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I am planning to go to Vietnam for more or less 12 days next year. I am looking for a good map to mark up routes and sites for historic areas and parks in some of the major cities. I can't see inside any maps on amazon except 'groovy' series. And it doesn't seem fitting for my purposes. Also, AAA doesn't have a map for almost any country in Asia.

Does anyone have a recommendation for either paper or travel maps that have blow-ups of areas?

Lots of the maps online for Vietnam relate to historic eras. I want something close to current, since I don't want to plan to visit a site that no longer exists.

I also thought there might be a "helpful resources" page like for some other SE sites, but couldn't find it.

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    So far, I've always managed to print from Google maps, although in pieces. Maybe someone will find a better answer. – Itai Apr 15 '13 at 17:49
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    The Lonely Planet maps are pretty good for charting out itineraries. – Ankur Banerjee Apr 15 '13 at 19:05
  • My advice: try offline mobile maps, you'll love them – Ivan Apr 16 '13 at 8:56
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This one here at Amazon has blow-ups of Saigon, Hue, Danag and Hoi An.

If you need more blow-ups, I recommend to use Google maps. You can also download them and use them as offline maps so you do not depend on internet connections.

Otherwise, larger travel books always contain blow-ups of areas they cover - but usually printed in the book itself, and might not be perfect for planning.

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If at all possible, I would strongly recommend purchase of a smartphone that works with SIM cards. The cards, minutes, and data are extremely inexpensive in Vietnam. This will allow you to navigate easily, read the wikipedia entries for the sites you are at/are goingto visit, use google translate, and book hotels at the last minute (better deals that way).

There is good cellular coverage throughout the country.

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Vietnam extends about 1,025 miles (1,650 km) from North to South and 30 miles (50 km) wide East to West at its narrowest part. START IN HA NOI (North) (coolest).

Few maps cover the whole country on a single page. Best to print from Bing or Google.

The usual tourist spots are HA NOI, train to HUE, bus to DA NANG, train to NHA TRANG and train to HO CHI MINH CITY (SaiGon).

The benefit of rail travel is that you can get a SOFT SLEEPER (luggage boxes under lower bunks) ALWAYS reserve LOWER BUNKS. You can buy 'through' tickets with 'break' points (reserve to get back on the next day). HUE to DA NANG is a 4-hour bus trip. DA NANG is the stop to visit HOI AN.

Use VNPT SIM cards ($10 for SIM and $10 credit - you need a passport); FREE WiFi everywhere. Voltage 240V (regardless of socket / outlet shape). ATMs are like mushrooms - everywhere (they only dispense Dong). Make Dong 100,000 your largest paper money to avoid confusion.

GET $20 or Pounds or Euros worth of DONG AT AIRPORT ARRIVALS then use ATMs. Take VietNam Airlines bus from the airport to downtown Ha Noi. Ha Noi Taxis ARE CROOKS. ALWAYS ASK AT HOTEL (ETC) HOW MUCH TO GET TO YOUR DESTINATION. Taxi drivers always say NO CHANGE - this is a lie, they keep large money in different pockets. ALWAYS MAKE A NOTE OF TAXI PLATE NUMBER.

No need for hotel reservations (always check rooms FIRST). They need your passport for police registration. ALWAYS check your passport (yours?) before leaving the hotel.

Water cheapest from Supermarkets. (Co-Op Mart)

Because of travel delays always get to SaiGon the DAY BEFORE DEPARTURE.

Lonely Planet is unreliable (dated) websites better.

12 days is VERY TIGHT to see the MINIMUM of VietNam, 3 weeks better.

VietNam is an OPEN JAW country (in Ha Noi airport out SaiGon).

ONLY OFFICIAL WEBSITE: https://vietnam.travel/ (I have lived in VietNam for 28 years)

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