Dong is King

A couple of weeks ago, we’ve heard of black market trading offices around the city closing down because of the government’s move to bring the exchange value of the dong to the official rate.  Legitimate money exchangers can only exchange dollars to dong. 😦

Although banks are starting to sell dollars now for people leaving the country for a trip, like Dong A Bank (300 USD for a trip of 7 days) and HSBC (500 USD for each trip), I guess it still ain’t enough.

For some, apartment owners demand that you pay in dollar.  Even if you tell them that the law states that we pay in dong, owners insist you pay in dollar. 😦  We were lucky because our past 2 apartment owners allowed us to pay in dong based on the exchange rate at their chosen bank.  I actually don’t understand why they insist on the dollar when clearly, they use dong in their everyday lives.

Such a hassle for renters to withdraw millions of dong (thick wads of paper money!), then go to the black market to buy dollars, then pay the owner.  The move of the government to catch these black marketeers is actually a good alibi to tell these greedy apartment owners that you can’t buy dollars.  Period.

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2 Responses to Dong is King

  1. Jay says:

    The authorised money changers, other than banks, are still in business along Le Thanh Ton buy and selling dollars and other currencies.

    Talking about leases and landlords a contract that demands payment in U.S. dollars is invalid and can be reported to the State Bank of VietNam. Years ago , before this regulation was brought in, any company likely to receive dollars, such as hotels and restaurants were actually required to pay certain bills, including electricity, in dollars.

    At least the government was honest, you can buy visas, etc. in dollars or Dong. If a visa agent demands dollars remind them that you know the government will accpt Dong.

    Back to landlords. No one, but no one, can sell you metered electricity except the electricity supply company of the area you live in. It is OK for landlords to say electricity INCLUDED but if there is a stipulation as to how much is included, i.e. additional usage will incur additional cost, this additional charge is illegal as it needs a meter to measure it. Even if a landlord had his own meter and the reading was deducted from the EVN meter with the balance charged to a tenant, this is also illegal.

  2. Lyra says:

    Thanks Jay for your inputs and clarifying.

    Good that we pay our utilities separately. I just hate it when we have to negotiate contracts (when I help my friends) with the landlord and they insist on payment should be made in dollars. And they even quote the black market price.

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