Day 1 @ UEF in Ho Chi Minh

On our tour of Ho Chi Minh City, two things stood out to me the most: the traffic patterns and the buildings. I had read about the light-less intersections in Vietnam and I was aware of how prevalent motorbikes are, but seeing them in person was surreal. I was especially surprised to see so many people biking in the torrential downpour! As for the architecture, it was so intriguing to see the differences from one building to the next. There were huge hotels next to what appeared to be tiny brick apartment style buildings, and modern glass car dealerships next to old, deteriorating store buildings. The juxtaposition of these types of architecture was so fascinating to me because it shows how rapidly Vietnam is developing. There was evidence of new construction everywhere I looked, from new buildings to an entirely new subway system. There were also stores and restaurants from international corporations such as McDonald’s and Gucci, showing both development of higher-end companies in Vietnam and Vietnam’s connections to the rest of the world. At the Welcome Dinner, I loved getting to see the city skyline as we ate. I was a bit taken aback when we were served a hot pot and raw shrimp (with heads!), but it was nothing I wasn’t expecting after reading about our differences in the Culture Smart book.

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