Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Vietnam
Any traveler to Vietnam must know the basic information about electrical outlet and plug types, and the adapters needed to make one’s electronic gadgets and appliances compatible with the electrical outlet available in Vietnam. Being prepared and knowing what a traveler would need in Vietnam will eliminate unnecessary problems and would make the trip more enjoyable. Another important thing to remember is that electronic gadgets and appliances used in Vietnam might be damaged if the plugs are not compatible with the electrical outlet or the voltage used does not match.
In Vietnam, the voltage is 120 to 220 volts and the frequency is 50 Hertz. For the electrical outlet types in Vietnam, the ones used are the Type A electrical outlet, Type C electrical outlet, and Type G electrical outlet. In newly constructed hotels in Vietnam, especially the ones built by Singaporean and Hong Kong developers, the electrical outlet used is the Type G electrical outlet.
Type A NEMA 1-15 Adapter, Plug, and Electrical Outlet
The Type A NEMA 1-15 is mostly found in North America and in the east coast of South America, as well as parts of Southeast Asia like Vietnam and used in smaller devices that do not really need a ground connection. The NEMA 1-15 is also known as the Type A North American/Japanese 2-blade Electrical adapter plug and electrical outlet. Its technical name is the North American 15 A/125 V ungrounded. The NEMA 1-15 uses two flat parallel pins or blades. Older designs allow the blades to be inserted in either way; however. contemporary NEMA 1-15 plugs are designed with the neutral blade wider than the live blade in order to insert the polarized plug into the electrical outlet in just one way. The new design of NEMA 1-15 changed so much that it will not fit in the old type of NEMA 1-15 electrical outlet.
With the NEMA 1-15 adapter, the receptacle end will accept any standard household plug in Vietnam, aside from the Type M South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug. The blades of this adapter are 6.4mm tall, 1.5mm thick, and are spaced 12.7mm apart. The NEMA 1-15 plug is also non-polarized and non-grounded. Although the NEMA 1-15 looks highly similar to the plugs of the U.S. and Canada and the appliance and electronic gadget might be manufactured in the said countries, an adapter might still be needed because of the grounding and polarization when used in Vietnam. If the plug does have grounding or polarization and the electrical socket does not have one, it would be physically impossible to insert the plug into the electrical socket. If this happens to a tourist in Vietnam and there is also no adapter present, that person might not be able to use his or her electronic gadgets and appliances.
Type C CEE 7/16 Europlug Electrical Outlet and Adapter
The Type C Europlug is also known as the CEE 7/16 (Europlug 2.5 A/250 V unearthed), which is a bit similar, only slightly smaller, to the CEE 7/17 and it is one of the most commonly used electrical outlet and plug in the Vietnam. The Type C Europlug alters the shape of the appliance’s plug so that it could be used into a “Type C” European CEE 7/16 Class II non-grounded Europlug socket or a Soviet-era Russian GOST 7396 Class II non-grounded socket used in Vietnam. Also, the receptacle end of the adapter is usually compatible with any standard electronic household plug in Vietnam and from any country, aside from the “Type M” South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug. The plug end of the Type C Europlug is compatible as well with the other types of sockets used in Europe, like that of the grounded “Type F” German and “Type E” French Schuko socket, “Type L” Italian socket, “Type H” Israeli socket, “Type J” Swiss socket, and “Type K” Danish socket, although connections to some of these sockets are non-grounded.
The pins of the Type C Europlug are 4.0mm in diameter, 19mm long and are spaced 19mm apart. In using appliances and gadgets in Vietnam, the Type C Europlug could also be safely used with the Type C, Type E, Type F, and some Type L electrical outlets. This plug in the Vietnam is also non-polarized and non-grounded. In addition, the Europlug is also the most widely used electrical outlet all over continental Europe and in the former Soviet Republics.
Aside from Vietnam, there are also countries in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Pacific Rim region, Central and South America, and Caribbean that use this kind of adapter.
Type G British 3-pin Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
The Type G electrical plug is a British 3-pin rectangular blade used widely in Vietnam. It has a protective fuse inside to protect cords from high-current circuits and most of the time, the Type G electrical outlet includes a safety switch. Another name for the Type G British 3-pin plug is the 13-amp plug and for safety reasons, the United Kingdom (UK) requires electrical outlets in households that use the Type G British 3-pin to have shutters over the live and neutral connections of the electrical outlet. In the insertion of the longer earth pin from the plug, the safety shutters of the Type G British 3-pin are opened. Another purpose of the shutters is to prevent the use of incompatible plugs made to other standards. However, there are cases wherein the safety shutters of this electrical outlet could be opened through a screwdriver in order to insert Type C plugs. But then, the usage of Type G British 3-pin outlet along with another kind of plug is not recommended because these plugs do not have a fuse. The regulation about the safety shutters and fuse is then followed in Vietnam and all the other countries that use the type G British 3-pin electrical outlet and plug like United Kingdom, England, Ghana, Grenada, Macau, Malta, Malaysia, Qatar, Saint Vincent, Saudi Arabia, Scotland and Hong Kong.
The Type G British 3-pin also has a receptacle end that is compatible with most household plug types, except the Type M South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug. The plug end is a British BS-1363 13-amp type. For the adapter, the live and neutral pins are 4 x 6 x 18 mm apart, with the grounding pin measuring 4 x 8 x 23mm. The plug of this Type G British 3-pin is polarized and grounded but not fused. Also, through the Type G British 3-pin adapter, a tourist could use his or her appliance or electronic gadget in Vietnam.
In terms of compatibility, the Type G British 3-pin electrical outlet will work together with the Type G British 3-pin plug and adapter in Vietnam. For the electrical outlet, the Type G British 3-pin sockets are not compatible with other types of electrical outlet. With all the safety measures and features of this plug and outlet, it is considered as one of the safest in Vietnam, even the world. However, with all its features, this type of plus is bulky and cumbersome. Some people claim that the Type G British 3-pin plug is mostly bigger than the appliances they are connected to but if tourists would want to use their electronic gadget or appliance in Vietnam, then they must have a Type G British 3-pin adapter. Although the adapter would not change the voltage used, it will enable the plug of the appliance or electronic gadget to be inserted to the electrical outlet used in Vietnam.