THE TIGER CUB OF ASIA
China is the Asian tiger. It will grow for many more years before its story is finally told. But, if it’s real growth that you are looking for, you need to look just a few hundred miles away toward Vietnam. I liken the country to a tiger cub, tucked safely away near its mother, but with much more growth ahead.
The funny thing about Vietnam is that there is still a big difference between the North and South even though it is again one country. Hanoi, the capital, is so close to the Chinese border that I couldn’t get on Facebook while I was there. Now, the only other place I know where Facebook is unavailable is China. If you really want to know who the boss is in the region, you have your answer.
Hanoi is not a very attractive place in the winter. It’s cold, damp, and cloudy. And, it’s a pretty boring place unless you are into eating endless bowls of noodles and practicing a suicidal version of jaywalking. There are a few museums, lots of restaurants, a beautiful lake in the middle of town, and a token high-end shopping district. There are lots of memorials and statues of Ho Chi Minh, the Marxist revolutionary leader who was instrumental in the creation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (it was neither) after World War II and the Peoples Army of Vietnam. He played a major role in the Vietnam War until his death in 1969. He is so revered that the government changed the name of Saigon in the South to Ho Chi Minh City in 1976. Many people ...