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any good travel reading for thailand/cambodia/vietnam?

Travel Forums Asia any good travel reading for thailand/cambodia/vietnam?

1. Posted by novo (Budding Member 20 posts) 11y

I'm heading to the area in Sept and i was wondering if anyone could reccomend any good books to read, that are based on SE asia? ive been thinking of getting 'off the rails in phnom penh'. any other recomendations? nothing girly or boring.

cheers

2. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Are you looking for travel info related books or history books?

For travel info, Lonely Planet or Rough Guide are the best and they give you insights on the culture of the countries you will be visiting.

For history, I would read THE KILLING FIELDS, THE CHILDREN OF CAMBODIA's KILLING FIELDS and there is another compilation of Dith Pran's experiences in Cambodia, I cant remember the name of it right now (but he is the author). If you read that before you visit Cambodia, you will appreciate it everything you see that much more.

For Vietnam, I read a couple of book related to the Vietnam war in the 60s, but they all pretty much have the same info. I would get any book that has Vietnam's history from the early 1900s during the French ruling through the more contemporary years. Or the transformation of Communist Vietnam into a free open market economy with most of the world in the mid 90s. It is very interesting when you get perspectives from the people that live there...go as informed as you can that way you will know what sort of questions to ask when you are there (to the locals).

3. Posted by novo (Budding Member 20 posts) 11y

thanks,
its not the lonley planet or rough guide sort of thing i'm looking for. That Cambodia children/killing fields sounds interesting, i'll have a look at that. i just want to get an insight into life in the region while enjoying a good book/novel.

cheers for your sugestions

4. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Novo, if you are going to Vietnam first, you can find reprinted copies of the original books for $5.00 in the street (careful cause they will try to sell them to you for $10-$15). There are a ton of people selling books like the ones you are looking for and cheap too! Actually, come to think of it, there were a ton also in Cambodia (mostly Siem Reap) and in Bangkok there are stores that sell used books by the hundreds.

I think THE KILLING FIELDS may be a good start for you. But I am warning you, it is a true story of love, friendship, and determination (with history background about the Khmer Rouge)that will touch your heart in more than one way.

5. Posted by Alyssa816 (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y

Bad Karma is a fun book to read before a trip to SE Asia. It doesn't have much history, but it'll give you a good idea what to expect as a backpacker! The book is pretty spot on if i'm remembering it correctly...i've had a lot of the same experiances that are described in the book since i've been here. The fun ones anyway.

6. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1587 posts) 11y

Quoting novo

I'm heading to the area in Sept and i was wondering if anyone could reccomend any good books to read, that are based on SE asia? ive been thinking of getting 'off the rails in phnom penh'. any other recomendations? nothing girly or boring.

cheers

Take a look at Asia Books - you may find something of interest.

www.asiabooks.com
http://www.asiabooks.com

7. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 11y

The Sorrow of War is an interesting read about the life of a soldier in the North Vietnamese Army during and after the Vietnam War.

8. Posted by Adrock (Budding Member 55 posts) 11y

The Bone man of Benares is a great book. It's about this guy who travels around the world for eight years. He spends alot of time in asia but goes to other places as well. It's not completely about SE asia but is an excelent travel book(true story) and is very inspiring.