I love reading about a destination before I go – finding out about the history, the culture and the lives of people. In this post I have collected together the best books about Vietnam.
A popular South East Asian country for travelers Vietnam is home to the beautiful Ha Long Bay, cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh and 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
With a population of nearly 100 million Vietnam is one of the most popular holiday destinations in South East Asia. Soccer is the most popular sport in Vietnam and the Dong is the unit of currency!
In this post I have divided the books into different sections. This includes section on fiction and non-fiction. For those of you planning to travel to Vietnam I have included my choice of the best Vietnam travel guide book into the relevant section as well as a cookbook for those who enjoy Vietnamese cuisine.
There are books about life in Vietnam including during the Vietnam war too for those of you who are interested in learning more about Vietnam’s turbulent past.
I have also included a section on the best films available about Vietnam.
These therefore are my selection of books about Vietnam to read before you visit.
THE BEST FICTION BOOKS ABOUT VIETNAM
THE BEAUTY OF HUMANITY MOVEMENT
The acclaimed author of Sweetness in the Belly journeys to Vietnam in this rich and tantalizing new novel.
Raised in the United States but Vietnamese by birth, Maggie has come to Hanoi seeking clues to the fate of her father, a dissident artist who disappeared during the war. Her search brings her to Old Man Hu’ng’s pho stall. The old man once had a shop frequented by revolutionary artists, but now Tu’, a hustling young entrepreneur, is his most faithful customer. Maggie, Hu’ng, and Tu’ come together during a highly charged season that will mark them forever. Exploring the indelible legacies of war and art, as well as love’s power to renew, The Beauty of Humanity Movement is a stellar achievement by a globally renowned literary light.
A story of adventure, love, war, and political power, Saigon presents an enthralling and enlightening depiction of twentieth-century Vietnam.
An exquisite novel that examines family ties and the legacy of the Vietnam war through the portrait of a single North Florida family.
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THE BEST NON-FICTION BOOKS ABOUT VIETNAM
THE BEST WE COULD DO
This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past.
The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.
BEST BOOKS ABOUT VIETNAM: TRAVEL GUIDES & MORE
LONELY PLANET VIETNAM
Lonely Planet Vietnam is your passport to the most relevant and up-to-date advice on what to do and see.
MADE IN VIETNAM
Made In Vietnam covers three main culinary regions of the country. It also looks at aspects of the country’s food history and its absorption of various culinary influences, including the extensive French influence, long-established coffee culture the casual style of dining that is so synonymous with many parts of Asia.
BEST FILMS ABOUT VIETNAM
Winner of 1992’s Best Foreign Film Oscar(r), Catherine Deneuve stars in this story of passion and revolution in colonial Vietnam.
THE KILLING FIELDS
When the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh in 1975, many thought the killing would end. Instead it started a long nightmare in which three million Cambodians would die in the “killing fields.”
The Killing Fields is an epic story of friendship and survival.
PREFER AUDIO BOOKS OR WANT TO GIVE THEM A GO?
Audible, an Amazon company, offers the world’s largest selection of digital audiobooks and spoken word content. With Audible, customers can listen anytime and anywhere to professionally-narrated audiobooks across a wide range of genres.
PIN FOR LATER – Best Books about Vietnam
MORE BEST TRAVEL BOOKS:
Tracy is your expert expat!
She has lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to over 50 more. A qualified school teacher with an interest in history, reading, photography, nature and wildlife she is always planning her next trip (preferably by train)
With a lifetime of travel experience, and a network of friends all over the world, she is also able to share genuine insider guides, recommended best book lists and train journey inspiration to help you travel authentically to some of the most beautiful places on earth.
Through down-to-earth stories, tips and advice (based on her own extensive knowledge and experience of life as an expat) she also aims to support new and prospective expats to survive and thrive in Australia.