Day two in Vietnam began with an early 7:00 AM wake up to leave plenty of time to eat breakfast and get to UEF for our classes. The first class of the day was an interesting lecture on Vietnam’s formation and development over the centuries and how it has come to its current ‘S’-shaped form. For me, the most interesting aspect of this lecture was the speakers comments on Ho Chi Minh’s current state of development and how a rapidly growing population and problematic salary system must be addressed before the country can make progress on other areas. After this lecture, we had our daily Vietnamese lesson (complete with the Con Chim Non “children’s” song); though I do feel that I am making some progress, Vietnamese is proving to be a very difficult language to learn.
After our classes for the day were complete, we hopped back on the bus to head to lunch and one of our corporation visits. After a entertaining drive through the city, we arrived at Tokyo Deli, an authentic restaurant serving delectable sushi and seafood cuisine. We knew the meal would be delicious when we were asked to remove our shoes upon arrival and the tables were sunken into the ground so that we didn’t need to use chairs! So far, Tokyo Deli has been my favorite meal of the trip. After our sushi feast, we headed to Phu My Hung corporation to learn about the development of South Saigon and the Phu My Hung District. Though the company clearly has made impressive improvements in the area, there was a clear bias and some degree “propaganda” attempting to paint the company in the most positive light possible. For example, though it was clear to us that the projects wouldn’t be affordable to buy for the average Vietnamese citizen, Phu My Hung made it seem like there were no problems in price for any of their buildings. Furthermore, in Vietnam, the small demand for high level housing makes the process of “flipping” houses quite difficult so most buildings are purchased as a one time sale. On the positive side, Phu My Hung mentioned several environmental friendly features such as sewage treatment and bountiful parks and foliage, which serve to improve the areas sustainability. Still, with factors like pollution and wildlife displacement unmentioned, it is hard to gather an accurate perspective on the environmental impact.
Overall, day two in Vietnam was another success and I cant wait to visit Glass Egg Digital Media (the company I researched) tomorrow.