Vietnam

537px-Coat_of_arms_of_Vietnam_smallWell here I am back from a two week holiday in Vietnam, ready to launch into term three!

Vietnam is really an amazing country to visit – I would highly recommend it. This was my second visit and I noticed straight away that now nearly all motor bike riders wear helmets. When you cross the road in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, just close your eyes and walk. Somehow they weave around you! It is amazing what they carry on their motor bikes – sometimes up to 4 or 5 people, furniture (I saw a couch balancing precariously) and even farm animals.

450px-Motorbike_jam_Saigon_Vietnam

The currency is Vietnamese Dong (VND) with the current exchange rate being:

1 Australian Dollar = 14,077.0 Vietnamese Dong  (from oanda.com )

So after exchanging $100 (AUD) I was an instant millionaire! It occured to me that Vietnamese students may have a better grasp of  place value having to deal with such large numbers daily.

002aA taxi fare was very cheap in Hanoi – the flagfall was 12 000 VND which did not increase until you had travelled 1.14 km!

Unlike Australians, the Vietnamese people spend a lot of time on the “footpath” in front of their shop/house. Here they cook and eat their meals, chat, smoke, drink and play Chinese Chess.

I often found myself stopping to watch a game, wondering what the strange chinese characters meant? I even got dragged into a game, but they quickly became amused when I did not move the pieces correctly.

150px-Xiangqi_Cannon_%28Trad%29_svgIn “Xiangqi” the two sides (red and black) have different characters for the same piece! Pictured are the black and red Cannons which move the same way as a rook (castle). To capture though they have to jump over a piece that is directly between the cannon and the target.

If interested you can read the full rules at  “An Introduction to Chinese Chess“.

Or you might like to download my Vietnam assignment by first clicking the Scribd icon at right.

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About webmaths

I have been teaching Mathematics in Victorian secondary schools for 30 years. I use the www to make my maths lessons better. I hope this blog will give other teachers some ideas to try in their own classes.
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2 Responses to Vietnam

  1. AdrianC says:

    I look forward to playing Xiangqi Jeff!

  2. Vincent says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I’m wondering if you’re teaching math in vietnam because I’d love to become a math teacher in vietnam but haven’t got a clue how to apply there.
    By the way, I’m Vincent and am a Vietnamese living in the United State.

    Vincent Nguyen

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