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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Journey through Vietnam

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

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 EXVNM35. Buy these 4 items as a set for $66 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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Vietnam Now, A Reporter Returns

Vietnam Now, A Reporter Returns

by David Lamb

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

An insightful portrait of contemporary Vietnam by a Los Angeles Times foreign correspondent and National Geographic writer. Lamb interweaves stories of Vietnam today with his own experiences and memories as a young reporter for UPI during the war. (VNM47, $17.00)

Vietnam, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Vietnam, A Traveler's Literary Companion

by John Balaban | Nguyen Qui Duc

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 239 PAGES
  • CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

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

Eyewitness Guide Vietnam and Angkor Wat

Eyewitness Guide Vietnam and Angkor Wat

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 312 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)

Vietnam Map

Vietnam Map

by ITMB

  • 2011
  • MAP

A sturdy, double-sided map of Vietnam, at a good scale (1:1,000,000), including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and the Hue region. With index. (VNM05, $12.95)

 
Angkor Map

Angkor Map


by Dawn Rooney

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2007
  • PAPER

A site plan and pocket guide to the city of Angkor at a scale of 1:40,000. (CBD16, $12.95)

Culture Smart! Vietnam

Culture Smart! Vietnam


by Geoffrey Murray

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 168 PAGES

Take along this concise, well-illustrated and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture. (VNM87, $9.95)

Lonely Planet Vietnamese Phrasebook

Lonely Planet Vietnamese Phrasebook


by Nguyen Xuanthu

  • LANGUAGE & PHRASEBOOKS
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 284 PAGES

A handy palm-sized guide to pronunciation, grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler. (VNM20, $8.99)

Odyssey Guide Angkor

Odyssey Guide Angkor


by Dawn Rooney

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 496 PAGES

The sixth edition of Rooney's indispensable guide to Khmer culture and history. Includes monuments, temple plans, color photographs and practical information about Siem Reap. (CBD05, $27.95)

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, $18.99)

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, illuminating the Vietnamese worldview with insight and depth. It's a terrific introduction to Vietnam. (VNM01, $31.95)

Vietnam, Rising Dragon

Vietnam, Rising Dragon


by Bill Hayton

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

The veteran BBC newsman covers the tangled politics, rapidly changing economy, culture, history and people of Vietnam with great insight in this timely portrait of a nation in transition. (VNM134, $24.00)

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)

Catfish and Mandala, A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam

Catfish and Mandala, A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam


by Andrew X. Pham

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 344 PAGES

Much more than the story of a road trip, this book combines the author's family history with his many and often-gritty adventures by bicycle through foreign lands including Mexico, Japan and, notably, Vietnam. (VNM50, $17.00)

Ho

Ho


by David Halberstam

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 118 PAGES

The historian explores the life and times of Ho Chi Minh and his fight for Vietnamese independence in this brief sketch, originally published in 1987. (VNM167, $18.95)

The Cat from Hue, A Vietnam Story

The Cat from Hue, A Vietnam Story


by John Laurence

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 864 PAGES

Journalist John Laurence's detailed and haunting account of Vietnam War combines his first hand experiences as a correspondent with a historical overview of the war. The cat in the title is Meo, a Vietnamese stray he adopted along the way. (VNM67, $21.99)

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)

A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain


by Robert Olen Butler

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 249 PAGES

Winner of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize, this collection of 15 short stories captures the spirit of Vietnam through a juxtaposition of American and Vietnamese perspectives and settings. (VNM21, $14.00)

The Coroner's Lunch

The Coroner's Lunch


by Colin Cotterill

  • MYSTERY
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 272 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, $15.95)

The Other Side of Heaven, Postwar Fiction by Vietnamese and American Writers


by Truong Vu | Le M. Khue | Wayne Karlin

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 420 PAGES

An anthology of fiction, with contributions from both sides of the experience of the Vietnam War. (VNM42, $19.95)

The Quiet American

The Quiet American


by Graham Greene

  • LITERATURE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 180 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

A classic, this is the most famous Western work of fiction on Vietnam. Greene writes of a love triangle between a war correspondent, his Vietnamese consort and an optimistic young American during the last days of French rule. (VNM08, $16.00)

The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried


by Tim O'Brien

  • LITERATURE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 246 PAGES

National Book Award-winner O'Brien captures the daily life of a soldier in Vietnam in this loosely structured, powerful collection of stories. (VNM32, $15.95)

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, also includes Malaysia, Burma, Borneo and Indonesia. (SEA49, $37.50)

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.