05/12/18: Vung Tau

The visit to Vung Tau today required us to drive three hours each direction, however the rides there and back were uneventful especially because I slept for the majority of the ride. What I noticed of the area we drove through when I was awake was that it looked more run down than the area we have spent most of our time around in Ho Chi Ming City. Vung Tau and the area around the resort surprised me as it was “touristy” yet still a smaller community and less luxurious than other resort areas. Not only was the area more sparse than I had imagined in terms of things to do and people, it was also rather polluted and littered on. I have been amazed repeatedly by the amount of pollution here and the very visible effect that it is having on the environment. This was exemplified by the beach at Vung Tau. Not only was there trash on the beach but also in the water, and it was not a small amount of trash. Every step you’d take further into the water would introduce you to a new piece of flotsam. I couldn’t help but wonder if there wasn’t so much pollution and destruction of the environment from manufacturing and increasing populations then maybe the beach would more closely resemble the crystal clear beaches of the Caribbean. The issue of pollution is most definitely a bi-product of the manufacturing being done in Vietnam to compete on the global playing field with trade. The other issue here is that once again Vietnam lacks the infrastructure to support its high populations and simply does not have the sanitation system or awareness of its citizens that would be required to stop the pollution.

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