I have been very fortunate to have scored myself a pretty much free trip to Vietnam recently. Part of the global movement of our EMBA, our marketing lecturer invited all of us to go to Vietnam to do the subject marketing there as an intensive. At first, I really wanted to go but was thinking that I wouldn’t get the leave to go because there was a lot happening at work during that time. However, after some talking and finding out that the schedule allowed me to, I jumped at the opportunity.
I haven’t been back to Vietnam since I was 18.. like 14 years ago, so I really didn’t know what to expect. My friends who have been back recently have said that it was really fun and really awesome.. but there was still that part of me who read all the warnings on those travel safe websites and was still really weary of being mugged, getting food poisoned and getting into trouble.
Did it happen? No, not at all. The first day I set foot in Vietnam, I was blown away. The strict we stayed on was sort of a few streets from the main city centre, Nguyen Hue. So while we were attempting to look for a restaurant to eat – spoiled by the many choices, japanese, italian, western, chinese etc – I had sort of like a deja vu feeling of, “OMG.. I feel like I’m in Vancouver”. The restaurant we ended eating at on the first night was so westernised, I felt like I was in New York. It was so surprising just how much Vietnam had changed.
One thing that didn’t change was the traffic and driving. LOL. First day on the hotel shuttle from the airport into District 1… there were a few break outs of nervous laughter. I just couldn’t believe people in the middle lane were wanting to turn left.. while we were in the left lane trying to drive straight.. huh?