This morning we had our last site visit to Cat Lai Terminal and Port. They took us through the actual yard where we got to see things happening up close, and hear them up close too. I’m not sure which is louder, the UPMC helicopters going over Towers in Pittsburgh, or a sledgehammer sealing a container. We then got to go into the control tower. The view from it gave a much better idea of just how many containers go through Cat Lai. Just about everything we use today has been on a shipping container at some point. The other part of Cat Lai is the customs. Every container is put through an x-ray machine an potentially further inspection. In the control tower we could see the screen of classifications and it seemed most of the containers were due for a physical inspection, which means they would break the seal to look inside.Vietnam has been tightening import laws so that old technology and machines don’t get dumped and left in their country the same way China has been.
In the afternoon we visited The Reunification Palace, which is just a couple blocks from our hotel. Before the end of the Vietnam War it was the residence of the President as the Presidential Palace. Since the tank rolled through its gates its been put in stasis. Everything has been preserved and it was renamed to signify the end of the war. The place was beautiful to say the least. We learned about the history leading up to the end of the war, and about the functional and luxurious features of the building.On the fourth floor there was a movie theater and small casino, while the basement was a place for war planning, radio communication, and shelter from bombs.