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Vietnamese billionaire in Thailand longs for Quang Tri’s development

While joining the Quang Tri Provincial Delegation for the Olympic Day 2023 event in Mukdahan Province, Thailand, on June 24, 2023, I was delighted to reunite with Mrs. Ha Thi Ty after 26 years since we first met on the opposite bank of the Mekong River.

Vietnamese billionaire in Thailand longs for Quang Tri’s development

The Emerald Tower - Photo: N.H

In 1997, I had the fortune of meeting Mr.Seng Salim and his wife, Mrs. Ha Thi Ty, on the Mekong River. Mr. Seng Salim, a Chinese, and Mrs. Ha Thi Ty, with father from Hue and mother from Vinh Chap Commune, Vinh Linh District, Quang Tri Province, crossed paths with me on the East-West Economic Corridor.

Despite it being our first meeting, the circumstances seemed to draw us together, and we soon found ourselves discussing the idea of establishing a “pan-Asian bridge.” During that time, there was no bridge connecting Mukdahan, Thailand, to Savannakhet, Laos, across the Mekong River.

However, we shared a vision of a metaphorical “pan-Asian bridge” that exists in the hearts of people—an emotional connection that precedes the need for a physical structure.

Though both Mr.Seng and Mrs. Ty were wealthy billionaires with numerous properties and houses, what set them apart was their exceptional generosity towards others, life, and particularly Quang Tri. Their philanthropic endeavors were evident when they provided 50% of the funds required to support the Mukdahanprovincial Government in constructing the Emerald Tower—a remarkable and tall structure designed to captivate tourists visiting Mukdahan.

Mrs. Ha Thi Ty played a significant role in Mr. Seng’s life and accomplishments. I vividly recall the deep respect Mr. Seng had for his wife, acknowledging that she held the reins of their life together, taking care of everything. It seemed like he wanted to honor his wife and her hometown, Quang Tri, as he shared his desire to create something meaningful there. In time, the Super Horse Energy Drink Factory, owned by Chaichareon Viet-Thai Company, flourished in Lao Bao, a testament to Mr. Seng and Mrs. Ty’s joint efforts and dedication to Quang Tri.

Vietnamese billionaire in Thailand longs for Quang Tri’s development

The author and Mrs. Ha Thi Ty - Photo: C.T.V

After 26 years, I had the pleasure of reuniting with Mrs. Ty at a Thai-Vietnamese Association gathering in MukdahanProvince. While my previous encounter with her inspired me to write about “The homeland in the ”sight“ of the pan-Asian bridge,” this meeting left me with even more profound impressions.

Mrs. Ty, despite her age, exuded a youthful, cheerful, peaceful, and kind spirit. Her elegance and grace were evident, and she hosted regular delightful gatherings for the members of the Thai Vietnamese Association, personally overseeing the cooking and ensuring everyone felt at home.

Her mind, much like Mr. Seng’s from 26 years ago, remained vibrant, always focused on the greater good, supporting community initiatives and causes.

After enjoying a delightful session with the association, Mrs. Ty invited us to her grand residence—a majestic, resplendent castle that illuminated the night sky. Its magnificence was such that even from the highest point of the Buddha statue in Mukdahan (one of Thailand’s largest statues), one could still behold the castle”s splendor dominating the cityscape.

With Mr. Seng’s passing, Mrs. Ty now lives with her children and grandchildren. It filled my heart with joy to see that their dream for her hometown, Quang Tri, had become a reality. However, my heart also swelled with a mix of happiness and sadness when Mrs. Ty confided in me about her concerns about the Super Horse energy drink product.

Although it has been successful in many places across Vietnam, its consumption in Quang Tri remained relatively low over the past few decades.

Despite this, Mrs. Ty’s unwavering spirit and dedication to her roots were a testament to the lasting impact she and Mr. Seng had on Quang Tri’s development. Their legacy of generosity and commitment to their community continued to inspire those who knew them, leaving an indelible mark on the region they deeply cared for.

As I gazed up at the imposing castle that could easily overwhelm anyone, I couldn’t help but reflect on the true magnificence lying within Mr. Seng and Mrs. Ty—their gentle and kind hearts towards people and life. Parting ways with Mrs. Ty, I remembered our conversation from 26 years ago about the ”pan-Asian bridge“ that resides in people”s hearts.

The physical bridge connecting North Asia had been built, but what about the metaphorical bridge that would fulfill the remaining dreams of Mr. Seng, Mrs. Ty, and Quang Tri? What “bridge” would make Super Horse energy drinks more beloved and “refreshing” to the people of Quang Tri?

In response to Mrs. Ty’s opinions, Report No. 182/BC-DCT, dated 12/7/2023, from the Quang Tri Provincial Delegation, signed by Le Quang Chien, the Standing Vice Chairman of the Provincial People”s Council and Head of the Provincial Delegation, suggested increasing connection activities with the Vietnamese Thai Association in Thailand.

This initiative aimed to call for support and cooperation from the Vietnamese overseas to contribute to the development of their homeland while also creating favorable conditions for Thai businesses to visit and invest in Quang Tri.

Additionally, the investor of Chaichareon Viet-Thai Company in Lao Bao Commercial Zone, who is an overseas Vietnamese in Mukdahan, requested the province’s attention and promotion of the company”s products locally. They expressed concern over the limited consumption of their products in the Quang Tri market.

Therefore, the delegation proposed to the Provincial People’s Committee to assign the Provincial Center for Investment, Trade, and Tourism Promotion to support businesses in promoting their products and facilitating trade promotion in both local and domestic markets.

The responsibility for the response to this proposal now lies with every person in Quang Tri—a collective effort that holds the potential to bridge gaps and bring about positive change for the region.

Ngoc Mai - Nguyen Hoan

Ngoc Mai - Nguyen Hoan

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