This morning, we made our last site visit. It’s incredibly bittersweet to say that.
Our destination, the Cat Lai Terminal, is currently one of the largest ports in Vietnam, with a market share of 92% in Southern Vietnam and approximately 50% in all of Vietnam. Here, they import and export large freights to and from Ho Chi Minh City – a prime location within Vietnam with a large market and high demands – along with offering temporary storage to clients. To keep the process of customs and storage organized, Cat Lai has a color-coding system in which they label various freights according to the results of their x-ray. Most are cleared, while some are required to review paperwork and still others need a physical inspection. To organize freight otherwise, they have various sections of land and each container is assigned an address in accordance with these sections. This organization is necessary to maintain efficiency and continue adjusting to growth. Our guide had explained to us that in recent years, with the development of Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh specifically, there has been a noticeable increase in exports, which speaks to the hard work of citizens to bring in wealth.
After this tour and yet another yummy lunch (with a passionfruit smoothie), we changed into comfortable clothing for our trip to the Reunification Palace. In Hanna and my cases, not only were our clothes comfy, but they were extremely fashionable. Plus3 Italy has some competition in Vietnam. #bananapants
At the Palace, our (tore? toor?) guide explained that prior to the American war, it served as the house of the president of the time. But, after the famous scene of tanks breaking down the front gates, it was renamed and repurposed. Today, it represents the “independence” and “reunification”of Vietnam – as the title would suggest.
Finally, most of us went out to dinner at a Korean barbecue restaurant, and now we’re all in our groups working on our final presentations. Gabby can’t stop hiccuping. Wish us luck.