2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
some good some bad but just not as good as the old LPs,
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This review is from: Lonely Planet Vietnam (Travel Guide) (Paperback)
I used this guide travelling around Vietnam this summer with a friend and have bullet pointed my thoughts for brevity:
.LPs are still almost vital for getting practical information all in one place e.g. visas, border crossing, vague budget ideas, travel options.
. Still plenty of options for accommodation in all budget ranges.
. Some good restaurant suggestions (see also bad...!)
. Still good at helping you get off the super worn tourist path but this was not as easy as I expected in Vietnam (nothing to do with the LP just an observation).
.Everything is a must see (and they really are not). LPs still seem to cater solely to the around the world wanderer with 3 years to kill. They're not so good when you have 3 weeks and really want to know what the MUST sees are. For this I would suggest a Frommer's guide (yes they are more upmarket but you don't have to stay in their recommended hotels)as they managed to rate sites a lot better and really allowed us to whittle down our list.
. The new format. If you are used to the old LP set up then these new ones are frustrating. Information is not in the same places or is non existent (self-catering info has all but disappeared - annoying!)I would recommend using flags to label pages with e.g. visa, border etc info as these pages can be in totally random places that seem to bear no relevance to the information next to them...
. Danger is everywhere. I'm a pretty cautious traveller, I watch my bag and lock up my stuff when leaving it in a hotel room but this LP would have you believe you were going to get mugged or ripped off at every corner. Bit of a downer pre-trip really and not our experience at all.
. Ho Chi Minch restaurant suggestions - well one in particular. "if you were asked where you spent your last night in Saigon this should be the answer" (can't remember the name but read that line and run) this restaurant is baaaaaad. Weird surroundings, weird staff, weird food... go somewhere else!
. LP maps - yup they've got no better! Still better (in my experience) than Rough Guides and Frommers though... good luck!