Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hanoi bound

After a longer-than-expected sojourn in London, I'm finally returning to Southeast Asia later this week.

Following Singapore and Jakarta, my new - and hopefully more permanent base - will be in Hanoi, as the Vietnam correspondent for the Financial Times

Having first worked in Vietnam back in 2001, it's a long-awaited return to a country of which I grew very fond.

It has been fascinating to observe (from afar) the speed with which Vietnam has been changing as a result of the country's cautious yet sustained moves toward a market economy.

I now have a great opportunity to get a much closer look.

Anyone who wants to get a sense of the scale of the transformation could do worse than check out this video of Hanoi in 1989, replete with trams and bicycles and almost totally devoid of motorbikes and cars, let alone the Bentleys and Ferraris that can be seen on the capital's streets today.

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