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And after that, I started to know what a one-night stand is or I started dating and went to bed after one week or something, you know? Because there’s too many Vietnamese girls like this out there. They’re relatively okay-looking, and they still choose that option? We don’t want to put up with that [stuff] that our mothers put up with. A lot of Vietnamese women are quite independent and strong and will stand up for themselves, though. I had a friend Simon, and he always had really well-educated, hardworking women… [Laughing] What about his claim that having a relationship with a Western man is somehow more stable and safer than having a relationship with a Vietnamese man? I mean, it’s easier for a Vietnamese woman to get married to a Vietnamese guy, because they have the same culture.
It’s just because I’m not the same, so I just ignore them or something. You’d probably have to move to Siberia to escape [men] more than here. I don’t know if guys purposefully come here for dating. And in terms of women, it’s just this never-ending queue of attention. It seems like dating a foreigner is a completely different experience for a woman than dating a Vietnamese man. And often, the foreigner, if they’re young, they will not be as rich as they think.
If a single girl is my age, the chance for them to meet a married man is high, since the men who are the same age or older are all married. They’re colleagues and the people I know from other companies. They want to travel a lot, but the problem is they don’t want to make their own money to travel. You just need to take care of yourself and you just have to have a good outlook and then just date with a rich guy and his family or he is going to take care of you. And I think these kinds of girls will love to date foreigners. Because foreign guys become independent earlier than Vietnamese guys. Because I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they have an expression in Vietnam: Man is king. Because I kept telling myself, you can’t prioritise that part of your life in determining where you live. So you think the family wouldn’t view you the same way as a man? Because the woman is kind of like the caretaker of the family. Do you think just by the virtue of being here white men are somehow implicit in this dating culture?
They work and go out with their friends or just go home. Most of them just want to meet up with friends at a coffee shop or restaurant to dine as they don’t like going to the bar to drinks. They want to meet someone to date but they don’t know where. So you think a lot of women here don’t want to travel abroad? They just want to travel with their boyfriend’s money, their husband’s money, their husband’s family’s money. How do you think the fact that they need to think about money will affect the way they treat a boyfriend? The advantage is they don’t have to worry about money every time they hang out. They have to move out when they’re 18, and due to to that, they have to learn how to take care of themselves well. The second group, they come to Vietnam, they travel around the world, and sometimes they just need somebody to hang out, to date, to have sex with, and they know that Vietnamese girls are interested in foreign guys, even when they don’t know English. And Vietnamese guys, that’s a complicated topic, too. But I think there are very complicated reasons why they don’t approach us. And often, my students say that they could never have a wife who’s better than them. My youngest would be about 15, but generally adults. It’s your role to take care of him, the children, his parents. Yeah, I’ve never been treated so badly by white guys, ever. Do you feel that sort of disrespect in a casual setting, with friends as well?
But actually, one time I met one guy when I went out with my foreign friend, and I felt lonely at that time. And on the way, he was like, “Do I have to pay you? They can’t tell between me and a hooker at the bar. Yeah, with sporadic moments of absolute boredom because of that situation. And if you bring a white guy home to your family, you’ve hit the jackpot.
Because for me, if I was not happy I just broke up, or the other way around. But the most important thing that I remember is, she told me to quit my job, because you can’t make good money with your job. Why do you think some people become pretty but insecure, while others become independent and secure? The way they were educated in the past, when they were kids. In Vietnam, a man who has property and money, they will love to have a woman who they can control. And people like that, who treat each other fairly, they can have a really great relationship.
But when I do something, I want to do it with my passion. Some families, they have a very modern, a very Western mindset.
This is in no way meant to be indicative of feelings as a whole, either of different groups of people or of City Pass Guide. I broke up with my first boyfriend [when I was 18], and after that I didn’t date anyone until I was 25. I was 18 and I was dating for a few weeks, or a few months. When you meet girls here, do you usually approach them, or do they approach you? Maybe I wouldn’t do that in Brittany, because there might be, like, a 50% chance that the girl tells me she isn’t interested. So you think Vietnamese girls are more open to speaking with Western guys? Vietnamese girls like to make new friends and meet new people. And then he starts comparing Vietnamese and Thai women… Ok, what about his claims that the women here are more submissive, or that they’re more likely to please a man than other girls? We are talking about a country with 90 million inhabitants, so let say there are 45 million women in Vietnam. I’ve met many Vietnamese girls with more temperament than some of the Western girls I’ve met before.
Interviews have been edited for length and clarity, and some names have been changed for anonymity. And something started with a Vietnamese-American guy for only one month. And it was very different, yeah, because what can I say? It’s not like I didn’t want to be serious, but I was young, so I didn’t want to continue. I think I’m quite lucky that I, most of the time, I meet good guys. But then I had some friends who have a similar job to mine, but they don’t meet good guys, or they have to meet on Tinder. I’ve been out a lot and I’ve met many, many people and many guys. Do you think dating, just little things are different…