US to Vietnam power adapters - what adapter is needed for a Vietnamese power outlet?

Vietnamese power outlet

What adapter do I need for Vietnam?

Use a Type G plug adapter for Vietnam if the plug you intend on using doesn't fit in a Vietnamese power outlet.

The type of power adapter, power converter or charger that's needed when visiting Vietnam will all depend on the voltage and type of device that you're attempting to power in a Vietnamese power outlet. If you don't know which voltage your device uses then please read the section below on how to find out the voltage of your device first.

  • Be prepared for regular blackouts and limited access to power in some areas of Vietnam, it is advised to bring a portable charger if you need to keep your mobile phone charged whilst staying in an area without power or during a power cut.
  • If you're travelling to Vietnam from the US then we recommend bringing a plug adapter for Vietnam as American Type A or B power outlets might not typically be found. As the voltage is different in Vietnam use a power converter if your device isn't dual voltage, also check that it is compatible with a 50hz power outlet.
  • If your device is 220 volts or is dual voltage and your plug fits in a Vietnamese power outlet then it should work in Vietnam.
  • If your device is 220 volts or is dual voltage but the plug doesn't fit in a Vietnamese power outlet you will need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Vietnam such a Type G plug adapter. Please Note that a plug adapter for Vietnam (or power adapter) will change the actual shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Vietnam, but isn't designed to change the voltage from 220 volts to a different voltage.
  • If your device can't run on 220 volts and isn't dual voltage you will also need a power converter for Vietnam to convert the voltage from 220 volts to the correct voltage on your device. You will still need to use a suitable plug adapter for Vietnam if your power converter doesn't have the correct Type G plug adapter.
  • If you need to recharge your USB devices such as a tablet or cell phone then a USB travel power adapter will be ideal and it should be dual voltage, but ensure that you bring one which includes a Type G plug adapter otherwise you'll still need to bring along a suitable plug adapter for Vietnam[3]

Warning: If your device won't handle 220 volts you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device. Prior to using your device in Vietnam please check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Vietnam power adapters

Power adapters for Vietnam

If packing for a vacation to Vietnam it is useful to know if you'll be able to power any important devices like mobiles and cameras at your hotel. However, by not knowing which plug socket to expect you may end up either bringing unnecessary adaptors or pack the wrong adaptor, leaving you needing to buy or borrow a potentially expensive adaptor when you're there which might be incompatible. Varying different combinations of standards and voltages can all be daunting when planning to travel to another country to the first time traveller. This isn't as complex as it first appears, with only a handful of different types of common standards being used throughout the world this guide shows exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your device in Vietnam. This page has links to step by step instructions demonstrating which power adapters you'll need to power your devices when you are in Vietnam using the standard Type G, A or C 220 volt 50Hz wall outlets, Type G power outlets will be typically used by most Vietnamese. Most power adapters vary depending on which region you in therefore we recommend reading the Wiki Connections world power adapters list where you'll find a full list showing regions and countries.

What is the best power adapter for Vietnam?

The best power adapter for Vietnam is a Type G plug adapter which allows you to use any 220 volt appliance or device. [3]

What is the best power adapter for Vietnam?
Vietnam

What is a power adapter?

A power adapter is a compact and cheap plastic adapter that permits a different type of power plug on an appliance from a foreign region to correctly fit into a Vietnamese power outlet.

Also known as: an electrical adapter, plug adapter, travel adapter, electrical adaptor, mains travel adapter or power adaptor[5]

Do I need a power adapter in Vietnam?

This will depend on where you are travelling from and the shape of plug you are using.

Vietnam

Do I need a plug adapter if I'm visiting Vietnam from America?

A US Type A or Type B outlet might not commonly be found in Vietnam so it is recommended to bring a suitable plug adapter for Vietnam, however because the voltage is 220 volts you will definitely need to use a power converter for Vietnam if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage to prevent overheating or damage.

Vietnam

What does a power adapter do?

A power adapter enables a visitor from a different location to use their own electronic and electrical appliances in Vietnam simply by adapting the shape of the plug.

Can a power adapter change the voltage in Vietnam?

Power adapters can only adapt the shape of a plug to fit into a 220 volt Vietnamese power outlet and is unable to convert the power to a higher voltage. If you wish to safely use any 100-120 volt appliance then you will also need to bring a step down power converter for Vietnam along with the correct power adapter.

Where to buy a power adapter for Vietnam in the US

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where to buy a power adapter for Vietnam in the US

Vietnam to US power adapters will most likely be available in most major US International airports prior to departure, however the range of adapters might be limited to popular destinations. It is recommended to research the exact type of adapter required prior to shopping at the airport. Look in the travel accessories section of airport newsagents, electronic stores and pharmacists such as Hudson News or Brookstone, but expect to pay more than regular prices. Airports will be your last chance to buy a power adapter before departure, always check the returns policy to ensure you can easily exchange or refund a faulty or unsuitable product in an airside shop.

It will be more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. High street electrical stores such as Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Home Depot or Fry's normally sell a limited range of travel adapters to popular locations but for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

Where to buy a power adapter in Vietnam

Arriving at an airport

Where to buy a power adapter in Vietnam

On arrival power adapters could be found in local electrical high street shops and drug stores, but always check the build quality first as safety standards might be different in a foreign country as this is important when dealing with electrical goods. Keep in mind that a shopping trip searching for power adapters in an unknown location might be impractical, especially as this needs to happen quickly before batteries run out.

Hotel receptions could have a power adapter for sale, hire or as a complimentary extra for guests; however, availability is normally limited and a hotel might not have the exact type required for your country. If in doubt, call ahead to the hotel first and request a reservation as it is unlikely that an adapter will be found in your room on arrival.

Electrical adapters for Vietnam

Travel Power Strips

A power strip with multiple USB ports

Travel Power Strips

Benefits of a travel power strip

  • Capable of powering several electrical appliances at once via a single plug socket, costing under $40.
  • Some types of travel power strips have voltage conversation for lower wattage devices (for example laptops). Even if the appliance isn't dual voltage it will still function in Vietnam by using just a travel power strip, making them a lightweight and cheap alternative to a dedicated voltage converter.
  • Normal models will also include multiple USB charge ports.
  • Offers surge protection. The voltage from power grids in certain areas can be tempremental, a sudden power surge can damage your delicate electrical items. Some power strips will include a surge protector which will prevent your device from being overpowered by an unstable power grid.
  • When you return to America it should still work.
  • US and Canadian power strips include Type A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N plug adapters so should work in Vietnam.

Disadvantages of a travel power strip

  • Unlike normal voltage converters, the voltage converter on a travel power strip doesn't convert higher wattage appliances such as hair dryers or curling irons.
  • Because of their size travel power strips might be unsuitable for hand luggage.
  • Travel power strips could be considered excessive for travellers with only a small number of items that need powering. [6]
Power Plug Adapters

A small and lightweight type G plug adapter

Power Plug Adapters

Benefits of a power plug adapter

  • Using a Type G plug adapter will work in Vietnam.
  • Simple to use.
  • Affordable, prices under $10.
  • Light and compact.

Disadvantages of a power plug adapter

  • If you intend on travelling to more than just Vietnam then you might need to bring multiple power adapter types for other countries.
  • Only modifies the actual shape of the plug to fit in a Type G Vietnamese power outlet but not the actual voltage used in Vietnam. So if your device doesn't work with a 220 volt outlet and isn't dual voltage then you will still need to bring a separate voltage converter.
  • 1 adapter per device - for every device you'll also need to bring a separate adapter.
  • Accomodation in Vietnam may only have one wall outlet available, therefore you'll only be able to charge one appliance at once.
  • If you need to charge any USB device then you also still need to bring your domestic USB charger as well. [3]
Travel USB Wall Chargers

A USB travel charger with swappable plugs

Travel USB Wall Chargers

Benefits of a travel USB wall charger

  • Perfect if you only have to charge devices which use USB.
  • You only have to bring a single unit instead of packing lots of domestic USB power chargers which costs roughly between $10 to $15.
  • Travel USB wall chargers are typically supplied with swappable heads meaning they can be used in a large number of different countries. Interchangeable adapter heads supplied with travel USB wall chargers are typically small and lightweight which makes them easy to pack.
  • Most models should also include a built in surge protector.
  • When you return to your home country it should still work.
  • The interchangeable heads fit in Types A/B, E/F, G and I power outlets so will work in Vietnam.

Disadvantages of a travel USB wall charger

  • Restricted to USB ports so you will be unable to charge any electrical appliances, only USB devices. [7]
Universal Travel Power Adapters

Universal adapters are ideal in multiple countries

Universal Travel Power Adapters

Benefits of a universal travel power adapter

  • Perfect when travelling to multiple countries. Most models function in around 150 countries.
  • All in one compact design. Both lightweight and small, around $15.
  • There are some universal travel power adapters which have multiple USB charging ports built in.
  • Straightforward operation.
  • Some models will have a surge protector to prevent your electronics from being overpowered by unstable power grids in some countries.
  • The retracting pins don't catch against other items in baggage.
  • When you return to America the power strip will still be useful as a USB charger.
  • Changes shape to Types A/B, E/F, G and I plugs so will fit into a Vietnamese power outlet.

Disadvantages of a universal travel power adapter

  • Can't be used with any high powered appliances - for example hair straighteners, vacuum cleaners, kettles, hair dryers or curling irons.
  • The pins, shutters and internal moving parts might be fragile on some models which might make them likely to possibily break.
  • Only provide power to a single appliance.
  • Not completely universal, some adapters might not cover some countries with less popular power outlet types.
  • They don't have a voltage converter meaning they're not suitable for non-220 volt appliances in Vietnam. [8]
Plug Adapter Sets

A comprehensive plug adapter set

Plug Adapter Sets

Benefits of a plug adapter set

  • With prices roughly between $15 to $20 a power adapter set works out cheaper than purchasing multiple power plug adapter types costing almost $10 each.
  • Covers all eventualities and not just a Vietnamese power outlet.
  • If you are travelling to different locations a plug adapter set is the most flexible option.
  • Includes Type A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N plugs so will work in Vietnam.

Disadvantages of a plug adapter set

  • Will involve planning - you will need to choose which plug adapters to pack in advance, or alternatively pack every power adapter in the set.
  • Means lots of individual plug adapters to bring.
  • Having only one working power adapter the remaining plug adapters will be redundant.
  • Not every power adapter types are typically included in the set (and especially less common ones) - so ensure that your plug adapter set has one which is compatible in Vietnam.
  • Each adapter only changes the shape of the plug to fit in a Vietnamese power outlet but not the actual voltage. [9]
Voltage Converters

Voltage converters offer surge protection

Voltage Converters

Benefits of a voltage converter

Disadvantages of a voltage converter

  • A voltage converter only converts the 220 volts in Vietnam and won't change the actual shape of the plug to fit into a Vietnamese power outlet, therefore you'll still need to use a suitable power adapter for Vietnam.
  • The normal weight of most models of voltage converters makes them way too bulky for packing in carry-on luggage.
  • Redundant after your visit to Vietnam.
  • Usually much cheaper to purchase a dual voltage travel appliance than to buy a much more expensive voltage converter simply to bring your existing single voltage domestic appliance in an incompatible location.
  • Expensive, between $110 to $120.
  • If you are travelling from America and visiting Vietnam you will require one as the voltage is 220 volts.

Comparison of electrical adapters for Vietnam

Type G Power Plug Adapter
Power Plug Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel Power Strip
Travel Power Strip
Plug Adapter Set
Plug Adapter Set
Voltage Converter
Voltage Converter
Can be used in Vietnam Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Types of plug included G A/B, E/F, G and I A/B, E/F, G and I A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N B
Compatible number of countries (A) 50+ 150+ 150+ 200+ 230+ 230+
Fits in a Type G Vietnamese power outlet Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Additional Type G plug adapter required to fit in a Vietnamese power outlet Yes
Useful when you return to America Yes Yes Yes
Typical combined number of USB ports and AC outlets 1 3 4 7 1 2
Powers USB devices Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of USB ports 0 2 4 4 0 0
Powers a 220 volt AC appliance in Vietnam Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of AC outlets 1 1 0 3 (B) 2
Converts voltage (?) Yes (C) Yes
Surge protection Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical dimensions 2.6 x 1.9 x 1.4 inches 3 x 2.1 x 2.1 inches 4.3 x 3.4 x 1.3 inches 6.6 x 3.6 x 1.5 inches 7.1 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches 11.7 x 8.1 x 6.7 inches
Typical weight 4.5 ounces 4 ounces 4.5 ounces 1.6 pounds 13 ounces 20 pounds
Typical number of items to carry (D) 1 1 5 8 12 2
Suitable for hand luggage Yes Yes Yes • (E) • (F)
Estimated price under $10 between $15 to $20 between $10 to $15 between $35 to $40 between $15 to $20 almost $100
Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy

Vietnam power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Vietnam?

Type A, C and G power outlets

What plug sockets are used in Vietnam?

There are three types of power outlets used in Vietnam, these are type G, A and C with the primary power supply being type G:

  • Plug Type A - The plug outlet (technically called the type A power outlet) is recognised by 2 adjacent slots where the twin pins go.
  • Plug Type C - You can recognise this power socket by the two circular adjacent holes next to each other where the pins go.
  • Plug Type G - The plug outlet (technically called a type G power outlet) looks like 3 rectangular holes with shutters forming a triangle shape. [3]
Vietnam

Do US plugs work in Vietnam?

No; because the voltage is 220 volts you need to bring a power converter for Vietnam if your device or appliance isn't dual voltage. We also suggest bringing all types of power adapters for Vietnam as US types A or B power outlets might not readily be found.

Vietnam

What frequency is used in Vietnam?

The frequency found in a Vietnamese power outlet is 50 Hz. [11]

Vietnam
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country

Is the voltage in Vietnam the same as in the US?

The voltage in Vietnam is 220 volts, whereas 120 volts is used in the US. If your American appliance or charger can't handle dual voltage then you will need to use a suitable power converter for Vietnam which allows a 120 volt American appliance to work with a 220-240 volt outlet.

Vietnam

Is an outlet in Vietnam the same as the US?

Even though a US Type A or Type B outlet could be available in Vietnam it is still advisable to bring a suitable power adapter for Vietnam. Both the voltage and frequency are different so if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage please use a power converter for Vietnam and ensure that it works with a 50hz outlet.

Vietnam

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in Vietnam?

Use a step down power converter if you wish to use either a 110 volt or 120 volt appliance in Vietnam.

Vietnam

Are there power outages in Vietnam?

Vietnam reports power cuts once a month.

Vietnam

Are power outlets available in Vietnam?

In Vietnam almost 5% of the population of the country doesn't have access to electricity.

Vietnam

What areas are without power in Vietnam?

Rural areas of Vietnam may be without power, both rural and urban areas suffer blackouts during summertime.

Vietnam

Do I need a portable charger for Vietnam?

As electricity isn't available to 100% of the population of Vietnam combined with problems with the reliability of power, travellers should use alternate charging options if they want to continue charging devices such as cellphones or cameras.

  • Whilst travelling to Vietnam increased use of mobile phones for taking photos, storing calendars, GPS, social network sharing and streaming videos will syphon off power excessively. Beyond the inconvenience of missed photo opportunities a flat mobile phone battery could potentially leave you stranded without adequate power to make emergency calls or being able to use GPS to find your way back to accommodation. Bringing along a 10,000mAh portable charger alleviates those concerns as it means you can keep your cell phone powered on the go, especially when travelling to a country with limited access to power and power outages in some areas.
  • A typical 10,000mAh power bank will store enough energy to power over 3 full days of mobile phone use whilst a 20,000mAh power bank should keep a typical cell phone charged for almost a week.
  • Should you need to charge your laptop in Vietnam and it it supports USB-C charging then look for a portable charger for a laptop marked with PD (power delivery) which supplies at least 20 Wh.
  • Please note that some airlines don't let you take batteries on an aircraft that supply 100 Wh of power or more and must not be left in checked-in luggage.
  • Average consumer portable chargers won't work with high wattage items, but a rechargeable hair dryer or gas hair straighteners are available for travelling to areas with frequent power cuts and a lack of access to electricity such as Vietnam.    [12] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]
Do I need a portable charger for Vietnam?
Vietnam
How well do solar powered chargers work in Vietnam?

Solar backpacks are ideal in hot weather

How well do solar powered chargers work in Vietnam?

The sunshine in Vietnam should be suitable enough to recharge solar power bank reliability, but will need to be exposed to strong sunshine to provide adequate power for a single charge cycle. It could prove inconvenient to continually unpack a solar power bank then wait whilst it recharges in sunny spells.

  • The bigger durable panels used on a solar backpack give the bag the ability to create more electricity within a faster period of time, making them ideal for the weather in Vietnam.
  • A phone that has been directly plugged into a USB port of a solar backpack can trickle charge the power during sunny spells in Vietnam, but this might be inconvenient to have a phone continuously connected in the bag during the day if it is to be used constantly. Unlike a small solar power bank which needs to be unpacked and facing the sunlight, a solar bag is usually exposed to sunlight therefore will be topping up a regular power bank during the day.
  • Even though the sunlight in Vietnam is strong, a bag should ideally have a solar cell efficiency of 22% or more, be able to generate at least 6 watts of power and be used with a compatible power bank of 10,000mAH or greater.
  • The durable and flexible solar cells used in solar powered bags are designed to endure bending and scratches, unlike normal firm solar cells. Solar bags come in backpack, laptop messenger and rucksack styles which makes them perfect for work, travel and domestic use.  [4] [17] [18]
Vietnam

Sources

  • Vietnam Online - Electricity and Outlets (cited June 2018)
  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited August 2014)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2014)
  • Index Mundi - Power outages in a typical month (cited May 2018, data collected between 2006 to 2017)
  • Index Mundi - Access to electricity (cited May 2018, latest data collected 2010)
  • WikiPedia - List of countries by average yearly temperature (cited May 2018, data averaged between 1961 to 1990)

Vietnam chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for Vietnam?

If you are travelling to multiple countries then the best international travel charger for Vietnam to buy is a multiple USB port charger which includes swappable plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger. There are three different types of wall outlets in Vietnam (types G, A and C) and bringing this will ensure that you are covered for both types A, C and G. Because these types of chargers come with interchangeable pins and can handle from 100 - 240 volts will mean that you can travel to multiple countries in Asia, North America, Europe and Africa just by switching the included heads over. If your type of device can support Fast Charge then you will benefit from faster recharging times with one of these USB travel chargers, along with support for more power hungry devices. Unlike other travel adapters this means you can recharge more than one device at once without needing to buy multiple travel chargers. By only packing a single international USB travel charger will help keep the overall size and weight down, making it perfect to fold up and store in hand luggage and suitable for charging your devices at an airport or on the flight. Because of their flexibility these types of power chargers can be used when back at home not just abroad so when you're not travelling they can be used under your bedside table charging multiple smartphones and tablets without using up an additional plug socket.

We recommend searching for this type of flexible power adapter at an electronics retailer. The travel adapter illustrated is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger which has been successfully tested with multiple USB devices in numerous different countries around the world. [7]

What USB charger do I need for Vietnam?
Vietnam

Why use a travel USB charger for Vietnam?

  • Normal travel USB chargers include 4 or more USB charger ports, meaning you now only need to bring a single charger to charge all your devices. Rather than bring 4 individual power chargers you only need to pack a single 4 port USB wall charger and power up to 4 separate devices, thereby reducing the weight and size of your baggage.
  • Travel USB chargers should include swappable plug heads for various countries thereby making them suitable if visiting other countries across Asia which are likely to use different outlets to Vietnam.
  • A good power charger is rugged, lightweight and compact - ideal for the rigors of travel instead of than risking bringing a domestic charger which could be hard to repair in Vietnam.
  • USB travel chargers can accept the 220 volt power outlets in Vietnam along with other voltage standards across the world.
  • It's possible that hotels in Vietnam might only have a single power outlet, by bringing a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share out the single wall outlet with all your devices rather than having to wait to recharge one device at a time.
  • Because of their flexible nature a travel USB charger takes the uncertainty out of travelling to an unknown country as they are guaranteed to work almost anywhere in the world.
  • Power outlets in airports can be in short supply and the demand for charging multiple cell phones before a flight can be high, therefore a USB travel charger with multiple ports and the ability to charge quickly is perect.
  • The power grid in some countries can be unstable, a travel USB charger allows for unexpected spikes to prevent damage to any devices attached to it. Trying to repair an overloaded smartphone or tablet in Vietnam could prove problematic and costly.
  • Larger USB chargers should also include power outlet strips to use multiple low powered devices such as laptops, but please note these are unsuitable for high powered domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Refer to our guide on using travel appliances with a Vietnamese power outlet for advice and guidelines on the most suitable power adapter for a Vietnamese power outlet for high wattage appliances.
  • Certain tablets and cellphones could require more than the standard 500 milliamps produced from a standard 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Premium USB chargers will support fast charging should any of your devices require additional power.
  • When back at home travel USB chargers can still be used by charging multiple cell phones on an overnight basis using one power outlet. [7]

What is the best USB charger for Vietnam?

The is the most compact option for travellers from any country who only have USB devices, however for visitors also wanting to use their domestic plugs the following power converters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All three power converters offer surge protection which can be useful for travellers to counties with unreliable or unstable power grids to prevent damage to any connected devices from voltage spikes. These travel converters come supplied with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both Vietnam and over 150 countries around the world:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK international travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling portable option for travellers originating from America visiting Vietnam.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Similarly having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers originating from the US using type B plugs and offers almost the same functionality as the BESTEK with 1 less AC outlet at almost half price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has just 2 AC outlets but offers 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it perfect for a wide range of travellers from around the world visiting Vietnam.

Power converters for Vietnam

What does a power converter for a Vietnamese power outlet do?

Power converters for Vietnam allow you to use a 100, 110 or 120 volt electric device with a 220 volt Vietnamese power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter?

A heavy and bulky power converter will transform a 220 volt Vietnamese power outlet to work with a non-220 volt device, but a more lightweight and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a power outlet in Vietnam. [19]

Do I need a power converter for Vietnam?

If you are travelling to Vietnam from a different country please ensure your device can be used with a 220 volt power supply.

  • A step down power converter is needed if you are travelling from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your appliance is incompatible with 220 volts. Read our world power outlets page to see which voltage your country uses.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you already use either a single voltage appliance that works with 220 volts or one that is dual voltage.
  • Typically, electrical devices which are designed to work with a lower voltage (such as 110 volts) and used with 220 volts run a risk of damage to your device, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse unless you use a step down power converter.
  • You won't need a converter if you are attempting to recharge a smaller electrical device such as a tablet or mobile phone as these are typically designed for international use and dual voltage, however you should always always check the device for dual voltage support prior to your journey.
  • If powering high wattage appliances or generate heat (for example curling irons and hair dryers) then you will need to use a more expensive higher wattage heavy duty power converter.
  • It will be more cost effective to purchase a smaller robust dual voltage travel appliance than paying for a heavier high wattage power converter simply to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read our comprehensive guides on travelling with curling irons, clothes irons, hairdryers and hair straighteners in Vietnam which includes guides on some affordable dual voltage alternatives.  [10] [20]
Vietnam

Do I need a power converter if I'm travelling to Vietnam from America?

The 220 volts found in a plug outlet in Vietnam is different to an American supply, therefore bring a step down power converter if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage. [10]

Vietnam

What converter do I need for Vietnam?

In order to use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance in Vietnam you will need a step down power converter[10]

Vietnam
What is the difference between a power converter and a transformer?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a transformer?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.

How to convert 220 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 220 volt Vietnamese power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Vietnam before plugging that into a Vietnamese power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with a 220 volt Vietnamese power outlet. [10]

What voltage is used in Vietnam?

Vietnam uses 220 volts in their normal power outlets. [2]

Vietnam
http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/
How can I tell if I have a dual voltage or single voltage appliance?

Single voltage hair dryer

How can I tell if I have a dual voltage or single voltage appliance?

The best way to tell if a appliance is either dual or single voltage is to look for numbers printed on the supplied power adapter or on the appliance itself, normally on the rear or near to where the power cord sits. The location might depend on the make or model of your unit, it should also state on the box.

  • Single voltage devices could say a specific number - such as 110V.
  • Single voltage devices could also have a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V.
  • Dual voltage devices will normally say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

Substantiations

How we compared products

Typical figures based on top 5 popular electrical adapters for each form-factor from different manufacturers with prices as of October 2018.

  • Power Plug Adapters - Ceptics Grounded Universal Plug Adapter, TESSAN Grounded Universal Travel Power Plug Adapter, Tmvel Universal International Power Adapter Plug, EnriQ Plug Adapter, Ckitze Travel Power Plug Adapter.
  • Universal Travel Power Adapters - BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter, NEWVANGA International Universal All in One Worldwide Travel Adapter, Bluegogo Universal All in One Worldwide Travel Adapter, HAOZI All-in-one International Power Adapter, UROPHYLLA Universal European Adapter Dual Fuses.
  • Travel USB Wall Chargers - iKits 4-Port USB Wall/International Charger, LENCENT 4 Port USB Travel Adapter, PISEN USB Wall Charger, Anker 27W 4-Port USB Wall Charger PowerPort 4 Lite, USB Plug Travel Charger Adaptor, Turata 4 Port Universal World Wall Charger.
  • Travel Power Strips - BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip, TESSAN 3 Outlet Surge Protector travel Power Strip, Portable Travel Adapter Power Strip Charging Station, GR-8 Power Compact & Slim Travel Charging Station, NTONPOWER Portable Charging Station.
  • Plug Adapter Sets - Ceptics GP-12PK International Travel Worldwide Grounded Universal Plug Adapter Set, Ceptics World Travel Adapter Set - 11 Pack, BESTEK Grounded Universal Plug Set, OREI 7 World Travel Adapter Plug Set, Ceptics Adapter Plug Set for World Wide International Travel Use.
  • Voltage Converters - Power Bright VC2000W Voltage Transformer Step Up/Down converter, LiteFuze LT-3000 3000 Watt Voltage Converter Transformer - Step Up/Down, SEYAS 1000W Auto Step Up & Step Down Voltage Transformer Converter, Rockstone Power 5000 Watt Heavy Duty Step Up/Down Voltage Transformer Converter, KRIEGER 1700 Watt Voltage Transformer Step up/down 120V / 230V AC outlet American European Converter.

Weight, dimensions, number of AC outlets and number of USB powers were all based by calculating and rounding an average figure for each attribute where known.

Key to electrical adapter comparison

  1. Compatible number of countries based on data from the International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs page (cited November 2018).
  2. Assuming only a single plug adapter from the plug adapter set will be used at any one time in a compatible location.
  3. Depending on if the power strip supports voltage conversion for low wattage items. All travel power strips tested do not convert voltage for high wattage appliances.
  4. Including the device itself, any supplied plug heads and power cords.
  5. Some travel power strips featuring less AC outlets may be small and lightweight enough to be suitable for hand luggage.
  6. Number of items if bringing an entire set of plug adapters for use in multiple locations to cover all eventualities (unless bringing only the necessary single plug adapter).

What type of adapter do you need for Vietnam?

Which type of adapter do I need to bring to Vietnam?

The plug adapter which is best to use in Vietnam depends on your requirements, prior to deciding the right adapter to use we recommend using the following checklist:

How many electrical devices are you taking to Vietnam?

How much are you packing

How many electrical devices are you taking to Vietnam?

  • List all the items you want to bring to Vietnam (such as laptops, mobile phones, tablets, eReaders, hair dryers and curling irons).
    • Allow for more electrical items at a later date. Do you intend on purchasing a new tablet computer next year?
    • There is an increasing number of smaller rechargeable electronics such as electric shavers that utilise USB charging for a power source. Therefore if you have to replace a device it might need a USB power adapter so check that your travel adapter has enough spare ports to power these too.
  • Will you also be travelling with a partner who will need to recharge their phones as well?

What are the types of devices do you need to use with a Vietnamese power outlet?

  • There are 3 different types of electrical items:
    • Low wattage electronic items which plug into an electrical outlet - for example laptops or cameras.
    • High wattage appliances which can be plugged into an electrical outlet - for example clothes irons and hair straighteners.
    • USB electrical devices which charge using a USB port - for example phones.
  • If you only want to bring along just USB powered devices then you'll find that a travel USB charger is perfect because you'll only need to pack one charger plus some appropriate USB charging cables.
  • Travel power strips are perfect for powering and converting voltage for multiple low wattage devices of any voltage, but unsuitable for high wattage appliances (such as hair irons) which require voltage conversion, potentially damaging it.
Will you only be planning on charging USB devices?

Will you only need USB electronics

Will you only be planning on charging USB devices?

Do your devices and appliances work with 220 volt power outlets?

Is Vietnam the only place you'll be visiting?

How many power outlets will be available when you get to Vietnam?

How many power outlets will be available

How many power outlets will be available when you get to Vietnam?

  • Your hotel may have only one power outlet on the wall, this will be an issue when recharging more than one device overnight because you can only recharge a single device at a time then need to swap every few hours.
  • To charge more than one device at the same time we suggest packing either a USB wall charger or a travel power strip which are capable of charging multiple USB ports or power outlets. [6]

Are you planning to visit anywhere else abroad in the future?

How much can you afford to pay?

  • Cheap power adapters start from under $10 which charges only one device from a Vietnamese power outlet (providing that it is dual voltage or works with 220 volts), but investing in roughly between $15 to $20 allows you to power multiple devices at once and bring them to various countries.

Does the area of Vietnam you are visiting have good access to electricity?

  • Voltage might occasionally fluctuate in Vietnam which might potentially cause damage to your devices, so use a power adapter which offers surge protection such as a travel power strip.
  • Because Vietnam has power outages and having limited access to power in some areas you might find that whichever power adapter you use doesn't function anyway. Using a solar backpack and portable charger will prepare you for a power cut and limited electrical access.  [4] [4] [17]

Would you like to use your charger when returning to America?

Do you intend on only bringing hand luggage?

Are you only using hand luggage

Do you intend on only bringing hand luggage?

Will it take you a long time to get to Vietnam?

Using a phone in an airport

Will it take you a long time to get to Vietnam?

  • For much longer journeys it's worth considering packing an appropriate airport-suitable power charger that can be used with different outlet types, one which can be packed in carry-on luggage and can be used to quickly charge tablets and phones just prior to a lengthy trip.
  • Because not all airlines have power outlets available we recommend bringing a travel portable charger for recharging on the go. After landing in Vietnam you could need to rely on a phone for making telephone calls, receiving text messages, using sat nav to find accomodation or reading an itinerary; make sure that your phone will have ample charge remaining. [4]

What can I connect to a Vietnamese power outlet

Travel appliances which can connect to a Vietnamese power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a Vietnamese power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a Vietnamese power outlet

Mobile phones that can connect to the Vietnamese power outlet

Apple iPhones that can be connected to the Vietnamese power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with a Vietnamese power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which can connect to a Vietnamese power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a Vietnamese power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travellers visiting Vietnam, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets[21]

Disclaimer

WikiConnections is not responsible for any injury or damage caused due to using any type of suggested product with any other electrical device or appliance in any location, full details are available on the disclaimer page. All functions and capabilities should be checked prior to purchasing or using any power adapter. Assumptions on if any power adapter, charger, converter or power strip works in any location is based on data from publicly available sources and if it fits the primary power outlet used in that country. WikiConnections has not taken into consideration other less common power outlets which might be found as these might only be used in certain areas or in the process of being phased out.

Where possible, WikiConnections only recommends the type of product as being suitable along with alternatives and does not make any endorsement for any specific brand or product. Always check with the manufacturer to ensure full compatibility prior to attempting to use any device. Always check the reputation of the manufacturer and product to ensure the quality and safety of any electrical device being used.

  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia.org entry about Vietnam.
  2. iec.ch - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type G plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type G power outlets without converting voltage, between $5 to $10.
  4. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go, between $45 to $50.
  5. Wikipedia - power adaptor -
  6. Travel power strip - A travel power strip includes surge protectors, AC power outlets, USB ports and swappable plug adapters for use in multiple countries, costs between $35 to $40.
  7. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters, costing between $10 to $15.
  8. Universal travel power adapter - A typical universal travel power adapter can be used in over 150 different countries for use with appliances and USB devices, priced between $15 to $20.
  9. Plug adapter set - Plug adapter set containing a number of different power plug adapters for use in different countries, costing between $15 to $20.
  10. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet, between $110 to $120.
  11. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  12. 10,000mAh portable charger - Lightweight 10000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for mobile phone charging, costing between $30 to $35.
  13. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered blow dryer suitable for travelling, priced at between $150 to $160.
  14. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges, under $25.
  15. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days, priced under $50.
  16. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support, estimated price under $130.
  17. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight, under $100.
  18. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device, between $20 to $25.
  19. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts, priced under $100.
  20. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors, between $160 to $170.
  21. Wikipedia - AC power plugs and sockets -