Vietnam Then and Now

August 26, 2015

This article was adapted from a speech presented at “Advancing Prosperity: U.S.-Vietnam Development Cooperation,” a celebration in Hanoi organized in conjunction with a visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Michael DiGregorio speaking at "Advancing Prosperity: U.S.-Vietnam Development Cooperation."

In the early years of Renovation (Doi Moi), at a time when the market economy was just beginning to gain a foothold, Hanoi was a much greener city than it is today. Nearly all the fruits and vegetables, meats, and fish consumed here were produced in the suburbs and sold fresh in the city’s public markets. Within the city, Ho Tay and Bay Mau lakes produced hundreds of tons of fish per year. South of the city, a network of large lakes that also served as the city’s wastewater treatment system produced hundreds more. There were hardly any cars on the roads, and hardly any gas stations or motorcycle repair shops either. All the motorcycles were new, and the few large trucks that produced plumes of diesel fumes were regarded as a nuisance. The air was so clear in those days that the mountains west of the city were visible much of the year. They are a rare sight now. Tiếp tục đọc “Vietnam Then and Now”