Police in Quang Ngai Province seized 19 wild tortoises from a local house on Tuesday.
Huynh Thi Dong said she bought them around the province and from the Central Highlands Dak Lak for VND200,000-300,000 (US$10.26-15.40) a kilo.
Together, Dong's stockpile amounted to nearly 50 kilograms.
Authorities said that Dong planned to sell the tortoises in China at a very high price.
The tortoises, which are listed as endangered on Vietnam's Red List, have been transferred to local forest rangers who will return them to Cuc Phuong National Park in the northern province of Ninh Binh.
Known scientifically as Manouria impressa, Nui Vien tortoises are an indeginous reptile living in vallies and highland areas in the northern and central wilderness.