This authoritative guide to all the major sights you'll want to see in Vietnamand many lesser known surprises as wellleads readers from the ancient capital of Hanoi, a lovely city of parks and lakes, to the now-silent battlefields where first France and then America met defeat, to booming Ho Chi Minh City (once Saigon) and the steamy waterworld of the Mekong Delta.
Northern highlights include magnificent coastlines and tiny villages tucked away in the mountainous jungle. North-Central Vietnam echoes with wartime memories, evoked by a visit to Vietnamese tunnels or a drive along the DMZ. Historic Hue offers a centuries-old citadel and the fabled Nguyen tombs; farther south, the Central Highlands boast national parks like Cat Tien, home to rhinoceros, crocodiles, and many species of monkeys. Ho Chi Minh City offers urban sophistication: skyscraping hotels, boutiques full of Western-style goods and the sobering Museum of Ho Chi Minh City and Reunification Palace commemorating the North's victory in 1975.
Accompanying the lively text, photographs capture Vietnam's dazzling beaches, spectacular mountains, emerald rice paddies, ancient pagodas, and vibrant cities, with four-color maps to guide you along the way. One chapter details the nation's history and heritage; a second brims with practical information, including advice on how to get around, a selection of activities and entertainments, and an extensive listing of handpicked hotels and restaurants. Suggested walks and drives reveal the many faces of this culturally rich, beautiful landa treasure trove of pleasures unlocked with a key called National Geographic Traveler: Vietnam.