Today we visited the Cat Lai Terminal, one of the largest shipping ports in the world, ranking twenty first in total annual cargo that passes through it each year. We got to see the process of a ship being unloaded as they lifted each container that is one twenty foot equivalent unit. After that we got to go up into the control tower and see exactly how they keep track of each individual crate and how they know where to put each unit using computers to know where to group cargo at. The port is also located in a prime time spot in Vietnam as it is only about a one hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City, the primary location of economic output for the country. This port really provides a unique value to provide not only the ability to import and export goods from other countries, but it also serves as a driving force of globalization and development of the country. Due to it’s proximity to Ho Chi Minh City this port could be a big factor in attracting the investment of outside companies as it would be cheaper for them to bring in materials in making Vietnam an even more tempting place to locate big business.
After leaving the Cat Lai Terminal we stopped and took a tour of the Reunification Palace to learn about the building’s purpose during the war and even got to go into the underground bunker that was used incase the palace would ever get bombed. The building itself served a similar purpose to that of the White House as it was where the president of South Vietnam lived and operated out of during the war. The building symbolizes the end of the war, which to many people of Vietnam was a relief as it was there where the North Vietnamese tanks rolled in and the south officially surrendered. Overall, it was a pretty relaxed but interesting day that was spent covered in sweat from the insane humidity and it’s only going to get hotter tomorrow when we visit the Mekong Delta.