VietnamTravel Tips & InfoThe Meanings Behind Vietnamese Banknotes

The Meanings Behind Vietnamese Banknotes

As of 2018, the State Bank of Vietnam prints 12 types of Vietnamese banknotes. Each Vietnamese Dong (VND) is a different color and shares the same image on one side of the note: a picture of Ho Chi Minh, one of the most famous Vietnamese people. The opposite side, however, has distinguishable images of historic sites, scenic places, or economically essential constructions.

Vietnamese banknotes from the order of the highest to the lowest value

VND 500,000

The highest Vietnamese banknote denomination is the 5-room house where Ho Chi Minh was born, Lotus Village, Nam Dan District, Nghe An Province.

VND 200,000

Dinh Huong Island at the UNESCO Heritage site of Ha Long Bay. Read more about interesting activities at Ha Long Bay through the Comprehensive Ha Long Bay Vietnam Travel Guide.

VND 100,000

Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam, or the Temple of Literature, is represented on the VND 100,000 banknote. Considered the first university of Vietnam, it is one of the iconic sites of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.

VND 50,000

The VND 50,000 banknote is marked with two historic sites in Hue. They are Nghenh Luong Dinh (Luong Dinh Welcoming Pavilion), the resting place of the Nguyen King before the dragon boat cruising on the Perfume River, and Phu Van Lau (Pavilion of Edicts) where, in the past, the locals could read announcements from the government.

VND 20,000

Commonly known as the Japanese Covered Bridge, this 18th-century landmark can be found in Hoi An, an ancient town in Central Vietnam.

VND 10,000

The VND 10,000 banknote is printed on the White Tiger Oil Field, the largest oil field in Vietnam and supplier of the majority of the country’s oil.

VND 5,000

Located in Dong Nai Province, Tri An Hydroelectric Power Plant is represented on the VND 5,000 note. This was considered as a recognition of the Soviet Union’s support to build this plant.

Fun fact: The text “Cộng Hòa Xã Hội Chủ Nghĩa Việt Nam” (meaning the Socialist Republic of Vietnam) appears more than ten times on this note. The exact number is still being argued since the State Bank does not issue an official statement, but many people believe it is between 13 and 15 times.

VND 2,000

The VND 2,000 note features female textile factory workers in northern Vietnam’s Nam Dinh Province. This was the largest textile factory in Indochina during the French colonization period. Like the ones on some other Vietnamese banknotes, the image depicts a noticeable milestone in developing the Vietnamese economy and society.

VND 1,000

The VND 1,000 note shows locals using elephants for logging in Tay Nguyen Province.

VND 500

The VND 500 note features a picture of Hai Phong Port, part of a port complex in Hai Phong, one of Vietnam’s major cities. It is the second-largest national port and an international gateway to Vietnam.

VND 200

One side of the VND 200 note captures a working scene of Vietnamese farmers on a rice field. This image tells the characteristics of Vietnam, how agriculture has played an important role in our economy, and how rice has been a crucial stable food for thousands of years.

VND 100

The VND 100 is the least used and seen in circulation among the Vietnamese banknotes due to its limited value. It has the image of Pho Minh Temple, a 7th-century temple in Nam Dinh Province. One of the Four Great Treasures of Annam—the former name of Vietnam during the feudal dynasties—Pho Minh Caldron was placed in this temple before the Ming invasion destroyed it.

The VND 200 and 100 are no longer in use. The VND 500 banknote is a relatively small change, so when shopping, some retailers might give other small merchandise, such as a packet of sugar, instead of VND 500 as a change.

Summary of the Meanings Behind Vietnamese Banknotes

The meanings behind Vietnamese banknotes are about appealing sites such as historical places, beautiful landscapes, or significant constructions. They all show some of the Vietnamese characteristics in different stages of development. If you get a chance to get a hand on one of these notes, which make great souvenirs, you can show off and tell your friends that all the Vietnamese are millionaires and billionaires.

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