UPDATE:Sadly, Jack had to close the Good Morning Vietnam pub near the middle of 2007 as the owner of the building was selling out. It was a great place that made my Taiwan experience something I'll never forget. That said, Jack has opened a new place right down the street called The Jalapeno. It specializes in Mexican and Western food, cocktails, and beer. I'm sure the atmosphere and conversation will be just as welcoming as Good Morning Vietnam. The new address and phone number:
1F, No. 370 Min Chuan Road
Jungli City, Taoyuan
For about the past week now, I've been in Taiwan working on a project for my company. I'm staying in a city about an hour outside of Taipei called Chung-Li (Chungli, Jhong-li, Jhungli, Jungli, or Jung-Li). It's a sprawling city for sure, with a colorful assortment of shops, businesses, and places to eat. Beyond that, though, there isn't a whole lot to do.
A coworker of mine mentioned a pub a few blocks from my hotel called Good Morning Vietnam. I know what you're thinking. Why would I want to visit a pub with a western style name while I'm in Taiwan. Normally, I wouldn't have given it a try. However, given the limited selection of things to do at night, I figured why not. It turns out Good Morning Vietnam is one of the best pubs I've had the pleasure of visiting while traveling - anywhere. What makes the place so special is everyone there - from the owner Jack on down to the employees (Tulip, Ruby, Selina, and Steven). Everyone there, including the other patrons made me and my traveling companion Adam feel right at home.
You see, even though it sounds like it's a western style bar, we were the only westerners there. Everyone else there was Taiwanese, and was happy to practice their English with us and have a good time (we got to practice a little Chinese as well). Over the past week, we've ended up back at Good Morning Vietnam almost every night. We've spent hours talking with locals, playing games (pool and a form of dice - all for fun), and learning magic tricks from Jack (he knows a lot of good tricks). I've never been anywhere else before where the locals have taken such an interest in a couple of visitors. I've found the people there to be among the most friendly I've ever met while traveling.
If you're ever passing through Chung-Li, and are looking for a place to spend a few hours (or just pop in for a quick drink and pleasant conversation), definitely give Good Morning Vietnam a try.
Good Morning Vietnam Pub
2nd F No. 5 Lane
Chung-Yang West Road