Useful Words & Phrases for Visitors to Indochina

Hello Vietnam

Learning the national languages of each destinations of Indochina is not required, especially when travelers sightsee Indochina with the assistance of a professional tour guide; however, it is beneficial to pick up basic Lao, Khmer and Vietnamese words, phrases and expressions well in hand. Although the crash understanding of these languages will not turn tourists into linguistic specialists, it will facilitate an easier and rewarding packaged tour with warm welcome as well as goodwill from the local people.

Lao is considered as an impressive language characterized by the large variety of expressions. Learn some following useful words and phrases below to enjoy a good time practicing the mother tongue of Laotian.

Sabaidee means "Hello" in LaoSabaidee means "Hello" in Lao
Sabaidee means “Hello” in Lao
Language used for                   English             Lao equivalents
Hello/HiChang dai (Sa bai dee)
Good morning/afternoon/eveningSa bai dee
How are you?Chao sa bai dee baw?
I’m fine, thanksKhoy sa bai dee, Khob chai
Nice to meet youKhoy dee chai lai thee dai phob chao
     GreetingGood bye!La kon
Thank youKhop Chai
Excuse meKhor Thod
SorryKho thot
No thank youBo khop tchaï
Yes / NoTchao / Bo
You’re welcomeThan nyinditonhab
How much is it?Laka tao daï?
It is very cheapBo peng
It is too expensive!Peng phôt
Can you lower the price?Lout laka daï bo?
     ShoppingI would like to buy … this one!Khaphachao yakcha su… thini
I like it / I don’t like itKhaphachao hak / Khaphachao sang
I’m just looking around.Khaphachao phiangaet sokha
How much is it?Laka tao daï ?
It is very cheapBo peng
It is too expensive!Peng phôt
Where is the…?Sa tha nee…. Yu sai?
BusLot me
TaxiLot taxi
How much to go to…?Thao dai/chak kip pai ha…?
TransportationToo expensivePheng lai/ pheng thae
What time does it leave?Chak mong heua cha awk?
Is there any hotels/guest house near here?Yu nee mee hong haem/ban phak baw?
AccommodationCan I/we stay here?Khoy /phuak hao phak yu nee dai baw?

Do you have a room?

Chao mee hong phak baw?
How much per night?Kheun neung thao dai?


The national language in Cambodia is known as Khmer, so take a look at common language used for greeting and farewell, transportation, shopping and accommodations to simply experience the cross-culture in Cambodia.

The national language in Cambodia is known as Khmer
The national language in Cambodia is known as Khmer
Khmer used forEnglish words/phrasesKhmer equivalents
Hellojoohm ree-up soo-a
GreetingHow are you?sok-sa bai jee-a tay?
Goodbyejoohm ree-up lea
See you again!joo-up k’neer dee-ut!
Common wordsThank you!Arkun!
Yes/ NoBaat/  a-dtay
Do you understand?Ta nee-uk yoo-ul knyom tay?
Where is..?noo ai-na?
Buslaan krong
planeg’bul hoh
Transportation and directionsTaxilaan ch’nool
How far is it?Ta veer chom ngai pbon-maan na?
Turn leftbot ch’wayng
Stop herechop tee-nih
Turn rightbot s’dum
I want to buy….Knyom chong dting….
ShoppingHow much?bpon maan?
Any discount?Joh baan tik baan tay?
It’s expensive!Veer t’lai na!
Double roombaan-dtoop moy kreh-pee
Could I see the room?k’nyom soam merl baan-dtoop baan tay?
Hotels/ GuesthousesSingle roombaan-dtoop moy kreh-moy
How much per night?moy yuhp t’lay bpon-maan?
Cheap roombaan-dtoop tauk
Do you have a room left?mee-un baan-dtoop dtum-neh tay?


Head to Vietnam, learning a few Vietnamese words also brings several benefits to your travels. Here are the powerful table provided with advantageous Vietnamese language to prevent your journey away from unpredictable challenges and misunderstandings.

"Xin Chao" is the way to say Hello in Vietnam
“Xin Chao” is the way to say Hello in Vietnam
                   For English expressionsVietnamese equivalents
Hello!Xin chao!
Good bye!Tam biet!
Greeting and farewellI’m pleased to meet you.Rat han hanh duoc gap ong/ba
How are you?Ong/ba khoe khong?
What is your name?Ong/ba ten la gi?
RestaurantIs there any restaurant near here?Co nha hang nao gan day khong a?
Please, give me….Cho toi xin
SpoonMuong/ Thia
Mineral waterNuoc suoi
Can I order food?Cho toi goi mon
Bill, pleaseXin tinh tien
Basic wordsYesPhai
I don’t understandToi khong hieu
I would like to buy….Toi muon mua…
ShoppingHow much is it?Cai nay gia bao nhieu?
It’s too expensiveDat qua
Could you lower the price?Co bot khong?
It is too small.Cai nay nho qua.
Can I have a look?Toi co the xem chut duoc khong?
I will take this oneToi se lay cai nay.
Where is….?….o dau?
Bus stationBen xe bus
I want to go to…Toi muon di den…..
Transportation and directionTaxiTac-xi
TrainTau hoa
Turn leftRe trai
Turn rightRe phai
Go straight aheadĐi thẳng