Vietnam Today - Q & A with Scott Krueger
In a recent email from Scott Krueger he wrote: "Most of you guys know that I travel to Vietnam about 6-7 times per year, as my company imports children's furniture from factories there. Here are some photos and clippings from my last visit in October 2005." A short Q & A with Scott follows:
Q: How long have you been doing business in VN? When was the first time you went back?
Scott: I've been doing business there since 2002
Q: Has your business there always been in furniture?
Scott: Yes, in Children's furniture. However, we will be introducing a new product line in 2006.
Q: The Vung Tau Beach looked familiar - were your accommodations good - food etc.?
Scott: The Vietnamese are really promoting
Vung Tao as a resort for both Vietnamese and tourists. The whole entrance to the
city has been carefully manicured with trees and flowers. It is clean and well
kept. There are a mix of private and government run hotels and restaurants. The
beach is wide and clean with some nice views.
Q: Tourism was a going concern in VN for awhile late last year and earlier this year. Has the bird flu affected the numbers of tourists?
Scott: The bird flu has not affected tourism. The world puts this in perspective: malaria kills 3 million people a year, the regular flu kills thousands in the U.S. every year. The bird flu is well controlled and so far the only bird to human contact is found in bird keepers. Occasionally it crosses your mind when you pass a guy on a motorcycle with 2 baskets of live chickens. When you get off an airplane at Ho Chi Minh City, you have to pass through a checkpoint with a heat seeking device that will detect an elevated body temperature. If your temperature is up - you have to see a doctor. This is to prevent the spread of SARS - also well controlled. I think they are doing a great job controlling both SARS and the bird flu.
Q: Do you have any fear of the bird influenza that has appeared in VN?
Q: Do you think the people's life-style is getting better etc?
Scott: Absolutely !! Ho Chi Minh City is buzzing with construction. They have a long way to go to fix their infrastructure: roads, electric grid, water treatment, and transportation all need work - and are receiving it. Ho Chi Minh City is being remade. Improved industrial areas are everywhere. Most people work 6 days per week and are very productive.. The old Ben Hoa airbase is now an area with dozens of modern factories and good roads. Right outside the old entrance is a KFC and a bowling alley. There is a new International airport planned north of Ho Chi Minh City. The literacy rate is very high, and everybody wants to learn English. This is a country on the move.
Q: Do you have any other comments or suggestions?
Scott: Depending on how vets feel about the country, it can be an interesting place to visit. I encourage you to go if you can, but I don't blame you if you don't ever want to make the trip. Some guys want to close the whole thing out of their mind, some want to move on. I always relate the two points of view with my father and myself. My Dad was an Army veteran of the Pacific in WWII and fought island to island. He had no interest in Japan and would never buy a Japanese car. I'm different. It is an individual decision.
Scott Krueger - ABtry6/27thArty - May 1970 to July 1971 - Then and Now
Check out Scott's "Finding Quan Loi" where he describes an April 2004 return visit to Quan Loi and also "Return to Loc Ninh and FSB Wade", a story about a return trip to the Loc Ninh area in 2003.