guest post: good morning vietnam

(Anthony wrote a bit about his current journey in Vietnam!)

The day started just like any other: alarm off at 6, teeth brushed, workout clothes on and off to breakfast. Except something was different this morning. Oh, that’s right, I woke up in Ho Chi Minh City.

Breakfast was the usual, an omelet with the works, some crunchy/overly toasted whole wheat bread and a selection of fruit including dragonfruit (the white spotted one).

Interesting fact: Dragonfruit is a staple in the Vietnamese diet and an important export crop, especially in Europe where Vietnam supplies 40% of the market (I strangely found this info out via google which directed me to the website of the company where Mary works).

Over breakfast, I thought about some of the entrepreneurs I’ve been blessed to meet with on my trip so far. For example, we are working with an entrepreneur in Vietnam who manufactures LED lights (Light Emitting Diodes). These highly energy efficient lights can apparently be used to increase the harvest of dragonfruit. A standard plantation will produce 4 harvests a year. One with normal lights shone on the dragonfruit tree at night will produce 7, while the LEDs can produce 9.

Unfortunately the technology is still fairly expensive which means that farmers are more worried about the upfront costs of producing more dragonfruit versus the profits of having more dragon fruit at the breakfast buffet for me to eat. In the meantime, the parent company is doing just fine assembling Korean karaoke machines downstairs.

(Favorite karaoke songs to sing to? Mine include Elvis, select songs from Grease, most 90s music and Nelly).

After breakfast I realized I didn’t have time to go to the gym to do a full workout, so I decided to do a workout-of-the-day in my room. The Traveling WOD posts a new workout each day. These workouts are ideal for those who travel a lot, don’t have access to a gym, or just couldn’t be bothered leaving the house. The workout included 7 rounds of; 15 (4 count) butterfly kicks, 10 supermans and 10 pushups. The butterfly kicks are a great ab/core workout, supermans ideal for back and posture while pushups are well, self-explanatory (Tip: I always google the WOD exercises to either figure them out if I don’t know them, or check that I’m doing them with the right form).

I then packed up my bags, had a skype date with Mary and was out the door to visit an electric car start-up based about 2 hours by hydrofoil outside of HCM City.

Hydrofoil: a motorboat that has metal plates or fins attached by struts fore and aft for lifting the hull clear of the water as speed is attained.


Hydrofoils are very cool. But check out the electric cars I saw.

After a few test-drives, a visit of the factory and presentation of the company’s planned future models,we ate a tasty home-cooked Vietnamese meal and chatted about the owner’s story of how and why he started the company.

Inspired by Apple, Lego, and Ikea, Randy sees a future where simple, stylish and affordable electric cars show up at your doorstep in a flat pack, with screwdriver and instruction manual included. For those who aren’t good with DIY projects or putting together Ikea furniture, I’d suggest sticking to the assembled version when the models come out.

After quick stop for some sugarcane juice, we headed back to the boat.

It was a long day, but I was feeling accomplished from my workout, inspired by the company visit and full from too much caramelized pork.

Next stop: Ethiopia.



  1. FRD

    Those cars seem pretty interesting and maybe when the actual style is a bit closer to the sketches they will have more market appeal. Wonder what the mile range per charge is ? Gotta get one of those boats !

  2. Pingback: go ducks « minutes per mile

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