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Bourdain was very very happy to be back in Vietnam for episode 4 of Parts Unknown, which originally aired on October 19.
It’s a country that he’s visited many times and so made a concerted effort to explore new part of the nation. Much of the episode takes place in the former imperial capital of Hue with visits to the Vinh Moc tunnel complex and the present-day capital of Hanoi.
The episode looks at Vietnam’s violent past and mass killings then quickly contrasts it to the welcoming, positive attitude of the locals who Bourdain describes as “passionate, proud cooks and opinionated, enthusiastic eaters.”
His primary mode of transportation throughout the episode is a scooter, which gives him and the viewer an unfiltered view of the country from the serene rice fields to the crowded streets.
— Ben Selkow (@BenSelkow) October 20, 2014
Although pho is one of the most recognized Vietnamese dishes in the U.S., Bourdain and his crew are emphatic that bun bo hue is the real treat in the country. The soup’s flavor comes from a combination of pork and beef bones, lemongrass, shrimp paste, herbs and add-ons including sliced brisket and crab balls.
— Parts Unknown (@PartsUnknownCNN) October 19, 2014
Artist and restaurant owner Boi Tran welcome Bourdain and crew into her home where she shows them her art and home-made meals while sharing her personal story of tragedy and triumph.
Thanks to the prolific tweets from not only Bourdain, but the ZPZ videographers, viewers get a behind-the-scenes look at how the episode is put together and the personalities that make it happen.
— Jeffrey Allen (@dealallen) October 20, 2014
— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) October 20, 2014