Friday, September 16, 2016

Saigon Before and Now

My first time visited Vietnam was in 2009. During that year I did not see any tall buildings as yet. As I remembered, we just shopped at Ben Tanh Market, Saigon Square, night market  and at small small shops and boutiques at the old shop buildings. We went to Cu Chi Tunnel , Mekong River , and war museums while some of us who a little more adventure they went to water puppet show and massages. It was an authentic company trip as compared to we have in Kuala Lumpur at that time.

In 2013 I went to Ho Chi Minh again , but this time with my small family, my husband and my daughter. It was last minutes arrangement and we went to view Shakira's new school. It was more like an induction session for my husband who was transferred here in Ho Chi Minh for a work assignment. We were there for 3 days 2 nights and it was during the New Year celebration. That time I saw not much differences from the first time I came to Ho Chi Minh. I only saw few new tall buildings but not as tall as buildings in Kuala Lumpur. The traditional concept restaurant with very low chairs (looks like squatting when you sit on it) and very low table were still occupying old buildings to cater working peoples around the city.

2014 we arrived Ho Chi Minh in August while my husband came earlier in February. I was impressed when I saw new high raise building were under construction in the town center. I was wondered why were the expats were residing in District 2 (Quan Hai) instead of District 1 (Quan Mot) where there were not much of shopping mall were built in District 2. There are only Parkson and METRO in District 2 which are located in An Phu area, while most expat are residing at Thao Dien.

Most of International Schools are in Thao Dien and only one International School near to An Phu that is AIS Thu Thiem campus. Shakira is schooling at AIS Thu Thiem campus which is AIS main campus as it housing the kindergarten, the primary and the secondary.  In 2014 the apartment that we currently occupying was just opened and not many people residing in. In front of our apartment there was an empty land where you can see a lot of cows and there were few huts on that empty land. There are only 3 apartments near to our apartment including one apartment that attached to Parkson.

Now in 2016 , there is one giant mall were built in just less than 2 years called Vincom Mega Mall as big as Subang Parade to add varieties and options to expats living surrounding areas withing District 2. I can see a lot more new restaurant  with modern concepts were built along the roadside towards to our apartments. From only 2 traditional coffee shops now more new concepts restaurants were builtto cater the communities surroundings the area. The recent development is the new opening of new mix development of apartments, office and commercial buildings behind our current apartment. I can see now their MRT developments through our windows and as I walked through their exciting city are in progress and completing soon. MRT will mark their economic level are now competitive among the ASEAN countries.

As conclusion,Vietnam is developing rapidly like was Malaysia in 1990's and their people are now struggling developing their country and nation  via the economic activities. This rapid development will push their economic going upwards in fast phase. However, this development shold be monitored closely on its quality in terms of product , services, deliverable and holistically. Otherwise people would have perception Vietnam as the 2nd China ( very good economic growth but well known of their imitations and low quality products).

As Malaysian I'm still proud born as Malaysian. "Happy Malaysia Day" to everyone in Malaysia.