How to get a Vietnamese Girlfriend the Western Way


Today I heard the most unusual story, well maybe not that unusual, about a Western guy who really wanted a Vietnamese girlfriend.  At first when I heard it, I thought the waiter was joking. Here is how the story goes.

A couple days ago, this Western man, not sure about his age, brought a Vietnamese girl to the restaurant where I eat at a couple times a week.  The waiter, who I have known for nearly two years now, was asked to translate for the man since he could not speak Vietnamese.  The girl could not speak English as well.

The guy wanted the waiter to tell the girl he will pay her 100,000 VND per day if she would be his girlfriend.  She could live at his house but did not have to have ‘boom boom’ with him all the time.

The waiter told me that the girl did not respond but he felt she would accept the offer.  He knew who the girl was and said she worked at the bar nearby.

Oddly enough, this may in fact be quite common in the backpack area.  Wow, this is another world to me.  Call me naive but the Vietnam I know is much, much different.

I am curious to see if anyone out there have heard of similar stories?


  1. I am not surprised that this situation might occur but I am shocked at how cheap the supposed monger was or how naive this “bar-girl” supposedly is/was.

    Looking around Saigon one sees many, many couples that apparently have a relationship probably based more on economic necessity than romantic love. It seems also to be quite common for successful older Vietnamese men, even married men, to maintain a much younger second “wife” discreetly in a hotel or an apartment.

    Prostitution, while illegal, is ubiquitous in Vietnam. It isn’t as conspicuous here, thankfully, as it is in some neighboring countries, like in Cambodia or Thailand, but there are many, many thousands of “taxi-girls” just in HCMC. Many of these women(and boys/men) are engaged in this only part-time to augment their meager legit incomes or to (help) support their parents and siblings. This is so common that it would have to be considered a integral part of the culture of Vietnam. Vietnamese literature includes famous novels on this phenomenon.

    It is sad how many of these young people are exploited and have their lives ruined trying to make money quickly and relatively easily. Without much of an education or any marketable skills these youngsters have few legitimate options besides criminal behavior of some sort if they want to “get ahead”, or be the type of consumers they see all around them in the big city.

    Many young women are so anxious to help support their families that they marry foreigners from Korea and Taiwan in arranged transactions which are laded with pecuniary inducements. Once these victims have left VN their bargaining position deteriorates to nothing and they often have tragic consequences. Her extended family meanwhile, way out in the countryside, might have a brand new, solid, semi-furnished home made of brick and cement with tile floors and roof for the first time…

    Having a “pay to play” arrangement is preferable to most of the dangerous or odious alternatives available and the “kept woman” can hopefully learn some English as a bonus which could expand their legit job prospects.

    I doubt that many, if any, “bar-girl” in Saigon would be seduced today by such a parsimonious offer even if there wasn’t hardly ever any sex involved. Perhaps a girl fresh from the countryside might be amenable for awhile but once she had conferred with other more worldly women she would be gone quickly (with the furniture, etc.) or reopening the negotiations.

    • Don’t you just love it how this Clifton (I have seen him,also there are photos of him on the internet with his “girlfriend”) moralizes and talks about arranged relationships, older men & younger women,how younger are exploited, mentions Korean & Taiwan (but not westerners) older men and especially  when he mentions “relationships probably based more on economic necessity than romantic love” but conveniently doesn’t mention that he is one of those older men dating some young Vietnamese chick,who is probably at least 30-40 years younger than him.  So it is a hipocrisy when he says “It is sad how many of these young people are exploited and have their lives ruined trying to make money quickly and relatively easily” when he is the one exploiting the same young people, women in particular, for his perverted needs. But hey, a young beauty in her 20ties is too good to pass for guy approaching 70ties right? In the meantime he moralizes how it’s “sad and unfortunate” that young are exploited here because they want to make a quick buck. As long as there is demand Clifton there will always be supply.

      • Yes, I have been in a loving relationship with a much younger Vietnamese woman for over 6 years, I didn’t mention that because that fact wasn’t pertinent to my comments. Where is the hypocrisy(check how I spelled this…) in the comments I made? Your last sentence, Annie, is a classic non sequitur! What are you attempting to say? A demand for, and a supply of, what?Annie, you seem to be quite angry about something. Are you angry with me because of something I wrote? Because I happen to have a younger Vietnamese girlfriend? What “perverted needs” are you referring too? How am I exploiting my girlfriend? Have you asked her? Have you even met either of us? Your shallow, ignorant, impertinent and illuminating(about you) comments are really beneath contempt, or even a reasoned reply, but I am interested in hearing any responses to the questions I posed here. What say you?

        •  @Clifton  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why would such a young  girl follow a man approaching his 70ties and the other way around. No one is against what you do, it’s just that in first  post you are needlessly moralizing and labeling things as “sad” and “unfortunate” when your case is not much different. Some girls sell themselves per hour,some for much longer time. Prostitution is not just in form of bar girls who get paid with cash in hotels,it’s not always suffering. Not only girls who are forced by their parents to marry Korean men “will do anything  to support their family”. Questions like have you met us, have you asked her really are pointless because even the bar/taxi girls here would rarely  say they are being exploited. Exploiting someone doesn’t necessary mean they are hurting or having a bad time.
          By demand and supply I meant that as long as there will be poverty ,greed(y,controlling parents) and influx of  “foreign men with dollars looking for much younger girls” there will always be girlfriends like yours or girls like mentioned in the original post by author of this blog.  What can your young lady look forward in near future? Personal nurse in 5-10 years, widow in 15? Possible fatherless children before they reach teen years? I’ll leave you with the irony of your own sentence: “Looking around Saigon one sees many, many couples that apparently have a relationship probably based more on economic necessity than romantic love.”

        •  @Annie80852014 HI Annie, thanks for your comments.
          I have met Clifton many times since we first me.  He is not like the person I was writing about in the blog four years ago, far from it.  I could write a long comment backing up Clifton but guess what, he does not need it.  He is well liked by many so my recommendation is that you meet up with him.  His background is quite amazing and his conversations are always intellectually stimulating, something that is hard to find in Saigon these days with Expats.
          He was a draft dodger and I am a former Marine but I still like the guy. 🙂

  2. Hi Kevin
    Are you sure he offered 100,000 VND per day? that would be very cheap lol. Correct me if I’m wrong, she can get closed to $100 per night at some foreign bars.
    As a Vietnamese, I have heard this or similar story quite often, especially with girls working at local coffee shops. I’m not saying all of them, but giving them some cash, the chance of having them spend the night with is high.
    I agree with Clifton that “once she had conferred with other more worldly women she would be gone quickly (with the furniture, etc.)” LOL

  3. HI .. I have heard stories kind of like this also …. I recently heard of a guy that was paying $5 US for a “quick one” in a back room of a Go Go bar … he found a girl he liked a lot, so he said he was able to take her for $20 a day (as in all night at his hotel).

    I have also heard how it is also possible to “buy” a Vietnamese wife. I think they are usually girls from a rural area that are as poor as a church mouse. Interesting thing is, I have the impression such a girl is actually a really decent, nice, caring person of good character who is caught in quite a predicament. The parents could be facing desperate times … so a family decision is made to “sell” their daughter to help the parents with their financial situation … perhaps a medical situation?

    I saw some girls like this once there in HCMC …. they were responding to a cattle call for some Taiwanese businessmen who needed a wife. The girls were all kind of plain, but the look in their eye was one of sincerity of heart and simple kindness.

    Vietnamese women are used to being treated poorly often; seems to me ….. if she could get lucky and find herself in the hands of a man who truly loved her and cared for her …. well …. I bet she would turn out to be a very loyal companion indeed.

    I like the Vietnamese people a lot …. and it saddens me that many girls there there find themselves in such a situation ….

  4. Most of the girls who work for bars in Saigon they come from countryside, poor, uneducated, sometimes lazy and want a comfortable life,can’t get a decent job in the city and living far from their families. If their fathers know their daughters live such way they would disown them.

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