Like any complex subject, Vietnam is perhaps best understood not by attempting gross generalisations but by trying to come to terms with the inherent contradictions.
During my time in Vietnam, I intend to document the many contradictions that surface in the hope of shedding some light on this remarkable, if often confusing, country.
I start with two stories published today in the Dan Tri online newspaper.
One, headlined "Hoan Kiem’s magnificent light show ready to go" sings the praises of the truly spectacular, high voltage light show that is being rehearsed ahead of the celebration of the 1,000-year anniversary of the founding of Hanoi, early next month.
The second, headlined "Vietnam’s power troubles far from over", warns that the country will continue to be hit with chronic power shortages in the coming years.
Hat-tip to Our Man in Hanoi, who I met in person last week, having followed his blog for some time.