Story behind Vietnamese printed banknotes

Vietnamese dong

Vietnam is a bustling and culturally diverse Southeast Asian country with a profound sense of history, with natural beauty and a booming economy. Visiting this gorgeous nation may provide you with the finest experience, as well as your wallet, since you are likely to become an instant millionaire.

The Vietnam Dong (VND; symbol: đ), the official currency of Vietnam, is worth little in Western currency – 1 US dollar buys about 23,000 (VND). This means that $50 USD will swiftly make you a billionaire in VND. There seems to be a lot of denominations in Vietnam and the most commonly used are the only paper notes with a valid value: 1.000 VND, 2.000 VND, 5.000 VND and the polymer money: 10.000 VND, 20.000 VND, 50.000 VND, 100.000 VND, 200.000 VND and  500.000 VND. So, double check before you pay or you will withdraw the wrong note. Many tourists initially get confused with the color blue of  20.000 and 500.000 VND notes frequently. Using Vietnamese currency to buy and sell when traveling here but surely you have not figured it out yet the special things on the bills. Let’s find those easter eggs together!

Along with the depiction of our beloved leader – President Ho Chi Minh printed on each banknote, there is also a picture of many famous locations. We will reveal each location in order of increasing value.

1.000 DONG

  • Material: Cotton paper
  • Color: Gray and yellow
  • Location: This banknote is the image of laborers riding elephants, logging in the Central Highlands


2.000 DONG

  • Material: Cotton paper
  • Color: Dusky
  • Location: The 2.000 dong note is a picture of female workers working at Nam Dinh Textile Factory. This used to be the largest textile factory in Indochina and a thriving place of the revolutionary worker’s movement.


5.000 DONG

  • Material: Cotton paper
  • Color: Dark blue
  • Location: Tri An Hydropower Plant built on Dong Nai river is printed on a 5,000 dong. In 1991 the hydroelectric plant was inaugurated and put into use. The construction also has important economic significance with the main purpose of connecting to the national power grid with other plants to supply electricity for the national load. In addition, as a multi-purpose hydropower plant, it also ensures water for domestic use, agricultural irrigation, saline intrusion and flood control.


10.000 DONG

  • Material: Polymer
  • Color: Dark brown patterns on green – yellow background
  • Location: Bach Ho (White Tiger) Oilfield is printed on the back of the 10,000 VND polymer note. The White Tiger belongs to the Nine Dragons (Cuu Long) basin with reserves of about 300 million tons, 145km from the coast of Vung Tau, and has been commercially exploited since mid-1986. This is the main source of oil for Vietnam today.


20.000 DONG

  • Material: Polymer
  • Color: Dark blue
  • Location: The image on the money is the image of Cau Pagoda (Hoi An) with ancient architectural beauty. According to legend, the temple is considered as a sword that pierced the back of the Namazu monster, preventing it from wagging its tail, causing earthquakes.


50.000 DONG

  • Material: Polymer
  • Color: Plum
  • Location: The image printed on the 50,000 VND note is the complex of Nghenh Luong and Phu Van Pavilion relics in Hue. These two monuments were built during the Nguyen Dynasty. Nghenh Luong Pavilion was built right on the banks of the Perfume River, this was the place to stay for the king before going down to board a dragon boat or as a place to relax. Phu Van Pavilion was built during the reign of King Gia Long, this place is often used to inform the students of the results of competitions organized by the court and also where the king issued important edicts of the country.


100.000 DONG

  • Material: Polymer
  • Color: Dark green
  • Location: Appearing on the note is the image of the Temple of Literature – Quoc Tu Giam, known as the first university in Vietnam. This is considered a symbol of Hanoi and the longevity of the quintessence of culture, education, the tradition of respecting teachers, promoting virtue and promoting talents of the Vietnamese.


200.000 DONG

  • Material: Polymer
  • Color: Peach red and lime
  • Location: This image is Dinh Huong Island in Halong Bay (Quang Ninh). The giant stone standing proudly in the middle of the sea as a sacred offering to heaven and earth. Halong Bay is a masterpiece of nature with the presence of thousands of rocky islands of all shapes and sizes, with many interesting caves gathering into a world that is both vivid and mysterious.


500.000 DONG

  • Material: Polymer
  • Color: Mint
  • Location: The note is currently the largest denomination in Vietnam. The 500,000 VND note is a 5-room cottage in Lotus Village of Nghe An. This is President Ho Chi Minh’s hometown. The house lies in the Kim Lien relic site, a tourist center that keeps artifacts, documents, cultural space and history about Uncle Ho’s childhood with his family members. You can see the different between the 20.000 VND and 500.000 VND by looking at the picture printed on it besides with the denomination.


The locations on the Vietnamese currency are historical relics, famous landscapes or architectures that attract visitors. This is a way to show honor and respect for the scenic beauty of the country. Now you know the places printed on the Vietnamese currency through each part of our country, right? Mark them on the map then pack your backpack and enjoy your adventure!

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