excerpt from: vietnamonline
In some countries, love is often accompanied by sex. In Vietnam, sex is considered as a taboo subject and having pre-marital sex is unacceptable according to the social convention. Therefore, couples in Vietnam have been expected to have a platonic love before they officially get married.
In the countryside, a true love does not necessarily lead to marriage owing to family pressure. In exchange for a safe and secure life, the concept of love of many Vietnamese women have changed from romantic feelings to sense of security, although there is no guarantee that a family is stable without true love.
Tip for dating in Vietnam: it is conventional that men are supposed to pay for the bill as a gallant act.
Is it because the Vietnamese have no word for "I" or "you" in colloquial Vietnamese? Aren’t they passionate? Here they address each other according to their relative ages: "anh" for older brother, "chi" for older sister, "em" for younger sibling and so on. This is why Vietnamese quickly ask strangers how old they are so that they can use the appropriate pronoun and treat them with the correct amount of respect.
So apart from that I found that a love relationship might start at one of the lakes, especially Tay Ho on a motorbike as one has to hold each other if not to fall from the bike. Yep, that’s the way it might be heading too. And than you’d better get it right. If you want a Vietnamese girlfriend or wife do it right. Get it wrong and she’ll turn into the most evil creature with a sweet smile you’ve ever seen not like watching yucky romantic movies but something to be reminded of a million ways you’ve only seen in horror movies.
Ah, and now spring is starting it’s a great time. I gotta love this time as a photographer to see all the attempts by couples sitting on motorbikes, benches and around the traffic roundabout at the Hoan Kiem Lake slightly flustered and trying to get closer for the first time - an ongoing theme. But all in all this is rather cute if a little bit awkward sometimes.
Actually there are coupes over couples at the lake shore young lovers sit and chat, daringly sitting close enough together to scandalize the traditional mums. It’s slightly dark so there’s some cuddling going on with their bikes positioned like curtains. Another trend is teenage cafes. Most of them are nicely decorated in clashing colors, with themed objects and romantic kitsch that encourages teenage flirting. The menu is strictly sweet drinks and fast food.
If you stay here more than a few days and walk along the streets, alleys and lakes you can appreciate their efforts to find themselves and one another.
All kidding aside, love in Vietnam is a beautiful, passionate, affectionate, like everywhere else in the world. It’s expressed in sharing food, laughing and teasing each others. Pushing and poking and most of all touching each other, the physical affection that bonds them together.
So see and enjoy!