My Ho Chi Minh City Experience Part 6 – The Culture and People

Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City, in particular, is an amazing place to go to. They are rich in history and culture and the people really make the city so alive and vibrant. I truly enjoyed my visits to this city which was highlighted by the people I met and who I consider as friends.

From Work to Fun

I want to start off with the people I spent most of my time with every time I am in Ho Chi Minh City, my co-workers. They are an amazing group of people. Very smart and talented all around. Each of them has something unique to offer the organization. They are all extremely vital in the entire operation. On top of that, this group of people is very nice and welcoming.

Phuong, Mai, Tara, Thuy, Dory, Ly, and Moon, a special thanks to all of you for looking out for me while I’m over there and showing me around. It’s an experience I will never forget. I sincerely hope to visit again someday and meet up with everyone again.

French Past

Most Southeast Asian countries were former colonies of European superpowers in the past and Vietnam is no different, they were once occupied by the French and their influence can still be seen and felt to this day.

A good example of this is the bahn mi which was discussed in part 3 of this series. It is a sandwich using the traditional French baguette. Really good.

Another common example is the architecture of some of the older buildings around Ho Chi Minh City. You could see a distinct French influence in their design which is amazing. Looking at these buildings are some of the highlights of my and Mei’s trip.

The War

Of course, no trip to Ho Chi Minh City is complete without learning more about the Vietnam War. I went to the War Museum along with Mei and it is interesting to see history told from the other side. Most of the books and articles I have read before this were from the perspective of the Americans. Being in the War Museum, you get the perspective of the Vietnamese.

What you would learn is that their main point here is that war is terrible. It is something that they indeed went through but they are not happy or proud about having to wage war. It is seen as something tragic and the loss of life was just too much. But, they are not ashamed of it either as they use it as a way to learn lessons from the past in order to not repeat them again.

Today you would see a lot of Americans and Vietnamese getting along very well together in Ho Chi Minh City. There is an immediate bond that transcends through generations which led to this moment that they appreciate. Using the lessons from the war, they are building a new and better country. You can basically watch how Ho Chi Minh City grows and is becoming one of the most important cities in Asia. I’m excited to see what it looks like in a few years’ time.

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