It requires a lot of force to plugs thing in Vietnam. All plugs I have found look like European ones with two round prongs but do they use a different standard than Europeans?

In many places there were also ones with thin vertical slots which look like North American plugs and, even then, I have had the same difficulty in all 6 hotels and 1 boat where I have tried.

Here is a typical hotel plug in Vietnam:

Vietnam Plug

What it looks like to me is something designed to take European and North American plug but is it? Or is there Vietnamese-specific plugs and adapters?

None of my plugs fit easily and I cannot get the USB charger to plug in because the retractable prongs get pushed back in, so I've been plugging a laptop just o charge my phone.

  • This is something you face but for example youtube.com/watch?v=yvOaASWaLYM this video shows the vlogger plugging in easily.
    – user4188
    Commented Apr 15, 2017 at 2:01
  • 2
    I think this is on-topic, because the answer may be "You're using the wrong plug", or "You're not doing anything wrong, Vietnamese plugs are difficult because State owned enterprise X produced bad plugs for years.".
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Apr 15, 2017 at 2:34
  • @Tom care to add that as an answer?
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Apr 16, 2017 at 17:55
  • @JonathanReez - I originally typed it as an answer but it was closed before I posted it, so copied to the comments.
    – user13044
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 0:44
  • 1
    Viet Nam also uses socket standard C like Europe, but the distance between 2 socket's hole is different. In my personal socket, they have 3 ø4 socket and 1 ø5 socket. I will post my socket's image tonight for your reference.
    – Danh
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 2:29

2 Answers 2


In theory, Viet Nam uses TCVN 6190:1999 for electric sockets. In this standard, the socket's hole's diameter is between 5.5mm and 6 mm. If Vietnamese people follows this standards, all A, C, E and F plugs can be plugged easily.

However, most of Vietnamese electrical sockets and plugs (like this one) still use the old standard (TCVN 6190:1996), I can't find that document at the moment, but IIRC, the pin diameter is only 4mm. Because, we can't plug the 4mm diameter into 5mm diameter sockets (the plug will slip out anyway, and it's not safe), no one bother to buy the 5mm diameter socket, unless when they realy need it.

Hence, most of Europe plug won't be plugged in easily, unless it's Φ5 socket.

Here is my personal socket:

It was made by LiOA, the yellow one, which is the bigger one, is the Φ5 socket.


Sockets in SE Asia are often stiff and difficult to plug into. I find it especially true of Euro type C plugs, as the contact springs can be very tight and stiff (cheap products likely the real reason). US flat blades sometimes run into issues with the wider polarity blade not fitting the same sized slots.

We just built a house in Thailand and I actually took a couple of plugs with me to the store when we sourced the electrical outlets for our electrician to make sure they plugged well.

  • 1
    What I am reading from this then is that they are supposed to accept the same standard but are not so close to spec. Am I understanding correctly?
    – Itai
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 16:19

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