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Telling Tales, a Specialty at Tam’s Pub

Tams Pub Danang Vietnam

Tam’s Pub is not your typical restaurant or watering hole. Located on a residential side street near My Khe Beach in Da Nang, Vietnam, it’s easy to mistake the place for someone’s garage. Inside the wide, open storefront, a row of motorbikes are parked along one wall. A TV mounted high in a corner of the room is tuned to a sitcom. An orange-and-white cat stands near the eatery’s entrance, while a tawny-colored feline perches on one of the bike seats, lazily grooming.

Casually placed among the clutter are a few tables and chairs, as if in anticipation of friends dropping by for a cold beer or a bite to eat. And that’s exactly how Tam treats her customers; like old friends.

We arrived early on a week night and found the place empty except for Tam, who was busy working at one of the tables, a de facto desk piled high with papers. After we settled in and decided what to have for dinner, she left us contentedly sipping cans of Biere Larue while she disappeared into the back.

We had come to Tam’s Pub hoping for a satisfying meal, but we also received something unexpected. After serving our orders Tam pulled up a chair and joined us while we ate, sharing stories about her life during the American-Vietnam War and pointing out related photos as she spoke. Pictures and memorabilia, spanning more than half a century, adorn nearly every inch of wall space that isn’t occupied by the surf boards she rents out.

Tam was just twelve when the war began. We were mostly silent as she told us about that time in her life, captivated by her vivid reminisces. What surprised us most about Tam’s war stories was how often they focused on American acts of kindness. She told us of the sailor who appeared one day and offered her something to eat. Every day thereafter the man returned to the same place to bring Tam a sandwich.

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Some Flowers For Valentine’s Day

Vietnamese Florist

Hanoi, Vietnam

Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica

Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Where to Eat in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

We owe a huge shout-out to Jodi from Legal Nomads for unfailingly steering us to terrific eateries in Ho Chi Minh City. Her Guide to Saigon Street Food is an absolute must read for anyone serious about exploring the best of South Vietnamese cuisine. But at nearly 10,000 words, Jodi’s guide is a little more than a mouthful. We did the hard work of chewing through her recommendations as well as some others to give you this more bite-sized take on our favorite places to eat in Vietnam’s largest city.

Chi Thong

Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio

The name of Chi Thong’s signature dish, Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio, says almost everything you need to know. Bun Thit Nuong loosely translates to “rice noodles with grilled meat,” which in this case is pork. And Cha Gio is a type of spring roll packed with seasoned meat, mushrooms, and diced vegetables all wrapped in moist rice paper before being fried into golden, crispy tubes of deliciousness.

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Rainy Day Activities in Hue, Vietnam

Imperial City, Hue

The Imperial City in Hue, Vietnam

If we waited for the sun to shine, we would never have seen the most impressive sites in Hue. While the rest of Vietnam has two seasons, rainy and dry, the central region surrounding this intriguingly historic city has its own: wet and wetter. Undaunted by the dire weather report for our five-day stay and eager to explore the royal realms of the Nguyen Dynasty, we armored up with newly-purchased plastic ponchos and umbrellas and set out into the mist.

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