While the first week in Vietnam proved to be the busiest, the rest of the trip did not lack its action. In the first week we had our meetings at SSI, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, CBRE, Colliers, Knight Frank, Savills, and we were lucky enough to visit the Bitexco Financial Tower in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The Bitexco Financial tower is the 124th largest building in the world, with 68 above ground floors and 3 basements. One of our favorite parts of the building was the helipad located on the 50th floor.
In these meetings with various financial institutions and real estate companies, I think a lot of us kept hearing the same theme as I mentioned in the previous post….the lack of transparency in the market. It seems like such a foreign concept (get it?) to me because the laws in place here in the United States do not allow for non-disclosure. It happens, I know, but that is how companies get into trouble in America.
On Friday, business was left behind and most of the group began different travels all over Vietnam. Our beloved TA, Erin, took a few of us to Cu Chi Tunnels. “The tunnels of Củ Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Củ Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. The Củ Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War, and were the Viet Cong‘s base of operations for the Tết Offensive in 1968. ” (Wikipedia). I unfortunately did not get to go, but I hear the highlight was getting to fire guns..
Kirstin, Leilani, and I took a trip to the island of Phu Kuoc, which is the largest island in Vietnam. We called it heaven. I think I honestly said ‘this is the life’ at least 5 times. As we spent most of the time in the sun, soaking up the beautiful beaches (Bai Sao being our favorite), but we also enjoyed the motorbikes, the best night market including some of the best crab I have ever had, and squid fishing (huge fail catching anything). I was shocked because I didn’t think Vietnam was really known for its’ beaches, but boy was I wrong. Phu Kuoc is also known for its fish sauce and the production of black pepper. The black pepper tasted amazing and accompanied every meal with a lime.
Another group went to Hoi An. I’m guessing that it was a good time because JD, Virginia, Leilani, and I had gone there a few weeks before and had the time of our lives. I also had spoken to many of them and had gotten the idea that they had packed in a lot in a few days, including motorbikes, shopping, beaches, jetskiing, and eating.
Overall, Vietnam is beautiful! I think we can all agree…