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/Hi Chang dai (Sa bai dee)
Good morning/afternoon/evening Sa bai dee
How are you? Chao sa bai dee baw?
I’m fine, thanks Khoy sa bai dee, Khob chai
Nice to meet you Khoy dee chai lai thee dai phob chao
     Greeting Good bye! La kon
Thank you Khop Chai
Excuse me Khor Thod
Sorry Kho thot
No thank you Bo khop tchaï
Yes / No Tchao / Bo
You’re welcome Than nyinditonhab
How much is it? Laka tao daï?
It is very cheap Bo peng
It is too expensive! Peng phôt
Can you lower the price? Lout laka daï bo?
     Shopping I would like to buy … this one! Khaphachao yakcha su… thini
I like it / I don’t like it Khaphachao hak / Khaphachao sang
Money Ngoen
I’m just looking around. Khaphachao phiangaet sokha
How much is it? Laka tao daï ?
It is very cheap Bo peng
It is too expensive! Peng phôt
Where is the…? Sa tha nee…. Yu sai?
Bus Lot me
Taxi Lot taxi
How much to go to…? Thao dai/chak kip pai ha…?
Transportation Too expensive Pheng lai/ pheng thae
What time does it leave? Chak mong heua cha awk?
Plane Gnyone
Boat Heua
Train Kanfukobhom
Is there any hotels/guest house near here? Yu nee mee hong haem/ban phak baw?
Accommodation Can 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 for English words/phrases Khmer equivalents
Hello joohm ree-up soo-a
Greeting How are you? sok-sa bai jee-a tay?
Goodbye joohm ree-up lea
See you again! joo-up k’neer dee-ut!
Common words Thank you! Arkun!
Yes/ No Baat/  a-dtay
Sorry som-dtoah
Please soam-un-jern
Do you understand? Ta nee-uk yoo-ul knyom tay?
Where is..? noo ai-na?
Bus laan krong
plane g’bul hoh
Transportation and directions Taxi laan ch’nool
How far is it? Ta veer chom ngai pbon-maan na?
Turn left bot ch’wayng
Stop here chop tee-nih
Turn right bot s’dum
I want to buy…. Knyom chong dting….
Shopping How much? bpon maan?
Any discount? Joh baan tik baan tay?
It’s expensive! Veer t’lai na!
Double room baan-dtoop moy kreh-pee
Could I see the room? k’nyom soam merl baan-dtoop baan tay?
Hotels/ Guesthouses Single room baan-dtoop moy kreh-moy
How much per night? moy yuhp t’lay bpon-maan?
Cheap room baan-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 expressions Vietnamese equivalents
Hello! Xin chao!
Good bye! Tam biet!
Greeting and farewell I’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?
Restaurant Is there any restaurant near here? Co nha hang nao gan day khong a?
Please, give me…. Cho toi xin
Spoon Muong/ Thia
Mineral water Nuoc suoi
Knife Dao
Can I order food? Cho toi goi mon
Beer Bia
Fork Nia
Bill, please Xin tinh tien
Basic words Yes Phai
No Khong
I don’t understand Toi khong hieu
I would like to buy…. Toi muon mua…
Shopping How much is it? Cai nay gia bao nhieu?
It’s too expensive Dat qua
Could you lower the price? Co bot khong?
Cheap Re
It is too small. Cai nay nho qua.
Can I have a look? Toi co the xem chut duoc khong?
I will take this one Toi se lay cai nay.
Where is….? ….o dau?
Bus station Ben xe bus
I want to go to… Toi muon di den…..
Transportation and direction Taxi Tac-xi
Train Tau hoa
Turn left Re trai
Turn right Re phai
Go straight ahead Đi thẳng