Hold on, Tiger, you’re not done just yet. While you may have made it through yet another festive season – for which you should be applauded – there’s still one more day to get through before you can start rebuilding that shattered bank account in earnest: Valentine’s Day.

Unlike Christmas when you can give your uncle that tin of cookies you received from a work colleague as a present and get away with it, Valentine’s Day is a whole different ball game. Your partner will be onto you as quick as Athlete’s Foot in a locker room should you even be thinking of doing something similar.

Valentine’s Day gifts need thought, and we’re guessing, you need a little bit of help with that. Every fool these days knows that you don’t get laid just because it’s Valentine’s Day. You’ve got to give, before you can receive.

So, here are seven gift ideas we’re pretty certain will help you get lucky this Valentine’s Day. But you know what they say? You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. That part we’re leaving up to you.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Photo: Vietnam Balloons

There aren’t too many more romantic notions than floating up in the sky among billowy white clouds and sipping on a champagne flute above one of Vietnam’s most beautiful and unusual environments. Vietnam Balloons, Vietnam’s first hot air balloon company, has been operating out of Phan Thiet-Mui Ne since 2017. They now also offer flights over the old capital of Vietnam, Hue. A typical 3-4 hour flight (US$165pp) lifting off from Phan Thiet or Mui Ne (depending on weather conditions) includes flying over the desert-like sand dunes of Mui Ne and peering into the daily lives of villagers, farmers and fisherfolk below. There have been numerous marriage proposals already during flights, so the team at Vietnam Balloons are experienced in making flights that extra bit special. If you’re going to propose, let’s just hope he or she says yes, because there’s nowhere to run and hide up there.

For more info, click HERE

Cocktail Making Masterclass

Photo: The Studio Saigon

Cocktails are synonymous with sex, think Between The Sheets, Sex On The Beach and the Orgasm, not that any of us have had one of those drinks since at least the mid-80s. Still, whether you’re trying to impress a suitor or wanting to rekindle the fire in your relationship, it helps a lot if you can impress with a new skill or party trick you’ve learned. And if sex = cocktails and cocktails = sex, then that’s a good enough reason to learn how to make a decent one. That’s when it’s time to call in the experts like Richie Fawcett from The Studio Saigon. You and your partner can hire Richie and The Studio Saigon for an ultra-exclusive Valentine’s cocktail making masterclass. What you get is bubbly on arrival in his gallery before moving into his fully-equipped bar where he’ll show you and your partner how to make two classics for the ladies (Cosmopolitan and Mojito) and two classic “man” drinks like the Old Fashioned and Negroni. You’ll also get to create bespoke cocktails to suit your tastes. The cost for an exclusive two-hour session is US$300. There are only two sessions available for two lucky couples. First in, first served, so shake a leg.

For more info, click HERE. For enquiries, email richie@thestudiosaigon.com

Love Hotel

Photo: Cupid Hotel

Let’s imagine your Valentine’s Day is going nicely to script, so much so that the two of you are talking rooms. While there’s no shortage of hotels in this city, ranging from flea-bitten ratholes all the way up to five-star opulence, it can be tricky getting a room if one of you is an unmarried Vietnamese female, due to an antiquated law that says if you’re not married, you need to purchase two rooms. There have even been cases where married couples have had to prove at check-in that they were indeed married. Talk about a mood killer. But Cupid Hotel in District 1 cuts through all the bureaucracy (no pun intended) and can get you into one of their themed-rooms as quickly as you can say jacuzzi. The hotel has 35 rooms over four floors, with a different theme on each floor, including a Japanese-inspired room. Kawaii! Rooms can be rented out hourly starting from US$4.50 for the basic Superior Room with a bed and bathroom, up to US$9 per hour for the Suite Room with a jacuzzi, sauna and a balcony. A nice touch is the free cosplay outfit and sex toy that comes with it.

Cupid Hotel is at 2bis Nam Quoc Cang Street, District 1, HCMC. For more info, click HERE

Airport Cafe 

Photo: thebureauasia.com

Although we’re living in an age of budget airlines, interminable delays and security checks, even planes going missing, we still seem to find romance in the idea of air travel. Just look around at the check-in counters at Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat Airport any day of the week and you’ll see the ladies done up in their Sunday best ready to fly back to the provinces. For some, it’s the idea of packing an overnight bag and jetting off to a far-flung exotic destination on a whim, leaving all those worries behind. For others, it’s about the machinery. How those big lumps of tin carrying everybody’s duty-free get off the ground, still fascinates us. Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday this year, so chances are you won’t be taking off on the day unless it’s for business, so why not do the next best thing? Hit one of the cafes under the flight path at the end of the runway at Tan Son Nhat Airport and feel the exhilaration of jets coming in to land and taking off. On the rooftop of Cafe San Thuong 111, you can actually see the pilots in the cockpit, you’re that close. In the evenings, things get more romantic when the sun dips below the horizon, the cool breeze picks up and the runway lights flicker (fade in Take My Breath Away song). Photography buffs and plane spotting nerds might be best to go to Cafe Ngam May Bay for the most optimal lighting to capture the aircrafts through a lens. After that, you can go to the aptly-named Mile High Club Lounge next door. No you can’t, just kidding.

Cafe San Thuong 111 is at 185-189 Quang Trung Street, Go Vap District, HCMC. For more info on Cafe Ngam May Bay, click HERE

VIP Barbershop Experience

Photo: Vu Tri Barbershop

Okay, this one’s just for the boys, but he’ll love you for it. Get your man the full VIP treatment at Vu Tri Barbershop, the legends of men’s grooming in Saigon. Brothers Vu and Tri established their business way back in 1992 after following in the footsteps of their father who still plies his trade on the sidewalk 100 metres up the alleyway from Vu Tri’s original shop. These days Vu and Tri are barbers to the stars and have become famous in their own right. They’ve just opened their 10th store in Saigon and have a stable of barbers more than 100 strong. The VIP barbershop experience includes a valet service from your man’s chosen location to one of Vu Tri’s shops, which will be open exclusively for him and his friends. He’ll get all his grooming needs tended to, including haircut, shave, hair and face wash, and even a good old fashioned ear clean if he’s up for it. In between treatments, he’ll be able to sip away on a choice whiskey and shoot the breeze with the rest of his crew, just as VIPs do. It’s a 2-3 hour bespoke experience that your man will talk about for ages. And when he finally comes back to you, he’ll be looking like a gazillion dong and ready to hit the town with you on his arm.

For more info, email us at thebureauasia@gmail.com or hit us up HERE

Drinks at NHAU NHAU

Photo: NHAU NHAU

NHAU NHAU is quite possibly the perfect inner city location for a sneaky rendezvous over drinks – exactly what you want for Valentine’s Day. It’s hidden away on the second floor of a building in the middle of a wet market just a stroll from Nguyen Hue Street. There’s no way of telling it’s there unless you’ve done your research. The bar seats a cozy eight people while there’s enough space for perhaps 20 at a stretch, making it intimate. The decor is inspired by 1960s Saigon, the so-called golden era of Vietnamese rock and roll. On one wall there are framed retro album covers of some of the top artists of the time, while classic Vietnamese tracks play from the speakers. The mottled-green handmade wall tiles look great under lighting and they go well with the custom-made wooden bar, stools and tables. But the real clincher for this as our choice of bar for couples is the creative, not to mention playful, drinks list. There are drinks like the coconut worm shot made with white rum, coconut cream and an actual crispy, caramelised coconut worm that comes skewered on a small stick of bamboo resting across the glass. Then there’s the cigar and whiskey cocktail served in a glass skull bottle sealed with a cork that allows the cigar smoke to infuse into the whiskey before drinking, while the cotton candy Old Fashioned requires you to pour this classic drink out of a small flask over a white, fluffy pillow of cotton candy. This drink has the ability to tease the child out of the crankiest of old fogeys. It’s all hands on here which is great fun and, in a sense, sets things up for more playfulness a little later on.

NHAU NHAU is at 89 Ton That Dam Street, District 1, HCMC. For more info, click HERE

Sex Toys

Photo: David Len on Unsplash

Well, you’ve read down to this last idea because you’re probably thinking all those ones above are great, but who are you going to do them with? Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten you. Your night in alone on Valentine’s Day is about to sound like the best idea of the lot. Read on. For a time, it was unheard of that you could buy dildos and the like in Vietnam, legally at least anyway. We’ve all heard the stories about expats trying to smuggle vibrating contraband into the country only to have it seized at that last darn x-ray machine before exiting the airport. We’re certain there have been quite a few satisfied partners of immigration officers over the years. But times have indeed changed. Shopkiss.vn is an online and bricks-and-mortar sex toy chain with five stores in Saigon and one each in Bien Hoa, Danang and Hanoi. Their ‘pleasure trove’ of rubbery goodies is extensive. Yes, size does matter in this case. If you can think of it, then they’ve probably got it, from condoms to lubricants, sex toys for men and women, including some nasty looking medieval BDSM gadgetry that wouldn’t look out of place on the shelves of a plumbing and hardware store. Shopkiss.vn, we are assured, stocks plenty of top quality Japanese-made items which, we are told, are what you should be spending your money on…apparently.

For more info, click HERE

7 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day 2019”

Leave a Reply