When you travel to Vietnam, you may need to find different places to visit or tell the driver the address you want to go to. It will not be a hassle if you have the Google Maps app. However, if you don't have the internet or your phone runs out of power, knowing how to read Vietnamese addresses in the right way can save you.
Today, we will learn some Vietnamese address-related phrases and the correct way to read and understand Vietnamese addresses.
In order to read an address in Vietnamese, you need to learn some words for addresses first. There are some differences between the Northern Vietnamese vocabulary and the Southern Vietnamese one as noted below.
If you want to pronounce the words correctly, spend some time learning how to pronounce the Vietnamese tones.
A Vietnamese address starts from the most specific information such as a house number to the least specific information such as a city name or a province name.
Example: 43 Nguyễn Chí Thanh, P. Ngọc Khánh, Q. Ba Đình, Tp. Hà Nội.
This address guides you to the number 43 of Nguyen Chi Thanh street, Ngoc Khanh Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi City. This is actually the address of Vietnam National Television's headquarter (aka VTV).
The address can be also written in a shorter form as '43 Nguyễn Chí Thanh, Ngọc Khánh, Ba Đình, Hà Nội.
Slashes are used to separate the house number with the lane/alley number and a smaller alley number. You can find an address with more than one slash.
Example: 123/45 Thiền Quang, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội.
In the example, 123 is the house number and 45 is the lane number. It can be fully translated as house number 123 in lane 45th on Thien Quang street, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi City.
When there are many houses having the same number, letters such as A, B, C, D, F are added next to the house number to differentiate them.
Example: 3A/12 Cầu Giấy, Q. Cầu Giấy, Hà Nội.
With the address, you need to go to Hanoi City, find Cau Giay District, then go to Cau Giay street, lane 12. You will find more than one house number 3 there. Knock on the door of the house with the sign 3A.
You might notice that the street name and the district name on the address in the previous example are the same (Cầu Giấy). This happens sometimes when there is a street named as same as the district. I can give you more examples as below:
If you go to Ho Chi Minh City (aka Sai Gon), be careful to tell a driver the address because he might take you to the right house number, right street name but in a totally different district. In Sai Gon, the streets can be very long and are located in different districts.
It is recommended that you give the full and detailed address to the driver with the district name as well.
On a street, the houses are not numbered 1,2,3 but one side of the street is numbered with odd numbers (1,3,5) and the other side is numbered with even numbers (2,4,6).
When looking for a house number, make sure you look up at the right side of the street. Don't freak out when you cannot find house number 4 between the houses numbered 3 and 5. Instead, look to the opposite of the street, you may find it right near you.
A postal code is rarely used in Vietnamese addresses even there are postal codes for different cities and districts. With the details of the house number, street name, etc., delivery people can find your house eventually.
If you are filling a form and see a field for postal code, you can ignore it if it is optional. If it is required, lookup on Google then you will find a postal code of the city.
The Vietnamese language is written from left to right. So, you need to read a Vietnamese address also from left to right.
Not like English, you need to read the word for the address such as đường, quận, huyện, before a specific name. For example:
Below are how you should read the Vietnamese addresses mentioned in previous sections:
Số 43, đường Nguyễn Chí Thanh, phường Ngọc Khánh, quận Ba Đình, thành phố Hà Nội.
No. 43, Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, Ngoc Khanh Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi City.
Số 123, ngõ 45, đường Thiền Quang, quận Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội.
No. 123, lane 45, Thien Quang Street, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi City.
Learn the following questions just in case you get lost or cannot find the address somehow. Vietnamese people are friendly and they will help you out.
If you want to learn more words and sentences for direction, check out the Ling App with pronunciation tests. Comment below if you have any questions about the Vietnamese addresses.