Our day kicked off with a lecture on Urban Planning and Development in Ho Chi Minh City. Our guest speaker was super engaging and funny, and I learned a lot about the history of Ho Chi Minh and how it got to be the bustling city it is today. Then we had our daily Vietnamese language lesson and this time I fared a lot better than yesterday. Afterwards, we got lunch at Tokyo Deli and let me tell you, this food was life changing. I don’t even know what I ate, but it was so good that I just sat there and stared at my empty plates for a while reminiscing about what I just ate. My favorite dish was this tempura shrimp/egg mix with some killer sauce. I miss it already.
After lunch, we went off to do our first company site visit (of many). It was at Phu My Hung Corporation, an urban infrastructure development company. We were ushered into a small auditorium-ish room and watched a short presentation about how Phu My Hung created “South Saigon”, a Utopia-like community in the city. It is catered towards middle to upper class citizens, but very affordable by our standards – the cheapest apartment/condominium they offered would cost us around $120,000, and it is a pretty decent size too. They ranged upwards to 3-bedroom apartments at around $300,000. There were multiple apartment buildings, schools, shopping malls, and beautiful million dollar villas. It didn’t look or feel like we were in Ho Chi Minh anymore! The villas looked straight out of Coral Gables in Miami. Everything looks super clean and new and picturesque. It was a different world compared to the market streets that we saw yesterday. Phu My Hung has some big projects in the works right now and even bigger plans for the future. They are currently finishing up construction of beautiful waterfront condos. They emphasized how much greenery “South Saigon” had, but we later found out that they are just saving that land for future development, which made me kind of question their claim that environmental protection was one of their top priorities.
But anyway, Day 2 was a blast. I will forever be thinking about that shrimp dish. Thanks Toyko Deli!