Phu My Hung is Disney World Vietnam

The breakfast here is phenomenal. Each day I stuff my plate with all the different foods I want to try, but it’s sad because I get full before I can try everything. It’s nice to have something to look forward to after waking up at 7 am. After breakfast, we headed to UEF for a lesson on the Mekong Delta. It was really interesting to learn about the Mekong Delta culture and the struggles they face such as the stubborn elderly who refuse to believe in climate change and the rise of water levels in the near future. The Mekong Delta culture had a lot of parallels to what I know about Amish culture in Lancaster, PA. They both pass down their craft to the next generation and have different beliefs than modern culture that keeps them from modernizing. After that we had another Vietnamese lesson. I enjoy conversing with the UEF students and it’s always funny to see their reaction when I ask them questions in Vietnamese. Today I was talking to my partner Nora and I was teaching her English while she taught me more Vietnamese. Afterwards we went to a Japanese restaurant for lunch and I got a wide variety of sushi rolls which were all incredibly good. The design of the restaurant was cool too, we sat on the floor and put our legs in a divot underneath the tables.

After lunch, we visited Phu My Hung Development outside of Ho Chi Minh City. Compared to what I’m used to seeing in Ho Chi Minh City, Phu My Hung was like a whole other country. There were tons of apartment complexes and parks that I would not have expected to have found in Vietnam. Our tour guide took us to a screening room and we got to watch a documentary on the company and see a 3-D model of the first completed district of Phu my Hung. He explained that Phu My Hung represents an idea that life in Vietnam can be much more than an overcrowded city. They want to facilitate a lifestyle where everything is where you need it to be and to provide jobs for the growing population in Vietnam surrounding Ho Chi Minh City. Phu My Hung’s population is 40%-42% foreigners, and it was visible that they compensated for their diverse population by implementing many Korean, US, and Japanese restaurants in the district. They collaborated with Korean and Japanese officials to creating Phu My Hung’s “master-plan” which indicates even more globalization. I was skeptical on how environmentally friendly this site was considering they built over a swamp. But our tour guide explained that they intentionally designed the city scape to be less dense so that there could be airflow to reduce air pollution. He also mentioned that they studied the tides of the rivers surrounding the site and built accordingly so that they would not harm the environment. I was impressed on how many steps were taken to ensure the environmental integrity of the construction, especially after reading online about how Vietnamese corporations tend to care less about the environment than they should.

Compared to the US acquiring housing in Vietnam is a lot cheaper. To rent housing on Phu My Hung, prices tend to be about $600 USD per month, while in the US a flat in a major city can average around $800-1000 per month. Another factor that makes owning housing different in Vietnam is that you do not actually own the property. By law, all property is owned by the government, but they allow you to use the property, unlike in the US. After finishing the tour through the company we got to drive around the district to see what it was like up close. Like the tour guide said there was a ton of restaurants from all over the world. A lot of people in the group and I agreed the place was giving us Epcot vibes from Disney World. On the drive home we also encountered our first rainstorm of the Vietnam trip, and I can say it was incredibly loud compared to the average storm we get in Pittsburgh. Now we’re back at the hotel and I’m crashed on my bed as I’m writing this after this long day. Sleep tight Vietnam.

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