Gracefully resting by the South East Asian coastline this beautiful country called Vietnam is a rhythmic blend of history, culture, modernization and nature. If you set out to explore Vietnam you will be filled with visual dramatics right from the rustic living in Mekong delta, the magnificent caves system of Phong Nha, the marvellous French architecture at Hanoi, life in the valley of Sapa to the breath-taking Halong bay.
Vietnam became independent of Imperial of China in AD 938 and continued to flourish till the French colonization in the mid-19th century. Although after the first Indochina war Vietnam was freed, yet divided into two rival states of- North and South Vietnam- with the US intervention adding to the political unrest following the Vietnam War. It was devastating and one can see the aftermath of the horrid war even now. The country sure was destitute but not destroyed, Vietnam leapt with all its might.
When I set out to explore Vietnam. I found out beside the many grand UNESCO world heritage sites the country also houses some dazzling Pagodas like the – Temple of Literature, Jade Emperor Pagoda, One Pillar Temple, Perfume Pagoda and so many more- All of them offer the same peaceful aura yet distinct history and rituals. I can go on writing about the alluring architecture and the natural beauty of Vietnam, but that should not overshadow everything else the country has to offer because in the right sense it is a complete sensory delight.
So come along! I have everything you need to know to explore Vietnam. Right from an overall guide to city-specific guides! Even a guide to being a vegetarian in Vietnam. Happy travelling!
Best Books to Read Before Visiting Vietnam
Mad About The Mekong by John Keay
is an enthralling travelogue that follows the author’s journey along the Mekong River, from its source in Tibet to its delta in Vietnam. Keay offers a fascinating and insightful portrayal of the diverse cultures and landscapes of the Mekong region, making it a must-read for anyone travelling to Vietnam.
The Quiet American by Graham Greene
is a classic novel set in 1950s Vietnam during the French-Indochina War. The book provides a powerful and thought-provoking commentary on colonialism and imperialism and offers a vivid portrayal of the political and social realities of Vietnam at the time. For those travelling to Vietnam, The Quiet American offers a compelling and historically significant perspective on the country and its people.
When Heaven and Earth Changed Places by Le Ly Hayslip
is a memoir that tells the story of the author’s life in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Hayslip grew up in a small village in central Vietnam, and her book provides a moving and personal account of the war’s impact on her family and community. For those travelling to Vietnam, When Heaven and Earth Changed Places offers a poignant and emotional look at the country’s past and present.
Vietnam- Rising Dragon by Bill Hayton
is an insightful and comprehensive book that examines the political and economic changes that have taken place in Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War. Hayton offers a nuanced and well-researched analysis of Vietnam’s complex history and contemporary society, making it a must-read for anyone interested in travelling to Vietnam.
The Penguin History of Modern Vietnam by Christopher Goscha
is a scholarly and detailed account of Vietnam’s history from the 19th century to the present day. The book offers a comprehensive and authoritative analysis of the country’s political, economic, and social development, and provides a valuable resource for those travelling to Vietnam who are interested in understanding the country’s rich and complex history.
The Indochina Chronicles: Travels in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam by Phil Karber
is a travelogue that offers a personal and engaging account of the author’s journey through Southeast Asia. Karber’s book provides a vivid and colorful portrayal of the region’s landscapes, cultures, and people, and offers insights into the history and contemporary society of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. For those travelling to Vietnam, The Indochina Chronicles offers an enjoyable and informative read.