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August 21st, 2005

No Reservations

I caught a recent episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, a new travel/foodie show on TLC. Bourdain’s a world-reknowned chef and a bit of a prick, but he encourages viewers to be “travellers, not tourists,” a good bit of advice. On his trip to Vietnam, he did anything but the standard fare. In fact, of all the travelogues we’ve watched about the country, this one was the most unique. Bourdain showed the pleasure of eating at the smallest of roadside shacks and made a trip deep into the mountains to a village of one of Vietnam’s 50 mountain-dwelling ethnic minorities. And though his tough guy attitude comes off more like an act, he occasionally manages to be funny and insightful.

This coming week Bourdains travels to Malaysia. It may be worth checking out if you enjoy this kind of thing.

Posted in Miscellaneous

FROM: jk
DATE: Sunday August 21, 2005 -- 6:09:03 pm
I like this concept!!!

FROM: Zack
DATE: Monday August 22, 2005 -- 3:25:02 am
That's good advice ("be a taveler, not a tourist").

There are two problems with it, though:

1. It is sometimes hard to do. In Vietnam especially, it's really hard to get off the beaten track. Everybody work against you.
Even in places where people are nicer and more accomodating (Laos, for example), it's still hard to get to the more remote places. The roads are bad, no cars go that way, no one speaks English, etc. (I guess it must be much easier to do if you're a renown chef with a filming crew and a crazy budget.)

2. It might become an obsession. I never saw the Taj-Mahal because I was too busy being a traveler-not-a-tourist in India. The TAJ MAHAL! What was I thinking???

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