Vietnam: New President Tô Lâm, South China Sea Island Building (692 Acres) & Coal Energy & Flight Price Jumps with Valerie Vu - E434

· Podcast Episodes English,VC and Angels,Vietnam

 

“This goes back to the investment in infrastructure and logistics. Every move is very sensitive and has significant geopolitical implications. For example, the high-speed railway from Hanoi to Kunming suggests that we want to maintain a good relationship with China. However, the recent construction of the Funan Canal in Cambodia is also affecting our relationship with Cambodia, which Hanoi clearly dislikes. So, building more islands is kind of a hedge to assert our power and voice in the region, especially in the sea.” - Valerie Vu

“This is actually the central quandary for much of the green investment gap in Southeast Asia. At one level, it's fundamentally an electricity gap. There isn't enough electricity for each individual and the potential of who they can become as a productive worker in a factory or office, using computers and similar technology. So, there's an electricity gap. Secondly, there's the issue of the energy mix—how much of it is green versus coal versus oil. I think it's really difficult to resolve this effectively.” - Jeremy Au

“I think the risk of a bank run is completely eliminated. Even though the trial is still ongoing and there have been additional arrest warrants issued, it's clear that the government wants to address this corruption at the root level. They are doing everything they can to ensure that SCB is in safe hands. So, I think the message is clear: stability first.” - Valerie Vu

Valerie Vu, Founding Partner of Ansible Ventures, and Jeremy Au discussed three main themes:

1. New President Tô Lâm: Jeremy and Valerie discussed the recent stabilization efforts by the Vietnamese government amidst political and economic turbulence, with the election of the new president, Tô Lâm, who previously served as the Minister of Public Security. The filling of this and other vacant leadership positions signifies a commitment to anti-corruption measures​​. They also discussed the government lending an additional $1.2 billion to Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB) in the past two months, summing up to a total $24.5 billion bailout (equivalent to 6% of Vietnam's GDP, and primarily financed by increasing money supply).

2. South China Sea Island Building (692 Acres): Jeremy and Valerie discussed the country's dredging and landfill work in the South China Sea, creating almost as much new land as in the previous two years combined. They also covered significant initiatives like the high-speed railway from Hanoi to Kunming, China, and the implications of the controversial Funan canal project in Cambodia. She explained that these projects are part of Vietnam's broader strategy to enhance its regional influence and secure its economic future.

3. Coal Energy & Flight Price Jumps: State-owned EVN (Vietnam Electricity) has urged consumers and factories, including Foxconn, to reduce power consumption by 30% to avoid power cuts. Despite efforts to improve North-South hydropower linkage, Vietnam's infrastructure delays and the continued manufacturing-centric industrial plan have led to sharply increased reliance on imported and carbon-emitting coal. They also explained the reasons behind the 25% year-on-year increase in domestic flight prices, which has made direct flights within Vietnam more expensive than international layovers. They compared the budget carrier VietJet, known for its cost-effective international flights but frequent domestic delays, with the more reliable state-owned Vietnam Airlines.

Jeremy and Valerie also talked about the influence of political changes on investor confidence, the effects of rising fuel costs on domestic travel & logistics, and the tension between maintaining cultural heritage and embracing economic modernization.

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(02:11) Jeremy Au:

Morning, Valerie.

(02:12) Valerie Vu:

Good morning, Jeremy.

(02:13) Jeremy Au:

I heard that you've been traveling quite a bit.

(02:15) Valerie Vu:

Yeah, I just got back after a pretty long business trip. The main purpose is helping portfolio companies so I've been traveling to several countries in North Asia and the US as well. Also want to mainly educate these foreign investors on Vietnam because I think the recent foreign investor, mostly from like South Asia are very conservative right now and their action right now is to not invest further in Vietnam and wait for what's coming next and, as startup uh, who are quickly growing, some of them don't want to wait for the bear market to be over and they really want to fundraise right now and they want to continuously go as a hands-on VC. I want to find another channels To help my portfolio companies and the founders to keep going and finding another source of capital and not relying too much on just South Asian investors because yeah, I think most South Asian investors are very hesitant on Vietnam right now and they are kind of waiting for the moment of stability to come, but I'm super, I'm still very bullish. That the worst like volatile period is over. And now we are moving on to the more like stable period. And this is the time to invest. But yeah, I think most of the Southeast Asian investors are very careful right now and they, they don't understand. Yeah.

(03:37) Jeremy Au:

I think it's interesting because we previously were discussing some of these factors, right? Let's dive into it. So I think one of the big factors, of course, was the bank rescue, of Saigon Bank, but it looks like there's a recent article that just came out about how the Vietnam Central Bank has lent another $1.2 billion to Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank over the past two months. So now the total is $24.5 billion, which is the equivalent of 6% of Vietnam's GDP, right? What are your thoughts, Valerie?

(04:05) Valerie Vu:

Yeah. I think the risk of a bank run is completely eliminated. Even though the trial is still being ongoing and some more arrest warrants have been done. But it's really showing that the government wants to treat this corruption at the root level but they will not let a bank run happen and, they try everything they can to Make sure that SCB is in safe hands. So yeah, so I think the message is stability first.

(04:35) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, I agree with you. And, I think it's good to hear because you and I were kind of like, the first few people to really talk about this quite early in the process. And then now it feels the situation has stabilized, but I think bad news is still getting priced into the market now, finally. So it's quite interesting. Whereas I think there's a difference between the macro investor view and then what's happening on the ground, which is that the bank run has stopped from a retail perspective as well.

(04:57) Valerie Vu:

Yeah, not only just that. We elected a new president and it's much expected that Mr. Tô Lâm is the new president because he was the main conductor behind all the anti-corruption campaign. So he was previously minister of public securities. And his biggest agenda is still bringing stability and transparency to the government before we move forward with economic development. So now we have the state, we have the new president in Vietnam. I think brighter picture, and kind of stability is coming. So I think that's another very positive news for Vietnam. And that's what a lot of investors haven't seen.

(05:40) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, I think this is news for a lot of people, right? Which is that there's a new president, right? So there's quite a few vacancies from the anti-corruption campaign, with now Tô Lâm has been there and here he is. So in the secret ballot, 472 of 473 deputies voted in favor of nomination. And he's been a public security minister and joined the Public Bureau in 2021. So yeah tell us more about him because, a lot of people don't know who he is, right?

(06:02) Valerie Vu:

Actually, I don't know so much about him. I just know that he's a most powerful figure in kind of public security minister. He had a brief scandal before because he was in London eating at one of the most expensive restaurant in the world, the Salt Bae restaurant. And he was spotted eating goldflakes or something. That was a few years ago and that caused like a big debate that, oh, how can a public governor dine in such expensive restaurant and be eating gold flakes?

So that was only his minor scandal, but before that he was very low key person. I don't know the video of him eating at that restaurant and the gold flake was still around. I'm pretty sure it's already deleted from the media.

(06:44) Jeremy Au:

Yeah I mean, I'm sure the global media is still around. I definitely saw that video. It was during the COVID period, right? I think a lot of people are still staying home. Not necessarily because they had to, but, our precautions.

(06:55) Valerie Vu:

Yeah, and also average meal in that kind of restaurant and eating gold with 10 or 20 times more expensive than his salary. So yeah, it raised a lot of questions and doubts from the public. But yeah, I think that incident was completely re-raised from the media.

(07:11) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. So I think I went to go and quickly Google this for you, but the price of a gold steak is 2, 000 pounds.

(07:19) Valerie Vu:

Yeah. In the short video, he was like, eating that and yeah.

(07:23) Jeremy Au:

I mean, it doesn't look tasty at all. I'll say. You know, he's famous for the salt sprinkling and then he bounces up his forearm, right? So I'm like, does he always work out that one arm at the gym just to make sure that he has a nice muscle? Otherwise it doesn't, I don't, I didn't see this in my hand. I don't, I don't think people pay for my hand. Sprinkle salt like this.

(07:39) Valerie Vu:

Yeah, yeah, I don't know.

(07:40) Jeremy Au:

So yeah so you think that this guy will bring in more stability, right? I think stability is in two ways, one is that the post has been filled, that's one, and then two is who he is. How about the other roles? I know we had multiple vacancies as well for quite some time.

(07:52) Valerie Vu:

Other roles are also filled, but I think the main attention is Mr. Tô Lâm.

(07:59) Jeremy Au:

Gotcha. And would someone like him, I mean, how does it work? Do they get promoted after this?

(08:04) Valerie Vu:

He's already at the top. We are waiting for General Assembly Chair, Mr. Chuck. He's supposed to step down in the next term but there's still a little bit of unknown here, whether he's staying or he will stay for another term. I don't think he's supposed to stay for another term, one, because they can only stay for two terms, and secondly he's also older. So we need a stronger person. Yeah, just just looking at Mr. Biden, I think sometimes his health, we can clearly see he's having some trouble with his health because of his age.

(08:37) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, I think Biden is 81 years old, right? So I think in the US election, it's really a factor in his re-election odds and campaign, whereas Donald Trump is 77 years old, which is four years younger, not a huge difference. And then today, Barack Obama is 62 years old. So yeah, quite an interesting set of ages as well. So I think we'll also talk about the other issues. We talked about power has been an issue for Vietnam as well. How are things now in a power front?

(09:02) Valerie Vu:

Yeah. Talking about power supply, it has not been improved and very funny that EVN, which is the state-owned enterprise that control monopolize the power supply in Vietnam, sent a message to consumers that they should consume less power and encourage people to save more electricity. They also sent a message to a lot of factories in the north who are consuming the most power, including Foxconn, that they should reduce the power consumption by at least 30% to prevent further power shortages that happened last year. And the linkage between north and south hydropower is still oncoming. So it's not complete yet, but the central and north should be done this year. So that will help a lot of power shortage burden phase out. In the meantime, the government is importing a lot of coal to kind of balance out the shortage.

Coal does emit a lot of carbon emission. Not a lot of option right now because we are so hustling to compete with india, to compete with Indonesia to get all the benefit from supply chain diversification, so we have little choice right now. We have to compete. We have to hustle. And we're also giving tax bracket, tax deduction to this manufacturing chip company moving to Vietnam. So in order to not lose this battle, we are importing more coal.

(10:27) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, I mean, I just pulled it up the chart, right? So it looks like there's an all time high in coal generation, but also an all time high in fossil fuel emissions during this time period. This is interesting what you said, it's very export driven, the land market on Vietnam and then coal, was going down and now it's going up, especially there's a specific cyclical nature to it and then imports have been going up. So really interesting set of charts here.

(10:50) Valerie Vu:

Yeah. Because we have to compete. Imagine if Foxconn keep being told like you have to reduce power consumption, we would lose them to India or Indonesia or Malaysia. There's so

(11:00) Jeremy Au:

Some, yeah.

(11:01) Valerie Vu:

Yeah, so many competitors.

(11:03) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, go somewhere else. There's just enough power, right? Yeah, I think this is actually the central quandary for a lot of the green investment gap in Southeast Asia. It's like at one level, it's a fundamentalist electricity gap. There isn't enough electricity for each individual human and the potential of who they can become, as a productive worker at a factory or an office, using computers and stuff like that. So there's an electricity gap. And then secondly, it's like the mix of it, how much of it is green versus coal versus oil. So I think it's really hard for this to be resolved well.

(11:34) Valerie Vu:

Yeah.

(11:34) Jeremy Au:

I think another thing we've been talking about is also the travel. So there's a new article that came up, which is about the travel prices in Vietnam. Let me just pull up article here . So it says that the prices for Vietnam's domestic flights keep going up. So Vietjet, this is due to high fuel costs and a shortage of planes, and it has gone up by 25% year on year. So yeah, can you share a little bit more about that?

(11:55) Valerie Vu:

Yeah, this is actually a critical issue because I was looking at flight ticket for my family and it's from from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. And it's outrageous that direct flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi is more expensive versus if you do layover in Thailand, like any city in Thailand Bangkok, Phuket and like from Ho Chi Minh to Thailand, and then from Thailand to Hanoi, it's cheaper than if you go directly from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi.

Yeah, during the peak season earlier this year, like April 30 and May 1st, that's the peak travel season for earlier in the year for Vietnamese because they have a long holiday. A lot of people actually opt in to either travel internationally or book the flight to layover in Thailand because it's so much cheaper. And the airlines, not just Vietjet, but also Vietnam Airlines got a lot of criticism for not being able to control the fuel price. And there was a big issue that in the government meeting, the congressman was like talking about it as well. He really want the airlines to stabilize the price.

(13:00) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. Not an easy process. I mean, I think prices in general have gone up. I mean, I think a lot of airlines had the same issue, I would say, because, pandemic, that's one, then a lot of people storing their planes and then, fuel prices going up. But it's interesting because I think there are two types of airlines, right?

There's one type of airline that's doing well. I think especially the hubs, right? If you look at your top airlines in the US, at Singapore Airlines, they seem to be very well. And I think a lot of like domestic and local airlines are not doing so well. Could you share more about VietJet versus Vietnam Airlines? What's the difference between these two airlines?

(13:33) Valerie Vu:

Yeah. So Vietjet is the budget airline and is mostly privately owned. And it used to be known as a bikini airline because when it was first launched, the CEO, who is like the most famous female entrepreneur in Vietnam, she has a very notorious campaign that all the flight attendants will wear a bikini. Yeah, that's why the airline became super famous. But over time, like it has become the most effective airline in terms of cost. For the most part, if you fly international, your jet won't have delay. If you fly domestic, it will always have delay though. So Vietjet is kind of number one budget airline in Vietnam and it used to be known as the bikini airline. Vietnam airline is the national airline. It's mostly state owned. You can think of it as like Singapore airline, mostly state owned and not a budget airline, but of course they won't be allowed to have anything like bikini flight attendants because they are national airline.

(14:30) Jeremy Au:

When you compare Vietjet versus Vietnam Airlines, how do you make a choice between those two as a Vietnamese person?

(14:37) Valerie Vu:

Having flown in both, I prefer Vietnam airline of course because the seats are more comfortable. And Vietnam airline doesn't have delay especially for domestic flights, it never has delay, very rarely. Vietjet, if you fly domestic it will always have a delay, yeah. That's what I don't like about the airline. If you fly international and you want to save money, I would choose Vietjet. Because because international flight s, Vietjet is quite on top of their game, yeah. So don't have delays.

(15:05) Jeremy Au:

Interesting. I mean, I've flown both as well, but I think when I was going through, I wasn't paying attention. So I was just like, just took my flight and moved on with life. So it's interesting to see that there's a lot of comparison between those two. And now I know I probably want to fly Vietnam Airlines.

(15:19) Valerie Vu:

The flight attendants in Vietjet won't wear bikini anymore. They stopped campaign.

(15:24) Jeremy Au:

I didn't say that I wanted Vietjet because of that.

(15:27) Valerie Vu:

Yeah, that was like a long time ago.

(15:29) Jeremy Au:

I like how you just like, basically I just say Jeremy, clearly you chose Vietnam allies because Vietjep doesn't have it anymore. Oh wow. Okay. But so yeah, so there's a lot of other news as well. I think the big one as well is that there's also Vietnam is boosting its durian exports to China. I didn't know Vietnamese had durian. I had durians.

(15:48) Valerie Vu:

I think we talked about this. We used to not have, but recently a lot of farmers changed their crops to durian because durian has higher order value, higher, price. So more profit to them. So a lot of them swap to durian. And now that we are officially recognized partner trading partner with China in terms of durians compete head to head with Thailand.

(16:11) Jeremy Au:

Yeah.

(16:11) Valerie Vu:

But that's why you didn't know.

(16:15) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. So it's interesting because I never really saw that the Vietnamese eat durians. So I mean, obviously I've eaten quite a bit, but I don't really see like it's very popular fruit or I just not hang out around.

(16:25) Valerie Vu:

No, It's very popular and it's a type of food that most if you get it, you will love it and you're so addicted to durian. You don't get it The smell of it alone can, I don't know, scare you. Like the part of the durian smell can scare you but once you are addicted, you keep wanting to have more.

(16:42) Jeremy Au:

I do like durian. So do you like durian, Valerie?

(16:45) Valerie Vu:

Yeah. Yeah. I Okay. Deal. Looks like we need to do a durian party next time in Vietnam because I've never

I've had Malaysian durian. I'm gonna say that Thai durian ain't so good. I know. Cancel me for that, but compared to Malaysian durian, I think the style is different, right? I think the Thai prefer their durian to be less ripe, right? So I think it's a different flavor profile. How about the Vietnamese durian? Is it more ripe or less ripe? I think more more of right, but we don't have the Musang King type. It's harder to grow the Musang King type. Yeah.

(17:11) Jeremy Au:

Okay. I'm still willing to try. Okay. Next time I'm in Vietnam, you have to take me out and then uh, we have

(17:16) Valerie Vu:

Sure.

(17:17) Jeremy Au:

To see. Now and now I feel like I've got to compare. We can do like a stack rank who has the best durian in Southeast Asia. I think it's interesting actually as well. Now now I feel like there's a future topic which is like we should compare Thai versus Vietnam versus Malaysian durian. What's the word? Industrial policy slash agriculture. I know, productivity comparison.

(17:37) Valerie Vu:

Let's do it.

(17:37) Jeremy Au:

Let's do it. And then, I was just talking about other stuff as well. There was a new article that came out that Vietnam is like building a lot more islands in South China Sea. So Vietnam has created as much new land in the previous two years combined. So in other words, over the past year, Vietnam has created 280 new hectares of land compared to previously 163 and 140 hectares.

And so during the South China Sea, more than 3 trillion worth of trade passed through this. Of course, there are competing claims between China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam for the Spratly Islands.

(18:07) Valerie Vu:

Yeah interesting news. I actually didn't know that we are building more island, but this kind of going back to the investment in infrastructure and logistic. Every move is actually very sensitive and has like geopolitics meaning behind that. For example, the high speed railway from Hanoi to Kunming kind of hint that we want to keep good relationship with China. But then the recent Funan canal in Cambodia, also heating up some, some, some some kind of relationship between us and Cambodia, Hanoi clearly doesn't like that. So I think building more island kind of a hedge for inserting our power inserting our voice into the region, especially the, it's the sea. I know the international community call it South China Sea. As a Vietnamese, we are not allowed to call it South China Sea. We were taught to call it East Sea. So we, yeah, we keep reminding that. This is not China. We are not, we cannot rely on China and this island belongs to Vietnam. So I think this is a geopolitical, geopolitics insurance that we have more presence in its sea. And this is not South China Sea. Yeah.

(19:14) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. I think it's a big topic for sure and I, I don't think it's going to be resolved anytime soon. I think the recently obviously the Philippines and China have had some conflict. The Philippines President was at the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore, and he basically kind of like put a speech because, this is a forum for all the defense ministers from the US, from China and, a lot of other folks were there as well. And I think the two big topics from everybody's perspective was, of course, what is the Ukraine dynamic in Europe. The Ukrainian President Zelensky also flew in to talk about that. But the other big topic was, I think, China and it comes down to two parts, right? 2A, 2B, 2A being South China Sea Taiwan. Those were kind of like the topics that were for discussion for sure. And I think Philippines was basically, putting a very strong and drew kind of a line saying hey, this is what we care about.

(20:01) Valerie Vu:

I think this is a insurance hedging that if, if a war happened, yeah, we have more military presence.

(20:07) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, I think it's not an easy debate and I think it's not just China and everyone else but also everyone has competing claims with each other as well, right? It's kind of like a very hard negotiation path as well. We're talking about, kind of like tough times and conflict. I was just reading the Vietnamese Cinderella story, and it's quite different from the Cinderella story that my daughter likes to watch on Disney. Should we talk about it, Valerie?

(20:32) Valerie Vu:

Yeah. It's interesting. You can brief the story, but I didn't really think about the, that's like a Cinderella Vietnamese version until like when you you mention it, I think it's a lot more violence and brutal to comparing to the Western version.

(20:46) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. Let me try to summarize this, and I want to give thanks to Reddit and Oi Vietnam for sourcing this. Story is yeah, it's a classic story. There's two stepsisters, right? Kind of makes sense. And then Tam, lives with a sister, Cam? Is, is, how do I pronounce the name? Is, how, how do I pronounce the Tam and Cam, right? And then there's that mother who's evil and then Cam is lazy, and then obviously Tam is hardworking, and then there is a fairy that helps, kind of like, advise Tam, similar and then, one day the king announces a festival where the prince can be, and then she gets kind of like from the genie or the fairy nice clothes, slippers, carriage. And then she, similarly to the normal Cinderella, I guess, she also falls in love, the prince, they fall in love with each other. She leaves behind a shoe. And then it turns out that they, look for her and they find her because of the shoe. So this is actually all kind of like very similar, right? And then this is the part that kind of gets very different from my perspective. So the story of Cinderella ends at Disney here, which is happily ever after. But here she comes back to the home and then her stepmother devises a plan to kill Tam, Cinderella, and then chops down the tree that she's in.

And then she falls into a pond and drowns. And then the stepsister goes to the palace to take place, replace the, as a wife. And then she's reincarnated as a bird. And then then the prince falls in love with the reincarnated soul, I guess, of the bird. And then her stepsister kills the bird, which is the reincarnated Tom. And then after that, she's reconnected as a tree who falls in love with the prince again. And then they cut down a tree again, which is the reincarnated soul of Tam. And then she's reincarnated from the tree into another, I guess, a human girl again.

And then after that, the prince sees her and falls in love with her again. And then, The king wanted to put the stepsister, the stepmother to death, but then they should have pardoned them and then, the stepsister couldn't leave things alone, so she said, hey, how do you stay so beautiful, and through all the recarnations, and then Cinderella basically says, hey, bathing every day in boiling water helps me stay beautiful, and I'll be happy to help you if you want, And then she pours boiling water over the stepsister who dies.

And then she takes the stepsister's flesh, puts it in a jar and pickles it, and then sends the pickled meat to the stepmother and the stepmother was happily eating it. And then after that a bird that comes in and says, Hey, wow, look at this. A mother eating her daughter, please give me some.

And then the stepmother says, no, you're wrong. This pickles for my daughter is from the palace. And then she keep eating, and then at the bottom of the jar, she realizes it's the skull of her daughter. And then, the stepmother basically dies from her sadness. So it's the ending of the Vietnamese Cinderella.

(23:31) Valerie Vu:

That is true and that's kind of the story fairytale that we grew up on. And now thinking of it I feel like it was unnecessary. It's too many killing each other in between and very violent, yeah. For, for, for it to be a fairy tale for children.

(23:47) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. But you heard the story, from your parents.

(23:50) Valerie Vu:

Many times, yeah.

(23:51) Jeremy Au:

Wait, so what were you like, so you're in bed, and then she's reading you the story. Aren't you scared by the story, or did you feel like it was a normal story?

(23:58) Valerie Vu:

We even were taught the story in school as well.

(24:01) Jeremy Au:

Wow.

(24:01) Valerie Vu:

Yeah, in like first grade and second

(24:04) Jeremy Au:

Wow. So you're not scared at all. So you're just like, very normal story.

(24:08) Valerie Vu:

What did I know back then, right? That was the story that I was told.

(24:11) Jeremy Au:

Yeah.

(24:11) Valerie Vu:

Thinking back, I feel, I feel like it give, it make me tougher.,

(24:16) Jeremy Au:

You tougher?

(24:17) Valerie Vu:

Yeah. It's a bit scary, huh? I don't know if I want to tell this story to my future daughter.

(24:21) Jeremy Au:

You're getting soft. You're too westernized, Valerie. You need to stay strong. This is how the Vietnamese have stayed an independent country for hundreds of years. No, I think it's interesting, right? Because, it's like the first third of the story is exactly the same as Cinderella, right? And the second third of the story is the fact that there's a reincarnation story where Cinderella gets killed multiple times, but she keeps coming back. So there's a karma or the, the rebirth story, which is very Buddhist, right? And then the second, the last third of it is the justice component.

(24:48) Valerie Vu:

Yeah, but even the justice part, it could be like less brutal, I feel. Yeah.

(24:53) Jeremy Au:

I mean, I think it argues justified, right? Because, she was killed multiple times, while she was reincarnated into multiple bodies, right? As a bird, as a tree. And I guess technically, I guess the stepsister, the stepmother also got reincarnated as well, I'm sure.

(25:07) Valerie Vu:

It didn't mention the stepmother. Yeah. I think only the step the sister.

(25:11) Jeremy Au:

I mean, I'm sure they'll be, I'm sure they'll be reincarnated, right? I mean, maybe as an

(25:14) Valerie Vu:

That was not mentioned.

(25:16) Jeremy Au:

I guess it's implied. This is my adult asking, theologically, everybody goes through the wheel of rebirth, right? any other children's stories?

(25:22) Valerie Vu:

I think another fairy tale kind of famous to old Vietnamese child is the fairy tale of Than Dong. So he, was born and not able to talk or walk for three years straight. And then one day suddenly when the invaders, the foreign invaders came, he became like, oh, he ate something. I forgot exactly, but he became a very powerful heroes and saved the whole village from the foreign Yeah. That's another. Yeah. It's called Than Dong.

(25:51) Jeremy Au:

Okay. Send the link over and then we'll plug it in.

(25:53) Valerie Vu:

Yeah. Going really fast in a very short amount of time to defeat the invaders.

(25:58) Jeremy Au: Interesting. Never heard of this one.

That sounds very militaristic, but sounds, I mean, like a normal fairytale,

(26:03) Valerie Vu:

Yeah. But before the invader came, he cannot walk or cannot talk for years.

(26:09) Jeremy Au:

I think you can really see the morality behind that really.

(26:12) Valerie Vu:

Yeah.

(26:12) Jeremy Au:

War makes a man out of you. On that note, thank you so much, Valerie, for sharing.

(26:17) Valerie Vu:

Yeah. Thank you, Jeremy.