If your from the west then your used to sky high dating costs. You got to pay for gas, parking, dinner, movie tickets, drinks, highway tolls, the list goes on and on.
This all quickly adds up and soon you end up spending a significant portion of your paycheque all for an evening out with some broad that you may or may not end up seeing again.
According to an article from Yahoo Finance, the average cost of a date in America is a whopping $102.32!
But what about in Vietnam?
Are the dating costs in Vietnam just as high?
Well, in Vietnam expect the dating cost to be anywhere between 40,000 vnd (2 USD) to as much as 2 million vnd (100 USD).
This figure really depends on how you plan the dates.
In this article, we’re going to be examining further what you can expect to spend on a typical date with a Vietnamese girl and how you can plan your dates out to suit your budget.
Coffee Shop and Milk Tea
With the amount of coffee shops available to locals, finding one that suits your taste and budget shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll list three different types of coffee shops you can expect to find and the typical prices of drinks there.
Mom and Pop
You’ll see these ones on pretty much every corner here in Vietnam. It’s usually run by the owners themselves instead of a manager. Level of service can be mixed based on the owner’s management style and level of thrift.
I’ve had some wonderful experiences where the owners were extremely friendly and always greeted me. Sometimes I would even get free upgrades like bigger cups.
On the other hand, I’ve also encountered some really stingy owners that nickel and dime their customers. Employee turnover tends to be a lot higher at these places.
Since these are mom and pop shops, they usually aren’t as nice as some of the other more expensive places and drink selection is more limited.
But on the bright side of things, prices are usually lower then what you’d find at franchise shops, providing you with significant savings. If you pick a good place, expect personalized service from the owners and their employees as well.
If your looking to save some money or your just dirt poor then this is the ideal option.
Average price for two people: About 50-80k vnd($2.5-4 USD)
Xô Bồ – Trà & Cafe
This place specializes in serving egg coffee and their delicious banh mi toasted bread with milk egg dipping sauce. The coffee shops have a nice rustic colonial feel to them and you’ll feel like you’ve been whisked off to the 1940’s sitting here.
Expect prices to range between 20-40k vnd per an item.
Phú Nhuận district: 1 Phan Đình Phùng, Phường 17, Phú Nhuận, Hồ Chí Minh 700000
District 3: 243 Lê Văn Sỹ, P. 13, Quận 3, TP. HCM
Hân Hân Coffee & Tea
This is another mom and pop coffee shop that is situated right along the canal here in Ho Chi Minh City. The shop uses an open concept design and you will find chairs and tables littered all along the street.
During soccer matches, expect this place to be packed. Take a date here in the evening and dazzle her with a nice romantic view of the canel while the moon shines brightly above.
Expected prices: Between 20-35k vnd per a drink.
Address: 695A Hoàng Sa, District 3, TP. HCM
Expect to find a rich selection of coffee chains all throughout the city. Prices tend to be a bit higher compared to your local mom and pop shop but the decor is much more modern and the place usually has air conditioning which is a godsend here in Vietnam.
Average price for two people: Between 60-100k vnd.
Here are some very popular coffee and tea chains in the city of Ho Chi Minh City.
This is one of the most popular coffee and milk tea chains here in the city and with good reason. The coffee beans and tea leaves used here are very aromatic and high quality.
You can instantly tell the difference between the taste and smell of your drinks here compared to a mom and pop shop.
The shops tend to be very modern looking, clean, and have air conditioning, making it a great place to relax on an afternoon or evening.
Expected prices: Between 40-65k vnd per a drink.
Address: You’ll find one on pretty much every busy intersection and mall here but here’s a few popular ones.
122 Lê Lợi, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
325 Lý Tự Trọng, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh 74000
District 7: Crescent Mall, GF-21B Tầng Trệt Khu, 101 Tôn Dật Tiên, Tân Phú, Quận 7, Hồ Chí Minh
This one is a direct competitor to Phuc Long and the Coffee House. This coffee chain has some nice toppings for their drinks such as Lychee and peach. In addition, they also sell banh mi sandwiches for reasonable prices (around 18-20k vnd.)
Expected prices: Between 29k-60k per a drink.
Address: Pretty much all over Ho Chi Minh City but here’s a few to get you started.
70 – 72 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
114 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Bình Thạnh district: B1 Floor, 208 Nguyen Huu Canh , Ward 22, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh city
I don’t recommend that you waste money here as you’ll be attracting the wrong type of girls into your dating life but If your looking to splurge on your date, then these are the perfect options for you.
Average price for two people: Between 200-300k vnd.
Morico – contemporary japanese lifestyle
This place specializes in all things Japanese. If your date has a penchant for Japanese culture then there is no better cafe here in Ho Chi Minh City. Just don’t be surprised to have over the top prices for simple things like a coffee.
Expected prices: Between 80-120k vnd per a drink.
District 1: 30 Lê Lợi, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Bình thạnh district: 92 Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, Phường 22, Bình Thạnh, Hồ Chí Minh
District 7: Crescent Mall – 2F-101 Ton Dat Tien, Dist.7, Ho Chi Minh, Hồ Chí Minh
For a typical coffee date, your looking at spending between 40k-100k vnd on average unless you decide to take her to some high end place like Morico’s.
Budget Restaurants and Street Food
Vietnam is home to thousands of mom and pop restaurants and street food stalls. Its nearly impossible to walk down a street and not see some place that is selling food. You can eat pretty cheap at most of these places, although cleanliness is another issue.
Average price per 2 people: Between 40-100k vnd.
Here’s a few places to get you started.
Bánh Cuốn Nhớ
This mom and pop restaurant specializes in rice flour rolls (Bánh Cuốn) and is well known for their egg flour rolls. Its your typical mom and pop run of the mill eatery. A plate of rice flour rolls will run you between 45-55k vnd.
Expected prices: 90-110k vnd for a couple.
Address: 353 Lê Văn Sỹ, Quận 3, TP. HCM
Street Stall Vendors on Nguyen Hue Street
If you don’t know where to take your date for some cheap street food then come here. As a bonus, this street is an excellent place to take a date on a nice evening out. There are more than a dozen street food vendors selling food on the streets of Nguyen Hue.
Average Price: 20k vnd per an item.
Món Huế Restaurant
This is a popular franchise restaurant that specializes in central Vietnamese cuisine. Most of the dishes are reasonably priced and taste decent by local Vietnamese standards.
You should be able to locate one at all big shopping centers or busy streets. If you don’t know where to take a date for some food then this is a safe option.
Average Price: 60k per a dish
Address: All throughout Ho Chi Minh City. Here’s a few to get you started.
72 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
201 Đề Thám – P.Phạm Ngũ Lão – Q.1, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Banh Mi Sandwich Shops
The classic Banh Mi sandwich is an everyday staple in a Vietnamese household. You can find hundreds of thousands of street stalls selling banh mi sandwiches.
Most of them even offer choices on the selection of meats that go into your sandwich. It’s a very cheap option that offers great value. Grab a sandwich or two and take a stroll down a park.
Average Price: Between 15-25k vnd per a sandwich.
A quite busy chain of restaurants specializing in Thai food. You can pretty much find one of these restaurants at any large mall here in Ho Chi Minh City.
Costs for a meal isn’t too bad. Most entrees cost somewhere between 65-110k vnd.
Average Price: About 250-300k vnd for a couple.
Address: Any big shopping mall in Ho Chi Minh City. Here’s one location to get you started.
District 1: Vincom Center 1, 70 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Wrap & Roll
This is another restaurant chain that specializes in Vietnamese cuisine, especially wraps and rolls. Expect to find one of these restaurant chains at a shopping mall. At this place, your looking at forking over about 80-100k vnd for a dish.
Expected Cost for 2 people: 250-300k vnd.
Address: Most shopping malls. Here’s one to start you off.
L5 – 05, 5th Floor, Saigon Center, 65 Le Loi, P. Ben Nghe, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
This is a popular buffet hotpot chain in Vietnam. Unlike other more conventional hot pot restaurants, all the food items are placed on a conveyor belt and you simply grab what you want to eat and put it into your hot pot.
There is also a small section of non-hot pot related items such as sushi, fried rice/noodles, and some deserts. Its a good place to take a date to if you don’t mind the high costs.
Expect to spend around 600-700k vnd per a couple.
Address: At most malls and busy streets. Here is a few to get you started.
72 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Takashimaya, 92-94 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
San Fu Lou Cantonese Restaurant
If your craving Chinese food, especially Cantonese food then this place would be a safe bet. There are multiple locations throughout Ho Chi Minh City and they are all highly rated. The restaurant chain serves a combination of dim sum, rice, noodles, and stir fried dishes. Prices are a bit on the high end so be prepared if coming here with your date.
Expect to pay around 500-600k vnd per a couple.
Address: All throughout Ho Chi Minh City. Here’s a few locations.
District 1: AB Tower, 76 Lê Lai, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Phú Nhuận District: 195-197 Phan Xích Long, Phường 7, Phú Nhuận, Hồ Chí Minh
District 3: 117 Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, Phường 6, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh
In the west, having movie dates aren’t exactly the ideal type of dates but here in Vietnam, its actually quite common, although I wouldn’t recommend you do a movie date on your first date.
Here in Vietnam you will find a variety of different movie theater companies unlike in the west where there’s often a duopoly or oligopoly that corners the market charging exorbitant fees just for a ticket.
As a result, you will find tickets much more reasonably priced and a lot of perks as well such as free gifts that come with movie ticket purchases.
Here is a list of the most popular movie chain franchises here in Ho Chi Minh City.
- Galaxy Cinema
- Lotte Cinema
- BHD Star Cinema
On Weekends expect ticket prices to be the most expensive and soar to around 180-300vnd for a couple.
On Tuesdays or other normal days of the week ticket prices are reduced to around the tune of 70k vnd per a ticket.
Average price: Around 180k vnd for a couple
Bars and Sky Bars
If you looking to take your date to somewhere a little more fancy and with a nice view of the city then head over to a skybar. keep in mind however these places tend to be quite loud and it ain’t gonna be cheap. Expect to pay around 150-200k vnd per a drink depending on when you show up.
This place has been around for a while. Its loaded with hookers and can be quite crowded depending on which days and time you come here. If you and your date is into partying and drinking then this place could work out for you.
Average price of a beer: 80-100k vnd.
Address: 2 Lý Tự Trọng, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
This is a skybar that is famous among the locals and is centrally located in district 1. Like Lush, expect to find some hookers here seeking new clientele.
The cheapest beer here will run you 99k vnd while a signature cocktail will be 150k vnd. Not exactly the cheapest place to take a date, but if your looking for a nice view of the city mixed in with some alcohol and loud music then why not?
Cheapest price of a beer: 99k vnd
Address: AB Tower, Tầng 26, 76A Lê Lai, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Who doesn’t like free? If your looking to keep your dating costs in Vietnam down to a minimum then look no further. This section is perfect for you.
Nguyen Hue Walking Street
Usually packed on weekends and in the evenings. You will find a lot of locals and tourists here snapping selfies all throughout the day.
In the evening, the whole street is lit up with decorations and sometimes there are events that take place here.
Lots of street food vendors are situated here, and if that isn’t enough, there are loads of cafes and restaurants as well.
Address: Nguyễn Huệ, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Bui Vien Walking Street
This is the redlight district here in Ho Chi Minh City. Extremely loud and shady, think Khao san road but in Vietnam. This is where all the foreigners like to congregate. Lots of bars and eateries can be found here.
Address: 206 Bùi Viện, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh 700000
Tao Đàn Park
This lush park is quite popular with the locals. You will see many locals come here early in the morning to exercise on the machines laid out on the park.
During festivals such as Tet, expect to see amusement rides and games available, along with street food.
Address: Trương Định, Phường 6, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Vinhomes Central Park
This newly built park is located directly beside the saigon river in Bình Thạnh district. The park is quite clean and is popular with the locals looking to go out on a date in the evening.
Address: Phường 22, Bình Thạnh, Ho Chi Minh City
If you’d like to learn more about these places and some of the best date locations here in Ho Chi Minh City then check out this article here.
Sample Date Cost Breakdown
I have created a sample date cost breakdown for you. Just pick 1-3 activities from the above list and voila, you got yourself a great date for the evening with a estimate of the costs.
Keep in mind that I am basing these costs in Ho Chi Minh City, the most expensive city to live in Vietnam. Expect the costs to be much lower in other smaller cities and provincial provinces.
- First venue: Meet for a coffee or milk tea
- Cost: 40-100k vnd (About $2-5 USD) for two drinks
- Second venue: Street food stall
- Cost: 60k vnd (About $3 USD) for 2
- Third venue: Go for a walk at Nguyen Hue street
- Cost: Free
Total Cost: 100-160k vnd ($5-8 USD)
- First Venue: Movie Theater
- Cost: 180k vnd for two tickets
- Second Venue: Dinner at a mid-range restaurant
- Cost: 250k vnd for two people
- Third Venue: Walk around Vinhomes central park
Total Cost: 430k vnd ($21.5 USD)
- First venue: Dinner at high-end restaurant
- Cost: 700k vnd for two
- Second venue: Drinks at a skybar
- Cost 800k vnd for two rounds
- Third venue: Back to your place
Total Cost: 1.5 million vnd ($75 USD)
In this article, I discussed various dating costs in Vietnam ranging from free to high-end. Furthermore, a sample date cost breakdown was provided for each option.
The dating costs in Vietnam can essentially be anything you want it to be. If your on a budget then take the girl to wallet friendly locations. If your looking to impress the girl with the size of your wallet, take her to more upscale places.
You have unlimited options here.
Compared to the west, taking a beautiful Vietnamese girl out on a date here is a bargain. Going out on a fun and lovely evening shouldn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
If your smart about it, you can have a great time with your date without going broke and you’ll still score with the girl.
Let me know in the comments below, where you guys like to take a girl out on a date here in Vietnam.