VIETNAM TRAVEL GUIDE
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
(Lonely Planet) ISBN 978-1741043068
Lonely Planet's Vietnam is a comprehensive travel guide, which covers history, foods, drinks, itineraries, useful Vietnamese phrases, a reading list, must-see movies about Vietnam, travel health and top 10 Vietnamese experiences.
Very informative and easy to read, Lonely Planet's Vietnam divides the country into geographic regions and the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Each section has information on population, hotels, local transportation, sightseeing, Internet cafés, restaurants, shopping and maps. Sidebars cover highlights like walking trails, boat trips, water puppetry and street food.
The 540-page guidebook has chapters on Vietnam history, itineraries, culture, cuisine and transportation by bus, cyclo, taxi and xe om (two-wheeled motorbike taxi for one passenger), with road distances between towns and cities.
Functional, detailed black and white regional and city maps have symbols for sights, eating, drinking, entertainment, shopping, hotels and transport. Color photos help readers visualize Vietnamese snake wine, Cham ruins at My Son, Vietnam's ancient capital, Hoa Lu, and other topics.
The Directory provides advice on booking accommodations online, home stays, trekking, Vietnamese cooking and language courses, scams to avoid, warnings about theft, fakes and explosives, discount cards for seniors and students, tipping, traveling with disabilities, visas, embassies and consulates.
The Food and Drink chapter of the Lonely Planet Vietnam guidebook details where to buy pho (rice noodle soup) for less than one U.S. dollar. It describes nuo mam (fish sauce), which is used as a dipping sauce, nem (fried Vietnamese spring rolls), do ngot (Vietnamese sweets) and drinks like bia hoi (draft beer), xeo (rice wine) and ca phe (strong sweet coffee).
How to visit hill tribes
In The Hill Tribes chapter of the Vietnam guidebook, visitors learn about the more than 15 different ethnic minorities that constitute the colorful hill tribes. Details include population, location, origins, economy, religion and culture for the Bahnar, Dzao, Ede, H'mong, Jarai, Muong, Nung, Sedang, Tay and Thai tribes.
Advice for visiting hill tribes includes taking photos, shopping, giving gifts and interacting with villagers. The Language section includes useful Vietnamese hill tribe phrases.
An encounter with the Montagnards (French term for mountain people or highlanders) is one of the highlights of a visit to Vietnam.
- The Authors
- Getting Started
- Food and Drink
- The Culture
- The Hill Tribes
- Around Hanoi
- Northeast Vietnam
- Northwest Vietnam
- North-Central Vietnam
- Central Vietnam
- South-Central Vietnam
- Central Highlands
- Ho Chi Minh City
- Around Ho Chi Minh City
- Mekong Delta
- Behind the Scenes
- World Time Zones
- Map Legend
Nick Ray, Peter Dragicevich, Regis St. Louis
Nick Ray, the coordinating author, spent 10 years visiting Vietnam and coauthored four books on Southeast Asia.