Day 2: Master Plan

With the focus of today’s lesson and plan structured around the ongoing development in Vietnam, we started the day by attending a lecture by Nguyen Ngoc Duc, a highly experienced professor and businessman with a girth of knowledge about Vietnam, who discussed Urban Planning and Development in Ho Chi Minh City.

From his presentation, we learned that development in Ho Chi Minh City did not begin until 2004—just thirteen years ago. With the government’s initial plan of having development start much earlier, many factors emerged which ultimately caused a delay in their plans. Yet with this unfortunate halt in the grand scheme of things, Vietnam continued with its agenda a few years later and is currently in the midst of transforming Ho Chi Minh City to a highly developed city that will usher in positive change and great wealth. Though construction is still prominent throughout the city, many international firms have entered into Vietnam seeking business and have purchased property rights to build a company location here. With business in Ho Chi Minh City about to evolve as a result of development, plans for the first metro line are estimated to be completed by next year—which should hopefully address the motorbike situation by decreasing congestion on the roads. In addition, urban planning has not changed all this time. But problems still exist of course: approximately 5000 “slumdogs” are present and must be addressed if Vietnam has any wishes of becoming a respected economic force by its competitors.

We now take a quick break to cherish the meal I had for lunch. In all honestly it was a Japanese restaurant, but it did serve delectable food nevertheless.

Serving tray consisted of an assortment of meals

Hopefully this picture finds you well as you suddenly get the craving to eat Japanese food tonight. And with that we now proceed to the activity later in the day.

We then visited Phu My Hung Development, a large development corporation responsible for the undertaking in developing Phu My Hung New City Center—one of the greatest projects I have ever seen. Prior to 1993, the region where Phu My Hung New City Center is now located was extremely underdeveloped with barren grass fields and makeshift homes scattered randomly about. But everything changed when a group of brave individuals decided that they must do something to improve this part of the city, so they devised what would be known as the “Master Plan”. The main priorities of this plan consisted of: design, construction, and management. In order to aid in the finances of undergoing such a massive project, the development plan became a join venture between the Vietnamese government and a private partner in Taiwan.

With a clear vision and a scale model of what they wanted to build (as seen in the cover image), a total of 100 housing projects were launched and any unused land was utilized for residential and commercial use. To make housing affordable and accessible to nearly all demographics, prices for homes range from $100,000-$300,000. However, purchasing a house in Vietnam may prove to be challenging in comparison to the US. Since the government does not allow citizens or foreigners to own land, they would have to either purchase a dwelling house or acquire the rights to lease the land from the government. Living in Vietnam may be paradise especially if you resided in any of the mansions in the Chateau de Villa in Phu My Hung, but you would have to get approval from the government first.

Further, an 18 km highway is being built to help improve traffic in Ho Chi Minh City and make the location more accessible. As for environmental protection, great lengths are being taken to ensure the conservation of the environment, such as a waste water treatment system being implemented so that water will be safe to drink in Phu My Hung New City Center.

Surprising fact: The majority of people that live in Phu My Hung are comprised of Koreans. Who would have thought that!

Scenic view from deck of the 4th floor in Phu My Hung Development


Until next time friends


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