Study trip to Vietnam (Việt Nam)

3u EN and 3u Ng study trip to Ho Chi Minh City (Sài Gòn), Hội An and Hanoi (Hà Nội)

We, 3u 2017/18, went to Vietnam in February 2018 for our final study trip in high school, because of our international focus of study. Since being in a war against USA from 1965 to 1975 Vietnam has undergone a progress from being a development country to becoming a high growth country. Especially the part about the American War in the country has been a key focus for us in English class prior to the trip. The project on the trip was then to find out what effects it has had on the Vietnamese till this day. To understand that, we had to investigate the historical background behind the American War, and we did so by visiting a number of museums in both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. We also visited La Maison Centrale (Hoa Lo Prison or as it was known in the American War ‘Hanoi Hilton’) and Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum in Hanoi. Especially in Hoa Lo we came to understand how the Vietnamese were treated during the French colonial rule, which was horrifying, to say the least. We did not only have a look at the pre-war history of Vietnam though. In Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon we also had a field trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels, where FNL or Viet Cong hid themselves during the war. Here, we got to experience the monotonous food they ate, the small tunnels they lived in and even the Russian guns they used in their fight against the US. It seemed like the West had made their life difficult. To our surprise though, they bore no hatred of Americans. Instead, during the interviews we conducted in both Hoi An and Hanoi, the capital, we discovered that they loved having Westerners, both Americans and Frenchmen in the country because of the massive boost to the economy they give through tourism. We even interviewed two American NGO’s in Vietnam, who said they felt extremely welcome there, and they explained that they themselves were surprised at that, because of the fact that both their grandparents had feared that something would happen to them there, because of their American background.

Our final conclusion was therefore that Westerners are very well liked in Vietnam, and the reasoning is mainly economic. In spite of this, we felt that we really connected with the Vietnamese people and their culture during our trip, and I personally would love to travel there again.

Sadek Al-Amood 3u