Day 2: Experiencing Development First Hand

Our day started with a lecture about the urban development of Ho Chi Minh City. In this lecture we learned a little bit about history of Vietnam so as to better understand the city’s development. After the fall Saigon in 1975, we learned that the city didn’t start reconstruction until the year 2004. This is incredibly different from Japan’s reconstruction as it immediately began after the end of World War II. This situation between the two country’s development was extremely different because the Japan immediately gained support from the US after its defeat. In Vietnam’s case, it took decades to get the kind of economic support equitable to that of Japan. Our lecturer also stressed the importance of newly-created stock market at the start of the 21st century in creating cash flow within the country.

Our next event was lunch. Although it didn’t concern anything relating to the development of the country, it was fantastic. The name of the restaurant was Tokyo Deli: Sushi Restaurant and although it may not have been Vietnamese, it was still the closest I have ever come to an authentic Japanese meal. With credit going to where it was deserved, I will now return to our topic of development.

In the afternoon we visited Phu My Hung, a development company founded by 1993. Phu my Hung is currently developing Saigon South, a new sector of Ho Chi Minh City filled with commercial and residential buildings (the featured picture is of the Phu My Hung district in Saigon South). It’s a beautiful sector of the city that combines modern city designs with tropical greenery native to the region. It is clearly the newest section of the city as it contains clean living spaces and modern spread-out businesses. Nevertheless, the project does have a few problems. Although the housing is supposed to be affordable, the lowest price is 100,000 US dollars. This price in Vietnamese Dong wouldn’t be affordable for much of the population. With this said, many of the wealthier people in the country do have homes in Phu My Hung. In this way, it still seems that the project was a success.

Phu My Hung was an extremely interesting company to learn about and has really opened my eyes to modern urban development. I look forward to learning more about Ho Chi Minh City’s development over the next two weeks.


Thanks for Reading,


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