You can exchange cash at exchange desks in big hotels and at authorized foreign exchange banks in the main cities. Among the banks, Vietcombank usually offers the best exchange rates and charges the lowest commission (around 1-2%). Vietcombank does not levy commission when changing dollars cash into Vietnam Dong, though some other banks do. It’s worth bearing in mind that you get a slightly better exchange rate for $100 and $50 notes than for smaller denominations.
Outside the main cities and tourist areas, authorized foreign exchange banks are few and far between. So, if you’re heading off the beaten path, stock up with enough cash (dollars and dong) to last the trip. Wherever you are, you’ll always find someone willing to change dollars into dong, though rates will vary.