Archive for November, 2010

On Communists’ soil

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

With the arrival in Ho Chi Minh City I put my feet on the soil of a communist country for the first time (when excluding Hong Kong and Macao which are part of special zones).

Like other countries earlier, Vietnam has to open itself to attract foreign companies and tourists which both are very important to bring ‘hard money’ in to the country. Ironically, this is the US-Dollar, the currency of the country which was fighting over years against Vietnamese people.

Beside tourism, there is an other very important source of capital: the rice. It is produced mainly in the area of the Mekong delta.

Despite the fact that some internet pages like facebook are blocked, I do not have the feeling to be in a communist country. Streets are illumimated by the ads mounted on the walls of the buildings and all the well-known western brands are omnipresent. There are even KFCs.

This shows to me that it’s not possible to live communism without adding some bits of capitalism.

Bangkok: Some first thoughts

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

At 5.30 a.m. local time I arrived at Bangkok Airport. As the check-in at the hotel wasn’t possible earlier than 2 p.m., I went for a first tour in the city.

Soon, I realised that Bangkok is different from what I’ve seen so far in Asia, better said: it’s more Asian than HK and SG which both had been under British government for quiet some time.

When walking through the streets, you always have the smell of fresh food being prepared and you feel the dust of a building being restored or built from the scratch. One of this construction sites might have been the cause for a big shock: When I wanted to cross a street, there was a loud bang and I could feel the air pressure. Honestly, my first thoughts were: that was a bomb blown up.

An eye-catcher are the bar codes added to a lot of advertisements.  It seems the use of new media is far more progressed than in Europe. Companies are seeking for the interaction with its (future) customers. TV screens are as well present everywhere advertising for products.