Essential Vietnamese Vocabulary and Phrases For Your Trip to Vietnam

As you plan your trip to Vietnam, equipping yourself with essential Vietnamese vocabulary and phrases will greatly enhance your travel experience. This comprehensive guide aims to provide you with a detailed overview of commonly used words and phrases in Vietnamese, categorized by various topics relevant to travel, including greetings, food, transportation, and shopping. By familiarizing yourself with these key expressions, you’ll be able to navigate daily interactions, communicate with locals, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Vietnam.

This is part 3 of our series on the Vietnamese language. Feel free to check our introduction to the Vietnamese language and our introduction to Vietnamese phonetics and pronunciation as well.

10 Essential Vietnamese Vocabulary Greetings

  1. Xin chào buổi sáng (Good morning): A greeting used specifically in the morning.
  2. Chúc ngủ ngon (Goodnight): Used when bidding someone a restful night.
  3. Rất vui được gặp bạn (Nice to meet you): An expression to convey pleasure in meeting someone.
  4. Xin lỗi, tôi không nói tiếng Việt (Sorry, I don’t speak Vietnamese): Useful when explaining your language limitations.
  5. Chúc mừng sinh nhật (Happy birthday): A phrase used to wish someone a happy birthday.
  6. Xin lỗi, tôi đi lạc (Sorry, I’m lost): Helpful when seeking assistance with directions.
  7. Chúc may mắn (Good luck): An expression used to wish someone luck.
  8. Tôi hiểu (I understand): A phrase to indicate comprehension.
  9. Rất vui được gặp bạn (Nice to meet you): An expression to convey pleasure in meeting someone.
  10. Có thể bạn giúp tôi được không? (Can you help me?): A polite way to request assistance.

Food and Dining

  1. Cơm (Rice): The staple food in Vietnamese cuisine.
  2. Chả giò (Spring rolls): Fried rolls typically filled with vegetables and meat.
  3. Nước suối (Mineral water): A phrase to request bottled water.
  4. Có chỗ trống không? (Is there a vacant table?): Useful when inquiring about table availability at a restaurant.
  5. Đặt món (Order food): A phrase to indicate that you would like to order a meal.
  6. Hóa đơn (Bill): The term used for the restaurant check.
  7. Món này có thực phẩm dị ứng không? (Does this dish have any allergens?): Important to inquire about potential allergens in a dish.
  8. Xin cho tôi thêm nước (Can I have more water?): A phrase to request additional water during a meal.
  9. Món này có ngon không? (Is this dish delicious?): Helpful when seeking recommendations from the waiter.
  10. Có món ăn chay không? (Do you have vegetarian food?): Useful for vegetarian travelers inquiring about vegetarian options.

While you’re there, feel free to check out our guide on the food culture in Hanoi too!


  1. Xe máy (Motorbike): A common mode of transportation in Vietnam.
  2. Ga xe lửa (Train station): The specific term for a railway station.
  3. Vé một chiều (One-way ticket): Used when purchasing a single trip ticket.
  4. Bến xe (Bus station): The place where buses depart and arrive.
  5. Chuyến bay (Flight): The term for a flight or airplane.
  6. Tôi muốn thuê xe đạp (I want to rent a bicycle): A phrase to indicate your desire to rent a bicycle.
  7. Chỗ ngồi bên cửa sổ (Window seat): A request for a seat next to the window.
  8. Gửi hành lý (Check-in luggage): Used when referring to checked baggage.
  9. Xe hơi đậu ở đâu? (Where is the car parked?): Helpful when looking for the location of a parked car.
  10. Tôi muốn đi bộ (I want to walk): A phrase to express your preference for walking.


  1. Có bao nhiêu tiền? (How much does it cost?): Essential for inquiring about the price of a product.
  2. Giữ giúp tôi cái này (Can you hold this for me?): Useful when requesting the store to hold an item for you.
  3. Có phải hàng này là hàng chính hãng không? (Is this item authentic?): Important when purchasing branded or authentic products.
  4. Tôi có thể thử không? (Can I try this?): Used when requesting to try on a piece of clothing or test a product.
  5. Chấp nhận tiền mặt không? (Do you accept cash?): Helpful when inquiring about payment options.
  6. Có màu khác không? (Do you have other colors?): A phrase to ask if there are alternative colors available for a product.
  7. Có giảm giá không? (Is there a discount?): Useful when inquiring about the availability of discounts or promotions.
  8. Tôi muốn đổi hàng (I want to exchange an item): A phrase to express your desire to exchange a purchased item.
  9. Có bảo hành không? (Is there a warranty?): Important when purchasing electronic or valuable items.
  10. Tôi muốn trả hàng (I want to return an item): Used when expressing your intention to return a purchased item.

Equipping yourself with essential Vietnamese vocabulary and phrases will empower you to navigate daily interactions, connect with locals, and embrace the rich culture of Vietnam. This comprehensive guide has provided you with a detailed overview of key expressions categorized by topics relevant to travel, including greetings, food, transportation, and shopping. By practising these phrases and engaging in meaningful exchanges, you’ll enhance your travel experience and create lasting memories in Vietnam. Remember, language learning is a journey, so embrace each opportunity to communicate and immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Vietnamese culture.

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