Truth be told, Saigon is both the first place I’ve ever visited and the first place I’ve worked in in Asia. So it figures that it has a special place in my heart. My first venture into this brave new world came back in 1995, on September 2nd, which also happens to be Vietnam National Day. Fresh from Paris, I stepped off the plane knowing very little about Asian culture in general, and even less about what to expect from Vietnam.
The Greater Mekong Subregion is a lot to digest as a concept, and I was fascinated by the question of what made Vietnam unique compared to more mature markets in Southeast Asia like Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, or Malaysia. My suspicions about the complexity of this region were confirmed; after nearly twenty years of traveling throughout Southeast Asia, I continue to be awed by the incredible diversity that can be found across this relatively compact region. How can Vietnam and Thailand be so geographically close, but so culturally different?
There are countless dimensions that make Vietnam unique, from the history and deep rooted culture to the religious and family values and astounding artworks. Vietnam still seems to me a diamond in the rough, waiting to be explored beyond the current popular tourist destinations, which are really only scratching the surface. This is a fascinating era in which entrepreneurs and developers are still shaping the future of tourism in Vietnam. It’s a huge responsibility. I’m honored to be part of it.
Being closely involved with the establishment of our office in HCMC, I’m able to travel on a regular basis to Saigon and Hanoi. This frequent travel to Vietnam is nothing short of a blessing to me. It gives me the chance to once again discover a new country and its culture. The wonderful thing about Asia is that you are never really done with learning. The discovery never ends. It’s only a matter of opening a new door and there is a whole new world waiting behind it.
One of the many gems I have found in Saigon is Kita Coffee on Nguyen Hue. This charming little café feels incredibly peaceful; a timeless sanctuary from Saigon’s urban hustle and bustle. It’s just the right size; a great place to meet for a casual business talk or otherwise. If anyone is in town, I’d love to meet you there.
Asean and Myanmar Accelerate Mekong Tourism Cooperation
"Olivier Jager, CEO of ForwardKeys.com, told the Forum audience that based on the latest information from 200,000 travel agencies worldwide, hotel bookings for the GMS region were 13% up for July and 19% up for August 2012."
QUO in Action
We’re always on the lookout for fresh talent to join our dynamic team. Please visit our careers page for a list of available positions.
Required fields are empty.
Message failed, please try again.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
To get the latest news and updates on all things QUO, enter your email address below.
Thanks for signing up for QUO e-News