How do I use my curling iron in Vietnam?

Vietnamese power outlet

Summary

First check your curling iron can work in Vietnam:

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need the correct power adapter for Vietnam but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 220 volt Vietnamese power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but won't change the physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the power outlet used in Vietnam, so check that the power converter comes with the correct power adapter for Vietnam otherwise you will also need to bring another power adapter. Be aware that your personal curling iron might not be suitable for travel and you risk potential damage in your luggage. [9] [AD]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 220 volts you run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your curling iron. Prior to using your curling iron in Vietnam please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Vietnam

Will my curling iron work in Vietnam?

It depends on if your curling iron can handle the 220 volts as used in Vietnam:

Vietnam power outlets and plug sockets

What frequency is used in Vietnam?

The frequency of the current found in a Vietnamese power outlet is 50 Hz. [10]

What voltage is used in Vietnam?

The standard voltage in Vietnam is 220 volts.

Which plug adapter do you need to bring to use a curling iron in Vietnam?

Type A, C and G power outlets

Which plug adapter do you need to bring to use a curling iron in Vietnam?

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

  • Plug Type A - This plug outlet, also known as a type A power outlet, can be identified by the 2 adjacent slots where the live and neutral blades go.
  • Plug Type C - This ungrounded wall socket (called the Europlug) can be recognised by 2 circular holes adjacent to each other for live and neutral.
  • Plug Type G - This plug socket, also known as a type G power outlet, can be recognised by three rectangular holes with shutters in a triangular pattern for live, neutral and ground pins.

A recommended plug adapter to bring for using a 220 volt curling iron in Vietnam is a Type G plug adapter; read the step-by-step guide below for full details of using a curling iron in Vietnam. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also need to use a power converter.  [6] [11] [AD]

Dual voltage curling irons

How can you tell if your curling iron is dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your curling iron will handle a dual voltage power outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or handle. This location will vary depending on the make and model of your curling iron and could also be written on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage curling irons might change automatically but other irons will have a button which allows you to operate between different voltages depending on which country you are in.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 220 volts used in Vietnam then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Vietnamese power outlet.
  • Single voltage could also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 220 volts used in a Vietnamese power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Vietnam.
  • Dual voltage will say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your curling iron will be capable of being used in Vietnam or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Vietnam with a curling iron

Can you pack a curling iron in your carry on luggage to Vietnam?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there are no restrictions when bringing a mains powered curling iron in your hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also suggests that you should verify that the airline which is flying you to Vietnam will allow a curling iron onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.

Packing your curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves it easily accessible for airport security, it can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of power cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping cables tightly around electronic items such as curling irons). If you do intend to bring fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against drops and knocks during transit.   [12] [13] [14] [AD]

Is it better to bring travel curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Vietnam?

Bringing a dual voltage travel curling iron is preferable to bringing your existing curling iron as it ensures that it will work with the 220 volt power outlets used with a Vietnamese power outlet, provided that you use the correct power adapter for Vietnam.

Note that packing expensive domestic curling iron could put it at risk because of potential loss or damage in your check in luggage by a baggage handlers. The cost and inconvenience involved in replacing or repairing an expensive quality domestic curling iron in Vietnam could outweigh the costs of buying a cheaper dual voltage travel curling iron [2] beforehand to bring along with you. If you intend to bring along your own personal curling iron in your luggage either slot it inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case which also allows the curling iron to be transported whilst hot without risk of burning.  [13] [AD]

Power converters for Vietnam

Do you need a power converter in Vietnam to use a curling iron?

A voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow your curling iron using a different voltage to work using a 220 volt power outlet used in Vietnam. Travellers who want to use their own curling iron can use a power converter, however it might be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. In addition, a travel curling iron can be significantly smaller than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suitable for packing. [9] [AD]

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

Voltage converter

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

A cheap, small and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit into a power outlet found in Vietnam, whereas a more expensive and heavier power converter will convert the voltage of 220 volts from a Vietnamese power outlet to work with a non-220 volt curling iron. [9] [AD]

How to use a curling iron in Vietnam using a type C power adapter

How to power your curling iron in Vietnam using a Type C travel charger.

  1. Check that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power outlet but if not then do not proceed because you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel curling iron make sure you have set it to the 220 volt setting; please consult the user guide for more information on where the switch is.
  2. You'll need to use a Type C plug adapter [4] if the type of power outlet which is used in Vietnam isn't the same shape as the plug of your curling iron. The power adapter is designed to convert plugs from other countries into a power outlet in Vietnam by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your curling iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. First you'll need to insert the Type C plug adapter in the power outlet. You can recognise this wall outlet by two round adjacent holes where the twin pins go.
  4. Next plug in your curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Vietnamese power outlet. You can now turn on your curling iron for use in Vietnam.
How to use a curling iron in Vietnam using a type C power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Vietnam using a type G power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Vietnam with a Type G power adapter.

  1. Ensure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 220 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions as you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Some travel curling irons might sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure the switch is set to accept 220 volts to use in Vietnam, please refer to the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. If the plug shape on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the outlet which is used in Vietnam you'll need to bring a Type G plug adapter [6]. This Type G plug adapter will fit different plugs on appliances from other countries for an electrical outlet in Vietnam simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of the curling iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Start by plugging the Type G plug adapter in the wall outlet. The power supply, technically called a Type G power outlet [5], can be recognised by three rectangular holes containing plastic shutters in a triangular shape for live, neutral and ground pins.
  4. After that plug in the curling iron into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Vietnamese power outlet.
  6. The curling iron is now ready to be used in Vietnam.
How to use a curling iron in Vietnam using a type G power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Vietnam using a type A power adapter

A guide on how to use your curling iron in Vietnam with a three prong Type A power charger.

  1. Check that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 220 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then don't proceed as you might damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages make sure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting to use in Vietnam, please refer to the owners manual for more details on where the switch is located.
  2. This guide assumes that you don't already own a curling iron with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but still check that your curling iron will work with a 220 volt power supply). So, if the plug shape on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Vietnam you'll need to bring a Type A plug adapter [8]. This Type A plug adapter helps convert different plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet in Vietnam simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Start the process by taking the Type A plug adapter and inserting it in the power outlet. The power supply, technically known as a Type A power outlet [7], is identified by the two slots next to each other.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Vietnamese power outlet. The hair curling iron can now be used in Vietnam.
How to use a curling iron in Vietnam using a type A power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Vietnam country wikipedia page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. iec.ch - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart, estimated cost £5-£10.
  5. iec.ch - Type G power outlet
  6. Type G plug adapter - A Type G power adapter has three thick rectangular blades in a triangular shape with the longer top blade acting as the earthing pin, £15-£20.
  7. iec.ch - Type A power outlet
  8. Type A plug adapter - There are 2 parallel rectangular flat blades on an unearthed Type A plug adapter with small holes in each blade, costs £4-£5.
  9. 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 at £100-£110.
  10. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  11. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  12. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  13. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, estimated price £10-£15.
  14. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, costs under £45.