First trip to Asia in six years, first stop Vietnam. It was a work trip so I was pretty booked the whole time but did get out a couple of hours for some long walks. I had been to Hanoi several times and spent the first two days there, pretty much in meetings the entire time but met some very interesting people. One of the people had fought with the North Vietnamese (e.g. the side we backed) but then became a committed communist, then was send to economics school in Europe, then worked his way up to one step below the Politburo where he started the privatization efforts in the mid-1990 that changed the country.
Even in the last 12 years since my first trip and this trip, a noticeable change has occurred in the country.
I then flew to Ho Chi Min City (formally Saigon) for three days where it was mostly meetings except for a couple walks around the hotel. It was my second attempt to get to Ho Chi Min City, and the first successful attempt. I was planning to go in 2016, but I may have crashed on a mountain bike and had to skip Ho Chi Min City.
Much different than Hanoi, much more bustling and streets packed with hundreds of motor scooters. One of the discussion topics of my visit was “at some point these people will be in cars” and it will be a nightmare for both traffic and pollution.
I took some pictures on my two walks around town – they had just celebrated their 77th anniversary (liberation for Vietnam coincided with the end of WW2), so a lot of propaganda artwork.