My Life In Travel: Anthony Bourdain

'Vietnam has the best food per square foot of any country I've been to'


First holiday memory?

First holiday memory?

I grew up in New York and most summers we would head to the beach in New Jersey.

Best holiday?

I love St Martin in the Caribbean. I like the fact that I can spend the entire time barefoot. No meal requires dressing up or even shaving - it's great.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I love London, Edinburgh and Glasgow. A good pub is a beautiful thing and each of those cities has a few. Plus you can smoke in them, which is a last bastion of civilisation.

Ideal travelling companion?

Sir Richard Francis Burton, a mad 19th-century British explorer who went in search of the source of the Nile. He spoke 12 languages and translated the Kama Sutra into English.

Ideal travelling companion?

I try to read something specific to the country. When I go to Vietnam (top right) I read The Quiet American by Graham Greene. I'm moving there next year to live in a fishing village for a year.

Where has seduced you?

Vietnam. I went for my new TV series, A Cook's Tour. It fitted in with all my romantic notions.

Better to travel or arrive?

Definitely to travel. It's all about what happens on the way.

Worst holiday?

It was on the island of Cozumel in Mexico. My room smelt like something had died in it, but I had no money to move. The friend I was travelling with rubbed against some coral and he swelled up like the Michelin man.

Worst hotel?

The Khmer Rouge retirement village in north-western Cambodia. There were bloody footprints and hair on the walls of the room, a "no automatic weapons" sign in the lobby, prostitutes in the reception area and landmines littering the area outside.

Best hotel?

The Grand Hotel D'Angkor, 80 miles away from there in Siem Reap. It's a grand restored Raffles hotel with a majestic colonial feel, that was originally built for touring gentlemen.

Best meal abroad?

Almost every meal that I ate in Vietnam. It has the best food per square foot of any country I've been to. There's nothing like street food, especially in Asia.

Favourite city?

Hanoi. Barcelona is another favourite - it's a city of grown-ups. I like cities where there are proud cooks such as San Sebastian in Spain. Fierce nationalism and good cooking often go together.

Anthony Bourdain's new TV series 'A Cook's Tour' continues on UKTV Food tonight at 9.30pm

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