Basic Vietnamese Phrases for Travellers // Get Ready for Your Trip to Vietnam

Basic Vietnamese Phrases for Travellers

Are you the kind of traveller who loves to learn basic phrases before heading to a country? Then this article is for you because today we will teach you some of the most useful, basic Vietnamese phrases to get around Vietnam!

Lex the Lion

If you plan to visit Vietnam very soon but haven’t had a chance to practice Vietnamese with a native speaker, stick around because there’s some super useful content coming your way.

PSST | If you do fancy practising with a native Vietnamese speaker, come and check out Flexi Classes!

DID YOU KNOW | Mastering common Vietnamese phrases in a short time can be referred to as “học vẹt” (rote learning in English).

You can actually get by with English in many areas of Vietnam, mainly the big cities and touristy areas, so don’t panic too much if you don’t remember all of these.

This guide to basic Vietnamese phrases is simply here to help you when coming to Vietnam, so bookmark it, remember it and save our flashcards whilst you’re at it.

It’ll enrich your experience in Vietnam ten-fold and there’s nothing better than saying something in the local language and having them understand you!

Basic Vietnamese Phrases | Greetings

Basic Vietnamese Phrases | How Much?

Basic Vietnamese Phrases | Introduce Yourself

Basic Vietnamese Phrases | Yes/No

BONUS | Further Resources

Basic Vietnamese Phrases | FAQ’s

If you want to take your learning a step further, why not check out our Vietnamese Flexi Classes?

Basic Vietnamese Phrases | Greetings

Hello in Vietnamese

The most common way to greet someone in Vietnamese is to say Hi! or Hello! in English.

DID YOU KNOW | Nearly every young person in Vietnam uses the English greeting Hello, rather than Xin chào these days.

However, we still want to learn the local lingo and actually in more formal situations, or when chatting with elders, it’s best to stay local.

So on that note:

For the older adults, “Xin chào!” is your go-to.

To show your respect or politeness, nod your head or bow with a friendly smile.

To say goodbye, simply say Bye-bye.

There is no other Vietnamese word I could think of that is more common than “Bye-bye”, so don’t worry who you are talking to or the formality of the situation, bye-bye works for us all!

For a more detailed look at how to say Hello in Vietnamese, check out this article we wrote below:

Hello in Vietnamese // A Quickfire Guide Of Useful Words & Phrases Thumbnail

Hello in Vietnamese // A Quickfire Guide Of Useful Words & Phrases

The first word you learn in any language? Hello! We teach you how to say hello in Vietnamese and learn both formal and informal examples.

Basic Vietnamese Phrases | How Much?

You will definitely have to ask for prices in Vietnam, and more importantly, know the differences between Vietnamese bills in order not to be scammed by street vendors.

Most of our street vendors are great people, but it’s still handy to stay aware and know the value of the goods you are wanting to buy.

You can ask “Giá bao nhiêu?” or “Bao nhiêu?”.

TOP TIP | You’ll also want to learn the Vietnamese numbers if you wish to haggle and bargain with street vendors.

If the price is too high and you want to bargain (which is pretty common in Vietnam), you should say “Đắt quá!”.

If you buy street food or souvenirs, the price is not fixed so the vendors will definitely reduce it if you insist on a better price.

Again, the most important thing to know before traveling to any country is to know the differences between their currency bills.

For example, the 20,000 VNĐ (nearly $1) is very similar to the 500,000 VNĐ (about $25). Make sure you can tell the difference and know which one you are handing over!!

These basic Vietnamese phrases can be used in every place from formal restaurants and shopping malls to street shops. 

Shopping at a Vietnamese Market // Things You Need To Know Thumbnail

Shopping at a Vietnamese Market // Things You Need To Know

Local markets is a great way to engage yourself in a culture. It’s no different when visiting a Vietnamese Market. Food, souvenirs, clothes and more.

Introduce Yourself in Vietnamese

You will have to introduce yourself (your name, age, nationality) when you book a hotel or meet a stranger.

You can show your ID card but it’s recommended to learn the basics of a proper introduction. That’s why we’re here after all!

Here are a few of sample sentences you can use to introduce yourself in Vietnamese:

Hello! My name is John.Xin chào! Tôi tên là John.
I’m from the United States.Tôi đến từ Mỹ.
I want to book a single room in your hotel and would like to know the check-in time.  Tôi muốn đặt phòng đơn và tôi muốn biết giờ check-in.  
Hello in Vietnamese // A Quickfire Guide Of Useful Words & Phrases Thumbnail

Hello in Vietnamese // A Quickfire Guide Of Useful Words & Phrases

The first word you learn in any language? Hello! We teach you how to say hello in Vietnamese and learn both formal and informal examples.

Basic Phrases in Vietnamese | Yes/No

If you are approached by street vendors but you don’t want to buy anything, you can say “Không!(firmly).

Conversely, say “Có!” (which means “yes”) if you want to accept something.

If you want to be more polite, add “Cảm ơn!” (Thank you!) after the yes/no.

Last but not least, to apologize, say “Xin lỗi”.

It works in every single situation to calm down the person you are talking to. 

Thank youCảm ơn
SorryXin lỗi

These are some of the most basic Vietnamese phrases you can learn and are ideal for travellers and tourists.

Or if you are wanting to start your quest to learn Vietnamese, then this is the perfect place to start!

Check out our quick guide on learning the Vietnamese tones


If you enjoy learning languages, why not continue your journey with us and check out these articles as well?

Don’t forget you can also learn Vietnamese 24/7 with LTL Flexi Classes.

We’re 5 star rated across the web and Vietnamese is only growing in popularity!

Learn Vietnamese Online

There’s also one final website we’d like to leave you with.

If you are thinking of travelling to Vietnam anytime soon, then Urban Sesame is a must bookmark website.

Their blog is extensive and their content is strong. Here’s how they describe themselves.

“We’re Urban Sesame – a group of independent writers that are trying to create an authentic guide for Vietnam and other parts of Asia. We eat, live, work, and play in these locations that we’re writing about, and we strive to provide original content that’s relevant to you.”

Check them out, you won’t be disappointed.

Basic Vietnamese Phrases || FAQs

How do you say How Much in Vietnamese?

You use either “Giá bao nhiêu?” or “Bao nhiêu?”.

Do Vietnamese people actually used Hello more than Xin chào?

Actually yes!

Xin chào is rarely used in Vietnamese, especially between younger people.

Xin chào is best used when speaking with elders or in more formal situations.

Otherwise Hello is used and will be understood throughout Vietnam.

How do you say Thank You in Vietnamese?

Thank you in Vietnamese is Cảm ơn.

How do you say “Hello, my name is…” in Vietnamese?

You simply say “Xin chào! Tôi tên là…”

How do you say Sorry in Vietnamese?

Sorry in Vietnamese is Xin lỗi.

How do you say Yes in Vietnamese?

Yes in Vietnamese is simply !

Want More From LTL?

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What’s more – we even offer Vietnamese courses in Vietnam too. Check out our small group classes for Vietnamese or our individual programs.

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