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Vietnam Coracle

Anthony Bourdain in Vietnam: All 8 Episodes Reviewed

Anthony Bourdain in Vietnam: Retrospective & Review

Last updated June 2024 |  Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle

Tom, Vietnam Coracle

Tom Divers is the founder and creator of Vietnam Coracle. He’s lived, travelled and worked in Vietnam since 2005. Born in London, he travelled from an early age, visiting over 40 countries (he first visited Vietnam in 1999). Now, whenever he has the opportunity to make a trip, he rarely looks beyond Vietnam’s borders and his trusty motorbike, Stavros . Read more about Tom on the About Page , Vietnam Times and ASE Podcast .

This week marks 6 years since Anthony Bourdain took his own life at Le Chambard Hotel Restaurant Alsace in Kaysersberg-Vignoble, France, on June 8, 2018. Following Bourdain’s death, there were many retrospectives of his life and work, but none that were dedicated solely to his coverage of Vietnam, a country for which he felt a special attachment. Indeed, I always hoped Bourdain would some day devote an entire series to Vietnam, during which he could really dive deep into the food, culture, history and landscape of the country he loved. Alas, that will never happen. Therefore, it seems to me that the best we can do is to pull together all of Anthony Bourdain’s Vietnam episodes from his entire TV career into a compilation spanning over a decade, from 2002 to 2016, and produced across three different shows: A Cook’s Tour, No Reservations, and Parts Unknown. I’ve also written a personal Reflection & Dedication to Bourdain .

Please Support Vietnam Coracle Make a donation or become a patron if you enjoy this website. Vietnam Coracle is totally free & independent. I never receive payment for anything I write. Thank you, Tom

Anthony Bourdain in Vietnam: All 8 Episodes Reviewed

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Below, I’ve reviewed all eight Vietnam episodes from Anthony Bourdain’s TV career in chronological order, from oldest to most recent. If, like me, you love Vietnam and admire Bourdain, I can’t recommend highly enough watching all eight episodes in the order in which they were produced: it’s a vicarious odyssey – fascinating, fun, enriching, charming, and also at times very moving. For each of Bourdain’s eight Vietnam episodes, I’ve included some production details and written a synopsis and review. My reviews are entirely subjective: I didn’t know Bourdain personally and I can’t claim to have any special knowledge of him or his TV productions. I was (I am) just a fan of Bourdain and his work. I’ve also included a personal Reflection & Dedication to Anthony Bourdain .


  • A Cook’s Tour : Season 1, Episode 3 | ‘Foods That Make You Manly’ ( 2002 )
  • A Cook’s Tour : Season 1, Episode 4 | ‘Eating on the Mekong’ ( 2002 )
  • A Cook’s Tour : Season 2, Episode 12 | ‘My Friend Linh’ ( 2003 )
  • No Reservations : Season 1, Episode 4 | ‘The Island of Mr Sang’ ( 2005 )
  • No Reservations : Season 5, Episode 10 | ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ ( 2009 )
  • No Reservations : Season 6, Episode 10 | ‘Central Highlands’ ( 2010 )
  • Parts Unknown : Season 4, Episode 5 | ‘Vietnam’ ( 2014 )
  • Parts Unknown : Season 8, Episode 1 | ‘Hanoi’ ( 2016 )

Anthony Bourdain

[ Back to Contents ]

Personal Reflection & Dedication to  Anthony Bourdain :

It’s clear Bourdain and his work meant a lot to many people around the world. But for those with a connection to Vietnam – be it through travel, work, family or food – Bourdain’s love of the country endeared him to us to such an extent that one almost felt a personal bond with him. Bourdain ‘got’ Vietnam in a way that no other high-profile TV personality, commentator, or documentary maker outside the country ever did. He instinctively understood the charm and aesthetic of streetside al fresco dining, the complex and explosive flavour profile of Vietnam’s numerous noodles soups, the tension between the generations and between past and present – a past often lingered over more by Westerners than by Vietnamese – among many other aspects of the country and culture. Bourdain appeared to feel at home in Vietnam – referring to it variously as “one of my favourite places on Earth”, “my place of dreams, my spirit house”, “my first love” – while also in awe of its daily exoticisms. Like many others before and after him, Bourdain fell for Vietnam.

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain was a great ambassador for Vietnam – its food, people and culture. His Vietnam episodes inspired a generation of travellers, giving them the confidence to visit the country, try the street food, interact with the people – in the markets, the streets, the rice paddies. Through his work, Bourdain projected an overwhelmingly positive, but also complex and nuanced, image of Vietnam to the rest of the world, and fired the interest and enthusiasm of people of all ages to visit. I don’t think it’s possible to overstate the impact Bourdain and his shows had on people’s impressions of the country, particularly in the West, and on the surge in interest of travel to Vietnam. Of course, I can only speak as a non-Vietnamese. Still, among my Vietnamese friends, Bourdain is relatively well-known – some are huge fans of his work. But people in Vietnam already knew their cuisine was superb and their history and culture fascinating. What my Vietnamese friends like most about Bourdain is that a ‘foreigner’ – an American from New York – was so enamored of their country and culture that he took the time to explore and understand it and present it in a positive light to a global audience.

Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations, Season 5 Episode 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Like a lot of people, I was surprised by how much Bourdain’s death affected me. For a long time I found I couldn’t re-watch or enjoy any of his shows: it was just too sad. I remember where I was when I heard he had died: in the dining car of a train rattling through the night from Quy Nhon to Saigon, having spent the week researching a guide to the beaches of the central coast . Shocked and saddened, I returned to my sleeping compartment and wrote a brief tribute to Bourdain on the Vietnam Coracle Facebook page. As a testament to how much he means to people with an interest in Vietnam, that Facebook post reached some 50,000 people, more than any other I’d posted previously or since.

Facebook tribute to Anthony Bourdain upon hearing of his death

Indeed, I still find it difficult to re-watch the episodes reviewed on this page: in part because of the knowledge that no more episodes will ever be made, but also because, in some cases, the Vietnam depicted in the shows has either disappeared or is fading fast, such is the pace of change during the country’s ongoing economic boom. In addition, Bourdain’s first Vietnam episodes were aired at roughly the same time I first visited Vietnam, so there’s a personal pathos in re-watching these shows: sometimes I feel like I’m watching my own past. And within these episodes is Bourdain’s own personal narrative: how his relationship with the country grows and deepens, how he changes as a host and as a human, how his views and values shift, how he ages and matures, and how, as the episodes progress through the years, he moves from starry-eyed first-time traveller to veteran visitor. Hence, there’s a certain reverence, nostalgia and sadness in the tone of the reviews on this page. Nevertheless, this is intended to be a celebration: of Bourdain, of Vietnam, and of exceptionally well-made travel and food TV.

Anthony Bourdain

Although some of the content and commentary in the much rawer earlier episodes of A Cook’s Tour might now seem inappropriate or gratuitous, I still love these episodes, and in most cases Bourdain and his crew saw and admitted their mistakes in hindsight and learned from them as they continued to produce future shows about Vietnam. The only real issue I have with any of Bourdain’s Vietnam episodes is that he could never really let go of ‘the war’, which is ultimately touched upon in almost every Vietnam episode. It would have been nice if he could have let the conflict be and focus instead, as almost all Vietnamese do, on the present and future. I suppose it just goes to show that the war – that war, at least – looms larger in the American consciousness than it does in the Vietnamese, and there are many deep historical and cultural reasons for this. Re-watching these episodes in chronological order was at once enjoyable and sad. There are still so many places for Bourdain to visit in Vietnam, so many more dishes for him to try, so many more episodes for him to make.

Anthony Bourdain

A Cook ’ s Tour : Season 1 , Episode 3

• Episode Title: ‘Food That Makes You Manly’

• Original Air Date: January 2002

• Subjects & Themes: street food, ‘weird’ food, Saigon

• Locations: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Ben Thanh Market, Cơm Niêu Sài Gòn, La Bibliotheque, Nhà Hàng Hương Rừng  

• Food: hột vịt lộn (fetal duck egg), cháo mực (squid porridge), cơm niêu (‘flying rice’ & family-style southern dishes), bò lá lốt (beef rolled in betel leaves), cobra  

• Where to Watch it: download torrent of whole season 1 from Pirate Bay; bad quality YouTube & other online video sharing versions available, sometimes available of streaming platforms like Netflix & Amazon

• Synopsis & Review: In this, one of the first episodes ever aired and the first in Vietnam, Bourdain opens with a eulogy to Vietnam which sets the tone for the next 15 years of his visits to the country: “…intoxicating…beautiful…exotic…dreamlike…sensuous”. Tony then heads across the streets (remarking, as everyone does, on the traffic and the appearance of controlled chaos) to Ben Thanh Market in search of hột vịt lộn – fetal duck egg . Obviously a gross-out snack for most of his Western audience, in reality this is a common, tasty, fortifying, comforting and nutritious snack. Strange, then, that Bourdain doesn’t really go for it. Ben Thanh Market might be a tourist trap but the cooked food and fresh produce sections are excellent, as Bourdain discovers.

As Tony ambles through the city – noticeably shy of looking down the camera lens – it’s impossible not to observe how rough around the edges Saigon (and downtown District 1 of all places) looks compared to the present-day. A cyclo, another formerly iconic feature of Saigon that’s now hardly ever seen, scoots Bourdain to a local cháo mực (squid porridge) hole in the wall. This looks like the real deal: it’s got everything in it, from coagulated pig’s blood to torn morsels of bánh quẩy (twisted fried bread). “Fabulous”, says Bourdain. It’s almost painful to watch: you can see (and hear) Bourdain falling for the city and the country in real time as the episode progresses. If, like me, you also have a deep attachment to Vietnam, you can’t watch this episode and fail to notice Anthony Bourdain falling under its spell. It’s quite moving.

At dinner, at the now extremely famous Cơm Niêu Sài Gòn, we get our first glimpse of Linh, Bourdain’s government-approved Vietnam fixer, who becomes great friends with the host and features in every subsequent episode in the country. Owned by Madame Gao (Lê Thị Hồng Ngọc), the restaurant’s signature dish is ‘flying rice’, an ingenious gimmick but also delicious. The Cơm Niêu scene is warm-hearted, exceptionally well narrated off-the-cuff (Tony’s clearly high on the experience), and a great advertisement for Vietnamese family-style dining. Rau muống xào tỏi (stir-fried morning glory with garlic), thịt kho trứng (braised pork and egg stew), canh chua (sour soup) and lots of seafood – these are all classic, homey, southern dishes.

Another dinner finds Bourdain formally dressed for a meal at La Bibliotheque, a long-running, colonial-style, memorabilia-filled Vietnamese restaurant owned by Madame Dai. Finally, Tony heads to a well-known ‘jungle flavours’ (i.e. exotic animals) restaurant in Saigon to try the infamous multi-course cobra meal, including its palpitating heart. This was something many backpackers would do in the early 2000s, but it’s hard to imagine a TV show getting away with a scene like this nowadays – think of the uproar on social media and the pressure to ‘cancel’ the show (Bourdain might have enjoyed that, but would the network?). Indeed, the scene does now feel a bit unnecessary and even juvenile: just something to tell your friends at a cocktail party, as Bourdain remarks. However, it’s during this long scene that Bourdain appears to relax and grow into his role as host. After several shots of snake blood-infused rice liquor (not to mention the shot of adrenaline he must have got from swallowing the cobra heart), Tony’s on fire: sharp, acerbic, raw, articulate, engaging, entertaining.

Screenshot : Bourdain smokes after finishing his multi-course cobra meal in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).

Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour, Season 1 Episode 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

A Cook ’ s Tour : Season 1 , Episode 4

• Episode Title: ‘Eating on the Mekong’

• Subjects & Themes: river & coastal life, food & the family

• Locations: Mekong Delta, Cai Rang floating market (Can Tho), Nha Trang, Bao Dai’s Villa  

• Food: floating vendors, clay-baked duck (vịt nướng đất sét), seafood feast (hải sản), bird’s nest (yến sào)

• Where to Watch it: download torrent of whole season 1 from Pirate Bay; bad quality YouTube & other online video sharing versions available, sometimes available on streaming platforms like Netflix & Amazon

• Synopsis & Review: Tony meets his former boss, Philippe Lajaunie, in Ho Chi Minh City and the two of them head to the Mekong Delta. Breakfast noodles and coffee in the early morning from the floating vendors of Cai Rang river market, near Can Tho, finds them both in awe of the food and the choreography of riverine life. This floating market subsequently became a touchstone for every traveller (and TV personality) to the region, to the extent that, in pre-Covid times, the market sometimes felt like a show put on for tourists.

Traveling upstream, Bourdain disembarks at Uncle Hai’s family home for a feast of vịt nướng đất sét (clay-baked duck) and plenty of shots of rice liquor. Bourdain remarks on the social aspect of the preparation, cooking and dining: how many people are involved in each step, requiring communication, trust – it’s a shared event. This is a fundamental aspect of so many parts of Vietnamese life and society. Bourdain carves the bird and everyone eats on a tarpaulin laid out on the ground in the garden as the light fades and night falls over the Mekong River. The entire extended family (and half the local community) joins the fun and the two guests become increasingly charmed and overwhelmed by the experience as the night progresses from grilling to eating to drinking to singing. Anyone who’s travelled or lived in Vietnam will be able to relate to being warmly and enthusiastically taken under the wing of a local family or group of friends for a night of food and drink. But not everyone can give themselves over to the experience and enjoy and respect it as much as Tony and Philippe do in this scene.

Philippe departs and Bourdain continues on his way to Nha Trang, which he describes as a ‘sleepy fishing community” – well, not so much anymore: try ‘sophisticated, hedonistic beach town’. A coracle ride out to a floating fish farm introduces Bourdain to Vietnam’s informal, deceptively simple approach to cooking and eating fresh seafood – lobster ( tôm hùm ), crab ( cua ), grouper ( cá mú ) and the ultimate Vietnamese seafood dip: lime squeezed into salt and pepper. Tony enjoys the post-dining mess of shells and sauce – “Stalingrad after the war”. Retiring to his lodgings in the former emperor Bao Dai’s villa in the hills behind Nha Trang, Bourdain settles down to a meal of bird’s nest soup. The swiftlet’s nests are prized for their medicinal benefits and fetch very high prices. Not overly impressed, Tony returns to his room to nurse some nest-related tummy trouble in a scene heavily referencing Apocalypse Now.

Screenshot : Bourdain speaks to camera on a wooden boat up the Mekong River to Cai Rang floating market, Can Tho.

Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour, Season 1 Episode 4, Can Tho, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

A Cook ’ s Tour : Season 2 , Episode 12

• Episode Title: ‘My Friend Linh’

• Original Air Date: June 2003

• Subjects & Themes: Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) food & traditions, Bourdain’s friendship with his Vietnam fixer, Linh

• Locations: Hanoi

• Food: bún ốc (snail noodle soup), bánh tôm (shrimp cakes), bánh chưng (savoury sticky rice cake), gà nướng lá chanh (grilled chicken with kaffir lime leaf), cá lóc (snakehead fish), lươn nướng ống tre (eel cooked in bamboo)

• Where to Watch it: Download torrent of whole season 2 from Pirate Bay; bad quality YouTube & other online video sharing versions available, sometimes available on streaming platforms like Netflix & Amazon

• Synopsis & Review: Bourdain arrives in a damp, grey and drab-looking Hanoi just in time for Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) with Linh, his translator and fixer from previous episodes in the country. Fortunately, Hanoi’s food scene brightens up the miserable winter weather as Tony and Linh eat their way through a food market – Tony giddy with excitement. Dressed in a suit, Bourdain enters Linh’s family home to start the Tet celebrations. The rice liquor comes out (mixed with bear bile – not something any TV show would get away with now, I’d imagine) and the men drink while the women cook up a feast. When the spread is laid before them, Bourdain remarks on the balance and contrasts of flavours and colours that’s so essential to Vietnamese cuisine.

Later in the episode, Tony enjoys a meal cooked by a locally famous chef in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. After dining on grilled chicken with kaffir lime leaf and rolled snakehead fish, Bourdain’s offered a post-meal cup of cà phê (coffee) and reveals that he thinks Vietnam makes the best coffee in the world. The show ends at one of Linh’s secret foodie hideaways: an eel house in the back-streets of Hanoi – and very nice it looks, too. The two men dine on lươn nướng ống tre (eel cooked in a length of bamboo). Bourdain signs off with another earnest eulogy to Vietnam.

Screenshot : Bourdain in Hanoi eating bún ốc (snail noodles) on Hoan Kiem Lake.

Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour, Season 2 Episode 12, Hanoi, Vietnam

No Reservations : Season 1 , Episode 4

• Episode Title: ‘The Island of Mr Sang’

• Original Air Date: August 2005

• Subjects & Themes: ethnic minority food, culture & homestays in the northern mountains, new tourism projects in Ha Long Bay

• Locations: Hanoi, Hotel Metropole, Mai Chau, Tuan Chau Island (Halong Bay)

• Food: bún chả (pork noodles), ‘squeezel’ (porcupine), rice liquor (rượu), cơm lam (rice in bamboo)

• Where to Watch it: Download torrent of whole season 1 from Pirate Bay; sometimes available to buy, rent or stream via YouTube, Travel Channel, Amazon, Netflix 

• Synopsis & Review: After an incongruous Bond-themed opening sequence, Tony choppers out of New York City bound for Vietnam. Described as a ‘pay-back mission’, Bourdain is on his way to meet Linh (yes, that Linh: Tony’s fixer and friend). This trip is Bourdain’s way of returning the favour to his friend: Linh has something he wants to show Bourdain and, through him, the rest of the world. Linh picks Bourdain up outside the grand French colonial-era Hanoi Hotel Metropole. The two ride off (conspicuously un-helmeted as this was just before helmets became mandatory in Vietnamese cities) through the chaotic-looking capital. Settling down to a bowl of bún chả (the ubiquitous and much-loved Hanoi dish of grilled pork and noodles), the two friends slurp their way to fulfillment. Before turning in for the night, Tony reasserts that he has no clue as to what Linh has in store for him on this trip.

Early next morning, Tony bundles into a minivan with Linh and his family and they take the road to the White Thai minority village of Mai Chau, a beautiful region of limestone karsts and lush valleys southwest of Hanoi. At that time, Mai Chau was a fledgling homestay initiative and this is what Linh wants Bourdain to see (and promote to the world). Indeed, it must have worked, because these days Mai Chau is an enormously popular day-night trip from Hanoi and the homestays number in the hundreds. Along the way, a lunch stop leads to a famous scene during which Bourdain dines on what Linh describes as ‘squeezel’ which, it transpires, is porcupine ( nhím ). Over lunch, the establishments’ full array of home-made animal-infused rice liquor ( rượu ) is offered and shot back by all around the table.

Enchanted by the valley (Bourdain says he’s “never laid naked eyes on anything like it”), the group climb the wooden steps to inspect the rustic kitchen of the stilt house they’ll be dining and sleeping in. Before dinner, Tony’s introduced to the dour local People’s Committee chairman who states his desire that Mai Chau be promoted through this TV show. Things threaten to become stale and business-like, but the chairman and Tony find common ground in shooting rice liquor and trying their hand at traditional dancing. The feast is spread on the floor – a delicious-looking combination including bò lá lốt (beef wrapped in aromatic betel leaf) and cơm lam (rice steamed in a length of bamboo) – and the men eat together and get comprehensively drunk, ultimately leading to the chairman loosening up and a great time is had by all.

Chugging between the limestone karsts of Ha Long Bay in a boat, Bourdain, Linh and his crew – all formally dressed – make their way to the ‘Island of Mr Sang’, a newly opened tourism complex on the island of Tuan Chau, near Ha Long City. This is Linh’s (and Mr Sang’s) big sell to Tony’s international audience. On the island, Bourdain is entertained by exhibitions of martial arts on the beach before finally being introduced to Mr Sang himself at a banquet dinner. But before dining, Bourdain, as guest of honour, is treated to an awkward procession of musical and dance performances (there’s no audience except himself, Linh and Mr Sang). And then, things get even more awkward and bizarre as Mr Sang hijacks the cameras and turns the evening into his own cooking show, demonstrating his prowess in the kitchen. Although Bourdain is clearly taken aback by this stunt, when it comes to eating the food prepared by Mr Sang he softens to the situation, the man, and the surroundings. All eat and drink happily into the evening.

Screenshot : Bourdain waits for his ‘squeezel’ (porcupine) to arrive on the way to Mai Chau.          

Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations, Season 1 Episode 4, Mai Chau, Vietnam

No Reservations : Season 5 , Episode 10

• Episode Title: ‘There’s No Place Like Home’

• Original Air Date: March 2009

• Subjects & Themes: street food, moving to Vietnam, house-hunting in Hoi An

• Locations: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Bánh Xèo 46A, Nguyen Thuong Hien Street, the Lunch Lady, Hoi An 

• Food: bánh xèo (savoury pork & shrimp filled pancakes), ốc (snails), bún bò Huế (Hue-style beef noodle soup), cao lầu (pork noodles), bánh mì (filled baguette) 

• Where to Watch it: Download torrent of whole season 5 from Pirate Bay; sometimes available to buy, rent or stream via YouTube, Travel Channel, Amazon, Netflix

• Synopsis & Review: After a hiatus of nearly four years without shooting a show in Vietnam, this episode, perhaps because of his long absence, is Bourdain’s most successful, warm, and heartfelt love letter to the country. It’s also the most personal of all Bourdain’s Vietnam shows and my favourite. The film opens with a Vietnamese folktale around a fire about the nature of ‘home’ and ‘change’, both of which are central themes of the episode. Bourdain’s first stop in Saigon is the famous Bánh Xèo 46A – still hugely popular today and largely unchanged (apart from the prices and the multi-language menu). Tony shares his bánh xèo (‘sizzling’ savoury pork- and shrimp-filled pancakes) with Hà, who will become a familiar face in this and all subsequent Vietnam episodes of No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Bourdain remarks on how the al fresco setting is so essential to the dining experience: “I don’t want to eat this in a dining room with chairs and a carpet”.

In the evening, Tony and Hà dine on Nguyễn Thượng Hiền, known as ‘ ốc street ‘ – street of snails. Eating snails and other crustaceans is a national past-time in Vietnam and an essential dining (and drinking) experience for anyone who wants to get to know the food culture. On low plastic chairs on the roadside, the two tuck into crab claws, snails, shrimp and chickens feet while the traffic roars by, mobile karaoke blares out, and street performers blow flames.

Interestingly, in this episode Bourdain, having travelled to Vietnam many times over almost a decade, now has a personal history with the country and a nostalgia for certain aspects of it that may be disappearing as the nation continues on its path to industrialization. As if to underline this, Tony reconnects with Philippe Lajaunie, his former boss who made an appearance on Bourdain’s first TV show in Vietnam, A Cook’s Tour (see Contents ). The two friends ride in a Soviet-era Ural sidecar motorcycle to the Lunch Lady . Already famous before Bourdain filmed here, the Lunch Lady (Nguyễn Thị Thành) is still serving a different soup every day at the same spot under the umbrella tree near the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Channel. On the day of their visit, the soup is bún bò Huế (Hue-style beef noodles). The pair are greatly impressed and wax lyrical about the soup – “a broth that the gods were suckled on” – and the setting. Post-Bourdain’s visit there’s been a lot of attention and debate over whether the Lunch Lady is ‘worth the hype’. My opinion, which you can read on this page , is that in general the Lunch Lady is a great introduction to the flavours, smells, complexity and variety of Vietnamese soups and the aesthetics of streetside dining in Vietnam. However, she’s by no means the only lunch lady in Saigon; there are many others .

Bourdain and Philippe take a flight to Hoi An in Central Vietnam. The pastel-coloured shophouses of the old town and bright greens of the surrounding rural landscape are in stark contrast to the concrete and chaos of the city they left behind. Falling under the spell of Hoi An is almost a rite of passage for any traveller to Vietnam, and Bourdain is no different. Strolling through Hoi An market leads to a breakfast of the local speciality, cao lầu (pork noodles). In much the same way that almost all visitors fall for Hoi An, so too do most visitors fall for cao lầu , a delicious, colourful and highly textural dish. Still not full, Tony and Philippe pay a visit to a bánh mì (filled Vietnamese baguette) stall outside the market. Central Vietnamese baguettes have a distinctive shape and the ones at Bánh Mì Phượng (now with long queues stretching outside every day) are loaded with goodies – “a symphony in a sandwich”.

Bourdain reveals that he plans to move to Vietnam: to bring his family here and live for a while. So he begins house-hunting with a local realty agent. Riding from house to house on motorbikes, they visit a traditional palm-thatched home and a swanky poolside villa. (Sadly, Bourdain never did move to Vietnam). The next day, Tony heads up the Thu Bon River for a meal with a local family who fought on different sides during the war.

Finally, back in Ho Chi Minh City Bourdain revisits Cơm Niêu Sài Gòn (the famous ‘flying rice’ establishment featured in A Cook’s Tour ) and then to the pagoda to pay his respects to his late friend, Lê Thị Hồng Ngọc, owner of Cơm Niêu. It’s a sad sequence and Bourdain finds himself wondering if, with all the changes that Vietnam’s gone through since he first visited – “when everything was fresh and new” – he could ever live and be happy with his family here. But as he contemplates this, sitting on the curbside of a busy street watching the ebb and flow of Vietnamese life all around him, Bourdain realizes this is the Vietnam he loves, and it’s still here: “I hope that will never change.”

Screenshot : 1 . Bourdain outside the Hotel Continental, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) with a copy of Graham Greene’s ‘The Quiet American’; 2 . Bourdain enjoys the Lunch Lady’s bún bò Huế in Saigon.         

Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations, Season 5 Episode 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

No Reservations : Season 6 , Episode 10

• Episode Title: ‘Central Highlands’

• Original Air Date: March 2010

• Subjects & Themes: ethnic minority culture & food, French colonial period, Hanoi street food 

• Locations: Dalat, Palace Hotel, Bao Dai Summer Palace, Linh Phong Pagoda, Hồ Suối Vàng Lake, Hanoi

• Food: cháo vịt (duck rice porridge), canh chua chay (vegetarian sour soup), heo rừng (wild boar), rượu cần (rice wine infused with herbs & spices), chim sẻ (sparrows), bún ốc (snail noodle soup), bánh cuốn (steamed rice rolls) 

• Where to Watch it: Download torrent of whole season 6 from Pirate Bay; sometimes available to buy, rent or stream via YouTube, Travel Channel, Amazon, Netflix

• Synopsis & Review: Opening in the opulent setting of the French colonial-era Palace Hotel, Bourdain is in the Central Highlands city of Dalat, a former French hill station 1,500 metres up in the misty mountains of what was once Indochine . Bourdain’s guide around the region is, once again, Linh. The pair meet for a hearty and warming evening meal of cháo vịt (duck rice porridge) on the chilly streets of Dalat.

A lot of Dalat’s appeal is about its past. For half a century it was the favoured retreat for French colons and Vietnamese emperors alike. Bourdain visits the former summer palace of Bảo Đại, last of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors of Vietnam. An appealing Art Deco structure among pines on a hillside near the city centre, Tony and Linh stroll through its grounds discussing the last emperor. Next, Tony climbs the steps to Linh Phong Pagoda where he’s treated to a ‘guilty’ vegetarian meal with the nuns (whilst trying to block out flashbacks of all the animals he’s eaten on previous shows).

The next day, Linh takes Tony to a barbecue shack on the shores of Suối Vàng Lake, a scenic setting for a protein-rich breakfast. The tabletop grill features heo rừng (wild boar) and ‘mouse deer’. The latter Tony is tricked into eating by Linh and finds it has a ludicrously rubbery texture. (Subsequently, this scene had to be edited after complaints that it was illegal to catch and sell wild mouse deer.)

Driving out of Dalat, Tony visits the villages and homes of the M’Nông and Ede ethnic groups, discussing the tensions that have existed between them and the majority Kinh Vietnamese, and what the future might hold for their cultures. Bourdain dines on the wooden floor of an Ede family’s home and partakes in the drinking of rượu cần (rice wine infused with herbs and spices), drunk through a long straw from a communal jug.

Next up for Bourdain is Hanoi, to which he gives a great voice-over introduction while gliding through the streets on the back of Linh’s motorbike (although times have changed since their earlier two-wheeled adventures and they are now both wearing helmets). Bourdain highlights the burgeoning youth of the city, the rich food culture on every street, and the organic nature of the throng of motorbikes coursing through the city’s arteries. Tony’s joy at being back in the capital is written all over his face. He and Linh meet up with Hà (from the previous Vietnam episode of No Reservations ) at a insect and bird restaurant. The standout dish is fried sparrows ( chim sẻ chiên ). “Amazing”, says Bourdain. I remember watching this episode when it first aired and going straight out in Saigon looking for a place with sparrows on the menu: they are, indeed, delicious – gamey, rich and small enough that you can eat them whole, bones, head and all. Visibly pumped up and giddy with excitement, Bourdain and his friends stroll through a foodie neighbourhood and sit down to a bowl of bún ốc (snail noodle soup) and bánh tôm (shrimp cake). Later, Tony dines on bánh cuốn (steamed rice rolls), but there’s an unexpected second course: water bugs. Finally, everyone eats (and drinks) together at a rooster restaurant where a cock fight determines which bird ends up on the stove.

Screenshots : 1 . Bourdain shakes hands with his friend, Linh, at a cháo vịt (duck porridge) eatery in Dalat, Central Highlands; 2 . Bourdain unknowingly tucks into some ‘mouse deer’ at Suoi Vang Lake.

Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations, Season 6 Episode 10, Dalat, Vietnam

Parts Unknown : Season 4 , Episode 5

• Episode Title: ‘Vietnam’

• Original Air Date: October 2014

• Subjects & Themes: Hue food & imperial culture, tradition vs modernity, past vs present, reflections on the war 

• Locations: Hue, the imperial palace, Vinh Moc Tunnels (Quang Tri Province), Tam Giang Lagoon

• Food: cơm hến (clam rice), bún bò Huế (Hue-style beef noodles), lươn nướng (grilled eel), yến sào (bird’s nest soup), bánh bèo (little savoury rice cakes) 

• Where to Watch it: Sometimes available to stream, buy or rent episode on Amazon or Netflix; download torrent of whole season 4 from Pirate Bay

• Synopsis & Review: After another break of four years since he last filmed in Vietnam, Bourdain returns to his “place of dreams” in good spirits, literally and figuratively. This is because he’s in Hue: a city of ghosts, haunted by its imperial past and the conflicts of the twentieth century. I’m not sure why, but Bourdain always seems to visit central and northern Vietnam is grey conditions: there’s very little colour in the landscapes or light on the city streets. Perhaps he and his production team don’t like the heat and sun, but it’s a shame because Vietnam rarely looks its vibrant best in Bourdain’s shows shot in these regions. Fortunately, cities like Hue exude charm no matter what the weather or light is like. And so the grey, flat, mist-shrouded streets that Tony negotiates on his scooter are mysterious, exotic and full of great food. Bourdain pulls onto the sidewalk at a street stall for a bowl of cơm hến (clam rice), a Hue classic that’s ubiquitous, simple and delicious. Seated on a red plastic stool at a red plastic table, Tony speaks to camera in an iconic ‘I love Vietnam’ scene: “Fellow travellers, this is the path to true happiness and wisdom”.

In the maze of stalls in Dong Ba Market, Tony meets Vietnamese-American author, Nguyễn Quí Đức, for a bowl of bún bò Huế , the definitive Hue dish: a spicy, aromatic beef noodle soup (also featured in the Lunch Lady scene in No Reservations ). Bourdain proclaims it “the greatest soup in the world”. In the evening Tony meets up with his old friend, Linh, at a seafood restaurant for some grilled eel and lobster. The two reminisce on old times, comparing photos of themselves from 15 years ago and how they have (or, in Linh’s case, haven’t) aged.

Over a montage of flowing images from the road, Bourdain speaks of the intimacy that comes from the motorbike-riding culture in Vietnam – the smells, the sounds, the sights you experience from the saddle: “One of the great joys of life is riding a scooter through Vietnam.” The tone changes suddenly and the subject is war: the battle for Hue after the 1968 Tet Offensive was long, bloody and brutal, including the massacre by north Vietnamese of some three thousand people who were buried in a mass grave outside the city. Nguyễn Qúi Đức, who lived through this as a boy, talks about his past but contrasts it with the present in Vietnam, which is youthful, vibrant, optimistic and peaceful.

Bourdain meets artist, Bội Trân, at her restored traditional home. They gather with other friends for a rather formal, imperial-style meal of Hue specialities, including bird’s nest soup ( yến sào ). The ambience of this dining scene is an interesting contrast to the more casual, streetside meals Bourdain enjoys, such as the one that opens this episode.

Riding in a coracle off the beaches of Quang Tri Province, Bourdain arrives at the war-era tunnels of Vinh Moc. The tunnels were dug to create shelter from U.S bombing for the entire village during the war. Vinh Moc is only just north of the Ben Hai River, the natural barrier than once marked the DMZ along the 17th parallel. This is the most war-heavy of all Bourdain’s Vietnam shows: as well as the places visited and the discussions about the past, the grey, leaden skies, muted colours and hushed sounds of the episode all conspire to create a bleak and introspective mood. However, this is always balanced with a view of the present and future, which, thankfully, is much brighter than the past. Bourdain rides through flooded fields for lunch with food blogger, Lan. They eat all the famous local bánh , including bánh bèo (little savoury rice cakes) and bánh bột lọc (shrimp-filled tapioca dumplings). The final scene is a meal of clay-baked chicken in a wood-and-brick gazebo above the rice paddies with Linh, Lan, Hà and Thanh.

Screenshot : Bourdain enjoys a bowl of cơm hến (clam rice) at a streetside stall in Hue.     

Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, Season 4 Episode 5, Hue, Vietnam

Parts Unknown : Season 8 , Episode 1

• Episode Title: ‘Hanoi’

• Original Air Date: September 2016

• Subjects & Themes: U.S-Vietnam relations, tradition & modernity, socio-economic change  

• Locations: Hanoi, the Old Quarter, Halong Bay

• Food: bún ốc (snail noodle soup), bánh cuốn (rice rolls), bún chân giò (pig trotters soup), bia hơi (fresh-brewed draft beer), bún chả (pork noodles) 

• Where to Watch it: Sometimes available to stream, buy or rent episode on Amazon or Netflix; download torrent of whole season 8 from Pirate Bay

• Synopsis & Review: After another opening song of praise for Vietnam – voiced over clips of Bourdain zigzagging through the busy streets of Hanoi on a motorbike – Tony sits down on a low plastic stool for his go-to noodle dish in the capital, bún ốc (snail soup). In this episode, sadly his last in Vietnam, we finally see Hanoi and the north in the summer sunshine (and tropical downpours). Between heavy showers, Bourdain has dinner with Thảo at a local bánh cuốn (steamed rice rolls filled with pork and mushrooms) shop. The two talk about U.S-Vietnam relations and how they have changed over the last 50-60 years. It’s interesting to note that Bourdain’s Vietnam shows become more war-focused with each new episode.

Tony meets up with Hà and her Zumba instructor after their class in the park. They sit down to a bowl of bún giò (pig trotter noodle soup) at an eatery known as bún chửi (cussing noodles) on account of the proprietress’s tendency to lose her temper, shout, scold and curse at her customers. Bourdain received some flak for this scene, as many Vietnamese suggested it wasn’t such a good idea to promote and encourage this kind of impolite behaviour. However, it would appear that the food is good enough that most of her customers are willing to put up with the verbal abuse. In the evening, Tony meets his long-time friend, Linh, for a bia hơi (fresh-brewed draft beer) session on the streetside.

Floating through the limestone karsts of Ha Long Bay on a restored French-era steamer, Bourdain dines on freshly caught squid onboard with Linh and the crew. Outside, the bay is much busier with tourist craft than it was in the same location a decade earlier in the ‘ Island of Mr Sang ’ episode. The next morning, Tony meets Hà on a family’s floating fish and pearl farm in the bay. Over a meal of grilled fish they discuss the issue of relocating ‘floating families’ such as this one to inland locations in order to protect the environment, make way for tourism development, and improve the education of their children.

Back in Hanoi, a black limo pulls into a damp, local neighbourhood. Out jumps Barack Obama beneath an umbrella. James Brown’s ‘The Boss’ plays over shots of the president working the crowd. Tony and Obama chat on the sidewalk about the nature of fresh produce markets and the smells of Southeast Asia, behind them a crowd of onlookers and the red flowers of the iconic Flame Tree hanging above corrugated iron shopfronts. The ‘Obama noodle’ scene is the most famous sequence of Bourdain’s entire TV career. Even so, context is everything: Obama is the outgoing president, nearing the end of his second term in office. The episode was aired in September 2016, just a couple of months before the U.S election that ushered in the Trump administration. More importantly, here’s a president who can actually do something like this: visit a local eatery in a completely different culture, sit on a low plastic stool, drink local beer from the bottle, use chopsticks, stand under a tarp storefront in a monsoon downpour, and not look or feel out of place. Obama was mobbed everywhere he went in Vietnam during that visit, and there was a tangible excitement and a feeling of national pride when this episode aired in Vietnam. Iconic images of the two men comfortably slurping noodles and swilling beer together like locals went viral on social media. Many Vietnamese and much of the foreign community here in Vietnam experienced a collective rush.

The location is Hương Liên and the dish is bún chả (pork noodles), a classic Hanoi favourite. As the president and Bourdain dine and drink together, their fellow diners – sat of stools just feet away – continue their meals and conversations without so much as a glance in their direction. Meanwhile Bourdain quizzes the president on important issues such as “Is ketchup on a hot dog ever acceptable?” Eventually, more serious topics are discussed, including the benefits of travel and seeing and experiencing different cultures. The meeting ends on an optimistic note as Bourdain asks “Is it all going to be OK?”, to which the president replies, “Yeh…I think things are going to work out”. I suppose the poignancy of this scene and these words will always depend upon the context in which you’re watching it, not to mention your political views and moral values. Now, however, viewing it in the spring of 2021 during a pandemic and after a turbulent five years (especially for America) since the episode aired – not to mention the host’s death by suicide – it’s difficult to feel anything but rather sad.

The final scene is a painful exchange between Tony and Hà as the latter breaks down while trying to talk about how Vietnam can continue to remember and honour its past military struggles while also moving forward into a peaceful future. In what would turn out to be his last epilogue from Vietnam, Bourdain blasts General Westmoreland’s infamous words that ‘the Oriental doesn’t put the same high price on life as does a Westerner’.

Screenshots : 1 . Bourdain chats to President Obama in the rain outside Huong Lien restaurant; 2 . Bourdain listens as Hà breaks down in tears discussing the struggles of the past.     

Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, Season 8 Episode 1, Hanoi, Vietnam

* Disclosure: I never receive payment for anything I write: my content is always free and independent. I’ve written this guide because I want to: I like Anthony Bourdain’s work and I want my readers to know about it. For more details, see my Disclosure & Disclaimer statements and my About Page


Sketches of Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Sketches of Saigon: 5 Scenes

Over the course of a week, I sat & wrote for half an hour on five separate occasions at five random locations in Saigon, and described the scenes as they appeared to me, in the hope of capturing something of the spirit of the city….

Film: A Day in Saigon, Redux

Film: Saigon, My Saigon [Redux]

Revisiting my short film of a day in the life of my local neighbourhood in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), where I’ve tried to capture the rhythm of life over 24 hours in the rainy season

The Odes: A Collection

The Odes | A Collection

Over the years, I’ve written ‘odes’ in praise of aspects of Vietnam: from natural phenomena to types of food to specific places & personalities…

Lonely Planet Experience Vietnam

Lonely Planet Article

For the new Lonely Planet ‘Experience Vietnam’ book, I explore the joys, history & practicality of motorbiking Vietnam…

Farewell to my neighbourhood: Ward 25, Binh Thanh District, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Farewell My Neighbourhood

After nearly 9 years, I’m leaving my neighbourhood in Saigon’s Binh Thanh District, where I have many memories of many people, places & experiences…

Vietnam Coracle 10 Year Anniversary

10 Year Anniversary of Vietnam Coracle

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, I’ve written an account of my website’s conception and development and an evaluation of its ‘success’.

Questions, updates and trip reports are all welcome. However, please keep comments polite and on-topic. See commenting etiquette for details.

I sometimes wonder why people often acknowledge people’s death day (religious reasons aside)? Generally speaking that’s the worst day of a persons life and the saddest day for their loved ones and admirers.

With that in mind Anthony’s birthday is coming up on June 25 (1956), the day this intrepid traveller and lover of people was born!

travel tv show vietnam

Hi S Holmes,

Yes, it’s because in Vietnam ‘death days’ are commonly celebrated. Hence, I’ve chosen to remember Bourdain on his ‘death day’ in the context of his love of Vietnam.

Many Americans of a certain age only saw Vietnam in context with the American War. That view persisted in American culture and continued into the next generation. Bourdain was the first to see Vietnam as a unique country. I don’t think he ever mentioned the war in his programs.

Yes, I know what you mean, and in many ways (most ways, in fact), I agree that Bourdain painted Vietnam in a different context to what many Americans were most familiar with – that being war. However, he could never let the war go from his Vietnam episodes: Bourdain references the war – either directly or through cultural references, such as movies – in most of his Vietnam shows. This is totally understandable, but I personally looked forward to an episode that left the war out completely, thus focusing only on present-day Vietnam.

I’ll have to re-watch some of the episodes. I guess it was just my first impression that Bourdain dealt with Vietnam on its own merits as a young country with an ancient past and complex culture.

Thank you for your close and heartfelt reading of Bourdain’s odysseys to Vietnam.

I have watched the “Hanoi” episode 5 times with deepening appreciation and sentiment; it is my favorite of what I’ve seen of his work.

The episode is an apostrophe to gain — Vietnam’s as it heals from its history and ascends the world stage toward its future — and a eulogy to the Obama and Bourdain era, where sincerity and civility, for a short time, were given a stage.

“Is it going to be all right?”

While Obama and Bourdain were tour guides, we could believe it would.

Yes, I agree, it’s a very poignant episode – it was at the time, but even more so now, with the knowledge of what was about to happen: to Bourdain, to American politics, to the World.

This is amazing Tom, just found ur blog after following you quite sometime in twitter. Anthony is one of my idol esp for Vietnam. Keep up the good work as always and thanks.

Thank you for the kind words!

Great to hear you admire Bourdain too. I hope you enjoy watching/re-watching these episodes.

Thank you for a great article as always! It made me miss my hometown even more.

Thank you, Bao Tran 🙂

Thanks, Tom, for a moving and informative article that has me regretting that I didn’t enjoy Bourdain’s work when he was with us. He was a one-off for sure and we are all poorer for his absence.

Thanks, John.

This is wonderful, Tom. A great tribute to Bourdain and Vietnamese food. I never saw his programmes but have read some of his books which i greatly enjoyed. Thanks Vicki

Thanks, Vicki.

Yes, I enjoy his writing style too. I hope you get a chance to watch some of his TV shows sometime too.

If you have a Google account with a US credit card you can buy episodes of No Reservations and Parts Unknown a la carte for $2 or $3 (SD or HD respectively) on Google Play. Here’s a link:

No Reservations: https://play.google.com/store/tv/show/Anthony_Bourdain_No_Reservations?id=cI-ABS8T6RA&hl=en_US&gl=US

Parts Unknown: https://play.google.com/store/tv/show/Anthony_Bourdain_Parts_Unknown?id=qZqWbgwkJcc&hl=en_US&gl=US

Thanks, Ben.

Man, great review. I didn’t know Tony because I’m Spanish and I was not interested about him. I think I first know about him when I came to Vietnam. I have the feeling that Vietnam is changing very fast, but mostly I don’t see it as an inconvenient but something good. We will see how things evolve in the future. I agree with Obama, eventually everything will be fine. The virus will be over and we will continue eating food with family and friends, and be able to travel!

I miss Spain and Thailand!

Thanks, Javier.

Yes, I hope so too.

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travel tv show vietnam

14 of the best travel TV shows to watch on demand

Epic landscapes, interesting characters and cool cultures – we transport you to the best places in the world right from the comfort of your sofa, with these top travel shows on Netflix, iPlayer and others…

While you may be hitting pause on your adventures, you can still be transported somewhere wild – using your TV remote as your passport to exotic climes, instead.

Chances are you’ve seen everything travel legends David Attenborough and Simon Reeve have done, but if you’re looking for inspiration for your next trip, sweeping landscapes and interesting characters to meet, take a look at our round-up of th e best travel documentaries available to stream right now…

Best of all, you can start this journey on the couch.

Here are the best travel TV shows to watch on Netflix or on demand now…

1. the americas with simon reeve (2019).

What you’ll watch: It topped the list for best TV show at our 2020 Reader Travel Awards, but if you haven’t yet seen The Americas with Simon Reeve , put it straight on top of your must-watch list.

And when you’ve binged on his journeys hiking through the Rocky Mountains, hanging out with the US Border Patrol in Texas and discovering a tropical paradise in Costa Rica, you can turn to his other documentaries: the Caribbean, Australia, the Mediterranean, and Indian Ocean.

If there’s anywhere this man hasn’t been or seen, we challenge you to find it.

Where to watch it: The Americas with Simon Reeve is available to watch in full on BBC iPlayer . Plus see Simon accept his Wanderlust award !

2. Race Across The World (2020)

What you’ll watch: Limited cash, no smartphones and forget about internet access – basically all the ingredients for an epic off-the-grid adventure.

In the latest series of the BBC’s Race Across The World , you can follow five teams as they race the length of Latin America, starting in Mexico City and ending in Ushuaia in Argentina, the most southerly city in the world.

Married couples and familial bonds are put to the test, as they weave friendships in the most unexpected of places on their way to the finish line. And if you can’t wait until next week’s episode, you can binge on series one as well. What’s better than that?

Where to watch it: Catch up on series two of Race Across The World on BBC iPlayer . And read our filming locations guide .

3. Joanna Lumley’s Hidden Caribbean: Havana to Haiti (2020)

travel tv show vietnam

Joanna Lumley’s Hidden Caribbean: Havana to Haiti is on ITV Player now (ITV)

What you’ll watch: She’s one of our favourite tour guides, taking us everywhere from India to the mighty Silk Road – it is, of course, the absolutely fabulous Joanna Lumley.

Let her lead you into a lesser-seen side of the Caribbean in her new two-part documentary, Joanna Lumley’s Hidden Caribbean: Havana to Haiti, which begins in a boxing gym in the lively Cuban capital.

Keep watching as she wanders the streets of Havana, discovers Hemingway’s favourite beach and explores Fidel Castro’s hometown, before making her way over the Windward Passage to end her adventure with trips to ancient mountain fortresses and a mystical voodoo ceremony in Haiti.

Where to watch it: Catch up on Joanna Lumley’s Hidden Caribbean: Havana to Haiti on ITV Player now.

4. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat (2018)

What to watch: If delicious food is at the very top of your reasons-to-travel list, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is the Netflix show to tune into.

Culinary capers abound as loveable chef Samin Nosrat takes us to Italy, Japan, Mexico and California to show us how the title elements are key to the cuisine of each country.

Where to watch it: See Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat on Netflix now.

5. Ugly Delicious (2020)

What to watch: H ungry for more? Try Netflix’s Ugly Delicious – there are two series to devour, as chef David Chang takes us to culinary hotspots across the world, showing us why good cooking is universal.

He meets everyone from pizza purists in Brooklyn and Naples to trying Viet-Cajun fusion cuisine in Houston.

Where to watch it: Catch the new series of Ugly Delicious on Netflix .

6. Night on Earth (2020)

What to watch: Even when you’re travelling, you don’t get to see some of the most incredible sights – because some of them happen under the very cover of darkness.

In Netflix’s Night on Earth , you can see this world open up before you, witnessing the secret lives of lions, bats and monkeys. Eerie and visually compelling stuff.

Where to watch it: Night on Earth is on Netflix now.

7. James May: Our Man In Japan (2020)

What you’ll watch: We know you loved Japan with Sue Perkins , but now that’s it not available on iPlayer… how about racing through the island country with James May, instead?

Starting on the chilly northern island of Hokkaido, James embarks on a journey south to the balmy beaches of Shikoku and Kyushu, while meeting samurai in Honshu, sampling street food in Osaka and, of course, tackling the Suzuka Circuit on his way.

Where to watch it: Watch James May: Our Man in Japan on Amazon Prime now.

8. Travel Man: 48 Hours in… (2019)

What you’ll watch: Richard Ayoade’s droll two-day jaunts through cities across the world has provided us all with laughs since 2015.

While 2019’s series was his last as lead presenter, we can still look forward to more Travel Man in the future as Hugo Boss – aka the the comedian formerly known as Joe Lycett – takes over the role.

If you haven’t seen 48 Hours in… Amsterdam , it’s the perfect episode to get a feel for Hugo’s personality and learn more about the city’s culture, cuisine and canals.

Where to watch it: Find the past ten series of Travel Man: 48 Hours in… on All 4 .

9. Great Railway Journeys with Michael Portillo (2019)

What you’ll watch: Thousands of British commuters have plenty to say about UK train travel, but in the hands of Michael Portillo, the divisive subject matter seems to take on a golden glow of nostalgia.

You know best, after all – you voted for the BBC’s Great Railway Journeys as one of your top TV programmes in the last year.

Delving into the history of British rail, Michael reveals things we never knew about our local stations, including how an unlikely collaboration between London’s Crossrail railway project and a conservation charity is helping to protect birdlife in Series 11’s Limehouse to Rochford episode.

Where to watch it: Look out for your local station on Great British Railway Journeys on iPlayer.

10. Around the World in 80 Days (1989)

What to watch: It’s an oldie, but definitely a goodie – what could be better than staying in and getting a glimpse of how the world used to be with TV icon Michael Palin?

In Around the World in 80 Days , Michael follows in the footsteps of its main character Phileas Fogg, setting off on an epic adventure from London’s Reform Club across the world.

Close shaves, missed connections and inevitable delays await as he desperately attempts to meet the 80-day deadline in time. A delicious throwback to a simpler time.

Where to watch it: Watch Around the World in 80 Days on iPlayer .

11. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (2013)

What to watch: The late Anthony Bourdain’s Emmy-winning travel series is a must-watch for any traveller whose adventures are driven by a passion for excellent food.

Parts Unknown sees the world-renowned chef and documentarian delve into cuisines, cultures and politics in countries across the globe. Essentially, he eats his way around the world.

With 12 seasons covering countless destinations (Vietnam and New York said to be two of his favourites), the later seasons take viewers on an off-the-beaten-track culinary journey through Armenia, Uruguay, Myanmar and beyond.

Where to watch it: You can stream the series on Amazon Prime now.

12. Dark Tourist (2018)

What to watch: If you’ve watched the majority of travel TV already, here’s one that may have slipped by you.

TV presenter David Farrier deep dives into so-called ‘dark tourism’: worldwide interest in visiting sites of nuclear disasters, destinations marred by danger or even death. If you’ve been to Chernobyl and Pripyat in Ukraine, you’ll understand the fascination.

You can expect to see a trip to Turkmenistan, a visit to Pablo Escobar’s former playground, Medellin in Colombia, as well as an excursion to Tomioka in Japan, the ghost town left behind after residents were evacuated following the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Where to watch it: You can stream one season of Dark Tourist now on Netflix .

And… anything narrated by Sir David Attenborough

13. our planet (2019).

14. Seven Worlds, One Planet (2019)

What you’ll watch: Of course, no list of travel documentaries is complete without an appearance from the legend that is Sir David Attenborough.

Most of his back catalogue is listed on Netflix, including the original Our Planet and the BBC’s iconic Planet Earth and Frozen Planet.

You can also listen to Sir David’s dulcet tones on BBC iPlayer – as he takes us through Seven Worlds, One Planet , introducing us to some of the globe’s most hostile habitats and remote landscapes, while narrating the fascinating behaviour of the local creatures, such as golden snub-nosed monkeys and grey-headed albatross chicks .

Where to watch it: Find Our Planet along with most of Sir David’s past shows on Netflix or catch up on Seven Worlds, One Planet on iPlayer now.

Simon Reeve on filming BBC’s The Americas

12 epic nature and wildlife documentaries you can watch now, behind the scenes of our planet with alastair fothergill.

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5 Vietnamese Travel Vloggers To Watch

Mi Tran

These travel vloggers always deliver their honest reviews to their audience.

When it comes to traveling, the sky is not even the limit. We always have so many options at hand — an ideal beach vacation can be in Vietnam like Nha Trang, Da Nang, Ha Long Bay, or Quy Nhon or outside Vietnam like Pattaya in Thailand or Bali in Indonesia. The struggle is always about which one to choose among the sea of options.

That is when travel vloggers come into the picture, bringing their perspectives to help you make the right decisions. In this article, we introduce five Vietnamese travel vloggers who not only have rich experiences in traveling but also provide viewers with honest reviews without filters.

Khoai Lang Thang

Vlogging for five years now, Khoai Lang Thang has already become a familiar name to many Vietnamese. His real name is Dinh Vo Hoai Phuong, a 31-year-old native of Ben Tre. Khoai possesses a uniquely warm, soft voice that attracts the audience to his videos.

After quitting his architectural job, Hoai Phuong began his Youtube journey. His contents contain helpful information about geography, culture, and people of places he has visited. If you are a first-time watcher of Khoai Lang Thang, you will definitely be impressed with his bright smile and positive attitude.

YouTube | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok

In 2017, Chan La Ca (or Hoang Minh Tuan) had a two-month trip in the ocean, visiting various countries. When he returned, he realized he was destined to travel to places instead of sitting in the office, completing tedious tasks. Tuan wants people to know him as a travel storyteller than a travel reviewer.

In Chan La Ca's videos, the footage seems raw and close to real life. Accompanied by his compelling voice, the stories he tells and the trips he experiences greatly resonate with his subscribers. He also invests a lot in recording equipment, so be prepared to step into a cinematic world in each video from Chan.

Travip (Yeu May Bay)

In Vietnam, there is a particular vlogger who focuses on reviewing airlines — Travip or Tran Viet Phuong. Before the pandemic, he would take roughly 120 flights per year to make videos. His Youtube journey initially started with the Youtube Channel “Yeu May Bay,” then slowly developed to other personal channels.

Compared to other influencers and vloggers, Phuong started his career as a reviewer quite late, at age 35. But his background in journalism helped Travip effectively communicate his knowledge to his online viewers. Aside from his airline reviews, Travip also produces content on his experiences in hotels, resorts, or food from foreign countries like India and Indonesia.

Ly Thanh Co

Some people know Ly Thanh Co as a creative director for a popular agency, or a trainer for Marketing students, but most Vietnamese know him as a travel blogger. Starting his journey in 2015, Ly Thanh Co has traveled to 39 countries and territories. He also published three books about his experiences, namely “Thế giới rộng lớn đừng đi một mình" (The world is big so don't go by yourself), “Tuổi trẻ trong ví bạn mua được gì?" (What can you buy with youth?), and “Trăng mật với bản thân" (Honeymoon with yourself).

In Co’s opinion, if we stop experiencing, we get old faster, so he wants to spend his youthful years going to many places, exploring layers of emotions to stay young forever. At present, Cong produces much of his content on TikTok. However, on his Facebook page, you will find more in-depth sharing and tips about every trip he has been on.

Behind the name “Quy Coc Tu" is Ngo Tran Hai An, a young man from Bao Loc, Lam Dong. At the age of 18, he failed his college entrance exam. Too ashamed of his failure, he escaped to a close relative’s house and went to new places where people did not know him. Throughout these getaways, he found his new passions: exploration and photography.

Up to 2010, he had been to almost every province and city in Vietnam. In 2014, he began his career as a photojournalist, which opened doors to even more opportunities for him to visit foreign countries. Most of his videos are only 3-5-minute long but always feature mesmerizing sceneries that immediately make you want to pack your bag and go.

travel tv show vietnam

  • Cast & crew
  • Episode aired Mar 5, 2018

Travel Guides (2017)

The guides travel to Vietnam to experience life on the busy streets of Hanoi, where they sample local cuisines, participate in a motorbike tour, and pay a visit to a Halong Bay pearl farm. The guides travel to Vietnam to experience life on the busy streets of Hanoi, where they sample local cuisines, participate in a motorbike tour, and pay a visit to a Halong Bay pearl farm. The guides travel to Vietnam to experience life on the busy streets of Hanoi, where they sample local cuisines, participate in a motorbike tour, and pay a visit to a Halong Bay pearl farm.

  • Dorian Calleja
  • Jonathan Fren
  • Self - Narrator
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  • All cast & crew
  • Production, box office & more at IMDbPro

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  • March 5, 2018 (Australia)
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro

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The Travel Guides explore all the cultural gems Vietnam and Cambodia have to offer

The Travel Guides have been lucky enough to tour the world (pre-COVID) and visit many spectacular sights and places. But their trip to Cambodia and Vietnam was eye-opening in a way that many other experiences may not have been.

Stream every episode ever of Travel Guides for free on 9Now.

The Guides first indulged their senses with a fine dining experience from a beloved celebrity chef, and were later heartbroken as they wandered around a Cambodian Genocide Memorial.

To get a sneak peek of everything they got up to on Travel Guides this week, keep reading.

Indochine by Luke Nguyen

The Guides were in for a treat: a modern Vietnamese degustation menu from the famed Luke Nguyen at Indochine. And the Fren family were thrilled to be living it up at the fancy restaurant... even if they couldn't quite get a hold of the chopsticks.

"If you didn't want to come to fine dining, then just say so!" Jono chastised his dad as the family patriarch lifted a bowl to his mouth to slurp on sauce.

Travel Guides 2021

Kevin and Janetta, on the other hand, knew exactly how to conduct themselves at a degustation dinner.

RELATED: The Travel Guides explore Mauritius and Teng narrowly dodges near-death experience

"I'm very much a fan of Luke Nguyen," Janetta said as she and Kevin made their way to the table to have a delicious first course served to them. "I don't want to eat it, it looks so good! You couldn't ask for anything better."

Cambodia's capital has so much to offer by way of culture, a place where old temples stand by glass towers. The Guides were in for a shocking experience as they visited the Killing Fields, where there are mass graves that were created during the destruction caused by Pol Pot's communist regime.

Kev, Dorian and Teng also visited the Genocide Memorial, a former prison where thousands of Cambodians were violently executed.

"Imagine being a liberator and having no idea something like this was going on," Kev said as they wandered through the cells.

"It's important to see these things, because they're a part of history, no matter how hard it is to look at," he added.

Travel Guides 2021

As Matt and Brett explored the cells that were used as torture chambers, they couldn't help but begin to sob as they heard the horrific stories of what innocent Cambodians had faced in recent history.

The Bugs Cafe

Kevin and Janetta were overjoyed by their dinner at Indochine, and no doubt expected the quality of the food to remain high throughout their travels.

So the Travel Guides team decided to send them to a quaint little establishment called... Bugs Cafe. Maybe then it wasn't at all surprising when their meal arrived with a few more legs than your average chicken thigh might have.

"Many times, we've said 'leave it to the chef'," Janetta said of their past restaurant experiences. "Big mistake," Kevin added.

"Uh, these don't look like chips," Kevin said to the waiter as he handed down a plate of deep fried tarantulas and glazed crickets.

"That was a gigantic mistake of tarantula proportions," Kevin said as the pair attempted to chow down on their meal.

travel tv show vietnam

  • Kev Dorian And Teng
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  • Kevin And Janetta

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Books & Travels , Travel Tips

34 best travel tv shows to binge watch this year.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost for you!

Are you looking for some amazing travel TV shows to feed your wanderlust?

There is nothing better than watching inspiring travel TV shows when you don’t get to travel. They are entertaining, helpful to plan your travels and open your mind (and heart) to new places.

I absolutely love watching travel shows on TV. While it’s true that I prefer doing the actual travelling, I’m like everybody else and I also enjoy staying at home and dreaming of my next destinations.

I spend a lot of time watching travel shows and find it to be not just entertaining, but enlightening!

Sometimes you will discover underrated places that you would have never thought of going. And that’s the great thing about it, you don’t only get to learn about the places you want to go. You discover new places!

It’s also a very good way to learn more about the culture of these places.

As you may know, I love discovering new cultures. I find all of them so incredibly interesting. Foreign languages, food, history… there is just so much to discover. It’s so interesting and exciting!

Here are some of the best travel TV shows to watch now!

🔎 Table of Contents

1. Jack Whitehall: Travels with my father

Jack Whitehall is a famous British comedian. He is mainly known to be the posh lad in Fresh Meat (filmed in Manchester by the way 😉 ).

In real life, Jack Whitehall actually is a very posh Londoner. He comes from a wealthy family and never got the chance to go backpacking as many young people do.

On top of that, he always had quite a difficult relationship with his dad, who is 79.

This is why, in 2017, Jack Whitehall invites his dad, Michael, to go backpacking with him in Asia for a Netflix original series .

By that, I mean proper backpacking. Sleeping in hostels, taking cheap transportation, carrying a backpack… and guess what, his dad said yes!

This show is absolutely hilarious and a perfect mix between comedy and travel. If you need something to cheer you up and make you dream of foreign lands, it’s the perfect choice!

In the first season, they travel through countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

It’s so funny to watch as the dad is quite a character. He is a very posh person and obviously not quite happy about the lack of comfort.

If you like British humour, Jack and Michael Whitehall will crack you up!

The show had so much success that it was renewed for a second season in Europe . A continent that Michael famously voted to leave! In the third season, they go to America and here again, it takes a whole new dimension.

Give it a try, you will be hooked straight from the first episode! It’s so funny and arguably the best travel reality show on Netflix!

2. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

You may know Anthony Bourdain as a chef but did you know that he had a few travel shows as well?

My favourite is Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown .

This American food and travel show was produced by CNN and ran from 2013 to 2018. Sadly, Anthony died while working on a show about Strasbourg, France on the 8th of June 2018.

In this show, he travels the world and focuses on the lesser-known and underrated places.

He goes to pretty much any country you can think of and explores the culture and cuisine with locals. Very often he goes around with local guides, sometimes he also gets to meet famous personalities.

In his episode about Lyon in France, he goes for dinner with Paul Bocuse, the famous French chef.

Bourdain has this very unique way to explore the world. He sees the beauty in everything and always makes sure to be in perfect sync with local cultures.

He had this unique ability to see the world as the absolute beauty it really is and through Parts Unknown, shares his vision of the world’s cultures.

It’s not a show that I would categorise as funny, although there are some quirks. But it’s definitely the most interesting and passionate one of this list!

3. Down to Earth

Seasons:  1

This is a fun travel show / documentary to watch. It stars Zac Efron who travels around the world with wellness expert Darin Olien.

The goal of these travels is to discover more sustainable ways to live. They go everywhere around the world including Iceland, Sardinia and South America. 

Each destination highlight a specific sustainable lifestyle. For example, Sardinia in Italy is known as a blue zone. A blue zone is an area with more people reaching the age of 100 than the average.

When they get to Sardinia, they meet with locals and experts to try to understand how the way people live and eat has impacted their health.

Darin Olien is known to be big on super foods so you will also learn plenty about that when they go to South America.

All in all, this is a great show to watch as it perfectly mixes together fun and education.

4. BBC Race Across the World

Even though the Amazing Race is a concept available in almost all countries, it doesn’t exist in the UK.

But don’t you worry, the BBC thought that through and created its own program!

The concept of the Race across the world is a bit different though. In this show, you will follow 5 pairs of travellers on an epic race across the world.

In the first season, their mission is to go from London to Singapore without taking a single flight.

They are being given a bit of money, the equivalent of a flight ticket from London to Singapore ie about £1000. With this money, they have to go to Singapore without flying.

This means they have to find transport, accommodation and food for a month within that £500 budget per head. Each pair adopts a different strategy.

They take all sorts of transportation. Some hitchhike, some take the bus…

It’s a very entertaining thing to watch. You will surprise yourself trying to plan that trip as well!

5. Somebody Feed Phil

Seasons:  4

This Netflix Original is an excellent thing to watch if you love both travelling and food.

You will follow Philip Rosenthal on his trips around the world and discover the local delicacies.

There is no better way to understand the local culture than eating local dishes with the locals themselves and that’s what Phil is doing here.

From the floating markets in Thailand to the classic Mexican cantinas, he tries it all!

The best thing about this show is that you will discover so much more than just food and drinks.

He really tries to understand the local culture and why things are the way they are.

It’s also worth noting that Phil is a very happy and funny guy which makes it very pleasant to watch.

6. Instant Hotel

Instant Hotel is an Australian reality show that follows several teams of homeowners.

Each duo owns a holiday rental in Australia and will host the other contestants for a day and a night.

It’s a nice thing to watch if you love Australia or would like to visit one day.

You will get to see several states including Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Northern Territory.

Not only will you see some very famous locations such as Bondi Beach but will also get to discover some hidden gems.

There are 2 seasons available on Netflix.

7. Ugly Delicious

This is another food and travel TV show on Netflix. In this one, you will follow chef David Chang on his journey around the world.

A bit like Anthony Bourdain used to do, Chang is using food to tackle misconceptions and break down cultural barriers. 

Food is a powerful way to experience a country and learn more about the local culture. Chef Chang knows that and he shows you exactly how to!

He is also joined by guests including other chefs, artists, activists and plenty more. With him, you’ll discover many different regions including the USA, Asia and Europe.

8. Dark Tourist

In Dark Tourist, the journalist David Farrier focuses on something rarely talked about: Dark Tourism. Dark tourism is the fact of travelling to places associated with death or tragedy.

This type of travel is getting more and more popular and that’s why David Farrier goes to experience it and share with us his journey.

Dark Tourist is a very interesting show to watch as clearly, he is immersing himself into some culture and believes that you probably never even heard of before that.

Secondly, it can get quite funny and that Kiwi accent is always so cute!

Lastly, let’s be honest, it’s bloody weird! And clearly extremely interesting. I had no idea most of these things existed and although it can be creepy at times, it is quite interesting to know more about them.

9. Emily in Paris

Emily in Paris is a Netflix Original TV Show that was released in 2020. It was created by Darren Star (best known for “Sex and the City”).

It’s the story of Emily Cooper, an American girl, who moves to Paris to work in a French marketing agency.

Although it was argued that the show was full of clichés, it is still a very cool thing to watch. As a French person, I loved it!

It may not quite be representative of what a normal french life is but it highlights the most magical aspects of Paris! It will make you dream!

Emily Cooper is played by Lily Collins (British-American actress) but most of the other main characters are French which makes the show even better!

They all speak English (some with a better accent than others).

It’s a feel-good travel show that will make you want to visit Paris straight away!

And if you do, you will be able to visit Emily in Paris filming locations!

10. Griff’s Great Australian Rail Trip

Looking for a travel show about Australia? Here you go!

This 2020 docuseries is one of the best things to watch before going to Australia.

Here you will see Griff Rhys Jones, a Welsh comedian, taking on an amazing train journey from Perth to Sydney and Darwin to Adelaide.

Not only is it a great way to see what the Indian Pacific and The Ghan trains are like but you will also get to learn so much about the Australian outback and culture.

You can tell that Griff is truly fascinated by Australia and he will definitely make you want to jump on a plane straight away!

11. The Kindness Diaries

The Kindness Diaries is one of the best travel programmes if you also love motorbikes (don’t worry if you don’t though, it’s fun either way but if you do like motorbikes, this is the ultimate best travel series for you).

You will follow the adventures of Leon who travels around the world on a vintage motorcycle relying solely on the kindness of strangers for accommodation, food and even petrol.

This is an extraordinary travel tv program. Not only is it interesting and fun but seeing the kindness of people all around the world is simply the most moving thing you can see.

It will leave you quite emotional on a few occasions!

12. James May: Our man in Japan

You may know James May as one of the presenters of Top Gear. But he’s got way more in store than you’d think.

In this Amazon Prime original , James May goes to Japan and experiences many aspects of Japanese Culture.

He goes to all the main cities including Tokyo and Kyoto but also some more remote places in the Japanese countryside.

James May is a typical British guy and definitely knows how to come up with the best comments!

Just picture him, in Japan, not speaking a single word of Japanese, clueless about the culture… and yet going for it!

It’s a very interesting mix of fun and culture.

If you love Japan, you will definitely like it but even if you don’t have any specific interest in this country, you will still enjoy it, I promise!

You can watch this amazing show on Amazon Prime.

Click here to check it out and get a free trial!

13. Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip

If you are looking for comedy travel shows, look no further! This one will make you laugh out loud!

This 2-season show features 3 famous chefs in the UK: Gordon Ramsay, Gino D’Acampo, and Fred Serieix.

Just picture it for a moment, we are putting together a British man, an Italian man and a French man, in a same place and make them travel the world to discover the best foods.

The result? One of the best celebrity travel shows we can think of!

It is a very cool show and you get to discover their home countries of Italy , France and Scotland but also some other destinations such as Texas or Mexico.

14. By Any Means

Seasons:  1 (6 episodes)

This one is for all the adventurers out there! Unlike some of the shows out there that are quite commercialised, this one is very pure and honest. You will be following Charley Boorman, an Irishman who decides to go from his small hometown in Ireland all the way down to Australia without flying.

Charley is not doing all of that on his own. He is with a team which makes it even more entertaining.

In the first episode, you will see how they went about planning the trip itself which was pretty challenging back in 2008. After that, the good stuff starts and you follow them on this incredible journey.

It’s a great way to learn more about hidden gems and underrated travel destinations.

Click here to watch on Amazon Prime.

15. The Grand Tour

The Grand Tour is British motoring show featuring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. Although it is known for cars, it’s also an excellent travel TV show to watch.

The famous trio used to present Top Gear for BBC. In 2015, BBC didn’t renew Jeremy Clarkson’s contract.

At this point, his friends decided to follow him and they signed a contract with Amazon Prime. The Grand Tour was born!

On the Grand Tour, Clarkson, Hammond and May embark the most incredible vehicles and set off to explore some of the most beautiful countries in the world!

They visit some famous places but also adventure themselves in very remote, off-the-beaten-path, locations. This includes Madagascar, Morocco, Namibia, Italy and many more!

The Grand Tour is available on Amazon Prime . There are several seasons and some specials!

Click here to watch The Grand Tour.

16. Amazing Race

travel tv show vietnam

The Amazing Race is an American reality TV show. I’ve watched every season of the French equivalent, Pekin Express.

As much as I would love to talk about this show, I appreciate that watching a show in french might not be of your liking!

But it’s ok because the Amazing Race is pretty much the same thing. There is an American and Canadian version.

The concept is simple. There are several teams of two racing around the world. In each episode, they have to go to a certain destination with no money.

Therefore their only option is to hitchhike and get locals to accommodate them for free.

Along the way, other missions are given to them. These can be hikes, riding… all sorts of things.

It’s the perfect show to discover many countries in a different way. The Amazing Race has it all: competition, culture, landscapes, fun… A must see!

And there are over 30 seasons available so plenty to binge-watch!

Click here to watch the Amazing Race.

17. Travel Man

If you are looking for another funny British travel show, Travel Man is for you!

In this channel 4 show, the host Richard Ayoade explores all major cities around the world. The goal? Visiting as many tourist spots in the minimum amount of time.

When I say that, don’t get me wrong. He is very well organised and makes sure to go on a guided tour most of the time.

This means he actually embeds himself very well in the culture of the place he is visiting.

But where loads of travel shows focus on hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path destinations, Travel Man does the opposite. He goes for the most famous landmarks!

And it’s a good thing because even though these places are touristy, they are famous for a reason!

Richard Ayoade is a very funny man and will make you laugh out loud quite a few times!

Somehow, he always does his best not to enjoy himself which makes the whole show absolutely hilarious!

This show is perfect if you are planning city breaks or are into architecture.

If you are an adventure and after nature discovery, it won’t be what you are looking for.

Click here to watch Travel Man.

18. Anthony Bourdain: The Layover

The late Anthony Bourdain was famous as a celebrity chef. But he gained an army of new fans with his excellent travel series, Anthony Bourdain: The Layover .

Showcasing Bourdain’s swift visits to various cities around the world, the show aired on the Travel Channel from 2011 to 2013.

It focused on how to make the most of a short layover or brief stopover in a city.

Each episode featured Bourdain spending 24 to 48 hours in a featured city, providing viewers with a fast-paced, no-nonsense guide to experiencing the best food, culture and attractions a place had to offer.

He often sought the help of local experts and friends, including chefs and celebrities, to uncover hidden gems and popular hotspots.

Visiting everywhere from New York City to Istanbul, the show is renowned for Bourdain’s candid and unfiltered commentary, his willingness to try exotic and unconventional dishes and his deep appreciation for the diverse cultures he encountered.

19. All Joanna Lumley’s Shows

Joanna Lumley is a famous British actress. You may know her from  The New Avengers  or more recently  The Wolf of Wall Street.

She is also well known for her travel documentaries.

She has done quite a few of them over the years and they are all fantastic things to watch. The most recent one was released in 2020 and is called Joanna Lumley’s Hidden Caribbean: Havana to Haiti.

If you love the Caribbean and want to learn more about this part of the world, watching Joanna Lumley’s TV show will be the perfect thing to do.

It is considered a documentary but like most travel shows, it’s quite funny on top of being interesting.

In this one, she goes to Cuban and Haiti. Local culture, quirky situations, funny humour… it has it all!

You should also consider watching the other ones as they are all fantastic:

  • Joanna Lumley’s Nile
  • Joanna Lumley’s Japan
  • Joanna Lumley’s Trans-Siberian Adventure
  • Joanna Lumley’s Unseen Adventures
  • Joanna Lumley’s Greek Odyssey
  • Joanna Lumley’s India
  • Joanna Lumley’s Home Sweet Home: Travels in My Own Land
  • Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road Adventure
  • Joanna Lumley’s Postcards

Most of them are available on Amazon Prime as well as ITV Hub and BBC Select.

20. Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad

This one is very similar to Jack Whitehall Travels with my father. On paper at least.

In this case, the dad is the celebrity. Bradley Walsh is a famous British comedian and presenter. If he never particularly wanted to travel, his 21-year old son, Barney, decided otherwise!

Together they go on a road trip in America in an RV. The series started in 2019 and can be watched on Amazon . There are 2 seasons, 10 episodes in total.

In this case, they don’t go for a budget-travel version. They keep their comfort but try very unexpected activities in the States.

It’s more about the contact with the locals which is quite interesting.

As you would expect from the Walsh’s, it’s also very funny!

They go from the Florida Keys up to Georgia. So if you are interested in knowing more about Florida and the east coast states, this one’s for you!

You can watch this amazing show on  ITV (eligible for a free trial as well!).

21. An Idiot Abroad

An Idiot Abroad is one the quirkiest travel show that you can find.

Here is the plot: the main person, Karl Pilkington has never wanted to travel and will be forced to.

Basically, at the beginning of the episode, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (who created the show) send Karl abroad with instructions. They put together a bucket list and he has to do everything.

It’s so funny! I promise, this British show will crack you up!

The thing that makes it so entertaining is the fact that Karl Pilkington has no interest in travelling and ends up doing all these things while the other two stay in the UK!

If you want to have a good laugh, An Idiot Abroad is the way to go!

22. The Americas with Simon Reeve

If you are looking for the best travel shows on BBC iplayer, this one is for you!

It features Simon Reeve, a famous British adventurer, exploring the Americas.

The first season includes 5 episodes during which you discover some of the most famous places in the Americas such as Machu Picchu in Peru but also some very remote places in the Amazon rainforest.

If you’d like to learn more about Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay, this is the travel show for you.

There is a lot to love about the Americas. Between the ancient Maya heritage and the beautiful national parks in the USA, there is so much to discover.

That’s exactly what you will do if you want “The Americas with Simon Reeve”.

You will follow him on his incredible journey and learn more about the local culture as well as sustainable ways to live. From planting trees in Costa Rica to hiking the Rocky Mountains, this is the perfect mix between adventure, culture and sustainability.

This TV show was produced by BBC and available on BBC iPlayer. 

23. Men in Kilts

If you’d love to learn more about Scotland , then Men in Kilts is the perfect travel show for you!

Here you will follow Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish, the stars of Outlander, around Scotland and discover plenty about the local culture.

This includes whisky, bagpipes and of course, stunning landscapes.

Not only is it a very interesting show to watch but the hosts are so funny and it’s so great to see them in another context than Outlander.

24. Long Way Up

Premiering in 2020, Long Way Up is part of the Long Way series of documentary travel TV shows, which follows motorcycle journeys led by longtime actors and friends Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor.

In Long Way Up , Charley and Ewan embark on an epic adventure, riding electric Harley Davidson LiveWire motorbikes from the southern tip of South America in Argentina to Los Angeles in the USA.

The journey covers over 13,000 miles and 13 countries, taking them through Chile, Bolivia, Peru , Ecuador, Colombia, Central America and Mexico between their start and finish points.

Some of the most memorable moments include navigating challenging terrains like the Atacama Desert and the Andes Mountains, dealing with extreme weather conditions, and experiencing the cultural diversity of the countries they visit.

The duo also encounter unexpected obstacles, like charging their electric motorcycles in remote locations with limited infrastructure, which adds an extra layer of adventure to their trip.

25. Booze Traveler

Booze Traveler was a popular Travel Channel television series from 2014 to 2018. Its host was the effervescent Jack Maxwell – a well-known Boston-born actor and television personality.

Each episode featured Maxwell embarking on a worldwide adventure to learn about different cultures through their alcoholic beverages and drinking customs.

The series took viewers to various destinations, including Mexico, India, Japan, Italy, and South Africa.

In each place, Maxwell immersed himself in local customs, tried traditional drinks and interacted with the locals to understand the importance of alcohol in their culture better.

In doing this, he often tried unique and sometimes unusual alcoholic drinks, such as snake wine in Vietnam and fermented mare’s milk in Mongolia.

Overall, the show explored the cultural and historical significance of alcohol, revealing how it has shaped societies and brought people together.

Sadly, the show was not renewed for a fifth series because Maxwell was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma while filming the last few episodes of this travel series.

26. Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby

Considered one of the best travel TV series out of the UK, Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby debuted in 2017 and quickly became popular amongst those who aspire to the finer things in life.

Giles Coren, a British food and travel writer and Monica Galetti, a renowned chef and restaurant critic, host the show.

The series explores some of the world’s most unique and luxurious hotels, delving beyond their opulent lobbies to uncover the behind-the-scenes operations and extraordinary experiences they offer.

In each episode, Coren and Galetti visit a different exceptional hotel, often located in stunning and remote locations.

They meet with the staff, from chefs to concierges, to understand the craftsmanship, innovation and dedication required to maintain these extraordinary establishments.

The show highlights the environmental and sustainability efforts of these hotels where possible.

Over the years, Amazing Hotels has featured various destinations, including the Fogo Island Inn in Canada, the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, the Giraffe Manor in Kenya and the Treehotel in Sweden.

27. Iain Robertson Rambles

If you watch Iain Robertson Rambles , you’ll see one of the most fascinating documentary travel TV shows ever.

As its name suggests, this captivating series is hosted by Iain Robertson, a Scottish presenter and broadcaster widely recognised for his love for nature and the outdoors.

The show focuses on Robertson’s expeditions through some of Scotland’s most picturesque and remote terrains and the UK.

During each episode, viewers accompany Robertson on his long walks and hikes across breathtaking landscapes.

The show offers a unique blend of travelogue, natural history, and personal storytelling.

Robertson’s passion for the outdoors and his knowledge of wildlife and environmental conservation are central to the series.

Throughout the series, Iain Robertson explores various destinations in Scotland and the UK, including the rugged Highlands , the serene islands of the Hebrides, and the lush woodlands of Wales.

Whilst watching him do this, viewers feel like they are alongside him – trekking through the picturesque landscapes he explores.

28. The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan

If you are looking for funny travel shows, look no further than The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan .

The show, a travel documentary series starring the British comedian, first aired in 2018.

It follows Romesh as he embarks on journeys to various destinations worldwide, often focusing on places considered off the beaten path or challenging for tourists.

Throughout the series, Romesh immerses himself in the local cultures and traditions of the places he visits.

He often seeks unique and authentic experiences, interacting with locals and trying his hand at their customs and activities.

Some places he visits include Ethiopia, Haiti, Albania, Zimbabwe, Mongolia, and Bosnia – locations known for their rich history, distinctive cultures, and, in some cases, reputations for being less frequented by mainstream travellers.

As Romesh offers humorous and self-deprecating commentary while navigating unfamiliar and sometimes challenging situations, the show provides a fresh perspective on travel.

His witty observations and genuine reactions to the places he goes to make for entertaining viewing. 

29. Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown

Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown is one of several TV travel shows that hit our screens from the Travel Channel.

The show ran from 2004 to 2006 and was hosted by the American television personality and travel expert known for her engaging and relatable approach to travel.

In the series, Samantha Brown explores various European destinations, providing viewers with insider tips, cultural insights and travel recommendations.

She regularly immersed herself in the local culture, trying regional foods, experiencing traditions, and interacting with locals.

Some of the destinations she went to included Paris, Rome, Venice, London, Vienna and Barcelona.

The show captures each location’s iconic landmarks, historical sites and vibrant neighbourhoods while highlighting their unique charms during her visits.

It was known for dishing out practical travel advice and inspirational exploration of European cities and cultures.

It encouraged viewers to embrace the adventure of travel and discover the beauty and diversity of Europe’s many destinations.

30. Globe Trekker

One of the longest-running TV travel shows was the incomparable Globe Trekker , which aired for 17 seasons and well over 200 episodes from 1994 to 2010.

The show features trekkers who embark on journeys to destinations worldwide, providing viewers with insights into different cultures, traditions and experiences.

Over the years, it has had a rotating cast of hosts, including Ian Wright, Megan McCormick, Zay Harding and one Bradley Cooper – who went on to achieve international fame as a Hollywood superstar.

These hosts have travelled to various destinations around the globe from the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru and the vibrant markets of Marrakech in Morocco to the serene landscapes of New Zealand and the untouched beauty of Bora Bora.

The show’s format combines travelogue-style storytelling with practical travel tips, making it entertaining and informative for viewers interested in exploring the world.

31. Conan Without Borders

For those wanting the best travel shows streaming right now, it’s hard to go past Conan Without Borders.

Hosted by the famous comedian and talk show, the show debuted in 2015.

It featured Conan travelling to various international destinations, often to engage with local cultures, traditions and humour.

Celebrity guests, friends, and local personalities join Conan O’Brien in exploring the destinations throughout the series – including former First Lady Michelle Obama, actor Jack Black and comedian Jordan Schlansky.

The show has taken viewers on hilarious and insightful journeys to destinations like Cuba, Mexico, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Italy and Ghana.

It typically blends travelogue-style segments with Conan’s trademark comedic sketches and interviews.

While watching his attempts to immerse himself in cultural practices (such as learning traditional dances or trying regional cuisine), Conan presents us with his comedic take on each destination’s unique quirks and idiosyncrasies.

In doing so, the show entertains and fosters a sense of global connection and curiosity.

32. Tales by Light

Combining breathtaking imagery, storytelling, and a profound appreciation for the planet’s wonders, Tales by Light is a must-watch travel TV series for photography enthusiasts and anyone interested in the world’s most extraordinary and untamed places.

The show is a documentary television series that delves into the world of photography and the experiences of renowned photographers as they capture compelling images from around the globe.

It explores the stories behind these captivating photographs and the photographers’ journeys to catch them.

The series has featured various acclaimed photographers, including Art Wolfe, Darren Jew and Krystle Wright, who each provide insights into their unique approach to photography. 

They usually travel to remote and exotic destinations – including the Amazon Rainforest, Antarctica, Papua New Guinea, India and the Arctic Circle – often pursuing wildlife, nature and indigenous cultures.

Overall, the show provides viewers with a visually stunning and educational experience, showcasing the photographers’ dedication to their craft and deep respect for the natural world.

33. Ed Stafford: Into the Unknown

If you have yet to see it, Ed Stafford: Into the Unknown is one of the most compelling travel-related shows you can watch.

Hosted by British adventurer and explorer Ed Stafford – known for being the first person to walk the entire length of the Amazon River – the show illustrates the spirit of human exploration and resilience.

It highlights the former British army captain’s quest for adventure by journeying to some of the world’s most remote and challenging locations.

Throughout the series, Ed Stafford travels solo to destinations like Venezuela, Mongolia, Ethiopia and Peru. He has close encounters with grizzly bears in Alaska and tracking elusive snow leopards in Mongolia.

In every episode, Stafford immerses himself in the local culture and landscapes, often relying on his survival skills to navigate the wild and unfamiliar terrains.

The show combines elements of exploration, adventure and survival as Stafford pushes himself to his physical and mental limits.

34. Expedition Unknown

Expedition Unknown, a popular adventure and travel documentary television series, premiered on the Travel Channel in 2015.

The show’s presenter is Josh Gates, an explorer and adventurer who takes viewers on a quest to uncover mysteries, legends, and secrets from around the world.

During the series, Gates travels to a wide range of famous and obscure destinations to investigate historical enigmas, treasure hunts, and unsolved mysteries.

He often collaborates with experts, historians, and local guides to gather clues and solve puzzles related to each episode’s theme.

Some places he visits include Egypt, South America, and the Caribbean, where he seeks hidden treasures and solves perplexing mysteries.

His adventures involve investigating Amelia Earhart’s disappearance, searching for Atlantis, and pursuing the elusive Yeti in the Himalayas.

Ultimately, the show is known for its blend of adventure, history and exploration, making it entertaining for viewers interested in the thrill of discovery and the fascination of uncovering the world’s hidden secrets.

How to watch travel TV shows?

There are many places where you can find travel TV shows, but these would be the best places to start! I use all of them and love them! They are very complementary!

You can create an account and start watching Netflix here. This is where you will find most of the shows about travel.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video comes with your prime subscription. There are many things to watch on Prime and it’s very good value. You can get a free trial for Amazon Prime Video here.

BBC iplayer

BBC offers some of the best UK travel shows including Race Across the World and The Americas with Simon Reeve.

ITV channel

ITV Channel offers some amazing TV shows such as the Bradley Walsh one or Gordon, Gino and Fred Road Trip. You can get a free trial for ITV here.

Disney + / Hulu

Although these are no TV shows, I’d recommend you to watch some Disney movies . Loads of them are perfect to discover new places.

We don’t always realise it but they are very good to embed yourself into a foreign culture.

For example:

  • France: Aristocats
  • UK: Mary Poppins
  • China: Mulan

I thought I’d put it in there as clearly, Disney is always a good idea !

Channel 4 is a free-to-air television channel in the UK. You can go to their websites and watch everything for free.

There are some ads but they are pretty short.

I hope you will enjoy these amazing travel shows! If you have any recommendations, please share them in the comments as I would love to discover more myself!

You may also be interested in:

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Founder of Beeloved City, I am originally from France and have been living in the UK since 2016. I've travelled to 25 countries as a backpacker, travel coordinator and for holidays. I spent a year in Australia before eventually settling down in Manchester, England

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travel tv show vietnam

  • Netflix’s ‘A Tourist’s Guide to Love’ - A step closer to the beauty of Vietnam

A Tourist’s Guide to Love is the first Netflix’s film shot in Vietnam, telling about an unintentional love of Amanda with the adventurous and exciting Sinh. Especially, the film showcases the beauty of local landscapes along with that of Vietnamese people and culture through six main filming locations: Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hoi An, My Son and Ha Giang

After the premiere on Netflix, A Tourist’s Guide to Love soon to claim its position as the most-watched movies globally on Netflix.

Netflix Film Poster

A typical rom-com that anyone might be looking for on a lazy Saturday, however, A Tourist’s Guide to Love certainly celebrates the country, showcasing multiple cities and landscapes as Amanda (played by She’s All That’s Rachael Leigh Cook) and her new friends discover the wonders of Vietnam. They find adventure and romance in markets, streets, temples, and ancient villages that actually were the set for some of the film’s most beautiful scenes.

As someone who had never been to Vietnam before this production, my fervent hope is that it’s worth the watch just to get a sense of this incredible country… We filmed in Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Da Nang, Ha Giang and Hanoi, all of which are wildly different places in look, history and energy…

Cook tells Tudum of Netflix.

Eager to explore Vietnam by yourself but can’t get away right now? Make your way through the most memorable Vietnam locations in A Tourist’s Guide to Love below. No passport needed of course.

Ho Chi Minh City

A bustling metropolis, a hub of commerce and culture. Since the city is well known for its lively streets, impressive skyscrapers and vibrant nightlife, travellers can find many interesting things and places to experience. The city offers an eclectic mix of colonial architecture, historic landmarks, and cultural attractions. It’s also home to the city’s famous Ben Thanh Market. Other places to be considered are: The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon - a stunning example of French colonial architecture and features many stained glass windows and intricate carvings; The Saigon Central Post Office - a must-visit for architecture lovers, with many rooms to explore and ornate details to marvel at; Cu Chi Tunnels - an impressive network of underground tunnels during the resistance war of Vietnamese people. Not far from the centre city, the Mekong Delta provides a wonderful cruising tour for sprawling views of paddy fields and houseboats creating signature floating markets.

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica

The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica

Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An, the gorgeous coastal town of Vietnam famous for its handcrafted lanterns, yellow hue households which are rich in cultural experiences to dive into. The Ancient Town, which is a UNESCO-listed heritage site, is simply a spectacle. For a taste of local life, you can pay a visit to Tra Que Vegetable Village where farmers grow the lushest greens, or Sampan’s Distillerie d’Indochine to sample the one and only Vietnam-made rum. Whether to satisfy culture hunters or lazy souls preferring relaxing on a pristine beach, Hoi An is a wonderful destination that surely offers something for everyone. You should experience unmissable activities such as riding the iconic basket boats, experiencing farm life at Tra Que Vegetable Village, checking out the Lune Centre, getting an education at the Hoi An Silk Village.

A coastal city in Central Vietnam known for its sandy beaches. With a huge arc of gently curving sand at the coastline, Da Nang boasts beach areas to suit a range of sunseekers. And what else? My Son Sanctuary, located not far from the City of Bridges. The sanctuary is an architectural complex of many Champa temples with extremely unique architecture, influenced by Hinduism. All temples in the My Son sanctuary are made of brick and stone, facing the East - the direction of the rising sun. On the walls of the temples and towers are sophisticated, elaborate and meticulous carvings with many sophisticated details.

Linh Ung Pagoda Da Nang

Linh Ung Pagoda

Serving as Sinh (Scott Ly) hometown, where Amanda and friends celebrate Tet as guests. The north-eastern mountainous province of Ha Giang, home to 22 ethnic groups, also well-known as the place where “flowers grow in rocks”. Ha Giang in the spring will be coated in the scent of flowers, especially cherry blossoms, plum flowers, mustard flowers and pear flowers in March. Spring is also the season of festivals. In Ha Giang in October-December, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy the subtle fragrance, witness with their own eyes a purple colour of the buckwheat flowers covering all the small villages.

Nho Que River

A view of Nho Que River from above

Besides primitive and majestic landscapes, Ha Giang also owns historical relic sites such as the Heaven’s Gate and Quan Ba twin mountains (Quan Ba District); the Vuong Family Palace and Lung Cu Flagpole (Dong Van District); Ma Pi Leng Pass (Meo Vac District); Tien (Fairy) Waterfall – Gio (Wind) Pass and the Ancient Rock field of Nam Dan (Xin Man District); and Quang Ngan mineral stream in Vi Xuyen District, etc.

The Temple of Literature in Ha Noi

The Temple of Literature (Ha Noi)

The adventure finally comes to an end in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, embracing and nurturing the well blended of tradition, ancient and contemplative elements. Ha Noi is a home of many historical relics such as the Temple of Literature - Vietnam’s first university and educated hundreds of well-known scholars and mandarins. Ha Noi is also a place to have fun and explore with many art shows such as water puppet dances, The Quintessence of Tonkin,... a shopping hub and a true place to wander and taste street food.

Water Puppet Show in Ha Noi

Water Puppet Show

Viewers of A Tourist’s Guide to Love can find the film a slapstick comedy, fish-out-of-water gags, copious shopping montages, a secret to be revealed and a last-minute dash to say “I love you”, but this time they’re set against the backdrop of present-day Vietnam, which gives this artwork an unusual feeling of novelty. “A Tourist’s Guide to Love” is essentially a travelogue with a plot, and, somehow, a motivation for you to pack your suitcase and come to Vietnam, to explore, relax and play and all above, to live freely and fully in Vietnam.

We hope to see you in Vietnam, in person, really soon!

travel tv show vietnam

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travel tv show vietnam

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Writer of new Netflix rom-com set in Vietnam: ‘I wanted to change the conversation about Vietnam’

Writer of new Netflix rom-com set in Vietnam: ‘I wanted to change the conversation about Vietnam’

On my last week in Vietnam, I met a Canadian backpacker who was very much a free spirit and very adventurous. It made me realize that I didn’t actually want a safe predictable life. He was supposed to be my holiday fling, [but] we have been together ever since — 22 years.

travel tv show vietnam

There are almost no American movies set in Vietnam that aren’t about the trauma of war. It was really important to me to tell a story about life now. One that was full of joy and love and celebration. I wanted to change the conversation about Vietnam, to highlight it as a modern thriving country whose stories are worthy of being told.

travel tv show vietnam

Lana Condor and Cole Sprouse head to Mars in upcoming sci-fi romantic comedy ‘Moonshot’

travel tv show vietnam

Julia Roberts’ Bali-based movie ‘Ticket to Paradise’ criticized for filming location, mixed-race actor

travel tv show vietnam

Holiday film ‘Love Hard’ starring Jimmy O. Yang as a dating app catfish is surprise No. 1 on Netflix

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The 10 Best Netflix Travel Shows And Documentaries In Asia

Asian Wanderlust

With international trips dissipated to pretty much non-existence, for the past few years we’ve had to turn to different forms of entertainment to try and satiate our desires to travel.

Unsurprisingly, consuming online content was one way that many people realized was going to be as close as they could get to experiencing the other side of the world.

Watching as real people explored foreign cities, ate peculiar foods, and interacted with strangers somewhat filled that void that we all wished we could go out and fill ourselves with.

Netflix saw the opportunity and absolutely leaped into the task of spoiling us with huge additions of travel shows and documentaries that were made to engage us in ways that makes us feel like we’re actually there in that moment.

Their best content has helped us keep the travel bug at bay and fed into our wanderlust desires in the best ways possible.

Watching these shows, whether it be about countries we’ve already visited or ones that we’re eager to visit once we’re allowed to, inspires us and gives us insight on how we can better plan the trip when the time comes around (and it will come, hopefully sooner rather than later!).

And to be honest, they’re just super fun and easy to watch!

There is currently a plethora of shows about food, travel, and/or culture – but the best ones are the ones that combine all three.

Let’s look into the 10 best Netflix travel shows and documentaries out right now!

1. Street Food Series – Asia (2019)

The Street Food series is a much-loved global series that’s the perfect viewing experience for foodies around the world. Every episode follows the story of a local chef and shares how their famous street food stall came to be.

If you’re a fan of journeys, this series will take you on some wild rides. You’ll be pretty much learning the origin stories of some of the chefs, some who literally started from the bottom, some of who took over flailing family businesses to completely turn them around.

The first series focuses on Asia, taking you for a tour around popular Asian destinations such as Thailand , Singapore , Delhi, Seoul , and many more. The second season focuses on Latin America.

2. Twogether (2020)

Veteran South Korean entertainer Lee Seung Gi and popular Taiwanese actor Liu Yi-Hao (stage name Jasper) are thrown in the deep end in this fun travel and exploration documentary series.

Basically, before starting filming in Indonesia, they met briefly for the first time when they were told that they would be filming this show. Fast-forward to months later and they’re both stepping off the airplane in Yogyakarta, a foreign Indonesian city neither have ever visited before.

From there, both parties must navigate through ‘missions’ (tasks) as submitted by their various fans across multiple cities around Asia, all whilst trying to overcome their language barrier and adapt to their environment.

From the get-go, you get the strong feeling that this is not scripted, as both parties are as awkward as it gets. Communicating in Taiwanese, Korean, and a sprinkle of English, you can feel them warming up to each other as the show goes on, and eventually they form a wonderful brotherhood you just can’t make up.

Both Seung Gi and Jasper are adventurous, comical and overall, wonderfully likable in this amazing series.

3. Somebody Feed Phil (2020)

In this fun and light-hearted travel, food and culture documentary, Phil Rosenthal, the creator of the classic sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond” travels the world to indulge in delicious local cuisine and explore more about the culture of the destinations.

Some of the cities that he visits include Bangkok , Saigon , Seoul, and Singapore.

Unsurprisingly, his genuine interest in local customs, openness to trying even the strangest of foods, and amusing dry humour have hooked hundreds of thousands of people around the world. There are currently 4 seasons available to watch on Netflix.

4. J-Style Trip (2020)

Chinese artist Jay Chou is synonymous with legendary music. Many argue that it was he who put C-pop on the global map; if not, then it was he who expanded it beyond its horizons.

On the surface level, this documentary showcases Jay and his crew traveling around different destinations around the world. They perform crazy magic tricks, participate in fun and adventurous activities, and generally have good banter.

However, if you’re a long-time C-pop music lover, you’ll find that this series is much more than what it appears to be.

Whilst there is the glitz and glamor of visiting Paris and globetrotting through Singapore, there are moments of nostalgia as Jay Chou talks about his childhood dreams and inspiration. Certain conversations delve you deeper into the thoughts of the musician and remind you that he is a human before he is an artist.

Regardless of whether you’re a Jay Chou fan or not, this is a great series to binge.

5. The Hungry & The Hairy (2022)

Globally renowned k-popstar Rain and veteran South Korean comedian Ro Hong-chul are a pair of two unlikely friends in their late 30s who get together to traverse the country for light adventure and great food.

The synopsis of the series is basic enough: from Jeju Island to all the way back to Seoul, the two friends dip into various locations with their motorbikes to savour the scenery and sample the local food offerings.

This is a super laid-back, easy-going travelogue show that doesn’t take itself too seriously.  

From the ridiculous outfits to the never-ending banter, you’ll find yourself immersed in the chemistry of the two as well as the gorgeous shots of the areas they go exploring.

One highlight of this show includes the endless drone shots of the long stretches of highways with mountains and beaches flanking the sides, reminding you that there is a whole world out there to explore soon.

Another highlight is the food they devour. When Rain is not showing off his culinary skills and cooking up a storm, they’re stopping into some restaurants that are local favourites to eat until they pass out (literally).

6. Midnight Asia – Eat Dance Dream (2022)

This eclectic show is unique in that rather than show celebrities, it follows the lives of individuals living life in some of the craziest night scenes across Asia.

Brightly lit neon sign boards, big personalities, and stunning drone shots characterize this show. This travel documentary series specifically shoots late at night to really showcase the party vibes of the city it’s highlighting.

The first episode focuses on Tokyo . In Shinjuku, we’re introduced to Sumiko Iwamuro, an 85-year-old DJ.  

We get to know Rogerio Ignacio Vaz, a Brazilian born to Japanese parents, who’s a mixologist.  

We follow Shotaro Komijo, as he drags his bar cart, Twillo, to a random location and then sends an update to his followers via his social media.

These are only a few of the personalities you’ll get to meet.

From Tokyo to Mumbai, Seoul to Taipei , East Asia has its moment in this series.

7. Ugly Delicious (2020)

Part cooking show, part documentary, Ugly Delicious the gold standard for those interested in how food and culture intertwine.

David Chang is a renowned chef who is the owner of the globally popular Momofuku restaurant group. From noodles to fried chicken sandwiches to pastries, his culinary ventures have left little for the imagination.

He starred in both seasons of Ugly Delicious, traveling the world, sampling and breaking down dishes and providing commentary and insight on its concept and history.

Viewers will like how grounded this show is. It isn’t merely just about the food itself; David features guests who sit down over a meal, conversing easily and candidly. There are nostalgic memories brought up, discussions about comfort foods being commercialized, and immigrants opening up shop to provide a taste of home.

David Chang ultimately drives home the message that food is a universal language, and it brings people together.

8. Zulu Man in Japan (2019)

In this short documentary, South African rapper Nasty C takes to the streets of Japan , immersing himself into the local culture, collaborating with local artists, and exposing himself to the vibrant creative arts and music scene.

With only a 48-minute running time, this is a quick and easy watch. You follow Nasty C as he freely and liberally explores the country’s night scene, gets into the thick of the local fashion and arts, attends concerts and more.

For those who have travelled to Japan before, you would know that the vibes in this country are unmatched.

So, to witness an up-and-coming rapper who’s never visited the country before take in the electric scenery, energy, and people the same way you did – in awe and wonderment – it will make you feel things.

9. Flavorful Origins

In this colourful documentary series, Flavorful Origins masterfully takes us through the various traditional cooking techniques of the Chaoshan Cuisine.

The history and culture intertwined with the real individuals in this series provides us with an insight into this relatively unknown branch of Chinese cuisine.  

Each episode focuses on a different dish, some we may have come across before, and others we’ve likely never ever heard about.

The in-depth look at how the chefs, some of whom have had techniques passed down to them from generations before, prepare and cook the food will amaze you.

Frying, grilling, steaming – no cooking method is left off the table.

Whilst there are a whopping 20-episodes, which might seem a tad long for some people, the standardized approach yet fresh content of each episode will have you eating away at the show quicker than you realise.

10. Midnight Diner Tokyo Stories (2019)

The Midnight Diner Tokyo Series is a little bit different from the rest of shows mentioned above. Rather than filming real people traveling the world and exploring food, this show is a work of fiction.

However, it’s not fiction as you know it. Rather, with nuanced characters and clever script-writing, it can be described as a travelogue, a food review show, or even a commentary show on the Japanese lifestyle.

The show itself follows the story of ‘Master’, the owner/chef of a small diner in Tokyo who serves a variety of Japanese dishes to his customers. The diner is open from midnight to 7am, and you quickly find that customers are generally regulars who come for Master’s listening ear and comfort food.

If you’re missing hearing the Japanese language, are looking for something to watch that won’t challenge your thinking too hard, and just want to have a feel-good show on, Midnight Diner Tokyo Stories will introduce you to some unique characters.

I hope you enjoyed our selection of the best Netflix travel shows and documentaries. If you’re looking for some shows to get you out of that (lack of) travel funk, we’re sure that any pick off this list will do the job.

Travel shows and documentaries work wonders in making us feel inspired about the future of travel.

Whether you’re determined to visit your favourite country next year and just want something to tide you over for now, or looking to get some ideas about where you can go next once restrictions fully lift – we hope you find it watching one of these remarkable shows.

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Welcome to WhatAboutVietnam.com (WAV) as we like to call it! The place where you get to discover amazing traveller experiences in Vietnam   Listen - to the "What About Vietnam" - Traveller Insights Podcast here or on your favourite channel. Search -  by name of the episode, destination or experience to find the best Podcast, Blog, Transcript or Video to match your enquiry.  ​ Read - The Travel Podcast Transcripts and blogs about many different experiences you can enjoy in Vietnam.  Save as a PDF or download to print. Watch - Our Trailer Videos on our NEW-  YOUTUBE channel  ​Reach out - Send us an email and let us know how we can help you with your travel enquiry. Let me and my guests be your personal guides, mentors, tutors, and fun experts.   We all have a story to tell about traveling about, living there or working in Vietnam. Each episode has something for everyone. I hope you will come to know, love, and share this page and my podcast with others to help them discover the true beauty and wonder that is Vietnam. Kerry Newsome

Hi, my name is kerry newsome, and i am your host on the, what about vietnam podcast., if you have a subject, destination or experience you would like to know more about, why not drop me a quick message here and i will do my utmost to get you the information you have requested. thank you and i hope you enjoy the next show..

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How a Travel Agent Helped Turn My Family Vacation in Vietnam Into a Spectacular Trip

A bout two-thirds of the way through our three-week-long trip, I realized why I was having the best trip ever: I didn’t have to make any decisions.

I didn’t mean to hire a Vietnamese travel agency to plan our three-week family adventure. In fact, when the agency asked if they could create an itinerary for our trip to Vietnam beyond a single tour, I scoffed.

"No way, I always make my own arrangements,” I thought.

But I found myself agreeing anyway, curious to see what they thought an American family would like to do while visiting Vietnam. I considered taking their ideas and booking everything on my own, but when I saw the itinerary for the bespoke tour featuring private drivers and tour guides, visits to locals-only spots, and an all-inclusive price shockingly low to my North American wallet, they were hired. 

When I was initially beginning to plan a family trip to Vietnam, I texted my friend Andrea Fleming. Fleming, who lives in Hanoi and is a school counselor at the international school there, immediately replied with a 10-minute-long voice memo, emphatically telling me in February that I had to book our June cruise in Ha Long Bay immediately because the ships would sell out. She recommended Blue Asia Tours, the agency that all the local international teachers use for their travels. When I sent her the proposed itinerary for our entire trip before committing to it, Andrea reassured me that the price was fair and that we would see more of the country in three weeks than she had after living there for three years. 

Between the time I put down the deposit and our flights, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself since our trip was already planned. I am fully aware of my control issues, so willingly giving up my power to direct our trip took restraint I didn’t know I had. 

My email correspondence with Quang Hòa, the owner of Blue Asia Tours, refined our itinerary. We wanted to trek through the highlands of Sapa, so Quang, who insisted I call him Mr. Lucas, added a few days in the far north. After talking to a friend who had honeymooned in Vietnam, we traded our time at party-central Nha Trang beach for the more family-friendly Phu Quoc, a Vietnamese island in the Gulf of Thailand. I wanted to learn more about the Vietnam War, so we added tours of the Mekong Delta and the Cu Chi tunnels in the south. Co-creating the trip with Blue Asia helped ease some of my anxiety. 

Immediately after the last day of school, our family of three — me, my husband, and our 11-year-old son — landed in steamy, humid Hanoi. Slightly travel-delirious after 24 hours in motion, we stumbled out of the airport to find a well-dressed driver holding a sign with my name. I felt like a rock star. The driver grabbed our bags and whisked us through the moped-clogged city traffic to our four-star accommodations in the Old Quarter. Immediately upon connecting to Wi-Fi, my WhatsApp pinged, and our liaison, Hồng Nguyễn from Blue Asia, welcomed us to Vietnam and asked to meet with us to review the itinerary later that afternoon.

After quick showers, we walked through the Old Quarter. We felt the buzzy energy of the 5.2 million-strong population zipping through the busy streets. Introducing our son to Asia was a major impetus for our trip. He is a well-traveled kid, and I figured the summer before sixth grade was a perfect time for him to experience a culture very different than our own.

While he was excited to be there, my mama-radar told me that food was imperative. Our tour hadn’t started yet, so we were on our own for lunch. It was so hot, and we were all tired and just couldn’t decide where to eat. The bickering started slowly as we read menus, and though we were beckoned by plenty of servers, we just couldn’t decide. Finally, we noticed a cơm gà hải nam' shop filled with local diners. We were familiar with the traditional chicken and rice dish, and our crankiness lessened with each bite. Our intrepid little family returned to the hotel just in time to meet Hồng, whose name in English translates to Rosie.

I shared with Rosie that when I first saw our packed-day itinerary, I was a bit worried we would be too busy to fully enjoy Vietnam. Rosie assured me we would have a great time and said I could text her anytime.

I didn’t know what to expect from our trip. I had traveled in Southeast Asia before, but the nuances of understanding Vietnam after the American War (as the Vietnamese call it) and now the post-pandemic era were yet to be resolved. As I settled into the rhythm of being on the road, I found myself relaxing in the process of being cared for. By not consulting my phone all the time about what we should do next, I was more fully present for each delicious moment. 

My son and I trekked through the rice fields in the northern highland region, my husband sidelined by a short-lived bout of food poisoning. Our H’mong guide Sung, a member of one of 54 ethnic minorities in Vietnam who the agency had hired to teach us about her culture while introducing us to her homeland in the Hoang Lien Son mountains, nimbly guided us through steep and muddy terrain amid torrential rainstorms. I stopped frequently on our seven-mile hike, my jaw dropping as I drank in the beauty and precision of the terraced rice fields.

When we finally arrived at our homestay in the mountain village, my husband was waiting for us. He said the smiles on our faces, despite being drenched, lit up the rain-soaked sky.

As we followed the well-worn traveler's path from the North to the South, we did both heavily touristy activities, like taking in a water puppet show in Hanoi and setting free candle wishes on Thu Bon River in Hoi An, and less trendy things like mud bathing in a pitch-black cave in Phong Nha National Park. Hangry-fueled intra-family squabbling ceased because so many meals were included in our tour; no decisions were required. Private drivers minded our luggage on travel days that included en-route tours, complete with English-speaking guides. One Sunday, as we traveled from the imperial city of Hue to Hoi An, our driver brought us to Dream Spring, a locally known swimming hole. We were grateful to share the crystal-clear waters and secret Sunday picnic spot with the local families.

About two-thirds of the way through our trip, as the three of us were feasting on yet another tasty lunch, I realized why I was having the best trip ever: I didn’t have to make any decisions. Rosie texted me what time we had to meet our driver in the lobby every morning, and away we went. I didn’t have to do anything. No phone calls, no emails, no checking the status of our reservations. All we had to do was show up in our hotel lobby on time. We just flowed through Vietnam, trusting Blue Asia and enjoying the moments rather than controlling them. It turns out that not having to make any decisions was the best travel decision I have ever made.

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Ariel Frager/Travel + Leisure

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  • The Most Popular Vietnamese Tv...

The 5 Most Popular Vietnamese TV Shows

TV time in Vietnam

When it comes to entertainment in Vietnam, the television is the undisputed champion. Whether they’re streaming on their mobiles, or gathered with their families in the living room, Vietnamese people love television – and here are the shows they’re watching.

Giọng hát việt (the voice of vietnam).

Reality television is a big deal in Vietnam. Contestants are instant celebrities, and the winners become mega-stars for life. Of all the reality TV shows, singing competitions are the clear winners. For The Voice of Vietnam, singers are judged initially for their vocal talents rather than for their stage presence and star power. This endears many of the contestants to viewers, because they are normal people chasing their dreams. After that, every episode is a battle between singers to stay on the show.

Continuing with the reality television, we have Vietnam’s version of the USA TV show: The Face. This show puts up-and-coming models together with big names in the fashion industry in hopes of making them the next big thing.

Thách Thức Danh Hài (Comedians Challenge)

Contestants on this show have one minute to make the audience and judges laugh. It’s a simple premise, but it attracts a wide variety of performers. Some people do stand-up , while others act out wild scenes of buffoonery and misfortune. Then there are people who are hilarious just because of how awkward they are.

Biệt Tài Tí Hon (Little But Special)

Here are some of the brightest and most talented children in the country. The children on this show bring many different skills to the set, including math, music and some impressive bilingualism.

Phiên Bản Hoàn Hảo (Perfect Edition)

We could’ve written a whole article on just singing competitions in Vietnam . It makes sense, though, because after Vietnamese people spend a few evenings listening to their friends at karaoke, talented singers on TV must be a treat for their ears. Perfect Edition features amateur singers covering famous songs, which also makes it the perfect show for singing along.

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Apple TV+ announces third season for globetrotting travel series “The Reluctant Traveler With Eugene Levy”

“The Reluctant Traveler With Eugene Levy” image

Today, Apple TV+ announced a third season renewal for the multi-award-winning travel series “The Reluctant Traveler With Eugene Levy,” hosted and executive produced by Emmy Award winner Eugene Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”). The eight-episode third season will follow Levy on a truly global adventure as he attempts to curate his own ‘ultimate travel bucket list.’ If he’s to inch closer to becoming a real traveler, he’ll need to tick off some of the world's must-do experiences. Trouble is, he doesn’t have a clue where to start.

Since its global debut, “The Reluctant Traveler With Eugene Levy” has received great acclaim from critics around the world. Hailed as “dazzling, delightful … and gorgeously filmed,” and “perhaps the perfect blend of travel documentary and pure comedy,” the series features host Levy who is “an absolute delight to watch” and “endlessly entertaining.” The series was also recently honored with wins for Best Travel/Adventure Show and Best Unstructured Series at the Critics Choice Real TV Awards. The complete first and second seasons are now streaming globally on Apple TV+.

“I really appreciate what this show is trying to do for me,” said host and executive producer Eugene Levy. But to be a real seasoned traveler, you need to have a strong sense of adventure and curiosity, and I’m ashamed to say over the past two seasons I’ve developed neither. But I have to admit I’m having a lot of fun putting in the effort. So the beat goes on, apparently.”

After conquering some of his greatest fears in seasons one and two, Levy admits, his travels have changed him for the better. Now, he is back on the road for an adventure that promises to broaden his horizons more than any other. Join him for this all-new eye-opening trip!

The series is produced for Apple TV+ by Twofour and is executive produced by Levy, David Brindley, Nic Patten, Sara Brailsford, Iain Peckham and Lily Fitzpatrick.

“The Reluctant Traveler With Eugene Levy” is part of a growing lineup of acclaimed and award-winning nonfiction programming on Apple TV+, including “The Dynasty: New England Patriots,” a new documentary event series about the New England Patriots, from Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries, in association with NFL Films; “Hollywood Con Queen,” featuring the shocking story of one of Hollywood’s biggest scams, from executive producer Chris Smith; and, “Messi’s World Cup: The Rise of a Legend,” the first official and definitive account of Messi’s sensational career with the Argentina national football team and his five FIFA World Cup appearances, including his 2022 win, among many others.

Apple TV+ offers premium, compelling drama and comedy series, feature films, groundbreaking documentaries, and kids and family entertainment, and is available to watch across all of a user’s favorite screens. After its launch on November 1, 2019, Apple TV+ became the first all-original streaming service to launch around the world, and has premiered more original hits and received more award recognitions faster than any other streaming service in its debut. To date, Apple Original films, documentaries and series have earned 496 wins and 2,171 award nominations and counting, including multi-Emmy Award-winning comedy “Ted Lasso” and historic Oscar Best Picture winner “CODA.”

About Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions, on over 1 billion screens, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Vision Pro, Mac, popular smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, VIZIO, TCL and others, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast with Google TV, PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles, and at tv.apple.com , for $9.99 per month with a seven-day trial. For a limited time, customers who purchase and activate a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch can enjoy three months of Apple TV+ for free.*

For more information, visit  apple.com/tvpr  and see the full list of   supported devices .

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6 Vietnamese TV Classics That Should Be on Netflix Instead of 'Hậu Duệ Mặt Trời'

Gone were the days of timing one’s bathroom dash exactly during commercial breaks and gathering around a neighbor’s old television set, the only one in the entire alley, to relish every minute of a hot soap opera.

The arrival of Netflix in Vietnam wasn’t accompanied by much fanfare: three years ago, the streaming giant announced a worldwide expansion to 130 countries, including Vietnam, bringing its reach to 190 nations. Even now, Netflix is still largely unknown among the local population, who are content with the hours of entertainment they can extract from Facebook and YouTube. But that might change soon.

Just last month, Netflix quietly launched a Vietnamese-language interface  with more locally produced movies popping up over time, such as the action smash hit Hai Phuong and LGBT flick Yeu . Still, when it comes to series, Netflix’s library is woefully lacking. It dabbled in some luscious Saigon food porn in an episode of the documentary Street Food , but to date, the only Vietnamese-produced show available is Hau Due Mat Troi , a remake of the South Korean drama Descendants of the Sun .

If the original went on to be a regional phenomenon whose rights were bought by 32 countries, the Vietnamese remake is at best an exercise in good-looking mediocrity, and at worst a gross disservice to local television shows. I am aware that Netflix is not a bastion of cinematic excellence; in fact, as the service diversifies, it has churned out some truly horrendous train wrecks . But, for the first-ever Vietnamese representative, in my opinion we could do much better than Hau Due Mat Troi , especially when local show producers are fully capable of creating original stories that are rooted in Vietnamese culture.

Which brings us to the following list of series that shaped the local pop culture landscape of 2000s Vietnam. A decade later, what was once hip has turned vintage; cringe-worthy, dorky moments have become endearing; and Top 40 soundtracks are now nostalgia fodder. The series span from 1997 to 2008, so there are technical limitations to their viewing format, but they all share shining qualities like compelling scripts, distinctly Vietnam settings and memorable writing that has resulted in some iconic lines and moments. The list is mostly based in southern Vietnam, as I am most familiar with shows from this region; moreover, it's by no means exhaustive. Let us know about the Vietnamese series of your childhood that should be available for everyone to see.

1. Dat Phuong Nam (Song of the South), 1997

Directed by Nguyen Vinh Son | Produced by TFS

travel tv show vietnam

Adapted from the novel Dat Rung Phuong Nam by Doan Gioi, Dat Phuong Nam is a period piece set in the Mekong Delta during the decades after 1945 when the southern region was under French occupation. The story is told via the perspective of 12-year-old An, who became an orphan after his mother was killed during a bombing. An’s quest to find his father becomes a canvas reflecting the trials and tribulations of residents of the delta and the secret campaign by revolutionaries to overthrow oppressors. Political intrigue, resistance and compassion in the face of hardships are some overarching themes driving the narrative forward.

An has no parents, but is taken care of by scores of strangers throughout his time on the street — the epitome of southern hospitality, a treasured quality that still characterizes Mekong Delta residents today. The sterling script creates meaningful, natural dialogues that flesh out characters as real people and not just caricatures. Amid sequences of violence and backstabbing, viewers are also treated to the picturesque landscapes of the Mekong, with a vast sky filled with egrets and rivers churning with alluvium. Dat Phuong Nam is also one of the few series that were released in English on DVD.

The iconic theme song.

2. Kinh Van Hoa (Kaleidoscope), 2004

Directed by Nguyen Minh Chung and Do Tu Hai | Produced by TFS

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Though it’s often considered a children’s series, Kinh Van Hoa ’s wacky shenanigans might appeal to teens, young adults and even adults who are young at heart. Much of the show’s appeal is thanks to the script, which is based on Kinh Van Hoa , a set of stories by Nguyen Nhat Anh — think R. L. Stine’s Fear Street, but more adventure-centric and less macabre. The main trio, Quy, Tieu Long and Hanh, are high school students with a knack for uncovering secrets and playing detective whose dynamic bears a surprising resemblance to that of the Harry Potter series: an audacious mastermind, a klutzy sidekick and a know-it-all geek. Young viewers might find the life of the trio quite relatable while, for older members of the audience, the series might serve to subvert their common belief that Vietnamese children are mindless bookworms that only pay attention to schoolwork and video games. Quy, Tieu Long and Hanh, despite their age-appropriate flaws, are good people at heart who have shown from time to time that they’re inquisitive, altruistic and surprisingly crafty.

3. Doc Tinh (Hills of Love), 2005

Directed by Luu Trong Ninh

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In the 2010s, the romanticization of Da Lat is in full force, driven by feature films like Thang Nam Ruc Ro or music videos such as ‘Mo’ by Vu Cat Tuong. But for urban Vietnamese of the mid-2000s, Doc Tinh was the original attraction that sowed the seeds of the “Da Lat fever.” It helped sell the idea of the sleepy resort town as a prime destination to fall in and out of love while looking fashionably cozy in autumn layers.

A Shakespearean tale of two rival families whose deep entanglement becomes even more convoluted when their children meet, fight and even fall in love — all set amid the wistful fog of Da Lat. With a cast filled with fresh faces and fashion models, the series boasts one of the most charismatic casts of this list and catapulted some of its actors to a level of stardom that remains today. Fans of South Korean soap operas won’t be disappointed as there’s something for everyone to clutch their pearls about, from a scandalous May-December romance to several love triangles.

4. Huong Phu Sa (The Scent of Silt), 2006

Directed by Vo Tan Binh | Produced by TFS

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From the pine trees of Da Lat, in 2006, we come back to the riverine hamlets of the Mekong Delta in the 2006 hit Huong Phu Sa . Filmed in Ben Tre Province, the show chronicles the events and love lives of a famed artisan family who specializes in building wooden boats . Hoang, the oldest son, rejects the family tradition and moves to Saigon to start a company, leaving the business in the hands of Ut Nho, the middle daughter. Ut Nho’s love interest is Viet, an artsy engineer with a majestic hairdo, who is also involved with Ut Rang, the youngest daughter. Saucy!

A quality that makes Huong Phu Sa stand out is a conscious effort to always keep the setting in mind, from script-writing to cinematography. Who can forget the iconic kiss, dubbed the “mud kiss” by fans, between Ut Nho and Viet while swimming in a lotus pond. The series presents a modern, dynamic side of the delta where young locals wear skirts, jeans and go on date nights, instead of the often backward and rural image commonly associated with southern Vietnam. Ultimately, in this age of worsening climate fears, it serves as a reminder that, despite future water-pocalypse projections , perhaps the people of the Mekong will be okay, as they have thrived amid rivers and flooding for centuries.

Huong Phu Sa's theme song as performed by Nam Khanh.

5. Mui Ngo Gai (Scent of Culantro), 2006

Directed by Kim Hyo-joong, Han Chul-soo, Chu Thien and Tran Huu Phuc | Produced by Vifa and CJ Media

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Mui Ngo Gai was a television series of many firsts. At the end of airing, it was the longest-running Vietnamese show ever created, at 106 episodes. It was also the first collaborative effort between Vietnamese and South Korean producers and the first local series filmed entirely in a dedicated studio in District 9. As the name suggests, phở is a central theme of the show, a common thread that runs through the life story of Vy, the main character from when she was young through well into her adulthood. Vy had a rough childhood, but while working as a waitress at a phở restaurant, she grows fond of the dish and aspires to make her national food more available all over the world.

Mui Ngo Gai was first written by Korean scriptwriters, who spent months living in Vietnam to familiarize themselves with the setting, then localized by Vietnamese writers, so its grasp on local culture is more nuanced than Hau Due Mat Troi . Still, it contains several melodramatic tropes that are hallmarks of Korean soaps, including illegitimate children, corporate takeovers and of course, labyrinthine relationship networks. The show, however, also benefits from the Korean attention to detail in production and costume design and a cast chock-full of Saigon’s finest theater actors and actresses.

Mui Ngo Gai's iconic theme song, a Vietnamese translation of South Korean group SG Wannabe's timeless hit 'Saldaga.'

6. Bong Dung Muon Khoc (Suddenly Want to Cry), 2008

Directed by Vu Ngoc Dang | Produced by BHD

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Apart from providing one of the most popular memes of 2008, Bong Dung Muon Khoc marked the rise of quirkiness in Vietnamese cinema and TV. After two decades of schmaltzy Korean and Taiwanese histrionics, viewers were looking for something new, and Bong Dung Muon Khoc was like a breath of fresh air into an otherwise stale TV landscape. The main couple is a pair of mismatched lovers with a healthy dose of manic pixie dream girl .

Nam is nowhere near your average swoon-worthy male lead: he’s lazy, argumentative and hedonistic to the point that he was evicted by his parents for partying too much. Truc sells old books in a public park in Saigon, but she’s illiterate. She always wears an áo dài and leaves her hair untied. And if that’s not enough to reinforce her status as a manic pixie dream girl, she’s also honest, innocent and doesn’t know how to lie. Truc allows Nam to take refuge in her “home,” which is an abandoned house with makeshift furniture and mossy walls, and slowly they begin to connect as she teaches him about the realities of life. The plot is admittedly ridiculous, but the chemistry between Truc and Nam is so charming and believable that it turns Bong Dung Muon Khoc into 2008’s biggest pop culture phenomenon.

Viewers can expect an inappropriate amount of improv-like dialogues from Bong Dung Muon Khoc.

[Graphic by Hannah Hoang]

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The 58th karlovy vary international film festival opens with a nostalgic look back to the ’90s.

  • Apple TV+ Sets Vietnam Docuseries From Emmy-Winning Team Behind ‘9/11: One Day In America’

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U.S. 101st Airborne soldiers carry wounded comrade to helicopter near Vietnam's A Shau Valley.

EXCLUSIVE : Apple TV+ has turned to the producers of Emmy-winner 9/11: One Day In America to tell the story of the Vietnam War.

72 Films , the British production company owned by Fremantle, will mix immersive archive footage with first-person testimony for Apple’s six-part docuseries Vietnam: The War That Changed America .

The show has been commissioned to mark the 50th anniversary of the fall of Saigon and will bring together soldiers and civilians on all sides who lived through the conflict.

Vietnam: The War That Changed America is directed by Rob Coldstream, who teamed with 72 Films to helm John Lennon: Murder Without a Trial for Apple last year.

Caroline Marsden ( 9/11: One Day In America ) produces. Executive producers are David Glover ( 9/11: One Day in America ) and Mark Raphael ( Crime and Punishment ).

Nat Geo’s 9/11: One Day in America told the story of the New York terror attack from first impact to last rescue. It won the News and Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Historical Documentary.

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Welcome to the Create Travel TV Vlog. Watch stories from around the world and reviews about great places to go.

Danang’s Fire Breathing Dragon Bridge Show from Sweet Time Cruise – Travel Vietnam

Sweet Time Cruise Dragon Bridge Show Danang's Fire Breathing Dragon Bridge Show From Sweet Time...

Marble Mountain Danang Vietnam

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2 Sides Of Vietnam – Angsana Resort VS Fishing Village Experience

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  1. Vietnam Travel Shorts (TV Mini Series 2018)

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  2. Watch Exploring Vietnam (2018) Episodes Online

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  3. "Happy Traveller" Vietnam: Part 2 (TV Episode 2022)

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  4. Untravel VIETNAM

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  5. New TV series on Vietnam’s tourism to hit overseas subscribers

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  1. Vietnam Travel 2 Hue

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  6. Vietnam Travel 12 Mai Chau Huong


  1. Vietnam

    Vietnam. Sam ventures to Vietnam for the trip of a lifetime in one of the most intoxicating places on Earth. Here, she gears up for a trip full of adventure, compelling history, delectable cuisine and fascinating culture. See Tune-In Times.

  2. 10 Documentaries To Watch Before Visiting Vietnam

    PBS: The Vietnam War. This extensive PBS documentary is long but extraordinarily informative, exploring testimonies from veterans and witnesses on both sides. The 10-part series chronicles the entirety of the war from the end of French colonization to the fall of Saigon and took over a decade to create. It requires a time commitment but you ...

  3. Vietnam Travel Series

    Discover this chaotic but incredible country as we explore Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on an epic 30-day adventure. 🇻🇳

  4. Anthony Bourdain in Vietnam: Retrospective & Review

    Below, I've reviewed all eight Vietnam episodes from Anthony Bourdain's TV career in chronological order, from oldest to most recent. If, like me, you love Vietnam and admire Bourdain, I can't recommend highly enough watching all eight episodes in the order in which they were produced: it's a vicarious odyssey - fascinating, fun, enriching, charming, and also at times very moving.

  5. 14 of the best travel TV shows to watch on demand

    4. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat (2018) What to watch: If delicious food is at the very top of your reasons-to-travel list, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is the Netflix show to tune into. Culinary capers abound as loveable chef Samin Nosrat takes us to Italy, Japan, Mexico and California to show us how the title elements are key to the cuisine of each country.

  6. 5 Vietnamese Travel Vloggers To Watch

    Vlogging for five years now, Khoai Lang Thang has already become a familiar name to many Vietnamese. His real name is Dinh Vo Hoai Phuong, a 31-year-old native of Ben Tre. Khoai possesses a uniquely warm, soft voice that attracts the audience to his videos. After quitting his architectural job, Hoai Phuong began his Youtube journey.

  7. Vietnam Travel TV

    Discover hidden gems, indulge in delicious local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the vibrant traditions of Vietnam. Our videos provide travel guides, insider tips, and breathtaking visuals that ...

  8. Travel Guides Season 4 Ep 7 Vietnam & Cambodia, Watch TV Online

    21 Episodes. Our Travel Guides are embarking on a luxury river cruise down the Mekong River from Cambodia to Southern Vietnam.

  9. Vietnam Travel Series

    Vietnam - One of the cheapest countries in the World! However, the country is more than just an affordable International Travel Destination. Vietnam is a hom...

  10. "Travel Guides" Vietnam (TV Episode 2018)

    Vietnam: With Dorian Calleja, Cathy Fren, Jonathan Fren, Mark Fren. The guides travel to Vietnam to experience life on the busy streets of Hanoi, where they sample local cuisines, participate in a motorbike tour, and pay a visit to a Halong Bay pearl farm.

  11. Travel Guides Season 2 Ep 5 Vietnam, Watch TV Online

    Ep 5 Vietnam. up next. Ep 6 Tropical North Queensland. 47 MIN. Ep 7 Sri Lanka. 48 MIN. Ep 8 Western Australia. Our Travel Guides are in Vietnam. In Hanoi they'll live like the locals, navigating through busy streets, sampling cuisine, shopping and joining a motorbike tour.

  12. The Travel Guides explore all the cultural gems Vietnam and ...

    Phnom Penh. Cambodia's capital has so much to offer by way of culture, a place where old temples stand by glass towers. The Guides were in for a shocking experience as they visited the Killing Fields, where there are mass graves that were created during the destruction caused by Pol Pot's communist regime. Kev, Dorian and Teng also visited the ...

  13. 34 Best Travel TV Shows you'll want to binge watch!

    27. Iain Robertson Rambles. If you watch Iain Robertson Rambles, you'll see one of the most fascinating documentary travel TV shows ever. As its name suggests, this captivating series is hosted by Iain Robertson, a Scottish presenter and broadcaster widely recognised for his love for nature and the outdoors.

  14. Netflix's 'A Tourist's Guide to Love'

    A Tourist's Guide to Love is the first Netflix's film shot in Vietnam, telling about an unintentional love of Amanda with the adventurous and exciting Sinh. Especially, the film showcases the beauty of local landscapes along with that of Vietnamese people and culture through six main filming locations: Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hoi An, My Son and Ha Giang

  15. Writer of new Netflix rom-com set in Vietnam: 'I wanted to ...

    By Isa Peralta. March 10, 2023. Netflix is gearing up for the release of "A Tourist's Guide to Love," a romantic comedy set in Vietnam that stars '90s teen icon Rachael Leigh Cook. Cook ...

  16. The 10 Best Netflix Travel Shows And Documentaries In Asia

    6. Midnight Asia - Eat Dance Dream (2022) This eclectic show is unique in that rather than show celebrities, it follows the lives of individuals living life in some of the craziest night scenes across Asia. Brightly lit neon sign boards, big personalities, and stunning drone shots characterize this show.

  17. BBC News

    Fri 23 Aug 2013 20:30 Local time. BBC News except UK. Sat 24 Aug 2013 06:30 Local time. BBC News except UK. Sat 24 Aug 2013 11:30 Local time. BBC News except UK. Show more. Presenter Rajan Datar ...

  18. Vietnam Travel

    Welcome to WhatAboutVietnam.com (WAV) as we like to call it! The place where you get to discover amazing traveller experiences in Vietnam Listen - to the "What About Vietnam" - Traveller Insights Podcast here or on your favourite channel. Search - by name of the episode, destination or experience to find the best Podcast, Blog, Transcript or Video to match your enquiry.

  19. What travel shows do you like? : r/TravelNoPics

    I tend to enjoy food shows and actual documentaries more than dedicated travel show. For example, Ken Burns' Vietnam War documentary has increased my desire to see Vietnam (as well as better informed me of the country's recent history). I also really like Planet Earth for inspiration. Somebody Feed Phil is a fun, campy food travel show.

  20. How a Travel Agent Helped Turn My Family Vacation in Vietnam Into ...

    Immediately after the last day of school, our family of three — me, my husband, and our 11-year-old son — landed in steamy, humid Hanoi. Slightly travel-delirious after 24 hours in motion, we ...

  21. The 5 Most Popular Vietnamese TV Shows

    Giọng Hát Việt (The Voice of Vietnam) Reality television is a big deal in Vietnam. Contestants are instant celebrities, and the winners become mega-stars for life. Of all the reality TV shows, singing competitions are the clear winners. For The Voice of Vietnam, singers are judged initially for their vocal talents rather than for their ...

  22. Vietnam travel show

    A humourous one would be Top Gear in Vietnam, which showed quite a bit of the culture. Sue Perkins on the Mekong was a 4 part series and one was in Vietnam. Both British shows but hopefully you can see them on You Tube. And as above, the Luke N cookery programmes were our main reference for visiting some places!

  23. Apple TV+ announces third season for globetrotting travel series "The

    Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions, on over 1 billion screens, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Vision Pro, Mac, popular smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, VIZIO, TCL and others, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast with Google TV, PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles, and at tv.apple.com, for $9.99 per month with a seven-day trial.

  24. 6 Vietnamese TV Classics That Should Be on Netflix Instead of 'Hậu Duệ

    3. Doc Tinh (Hills of Love), 2005. Directed by Luu Trong Ninh. In the 2010s, the romanticization of Da Lat is in full force, driven by feature films like Thang Nam Ruc Ro or music videos such as 'Mo' by Vu Cat Tuong. But for urban Vietnamese of the mid-2000s, Doc Tinh was the original attraction that sowed the seeds of the "Da Lat fever.".

  25. Apple TV+ Orders Doc Series 'Vietnam: The War That Changed ...

    Vietnam: The War That Changed America is directed by Rob Coldstream, who teamed with 72 Films to helm John Lennon: Murder Without a Trial for Apple last year.. Caroline Marsden (9/11: One Day In ...

  26. Top 10 Most Popular TV Shows on Netflix in Vietnam

    Vietnam. Jun 17 - Jun 23, 2024 ... Some TV shows have multiple premiere dates, whether weekly or in parts, and therefore the runtime increases over time. For the weekly lists, we show the views based on the total hours viewed during the week divided by the total runtime available at the end of the week. On the Most Popular List, we wait until ...

  27. Create Travel TV Vlog

    Welcome to the Create Travel TV Vlog. Watch stories from around the world and reviews about great places to go. Sweet Time Cruise Dragon Bridge Show Danang's Fire Breathing Dragon Bridge Show From Sweet Time... What's inside the mystical MARBLE MOUNTAINS?Marble Mountain is about a 15min drive from Danang....