, if you want to explore this miracle place yourself, the suggestions below may be useful for you:


From the center of Cat Ba town, you ride a bike / take a taxi to Beo Harbour. It would take you 5 minutes by bike to get there. In the harbour, you buy a sight-seeing ticket at the ticket box which is 40.000vnd / each. Then take a small junk boat at the harbour. The price for round route should be from 200.000vnd – 300.000vnd / boat depending on your bargaining skills. A small junk boat is capable to take 8 people at the same time. If you have more people, you will pay less.

Vietnam tourism - How to get Cat Ba from Ha Noi by bikes?

What should you be careful on Monkey island?

Due to the natural instinct, the monkeys on the island are often very aggressive. You should pay attention when you intend to feed them. Be aware if you don’t  want to be bitten. Also, watch out for your stuff  if you don’t want to get stolen by the monkeys. Normally, as they are used to being fed by people, the monkeys often come very close to the large crowded tourist area, causing conflicts between monkeys and visitors. If you intend to do kayaking from Monkey Island, you should notice that the waves around the monkey island are usually very high. Wearing a life jacket is essential to keep you safe. In the other hand,  putting sun-scream to protect your skin is also a good idea as you will spend a lot of time taking part in outdoor activities on the island.

bãi biển Cát Bà2


Don’t worry if you struggle to find a course of action- contact me. I will help you as best as I can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available all of the time to help you out.

I am here to listen to you

Whatsapp number: +84936516991 – Viet

Skype: ducvietdz


Good luck with your amazing journey in Viet Nam!

Wait, you would love these tours so much!


Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 380 3


Viet Hai Village is still a relatively unfamiliar name for tourists. Often tourists flock to the popular destinations with bustling crowds and local people in a hurry to make money. These are places where tourists rush to keep up with the schedule for their journeys. However, Viet Hai is a far cry from this.

The village is a pristine flower nestled in thick jungle beneath towering limestone rock formations and completely removed from the bustle of Cat Ba Island. Here you will find the true lifestyle and culture of the ancient Vietnamese. The village is separated from the outside world and is a peaceful place to reconnect with nature; admire honest; hard-working people and the simplicity of their lives.

A gently winding road connects Viet Hai Port with the village. On one side there is crystal clear emerald water whilst the other side boasts vertical rocky mountains.

If you are looking for somewhere to enjoy nature the way it was 1000’s of years ago, mountains, and majestic views as well as understand the lifestyle of the Vietnamese, Viet Hai village is the place for you. No more overstimulation; none of the usual worries you might have when traveling in tourist areas; it is just you and nature.

How To Get Viet Hai? 

Amazing Person In Viet Hai

What To Do In Viet Hai? 

I’m Here To Help You Out

How To Get Viet Hai? 

There are two ways to reach Viet Hai village. The first way is by trekking through the national park passing through 17 km of the forest road. The second option is to take a small junk boat from Beo harbour in Cat Ba to Viet Hai harbour. I highly recommend the second option because, not only will it save a lot of energy, it will ensure you can appreciate the landscape to the fullest extent. The boat trip to Viet Hai takes 45 minutes and you can enjoy the stunning view of Lan Ha bay on the way.

Trekking In Cat Ba National Park

Amazing Person In Viet Hai – Loi – the dedicated Politician

During my trip, I met Loi – the Chairman of Viet Hai Committee. He impressed me with his tanned skin, deep voice and humble attitude. Although he was not born in Viet Hai, he has had an association with this miracle land for nearly 20 years. During this time Loi has contributed a lot to the beautiful Viet Hai village meaning it is quickly becoming a favorite destination with tourists who are looking for a taste of the real Vietnam. 

viet hai village


Viet Hai was previously known only to the local community as an ancient fishing village. Viet Hai people are still living almost exactly as they were 2000 years ago. For the other people in Cat Ba, Viet Hai village was an ancient village. Home to people living in isolation and separated from the outside world. When Loi took office in Viet Hai, he wanted to improve the lives of the local people, as well as share this special part of the world with people from all over the world. It was difficult at the first as the population’s knowledge of the tourism industry was limited but over the past few years Loi has convinced the locals that their traditional way of life and natural environment can be preserved and exist along-side tourism.

làng việt Hải
lang viet hai
cat ba island homestay


Loi travelled from Viet Hai to Hai Phong countless times to secure funding to re-build the paved road from the harbour to the village. Once the road was built he then needed travel companies to bring their tourists to Viet Hai port. He built his own house using ancient tools to turn it into a place where tourists could experience the culture of Viet Hai, enabling tourists to understand more about Vietnamese agriculture.

I asked him why he chose to do this. His answer really impressed me: “I want tourists to know more about Vietnamese Agriculture and the important role its plays. I earn  nothing, but in the long term, Viet Hai will become a eco destination .Currently the only way to experience Viet Hai’s beauty is through a travel company but they will be impressed. Tourists will spread word of that beauty. More tourists will bring more income for the local people and this will improve the quality of their lives.”


Loi was right, a place is recognized as famous and beautiful when many people know and talk about it. He showed me the natural garden he planted with his own hands. He said: “Agriculture is no longer valued in Viet Hai by the people as a result of poor crop performance. I am aiming for this place to instead become a cultural destination where tourists can learn about traditional agriculture in Vietnam. I have to be a good example for people to follow.” Loi is also a member of the Cat Ba Langur conservation project, protecting the Cat Ba Langur community. By visiting Loi’s house you will have the opportunity to watch a video on the Langur and find out more about this project.


What To Do In Viet Hai?

In Viet Hai, besides the beautiful natural scenery, you can experience many local activities that foreign tourists may have never experienced before.

Viet Hai village is an isolated village located in Cat Ba National Park. This place still boasts wild, untouched jungles spread across the rocky mountains. Visitors will be able to appreciate nature untouched by humans.

Visitors may also find some of the following activities interesting

+ Fishing in the streams, ponds, and sea: 

For ancient Vietnamese people, fishing was an essential activity to provide food for daily meals. Visitors to Viet Hai village will have the chance to experience fishing and learn more about the daily life of the locals.

Cat Ba National Park

+ Experience traditional rice production: 

You will have the opportunity to learn about rice production in ancient times in Viet Nam. You also will experience the use of ancient tools to make white rice grains. This is something  which  should not be missed when visiting Viet Hai.

+ Picking Fruits In The Natural Garden

As the platform being developed by Loi, you will have the opportunity to experience the fruit picking from the garden itself and can eat directly. The fruit is clean and nutritious waiting for you.


+ Hiking and visiting caves in Viet Hai: 

Surrounded by pristine forest systems and limestone mountains, Viet Hai contains many mysterious caves and viewpoints at the top of the mountains. I had the opportunity to visit these beautiful places. The scenery on the top of the mountain as well as the mystery of the caves were truly charming, keeping everyone’s footsteps here.

+ Enjoy The Local Food 

Food is an indispensable feature in any culture. Coming to Viet Hai cuisine, you will have the opportunity to taste the unique local dishes; learn the recipes of the ancient Vietnamese. The ingredients are completely clean and organic; ensuring you will have the most delicious experience If you would like to visit Viet Hai village to experience local activities and stop at Loi’s place, contact us. Part of the money will be donated to the Cat Ba langur conservation project and at the same time, you are helping Loi to maintain his dream of contributing to the Viet Hai Village community.

đặc sản địa phương


Don’t worry if you struggle to find a course of action- contact me. I will help you as best as I can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available all of the time to help you out.

We have both day tours and inclusive tours visiting Viet Hai village. you will seriously have a good time with us.

I am here to listen to you

Whatsapp number: +84936516991 – Viet

Skype: ducvietdz


Good luck with your amazing journey in Viet Nam!

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Vietnam tourism - Cat Ba island tourism

Affiliate With Nam Travel To Earn And Increase Your Travel Budget

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 94 0

Hello fellow travellers! Thank you for taking the time to contact us! It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with you!

My name is Viet, but you can  call me Tony. Currently, I am the manager of Nam Travel Company, headquartered at 261 Nui Ngoc Street – Cat Ba town – Hai Phong – Vietnam. As a traveler myself, having met and talked with many different people, I know I can always learn something from collaborating with others. I also know that working as a team always benefits both parties more than just working alone. Therefore, we are extremely proud to announce that we have officially launched affiliate platforms, working in partnership with travelers who want to pay for their travel budget whilst travelling!

You can cooperate with us in any of 3 ways:

Option 1: Affiliate with us by referring tourists directly

We believe that people should be given fair reward for their efforts. In that spirit, for each tourist that uses our company’s services from your referral, you will receive an immediate $ 1 USD. We will have a list of partners’ names, each customer will be asked for information particularly who introduced them to our organisation. This list will be available on the website, so you can easily check your sales.

The way you choose to recommend our company is up to you: It can be through direct referrals from you but also because your media posts about our tours as well as our company

Option 2: Associate with us through campaign sales

We will send you the current tours and tour prices. You can create a sales campaign with a minimum number of customers is 10 guests / campaign.

If you do not reach the target of 10 guests / campaign, you still receive 8% of the value of the tour you sell / person.

If you achieve the goal of the campaign, you will receive 10% of the value of the tour you sell / person. If exceeding the target:


11 – 20 guests / campaign, you will receive 12%

21 – 30 guests / campaign, you get 15%

31 – 40 guests / campain, you get 18%

more than 60 guests / campaign, you get 20%


You will receive an affiliate code from us. Based on that code, we will determine the number of customers booked by you and transfer money to you after each campaign or monthly payment depending on your discretion.

For partners  who cooperate in option 2 we will collect the entire payment at the hotel. Otherwise, before the tour, you can transfer the payment for the tour to us minus your commission, depending on the commitment of our campaign.

We will follow the schedule and information you provide to take care of your guests

Option 3: Join us by creating a tour: you yourself are the tour operator

The clue is in the name, you will become a tour operator for us. We will give you the agent price of the travel services we have available including: room rates, food prices and prices of various travel services. You will plan a tour and search for customers yourself. We assure you that the price we offer is reasonable for our partners, meaning that you can make reasonably priced tours that can still be profitable and easily sold! With through this collaboration you can individually manage a tour for your customers/friends. The time and activities of the tour are completely on decided by you!

The advantage of the option is that you can actively create the price for tours that you want to sell. Contact us 5 days in advance so that both parties are well prepared to ensure the interests of our customers.

I have several guests willing to do a tour, how will Nam Travel manage a tour for me?

This is a key question for people who want to work with us. After a customer books your tour you should email their individual information including:

  • check-in and check-out dates
  • tour name
  • tour itinerary
  • name, nationality and number of guests booking the tour
  • special requests of guests (eg. vegetarian/vegan food etc.)
  • Special services included in the tour  (optional )
  • total price of the tour. Payment can be made at the hotel or through bank transfer.


How To Collect Your Money?

We will pay your revenue via paypal account. Transaction fees will be borne by you. If transactions are less than $50 USD, we will be happy to assist with the transaction fee

You can request a monthly payment, by tour or by campaign payment. We will let you decide at your discretion.

How To Register for a Partnership with Nam Travel

Please send us your social influence account, your name, your email and paypal details ( bank account ) by filling in the form below.

You can cooperate with us through any combination of the 3 options or through all options. Please tell us to make it easier for us to manage working with you in the best way possible

Thank you so much. We can not wait to talk to you again!

Pay attention when using Vietnamese currency

Common Mistake When Using Vietnamese Money

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 270 0

What is Vietnamese money?

Cash VS bank cards. Which is more convenient in Vietnam?

Common mistakes when using Vietnamese currency

Keeping the face value of money to pay small

As a traveler, using local money to buy consumer goods, is a crucial part of traveling.


In this article, I will address Vietnamese currency and tips when using Vietnamese currency.


  1. What is Vietnamese money?
  2. Cash VS bank cards. Which is more convenient in Vietnam?
  3. Common mistakes when using Vietnamese currency
  4. Keeping the face value of money to pay small


Vietnamese Dong is the official currency in Vietnam. The denominations are as follow: 1000 – 2000 (lowest denomination)







500,000 VND. (highest denomination)


XE is an app you can use, to give you live conversion rates or you can simply type the amount into Google and it will convert it for you.


If you have foreign currency in cash, you can exchange to Vietnamese Dong. This is very easy to do at the airport and perhaps more convenient, though the commission will be quite high compared to the ATM fee you would have gotten, if you were to have withdrawn cash upon arrival.


For money transfer, you can go to the bank or another very convenient way is to go to a jewelry shop or as they’re known ‘gold shop”, they won’t charge you for fees unlike airports and hotels.


The bigger the amount of money, the higher the exchange rate is.


For example:


In the case, changing $10USD to its Vietnamese equivalent (227,273VND) will be lower when you would change $100 to 2,272,736VND.


In general, money valued ​​less than $10, the exchange rate will be lower than if the coin value is higher than 10.


Why is this change? Because high par value currencies are often more easily traded on the domestic foreign exchange market between Vietnamese and Vietnamese. The higher par value is used or is therefore, more easily exchanged.


Cash or bank card? Which is more convenient?


It is true that in Vietnam, cash is used in most trade deals. From street food, to market vendors and pharmacies to mechanics most store holders are standalone businesses and do not offer card machines. At some restaurants, people have a swipe card system to charge, but this is only a very small amount.


When traveling in Vietnam, do not forget to spend a day in your wallet on average in Vietnam.

Avoid withdrawing large amounts of cash in case of theft or robbery. The ATM system in Vietnam is very developed so you can withdraw money anywhere in the metropolitan area (depending on your bank) and large cities. On average the most you can withdraw 2,000,000VND. Typically you can withdraw this amount three times in a row from the same ATM. If you are in need of more cash, this is the time to make use of the jewelry shops.


If you are planning to travel to mountainous or rural areas. You MUST carefully consider the cost of your trip as there will be no way for you to withdraw money from your bank card. If you do not have enough cash. Keep this cash hidden away. Another tip is to have two wallets. One with a small amount of cash and the rest on another one out of sight, refilling the one with the smaller amounts of cash as you need it.


The common mistakes when using VND

Vietnamese currency is made of polymer, so it is water-resistant and very durable. One of the most common mistakes made with VND is confusion between the currency: 20.000VND and 500.000VND. The 500.000 note is bigger in size, but very similar in color to the 20.000 note. If you are in a hurry to go somewhere, hungover or just plainly not paying attention handing over the wrong note is a high possibility.

Another error when using Vietnamese Dong is that it can be quite sticky. You could very easily pay with two notes at the same time, only finding this out when you look into your wallet to pay for your Bun Cha and only have 5000VND remaining instead of the 100.000 you had previously thought. Vietnam is very humid and the weather is unpredictable, combine this with keeping the money in your pocket for a long time and voila! Sticky money. Always double-check the money before paying.


Keep the face value of money you use to pay in the smallest denominations.


In Vietnam, you have to pay to return to nature at public toilets. Price is usually very cheap only about: 1000-3000VND per time, but in truth it is quite and inconvenience. Keep small denominations side to pay for such times.


When traveling in Vietnam. The cost of everything compared to some countries is next to nothing so it is easy enough to throw money away. Be smart with your money, don’t flash it around because all of a sudden you’re a millionaire for the first time in your life. Respect the fact that small businesses don’t have a change box in the back of their shop, they will usually have to run to fellow store holder to swap the money to give you change. Enjoy the products and services that Vietnam has to offer and support the local stores vs the international chains. Do your part to give back to the community.