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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars53
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 3 October 2007
Far, far superior to the Lonely Planet guide, which (as usual) seems to have been written sitting in a bar somewhere, relying on second-hand information. The Rough Guide, on the other hand, feels fresh, vibrant and accurate. Far more comprehensive, it explores places slightly off the beaten track, has far better restaurant listings and is much easier to use generally. Lonely Planet is trendy and ubiquitous, but after a back-to-back test, you have to wonder why. The Rough Guide has far more on the history and culture of the country, and is far more readable. One feels it has been written by people of intelligence and culture; the LP, on the other hand, feels as though it has been scribbled by semi-literate back-packers. Perhaps therein lies the great difference, and for me at least, the reason why the Rough Guide is infinitely superior.
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on 15 January 2011
I went to Vietnam for ten days last October and found The Rough Guide to be excellent.

As always the authors' special recommendations were spot-on (e.g. The Green Tangerine in Hanoi, Baguettes et Chocolat in Sapa), and the 'contexts' section covering Vietnamese history and culture was well-researched and perfect for whiling away a few hours on a bus or overnight train. I also liked the fact that it covered a range of budgets.

In fact my only quibble was with the 'language' section - I found Vietnamese tones really hard to master and would have liked some phonetic guides to help me (the LP phrasebooks are much better on this).
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on 14 May 2012
I chose this guide over the Lonely Planet after scanning comparative reviews on forums that seemed to indicate its superiority. Having just been published in April 2012, this guide contains the most up to date information about Vietnam, in a clear, easy to read layout. It is honest and does not pride itself in praising ecstatically every thing it talks about (as the LP tends to do). A very satisfying choice!
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on 21 June 2012
I got the latest April 2012 edition and I was nicely surprised.
The Rough guides have been updated with visuals/pictures which I thought they were lacking in previous editions. Sometimes I find myself needing multiple guides to get a good reference and full picture of the place. But when you travel, you don't want to be carrying 3 different guides.
This time I found this is a great guide, quite complete ,it is very well laid out into sections.
It starts with an introduction, with a very graphical laid out of the best things to see ( the pictures really invite you to go) and the best itineraries. Then is laid out in 8 different sections with the different areas of Vietnam. At the beginning of each section you have a map of the area, with the highlights and places not to miss. Maps and pictures are in colour, really easy to follow.
Along the pages there are boxes with a bit of history of the sites, unusual facts, things you need to know:
That's my only remark, I would probably have coloured more these boxes for more visual recognition.
At the end of the book you have a whole chapter on contexts:history, religion, ethnics. Succint but enough contents to understand the background and roots of this amazing place and its people.
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on 15 April 2012
I picked up this book not long after it was published (April 2012). I have read the lonely planet guides and find this to be of much better quality. The guide is comprehensive, very easy to read, and the book is lightweight and small enough to take with you.
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on 10 February 2013
Despite being published mere months before being field-tested, the guide proved redundant on several occasions. We turned up at a village with "plenty of budget options" only to find that the whole area had been redeveloped as an MGM Grand resort (read 20 floors and several square km in the making) for some years. A day and 80 dollars wasted. Maps were poor and limited in scope. It's a fast-changing county, but Rough Guide has attempted to gloss over the inevitable shortcomings.
Sadly, there is nothing better to recommend!
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on 13 January 2009
Rough Guides are a must for any traveller and infinitely more useful than Lonely Planet; I have found that when comparing books with fellow travellers the Rough Guides are more updated in terms of roadways, more detailed maps, and the information is accurate and honest. They also throw in useful information and other books as recommended reading before you go. As a well seasoned and experienced traveller of over 35 years, I would always recommend you never leave home with any other travel book.
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on 5 February 2013
I bought the Rough Guide as it was the updated 2012 edition, so I was disappointed to find clearly out of date information early in the book, which should have been amended. Having met with other travellers in Vietnam, their Lonely Planets appeared to have better recommendations with regard to places to eat Vietnamese food, so I photographed pages from their books!
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on 22 November 2010
Just returned from vietnam found this book has a lot of out of date info although it was published in 2009, I dont think vietnam has moved on that fast.
The maps are not good i will not buy a rough guide again whilst a lonley planet guide is available.
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on 28 November 2013
Thsis a review of the Kindle edition. The chapters were well indexed and linked making it easy to navigate the book quickly. I wish all travel books were like this! There is the usual high quality history information. More information on navigating the trains would have been useful and saved us some frustrstion. The website [...] was a great resource. We did not use any of the restaurant or hotel recommendations, preferring instead tripadvisor and agoda for more up-to-date prices and customer reviews. In summary, a good resource to have but no longer the bible for everything it once used to be.
The chapter on Vietnamese to English translations, with useful stuff such as how to say hello, was missing in the kindle edition but not the 'real' book, I checked with a fellow traveller. Rather a useful section to leave out!
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