What can one really learn about a country after only 3 days of exploration? I would certainly feel comfortable saying that it is a country of extremes. From the peaceful tranquility of Ha Long Bay, where islands of towering cliffs with luscious greens dot a calm of sea blue.
To the streets of Hanoi where chaos seems to reign. Still people are calmly moving within it and I found the rhythm penetrates. Indeed, after wondering if crossing the road was actually taking life into my hands, I eventually found the spaces to meander through amongst the non-stop sea of motos, cars, cyclos, and other moving objects. The photo below is moving traffic!
Amongst the extremes, one can see and sense the history rooted in a people who have fought for their country’s independence and ideologies over centuries. From a knowledge management perspective, I found the words of Confuscius, whose teachings and philosophy have deeply influenced Vietnam, very relevant in todays world. He wrote, “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand”.
In my short three days, Vietnam has shared with me a few of its faces, its history and its teachings. It has reinforced my own beliefs in the need to learn from experience. For example, chaos isn’t always what it appears. Moreover, learning by doing is often necessary to truly understand. That extends to understanding chaos as well as more generally.
Last thoughts before catching my plane back to British Columbia: I recommend the movie Indochine if you are interested in the recent history of Vietnam and seeing more of the magnificant Ha Long Bay.