I was faced with this exact same dilemma when I was still new to the city and the local dating scene. On the one hand, I had read online and heard from others that Vietnamese girls are very conservative and expect to be dating you for a while before putting out. But on the other hand, some guys had claimed that they were bedding girls on the first night here.
This left me confused on what was the proper strategy for dating the local women here. So I did what most logical men do, they experiment and test out different things and collect data to arrive at an answer. I spent countless hours experimenting with different venues and places trying to find the optimum place to take a girl out on a first date here in Ho Chi Minh City.
On my very first date here in Ho Chi Minh City, I was able to bed a business major university student on our first date, however subsequent dates with other women did not yield the same results.
In fact, most of them put up resistance coming over to my place. This was further amplified when I tried to escalate on them when they were in my bedroom, which ultimately lead to nowhere except me getting a set of blue balls. However, once in a blue moon, I would be able to pull a girl over to my place on our first date. After making repeated trial and error attempts, this is what I arrived at:
The best place to take a girl on a first date in Ho Chi Minh City is a coffee shop.
And here’s why:
Most of the girls here in Ho Chi Minh City are pretty conservative and have this idea of dating for long term. Casual dating for a lot of them is a completely foreign concept. Most of them date with the intention and expectation of things progressing into a long term relationship at the minimum.
By pushing for the girl to come directly over to your place or trying to bring her home on the same night, you will find that your gonna lose a lot of leads that otherwise would have come over if you had only dated them a bit longer.
Low Pressure and Low Cost
A coffee date is a low pressure low cost date that leaves both parties feeling less stressed out and improves your chances of actually getting the girl out on a date. The last thing you want is for the girl to flake on you, and it also helps you screen for gold diggers and women who are looking for a meal ticket. I’ll explain more about this point in a second.
High pressure dates here in Vietnam, often times end up with the girl flaking. The easier and less stressful you make the date, the better your odds are that she will agree and actually show up on the date, which is what we ultimately want.
Allows You to Screen The Girl
In addition, coffee dates allow you to screen the girl out. On the date, you will be able to make an educated guest on what exactly are her motives and goals for going out with you, assuming your social acuity is good.
This not only protects you from being taken advantage of, but also allows you to determine whether the girl is either very conservative, a slut just looking for some fun, or a gold digger/visa chaser looking to take advantage of you because of your naivety.
I’m going to let you in on a big secret that a lot of guys never mention about dating Vietnamese girls. There is a subset of women that I would estimate around 5-10% of the girls that you will most likely encounter if you date enough women here that are using men for financial means.
These are your classic gold diggers and semi-pros that you often hear about. Some of them may even be full fledged hookers but they never will let you in on this fact until much later on, when they have their claws sunk in.
By suggesting a coffee date, at least 1/3 of the these women will ghost you and drop off the radar. The other 2/3 you will be able to gauge on the date and act accordingly.
They usually try to grab frame and take charge of the date and suggest you go somewhere else, usually a more expensive place to empty your wallet. Some of them may even use sex to lure you into becoming their sugar daddy or white knight savior.
Also the coffee date allows you to screen for any issues with the girl. Perhaps she’s psychotic or has baggage. Who knows. You can determine your compatibility as well on this short coffee date. It would suck to have to spend hours on a date with a chick that is an absolute bore fest or just driving you insane.
Saves You Money
Lastly, I’m under the believe that you shouldn’t be spending boat loads of money on a girl until she’s proven herself worthy. I mean besides her looks, does she bring anything else special to the table?
Don’t be some fool spending a tonne of money on some gold digger broad that’s gonna go home and brag to her friend’s how much of a sucker you were for buying her all those things and taking her out to expensive restaurants.
You want a girl to go out on a date with you because she likes you, not because she likes the size of your wallet.
For the first date I recommend that you choose a coffee shop that is close to your place or convenient for you.
In case the girl flakes, then no biggy. Your not too far away from home and can do something else. If the girl is down for sex, then you can very easily pull her over to your place.
If she’s the conservative girl, the coffee date will help you build comfort and rapport with her. It also leaves her wanting more and making her eager to see you again in the future.
Ok now we know we should be taking a girl to a coffee shop for our first date, but where exactly? Here is a brief list of coffee shops that are popular with locals and foreigners alike to help get you started.
Brief List of Coffee Shops
This is a famous chain of coffee shops that you will found littered all throughout Vietnam. There should be several shops in whichever district that you live in. Prices for drinks are typical of these chain coffee shops which is a little more expensive then your mom and pop cafes. However, they have air conditioning and also serve banh mi sandwiches and deserts as well. Expect to spend around 90-100k vnd for 2 drinks here (about $4-5 USD).
Another very famous coffee and tea franchise that you will find throughout Vietnam is Phúc long. It’s very popular with the younger crowd. The drinks are around the same price as Highlands Coffee but I find the milk teas to taste superior and have more flavor. You should be able to find a shop around your area.
The Coffee House
Yet again another coffee chain with multiple locations in each district to take your dates on. I find the selection here a bit lacking compared to Phúc long and Highlands Coffee, however they make up for it with a nice ambient environment and decor. Usually the Coffee House isn’t as busy as a Phúc Long or Highlands Coffee chain, which is a plus if your on a date.
The Running Bean
This is an upscale coffee shop located in district 1. The place is nice and spacious and has a nice interior decor with lots of seating. The prices are a bit on the higher side though. Expect to pay around 120-150k vnd ($5-6.5) for two drinks. If your staying in district one and around the Nguyen Hue walking street then this is a good option.
Address: 115 Hồ Tùng Mậu, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Keep in mind that coffee culture is huge here, even more so then in North America. Therefore, finding a coffee shop anywhere should be child’s play. Just walk around your neighborhood and do a little scouting one day. You should be able to find a few good locations nearby to take your date on.
How Long Should You Spend On Your Coffee Date?
I recommend no more than 1.5 hours for the date. That should be more than enough time for the both of you to get to know each other and feel more comfortable, while not letting things die out and become boring.
Nowadays for coffee dates, I usually don’t spend more than 1.5 hours on the date. I can usually tell whether or not we are compatible within this time frame. I like to keep it short so that you don’t give away all the interesting things about you, while at the same time, it leaves room for more things to talk about on your future dates.
Well there you have it folks, a practical guide for where to take your date on your first date in Ho Chi Minh City. A coffee date is simple and stress free, for both you, your date, and your wallet. I’ve given you a few recommendations on coffee shops that you can take your date on and a time frame for how long the date should last for.
Remember, If a girl ain’t willing to go out and have a simple coffee with you, then perhaps she isn’t even worth your time.