Berlitz Handbook Vietnam is the ultimate practical, inspirational guide to this alluring destination, with 304 pages combining authoritative narrative detail and stunning color photography, as well as clear, detailed mapping of the major cities and regions. What sets the guide apart is the illuminating Unique Experiences section, packed full of practical advice on how to make the most of all the opportunities unique to Vietnam – from setting sail on a tour of the extraordinarily picturesque Halong Bay and sampling unique food and drink, to exploring the country's wildest forests and mountains.
The guide starts with a rundown of Vietnam's Top 25 Attractions, ranging from the wonderfully atmospheric back streets of Hanoi's old quarter to the mysterious Cham ruins at My Son, and the sands and watersports of Phan Thiet. In the Trip Planner you'll find itineraries outlining how best to maximise your time, whether you're embarking on a leisurely three-week tour taking in the main sights via the Reunification Railway from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, or a more niche itinerary exploring the country's mountains and the hill tribes that live in their misted valleys.
The Places Section tackles each of Vietnam's regions in turn – starting with the northern capital Hanoi and taking in the northern hills, incomparable Halong Bay, the rich Central region encompassing unmissable Hue and Hoi An, the long, tropical coastline and finally the vibrant capital Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and the lush Mekong Delta. Each chapter is color-coded for easy reference, and features everything you'll need to know about the sights and attractions in the area, as well as maps to help you get around and carefully chosen listings of the best places to sleep, eat, drink, and get active. The Places section is interspersed with fully mapped tours, suggesting walks including the most interesting parts of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and Cultural Spreads that give a striking insight into an element of the country's culture, from its colourful festivals to the legacy of French colonialism and the American War on present-day Vietnam.
Further practical advice is provided in a chapter dedicated to accommodations, transportation, health and safety, money and budgeting, responsible travel, and family holidays. The Setting the Scene chapter is devoted to Vietnam's historical and cultural background, plus information on the country's cuisine.
Finally, a handy 8-page Phrasebook section provides a wealth of language expertise for which the Berlitz brand is famous.