Last updated: 02:45 PM ET, Tue May 24 2016

Obama's Asian Visit: Where is He Headed Next?

Features & Advice | Janeen Christoff | May 24, 2016

Obama's Asian Visit: Where is He Headed Next?

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Barack Obama is racking up the frequent flier miles during his last year as President of the United States. His most recent trip to Vietnam and Japan marks his 10th visit to Asia.

As the president looks to pivot to issues in the Asia Pacific region that remain on his agenda, he made his first stop in Hanoi, Vietnam, where he lifted an arms embargo. (If the president wants to know what to do during his visit, he can pick up some pointers from TravlePulse President and CEO Mark Murphy here).

While making headlines with his new Vietnam policy, the President did find time to mix business with pleasure, sitting down with culinary globetrotter Anthony Bourdain for a meal and, while viewers won’t be able to find out what actually went on during their meeting until the show airs in September, Obama dropped some spoiler alerts in an address to the Vietnamese people.

“On this visit, my heart has been touched by the kindness for which the Vietnamese people are known,” said Obama. “In the many people who have been lining the streets, smiling and waving, I feel the friendship between our peoples. Last night, I visited the Old Quarter here in Hanoi and enjoyed some outstanding Vietnamese food. I tried some Bún Cha. Drank some bia Ha Noi. But I have to say, the busy streets of this city, I’ve never seen so many motorbikes in my life. So I haven’t had to try to cross the street so far, but maybe when I come back and visit you can tell me how.”

READ MORE: Immersion in Hanoi’s Lovable Chaos

The President then headed to Ho Chi Minh City where he visited the century-old Jade Emperor Pagoda, one of the city’s must-visit tourism attractions and an important Buddhist monument in the city. It was built by a Chinese man in the early 1900s and spans 2,000 square meters, reflecting Chinese culture in the early 20th century through its architectural design.

Obama then met with members of the Civil Society at the JW Marriott and held private meetings at the U.S. Consulate staff in the city before visiting with Young Southeast Asian Leaders. 

READ MORE: Ho Chi Minh City: Energetic Vietnam

The President’s next stop will be Shima-Ise, Japan, to attend the two-day Group of Seven (G7) summit, and he will conclude his week-long Asia trip with a historic stop in Hiroshima, Japan, becoming the first sitting president to visit the site of the world’s first atomic bombing.

READ MORE: Japan On the Cheap: Essential Money-Saving Pointers

According to the White House, the May 27 visit to Peace Memorial Park is aimed at promoting nuclear nonproliferation and the President will be joined by Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, who will help promote the President’s efforts “to realize a ­nuclear-free world.” 

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