At the University of Economics and Finance, a school filled with possibly the coolest and most enthusiastic students ever, we have had the opportunity to attend several interesting lectures thus far. Today, along with our daily Vietnamese language lesson, we had a guest lecturer describe the Mekong Delta in detail, as well as the challenges and opportunities resulting from the construction of upstream dams and climate change. The lecture was quite interesting, and allowed me to get a great insight into how the epidemic of climate change as well as development affect Vietnam, a perspective quite different to what is seen in the United States.
In the afternoon, we were fortunate to visit Phu My Hung to tour the facility and learn much about Urban Planning in Vietnam. In the community of Phu My Hung, the development was done with a grand plan, and the buildings were specially designed by individual architects from around the world. There was a great focus on environmental consciousness, as there were several parks constructed, and the community was built with intent to preserve the river. Although it wasn’t blatantly stated by the company, the community was definitely intended primarily for wealthier people, as many people moved to the country to live there, causing a sharp increase in the rent of these apartments. It was also apparent in the numerous luxury stores around, and the sheer number of cars, whereas the rest of Vietnam has streets mostly filled with motorcycles. The acquisition of housing in Vietnam in general is much different than in the United States, as one cannot own property, but requires special permits to rent it out and be able to rent it out to others. Exploring Ho Chi Minh City has been incredible thus far, and I look forward to the coming days!