What an eye opening trip. To realise that no matter what we think, how we put people in boxes; life is going on without bias at the same time around the whole world.
We landed in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, on the 11th of March, 2018. It was a busy week full of activities, meetings, excursions, and of course, the local cuisine. This was the flagship trip to Vietnam, with a lot of moving parts and first time experiences. From the daily night excursions in the city to the hikes around pottery and farming towns, Vietnam was an exhilarating experience. The vibrance of the culture and kindness of people is unparalleled.
My favorite part was the junk boat tour of Ha Long Bay. The beautiful limestone islands and the emerald waters put me in a trance which I did not want to come out of. The Thien Cung Caves were absolutely majestic and seemed like King Kong must've felt right at home.
Students also had a chance to engage in dialogue with the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This was in the midst of USA pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the topic definitely dominated the discussions.
"Business takes time and compromise. We will continue pursuing a trade partnership which is beneficial to every party involved." The diplomatic and collected manner in which the Vietnamese and Japanese businessmen responded was telling of their patience and temperament towards these deals which affect global trade and politics.
Vietnam is truly a gem in the Indochina peninsula. The people, the heritage, the amazing landmarks and breathtaking scenery; all made me miss the country even before the trip ended.