You are given a Vietnamese address and don’t know how to interpret it? Don’t worry, with our quick guide “How to read addresses in Vietnam” below, you’ll find out in a minute.
General Rules of How to Read Addresses in Vietnam
1. The format: Number [space] Street, Ward, District, City
- Number: Most common forms look like these: 130, 130A, 130 Bis, 130/75/5
- Slashes indicate that the house is in an alley. Otherwise, it’s in front of the street, easy to find.
- Bis: occurs irregularly in Vietnamese addresses, probably only seen in Ho Chi Minh City. In fact, it reflects a trace of the French colonialism era in Vietnam history. “Bis” (French) means “again, repeated” (many locals don’t know this!). So a 150 Bis house maybe next to a 150 house.
Let’s see 2 examples below to reflect on this format: Read the last line on the two restaurants’ boards
93 Nguyen Thai Hoc, P. Cau Ong Lanh, Q.1 => 93 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Cau Ong Lanh Ward, District 1
14/12 Duong Ky Dong, P.9, Q.3, Tp.Ho Chi Minh => 14/12 Ky Dong Street, Ward 9, District 3, HCMC
Get a travel insurance plan for your backpacking trip to Vietnam:
2. Even and odd numbers
Houses on one side are assigned even-numbered addresses and the other side odd-numbered addresses.
Note: This rule is followed strictly in downtown areas but may not be so in less populated ones.
When there is a slash / in the number, it means the house is in an alley. The more slashes there are, the deeper (and more winding) the alley.
4. Houses with the same number and street name in the address
This happens quite often in Ho Chi Minh City. The difference would lie in the Ward and District part. Beware of this with streets like Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and Cach Mang Thang 8, which traverse District 1 and 3, or Nguyen Van Cu, which borders District 1 and 5. Sometimes the situation gets tricky where separate streets have the same name but in different districts or wards like Nguyen Dinh Chieu (District 1, 3 vs Phu Nhuan District), Le Lai, Pham Ngu Lao (District 1 vs Go Vap District). And the most confusing would be when the new and old numbers of houses collide on Phan Xich Long Street (Phu Nhuan District).
Find out more about Ho Chi Minh City Districts.
Ba Thang Hai (3 Thang 2) is another street that crosses 2 districts, 10 and 11
Steps to Read Vietnamese Address when Asking for Direction
Street name > (Ward) District > Number
Make sure it’s the right street, ward, and district before checking the odd or even numbers.
In case you have to read addresses written in Vietnamese, here is some essential vocabulary:
- Đường (in Ho Chi Minh City) / Phố (in Hanoi): Street
- Hẻm / Ngõ: Alley
- Phường: Ward
- Quận / Huyện : District (often short form “Q.” : Q.1, Q.2, Q.3, Q.4 => District 1, District 2, District 3, District 4)
Summary of How to Read Addresses in Vietnam
Knowing how to read addresses in Vietnam is an essential survival skill, especially when you reside in or travel in big cities like Ho Chi Minh City. It can cost you quite a lot of gas or taxi fare if you get to the wrong address, so make sure you have the full address and even better with a detailed guide on how to get there.
Check out our private motorbike tours with professional local guides