Day 10: 5.15.19
We started bright and early this morning, but fortunately the bus ride was long enough for a nap. We traveled to Cat Lai Terminal, one of the largest ports in Vietnam and one of the most interesting site visits of this trip. I have been to naval bases before, so I didn’t notice the ships as much as I was intrigued by the control tower. The room had a wall of television screens, each with a different purpose, such as showing how many containers each area had using a color code, where each color signified how many containers were stacked in that single space. A system like this significantly improves the efficiency of the port by making it faster and easier to locate a specific container. Part of the reason why I’m majoring in industrial engineering is because I’m interested in learning how to improve processes in order to maximize efficiency and save money, which is especially important in countries that are rapidly developing like Vietnam. I look forward to taking industrial engineering classes that deal with logistics and supply chain management, because I’ll remember Cat Lai Terminal as a real life application and it won’t be like learning for the sole purpose of passing the class to get a degree.
In the afternoon we went to Reunification Palace, also known as Independence Palace. Learning that the older generation calls it something different than the younger generation, like how Ho Chi Minh City is also known as Saigon, depending on which generation you ask, made me wonder if eventually they will eventually be known by a single name, as Vietnam’s population is already majority youth. Not that the history will be forgotten, because if there’s anything I’ve learned in this country, it’s that their culture places a major emphasis on looking in the past in order to move forward in the future. We had passed this building countless times since arriving in Vietnam, so it was exciting to finally go behind the gates and see the impressive piece of architecture up close.