Two great new books to pack for your trip to Vietnam are New Holland’s A Field Guide to the Mammals of South-East Asia by Charles M. Francis and To Vietnam with Love published by Things Asian. Click on the book title to purchase online at amazon.com.
A Field Guide to the Mammals of South-East Asia is the first real field guide to this part of the world, a region, rich in mammal biodiversity where new mammals are still being discovered on a regular basis. This comprehensive guide covers all the mammals recorded from mainland South-East Asia, from Myanmar through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia and south to Malaysia.
A detailed account with key identification characteristics, habitat and behaviour is included for each species, from large mammals such as big cats, elephant, rhinoceroses and cetaceans, through bears, langurs and badgers, to bats and rodents. Seventy-two excellent colour plates by top wildlife artists illustrate nearly 500 species, and thumbnail maps give information on distribution.
It is an unfortunate state of affairs that many of the most endangered species featured in the guide are native to Vietnam but let’s hope that A Field Guide to the Mammals of South-East Asia will at least be successful in helping to raise awareness of the mammals that live in Vietnam and the rest of mainland South-East Asia.
To Vietnam With Love: A Travel Guide for the Connoisseur from Things Asian is a guide book with a difference. No glossy photographs or lists of hotels but locals, travellers and expatriates sharing their secrets on a diverse range of Vietnam-related subjects including favourite eating places, off-the-beaten track adventures, places to escape to and practical advice for visitors. The Into the Wild section features a couple of essays on birds, one incidentally on Dalat’s endemic birds, contributed by Vietnam Birding’s Richard Craik.
To Vietnam With Love won’t take the place of your Fodor’s, Frommer’s, Footprint or Lonely Planet but it will give you some unique insights into the country that you won’t find in a traditional travel guide. Also worth checking out is To Asia With Love: A Connoisseurs’ Guide to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand & Vietnam from the same publishers.