In my first day experiencing Ho Chi Minh City, I noticed a lot of things that exemplified the developmental progress of Vietnam. The most prominent thing that stood out was the coexistence of modern architecture and traditional structures. This mixing of the two styles is indicative of the gradual replacement of older buildings and systems with more efficient ones. I was also a bit surprised by how large the main market was. It seemed to go on for an extremely long way from what we saw of it on our walk around. This is an example of the importance of trade in Vietnam. While the market itself is used mainly by Vietnamese people, its presence in a major city both domestically and internationally can be extrapolated as a sign of the globalization that is occurring throughout Vietnam.
Later in the evening, I attended the Welcome Dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant. The experience was excellent, and was a great display of the kind of food that is traditionally eaten in Vietnam. There was a large emphasis on grains, vegetables, and seafood. There was nothing served that necessarily surprised me, and the style and content of the meal was relatively similar to what I had read in the Culture Smart!: Vietnam book.
My first day in Vietnam has already been an eye-opening experience, and I expect that the rest of my time in this beautiful country will follow suit.