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Having endured over a thousand years of colonialism, occupation, and war, the Vietnamese people are generally well-equipped to sniff out foreigners who arrive with less than genuine intentions. It says a lot, then, that of the many travel writers and personalities who have visited and waxed poetic about Vietnam, Anthony Bourdain stands above—claimed as one of our own, an honorary cultural hero.

Bourdain, referred to by some Vietnamese as "anh Tony," or "big brother Tony," gave a platform not only to Vietnamese street food culture, but also to the people who make it and the chaotic history that birthed it. Visiting Vietnam on numerous occasions for all three of his shows—A Cook's Tour, No Reservations, and Parts Unknown—Bourdain famously called the country "one of [his] favorite places on Earth."

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Asia Vietnam