By Sean Dowdall, LCI General Manager and Chief Marketing Officer
David and I took our first trip to Southeast Asia in February visiting Hong Kong, Vietnam and Cambodia. What was most fascinating was to hear different viewpoints from guides and locals with respect to their country, culture and relations with other nations. As a practicing PR professional who works globally, it’s important to remember that different people have many different approaches and perspectives on the world at large.
Here is a small sample of the 1,600 photos I took:
I chose the one above because of the amazing color. This is the Presidential Palace in Hanoi built by the French in the early 20th century. It is located in this enormous park where the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum is located. Ho Chi Minh lived nearby in more modest dwellings and used this building for state visits and events.
Who can complain about ugly telephone poles when you see electrical wiring like this? Taken in the Old Town of Hanoi.
The stunningly beautiful and mystical Halong Bay. We did an overnight cruise – a must if you visit Vietnam.
Vietnam innovation way before Amazon or Google delivery services. Sure, you can shop at stores or marketplaces, but the merchandise finds you by foot, bike and even boat – literally everywhere you go.
Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) is undergoing a building boom. This architectural gem has a helipad and is beautifully lit at night, but this office building is only 30% occupied. Vietnam’s economy grew 7% last year. Evidence of both growing pains and benefits is everywhere.
I have many photos of the traffic in the cities. Public transit isn’t highly developed or convenient and with the income gains over the last 15 years, more people can afford motor scooters. There are hundreds of thousands of these throughout Vietnam. Driving or walking amongst them is like being in a school of fish. You have to walk slow and steady to navigate – then, the scooters will flow around you. This shot is taken from the rear window of our shuttle van from the airport to downtown Saigon.
It is difficult to choose from the many temple photos I took in Cambodia. This is the Ta Prohm temple, near Siem Reap, where trees and their massive roots have overtaken the ruins (and it was popularized in a recent Hollywood film – do you know which one?).
So many more sights to share, but most important is deeper than what most photos can convey. The spirit of the people left a deep impression on me. Both Vietnamese and Cambodians are cordial to visitors and, regardless of the many chores of daily life, they have inspiringly peaceful demeanors.
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