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The Best of Southeast Asia

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXSEA416. Buy these 4 items as a set for $81 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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A Dragon Apparent, Travels in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam

A Dragon Apparent, Travels in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam

by Norman Lewis

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 358 PAGES
  • FAVORITE
  • HARD TO FIND ELSEWHERE

A classic account of travels and adventure during the last years of French Indochina, strong on atmosphere with wonderfully detailed descriptions of local cultures and archaeological treasures. First published in 1951. (SEA40, $33.95)

Angkor, Heart of an Asian Empire

Angkor, Heart of an Asian Empire

by Bruno Dagens

  • ARCHAEOLOGY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 191 PAGES

An excellent guide to the site, this shirt-pocket encyclopedia of discovery features hundreds of color photographs, illustrations and maps. (CBD01, $15.95)

Insight Guide Southeast Asia

Insight Guide Southeast Asia

by Insight Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 448 PAGES

A profusely illustrated overview of Southeast Asia, featuring concise essays by well-regarded authors on history, politics and culture, as well as hundreds of photos and maps and some limited practical information. (SEA51, $23.99)

Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia Map

Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia Map

by Nelles

  • 2016
  • MAP

A great folded map of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia at a scale of 1:1,500,000. With inset maps for Central Vientiane, Hanoi, Luang Prabang, Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). (SEA75, $13.95)

 
Inle Lake Map

Inle Lake Map


by Odyssey Maps

  • 2015
  • MAP

Produced through a partnership between Odyssey Maps and the Myanmar Tourism Board, this double-sided, color map-guide depicts the lake itself (1:40,000) and, on the reverse, the lake and its environs (1:150,000). Decorating the border of each map are color photographs and descriptions of sites and local culture. A great travel companion to Inle! (BMA98, $15.00)

Insight Flexi Map Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos

Insight Flexi Map Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos


by Insight Guides

  • 2016
  • MAP

An accordion-folded map of Southeast Asia, laminated for protection from weather and wear. It features a clear map of the area, plus an index, recommended sights and some traveler's information. Scaled at: 1:800,000. (SEA96, $9.99)

Myanmar (Burma) Map

Myanmar (Burma) Map


by Nelles

  • 2016
  • MAP

A convenient double-sided map of Burma at a scale of 1:1,500,000, with an inset of Rangoon. Two sides. 20 x 31 inches. (BMA02, $14.95)

Ancient Luang Prabang

Ancient Luang Prabang


by Denise Heywood

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 214 PAGES

A comprehensive travel guide to the cultural heritage, architecture and history of Laos with a particular emphasis on the beautiful temples of Luang Prabang. (LAO24, $30.00)

Ancient Pagan

Ancient Pagan


by Donald Stadtner | Michael Freeman

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 286 PAGES

An authoritative guide to the art and culture of the ancient Buddhist city on the Irrawaddy, organized by temple group and featuring 250 color photographs, site plans and maps. (BMA43, $25.00)

Eyewitness Guide Vietnam and Angkor Wat

Eyewitness Guide Vietnam and Angkor Wat


by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

Featuring innovative site diagrams, local maps and hundreds of color photographs, this handy companion introduces the culture, history and attractions of Vietnam. (VNM102, $25.00)

Moon Angkor Wat

Moon Angkor Wat


by Tom Vater

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 260 PAGES

Drawing on his long association with Cambodia, Vater covers all the practicalities of visiting Angkor, Siem Reap, Battambang and Phnom Penh in this slim guide. (CBD79, $17.99)

Eating Viet Nam

Eating Viet Nam


by Graham Holliday | Anthony Bourdain

  • FOOD
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

While living in Vietnam, native Englishman Holliday penned this gastronomic tour that takes him from fancy dining tables to streetside vendors and everywhere in between. A genuine adventure through Vietnamese cuisine. (VNM177, $15.99)

The Food of Myanmar, Authentic Recipes from the Land of the Golden Pagodas

The Food of Myanmar, Authentic Recipes from the Land of the Golden Pagodas


by Claudia Saw Lwin Robert

  • FOOD
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 118 PAGES

Over 60 delicious and healthy Burmese dishes are presented here -- classic Myanmar cuisine. (BMA85, $14.95)

A Traveller's History of Southeast Asia

A Traveller's History of Southeast Asia


by J.M. Barwise | Nicholas J. White

  • HISTORY
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

A compact history of the region, including the Khmer and the various ancient kingdoms that produced Borobudur, Angkor and other architectural marvels. (SEA36, $14.95)

Fire in the Lake

Fire in the Lake


by Frances FitzGerald

  • HISTORY
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 496 PAGES

A classic historical, political and cultural portrait of the Vietnam War, seen through the eyes of the Vietnamese. Winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, FitzGerald, a staff writer at the New Yorker and a reporter in Vietnam, presents a vivid image of a revolution and a clear-sighted case for why the U.S offensive was doomed from the start. (VNM12, $19.00)

Letters from Burma

Letters from Burma


by Aung San Suu Kyi

  • HISTORY
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 244 PAGES

A collection of about 50 candid and moving mini-essays on Burmese culture, daily life and politics written by the country's iconic Nobel Prize-winning human-rights leader who was held under house arrest by the military junta for many years. (BMA49, $16.00)

Southeast Asia, An Introductory History

Southeast Asia, An Introductory History


by Milton Osborne

  • HISTORY
  • 2016
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES

In the 11th edition of this classic, Osborne (The Mekong) traces social, political and economic change in the region since the 18th century. (SEA73, $23.95)

The River of Lost Footsteps, Histories of Burma

The River of Lost Footsteps, Histories of Burma


by Thant Myint-U

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 388 PAGES

In this stimulating and important book, Myint-U (grandson of the late UN Secretary General U Thant and author of The Making of Modern Burma) uses Burmese history as a lens for understanding Myanmar today. (BMA51, $16.00)

Understanding Vietnam

Understanding Vietnam


by Neil Jamieson

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 428 PAGES

Jamieson's ambitious primer addresses politics, social history, village life, structural renewal, literature and the arts, revealing the Vietnamese worldview with insight and depth. It's a terrific introduction to Vietnam. (VNM01, $31.95)

What the Buddha Taught

What the Buddha Taught


by Walpola Sri Rahula

  • RELIGION
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 151 PAGES

A classic introduction to Buddhism by a respected monk and scholar from Sri Lanka. Provides translations from original texts with explanations for Western readers. A good foundation for anyone interested in understanding the foundations of Buddhism. (SEA41, $16.00)

Arts of Southeast Asia

Arts of Southeast Asia


by Fiona Kerlogue

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

A handsome guide to the art, architecture, textiles and crafts of Southeast Asia. (SEA45, $16.95)

The Golden Lands, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand & Vietnam

The Golden Lands, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand & Vietnam


by Vikram Lall

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 280 PAGES

The product of 25 years of research into Buddhist architecture, this survey takes us from the monastic complexes of India to the dzongs of Bhutan, inside the wats of Southeast Asia and through the simple wooden shrines of Japan. Gorgeously illustrated throughout with color photography and 3-D renderings. (SEA88, $95.00)

Dispatches

Dispatches


by Michael Herr

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2009
  • HARD COVER
  • 296 PAGES

Herr's impressionistic memoir of his time as a war correspondent in Vietnam is a modern classic, and not for the faint of heart. Drawing high praise from the New York Times, the Washington Post and many others, it's been called the best book ever written about the Vietnam War. (VNM03, $25.00)

The Eaves of Heaven, A Life in Three Wars

The Eaves of Heaven, A Life in Three Wars


by Andrew X. Pham

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

Pham recounts the story of his father's life during the French occupation, Japanese invasion and the American War, weaving such momentous events with anecdotes from his childhood and details of family, friends, food and daily life. (VNM120, $16.00)

The River's Tale, A Year on the Mekong

The River's Tale, A Year on the Mekong


by Edward Gargan

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

A personal, probing chronicle of a 3,000-mile journey on the river from its source in China through Tibet, Burma, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. (SEA33, $16.95)

Two Eggs and a Lemon: My Four Years in Myanmar

Two Eggs and a Lemon: My Four Years in Myanmar


by Joanna MacLean

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2016
  • PAPER
  • 290 PAGES

Chronicling over four years of work for the Red Cross, MacLean's memoir brings the years 2002-2006 to life, portraying the culture, adversities and spirit of Myanmar. Through it all, it's the simple gifts, like the two eggs and a lemon MacLean receives from a young boy, that resonate the most deeply. (BMA102, $15.00)

Temple of a Thousand Faces

Temple of a Thousand Faces


by John Shors

  • LITERATURE
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 542 PAGES

Centered on Prince Jayavar and his favorite wife Ajadevi, Shors sets his sixth novel amid the sprawling complex of temples at Angkat at the height of Khmer power in 12th-century Cambodia. The title comes from Bayon, the temple in the heart of Angkor Thom, known for its intricately carved faces of the king.. (CBD76, $16.00)

The Coroner's Lunch

The Coroner's Lunch


by Colin Cotterill

  • MYSTERY
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

The first in Colin Cotterill's wonderful Dr. Siri Paiboun mystery series follows the septuagenarian national coroner of Laos as he navigates both the criminal underworld of communist Laos and the spiritual world of his ancestors. (LAO21, $9.99)

The Headmaster's Wager

The Headmaster's Wager


by Vincent Lam

  • LITERATURE
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 441 PAGES

A forgotten segment of modern Vietnam's history is intriguingly brought to life in this novel about the fall of a powerful headmaster of an English academy in 1960s Saigon. (VNM162, $15.00)

Vietnam, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Vietnam, A Traveler's Literary Companion


by John Balaban | Nguyen Qui Duc

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 239 PAGES

From rainforest to city, these 17 stories from Vietnam's finest writers explore its landscapes, myths and changing traditions. (VNM04, $14.95)

Birds of Southeast Asia

Birds of Southeast Asia


by Craig Robson

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

This authoritative, masterfully illustrated guide, featuring 140 color plates covering 1,270 species throughout the region, includes Malaysia, Burma, Borneo and Indonesia. (SEA49, $37.50)

Southeast Asia Wildlife, A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Animals

Southeast Asia Wildlife, A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Animals


by James Kavanagh

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2015
  • PLASTIC CARD

A laminated, pocket-sized reference to 140 birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians common to Southeast Asian. Each is profiled with detailed illustrations and easy-to-read descriptions. (SEA91, $6.95)

Wildlife of Southeast Asia

Wildlife of Southeast Asia


by Susan Myers

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2016
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

Designed for quick identification, this field guide covers the area's common fauna with descriptions, distribution maps and 500 color photos. (SEA94, $22.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.