|Customers buy flowers for Valentine's Day in HCM City. Unusual products are replacing the traditional roses and chocolates as gifts for this Valentine's Day. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Vy
HCM CITY (VNS) — Three days before Valentine's Day Do Minh Phuong, a woman living in HCM City's District 7, posted on her Facebook page an image of a new iPhone 5S with a note that it was an early gift from her beloved husband.
"The gift is so special. Roses and chocolates are so customary and I get them every year. This year this gift is a real surprise for me," it said.
Phuong is not the only woman in Viet Nam to get a smart phone for Valentine's Day which is tomorrow, a testimony to the fact that gadgets and unusual products are replacing the traditional roses and chocolates as gifts.
Electronics retailers like FPT Shop, thegioididong.com, and Tech One say sales have been up by over 10 per cent in recent days.
Some who are more romantic than pragmatic take the time to find special gifts to give their loved one a surprise.
This year, blue and gold-plated roses are the most popular though they do not come cheap.
Blue roses, a symbol of eternal and loyal love in Viet Nam, cost from hundreds of thousands of dong to VND4 million (VND190) for a bunch.
Those that remain fresh for a month cost around VND250,000 for one.
This year, gold-plated roses have appeared. Despite costing up to VND2.4 million ($114) for one, they have become a best-seller.
Other gifts that have been snapped up are material moulded into the shape of roses and other flowers - and perfumes.
Cheap hand-made souvenirs costing VND200,000-300,000 are popular with those not so well-off.
Hoang Manh Tien, a technician, said that he found on the internet a "boat of love" made from toothpicks.
It was very cheap and he believes his girlfried will like it since it is so different from other products.
The more practical lovers have enrolled for online lessons so that they can learn to make gifts themselves. — VNS