So who is the best money changer in Saigon (HCMC), Vietnam?
There are many money changers in Ho Chi Minh City.
- Official Money Changer
- Hotel Reception (Require to produce passports at some)
- Gold jeweler shop (can be illegal! but nobody cares!)
The gold smith shops around Ben Thanh Market are probably one of the best money changer offering unbeatable rates. Those counters at the airport offers some of the worst rates.
If you just arrived at the airport, there are rows of money changers after the custom check where they scan your luggage. These money changers do not have the best rate but it is essential to change some money for taxi to the city, and if it is night arrival you may want to change enough to cover dinner and other activities until you can find a good money changer (please see below for the best rate) the next day.
- Taxi cost no more than US$15 one way to anywhere within district 1.
- Dinner should cost no more than US$5 in an ordinary restaurant per person.
- Taxi within the city should not cost more than US$5.
- Local beer should cost no more than US$2.
But the golden question is: “Who gives the best rates in Ho Chi Minh City”. There are two places that gives the highest rates to my knowledge.
Location 1: Best Money Changer in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) / Saigon
One is located within Ben Thanh market in District 1 near the west entrance (There are 4 main entrances). Enter via the West entrance.
Look for the word CUA TAY. It means West Door in Vietnamese.
This place always give the BEST rate. Period.
Upon entering via the West entrance, you will come across a row of shops that belongs to the Co-op. Proceed straight without turning for another 3 meters and turn right.
You can notice that the Co-op operated shops are more spacious than those individual shops.
After turning right, kept walking straight for about 6 meters. You will see a shop selling office tie for men. Turn left. There’s a
little shop they have expanded to span two shops! Thanks to this blog!? The shop is different from the rest – they have no product on display but there is usually a queue outside the shop.
This shop is the Ben Thanh Money Changer. If you can’t locate the shop you can ask around the shops keepers.
The shop is run by a lady in her 40s and helped by a few other people. (If you can’t locate this shop, go to the money changer in location 2 just outside the West entrance.) This
little shop’s money exchange volume is the highest easily higher than most commercial banks in Saigon!
The largest transaction I have ever witness was in the tens of thousands of USD. This shop closes on Sunday. You have to go to the shop described below if you intend to change on a Sunday.
Location 2: Best Exchange Rate in Ho Chi Minh City
The second place that offers the next highest exchange rate is right outside Ben Thanh Market’s West entrance.
Standing outside the West entrance with the market behind you, you can see two gold jeweler shops in front across the street. The one on the right (HA TAM)gives the second highest exchange rate in Saigon to my knowledge.
Watch out for the constant harassment from beggars!