By: Min Shi (On-Campus Executive MBA program)
Today was another day of productive and informative meetings regarding doing business in Vietnam. I couldn’t have more appreciation for the speakers who share their valuable time, knowledge, and experience with us. The Highlands Coffee shop offered one of the most popular coffees in Vietnam. It is called “Caphe Sua Da”. As a non-coffee drinker, I tried the local coffee because it was famous. Not to be disappointed, the ice coffee was amazingly good. If I live here, I will probably get hooked up to coffees like most of the locals. The “Diamond Plaza” next to the coffee shop was completely a modern department store which carried the most familiar luxury brands, such as Lancome, Estee Lauder.
I did not do the motorbike foodie tour because I was not an adventurous food eater. However, I did meet up with a friend connection, Nhan, did the motorbike tour around the town and outside of the center. Nhan had taken me to one of the Chinatowns in district 5 for some noodles. The feeling behind the motorbike was amazing with the gentle wind blowing at my face cruising down the street; at the same time, I was amazed how ‘safe’ it was actually to sit in a scooter while there were millions of scooters out in every corner of the city. It seemed like everyone was able to take their positions, regardless of whether they needed to turn left or right in any busy streets or corners with any incoming or outgoing traffic. Nhan told me that the helmets were mandatory; if police officers saw you without a helmet, you just needed to pay some cash fine (that the traffic officers were probably able to pocket the fines). With the amount of motorbikes out there, the traffic was not congested, I guess it is called efficiency. Usually you would see young kids riding the motorbikes in between 2 people or in front of the driver. In the US, this kind of action will probably put parents in jail for endangering the kids or losing their kids to a foster home. However, the system seemed to work just fine in Vietnam.
Thus far, the food and liveliness of Ho Chi Minh City has not disappointed.