|Young couples pose at Đầm Sen Park to celebrate Valentine’s Day. — Photo phuthotourist|
HCM CITY — Despite Tết celebrations ending this week, shops, restaurants and entertainment centres in HCM City are becoming increasingly busy as couples rush to buy gifts for their partners for Valentine’s Day.
"Love is priceless, at least when the season of love is around the corner," said Nguyễn Thảo Như, owner of a gift shop on Lê Văn Sĩ Street in District 3.
She says her shop is filled with cards, balloons, teddy bears and souvenirs to meet the demands of customers on the most romantic day of the year.
"Some exported products such as watches, handbags and jewellery are sold for millions of đồng, but many people seem to ignore the high price.”
Như’s shop offers colourful dolls from Thailand, China and Russia for VNĐ500,000 (US$20) each. Perfumes and cosmetics by famous Vietnamese and international brands are in great demand as well.
In jewellery shops at Bến Thành Market in District 1, gold and silver items are selling for VNĐ1.2 million ($50) to VNĐ5 million ($230).
The Phú Nhuận Jewellery Company is offering silver items designed with a "love" theme. Prices range from VNĐ200,000 ($9) to more than VNĐ1 million ($40).
This season, domestic designers are offering collections called “Love for 2”.
Pairs of T-shirts designed in the same style, priced at VNĐ600,000 ($27), are selling like hotcakes at The New Playground, an indoor market on Lý Tự Trọng Street popular with young people.
Flowers and chocolates are in shops and supermarkets everywhere to lure people to part with their money.
Rose sellers are hoping to cash in on Valentine’s Day. While scarlet roses cost as much as VNĐ50,000 ($2.1) for only one flower, five times higher than usual, boxes of heart-shaped and chocolate-covered cakes are selling for VNĐ200,000 each.
"It is unlikely that people will worry too much about the sky-high price of flowers on Valentine’s Day, even those men who would normally lose their temper when asked to pay inflated prices for just one rose," said Thu Hà, a dealer at a flower shop in Bến Thành Market.
For couples tired of chocolates, flowers and gift cards, the Đêm Tình Nhân (Night of Love), a music gala at the Đầm Sen Park in District 11 on February 14 night, will be an attractive alternative.
Music idols, dancers and pop bands will woo the audience with popular love songs in Vietnamese and English.
For people interested in low-key event, a single music video by pop star Đức Tuấn would be a good buy.
The MV, Yêu (Love), is a production by composer Trần Thiện Thanh. In the work, Tuấn performs with dozens of dancers.
His previous album, Ly Rượu Mừng (A Glass of Wine at Tết), under the same theme, became one of the top hits for Tết after it was released in late January. — VNS