VIETNAM: BACK IN BUSINESS

RISEN FROM THE RUINS OF WAR, THE NATION'S ECONOMY AND SPIRITS ARE FINALLY THRIVING. BUT PROGRESS IS UNEVEN AND HAS A LONG WAY TO GO

AT THE END OF A MUDDY TRACK 25 MILES OUTSIDE Hanoi lies the Ba Chua Khoa Pagoda. There, one recent afternoon, stood a taxi driver imploring the goddess of the treasury to ward off bribe-hungry police; a woman who had ridden 120 miles on her motorcycle to get the goddess's blessing for a new karaoke bar; and Hoang Ngoc Dung, a budding real estate magnate. "I came here at the beginning of the year so I'd make a lot of money," said Dung, a former schoolteacher. Afterward "I invested $40,000 in a piece of land outside Hanoi and sold it 10...

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