The most startling thing that I learned today was how the Vietnamese viewed Americans. The approval rating was 84% in 2017. This survey was also representative of all of Vietnam. I was shocked by this. I knew that relations were better between the US and Vietnam, but I assumed that there was still some ill-will because of the Vietnam War. I was also surprised by some of the facts that the UEF professor, Donald, told us. The two that were most interesting was that the population has increased by over 50 million people since 1975, and that today the Vietnamese government was over 65% of GDP in debt.
With the increasing population, there is a greater need for housing and amenities for the new population. We saw some of these efforts yesterday with the new subway system being put in, but we truly saw the scope of the this project when we visited Phu My Hung. The first thing I found interesting about Phu My Hung is that it’s entirely based on a master plan that was developed in the 1990s. This master plan detailed a general plan for the city of Phu My Hung, the first of its kind to built according to such a plan. Next, I found the demographic that makes up Phu My Hung fascinating. Phu My Hung is designed for better off foreigners. The primary people are: South Korean, Chinese speakers, Americans, and the French. I also thought it was interesting how some many things in Vietnam seems to be run in the private sector. This was surprising to me as I assumed that since Vietnam is a communist country that most jobs would be run through the government. However, this is not the case in Vietnam. A perfect example of this is the contractors that Phu My Hung employees. Chinese, Vietnamese, and Taiwanese companies were all used. Not something you would expect from a communist country. Today, was a great learning experience especially in terms of Vietnam as a country.