The 5 Best Dating Sites and Apps in Vietnam (What I Learned)

vietnamese_model

Vietnamese Model (Source: Flickr)

Here is the quick list of my top five dating sites in Vietnam. I’ll go into more detail in my reviews later in this article.

  1. VietnamCupid
  2. Cherryblossoms
  3. Tinder
  4. Badoo
  5. Tagged.com

My first trip to Southeast Asia was way back in 2008. At that time, dating sites were just beginning to emerge in Vietnam. There were no dating apps to speak of, and Tinder didn’t even exist.

Since that time, online dating (dating via your smartphone or your personal computer) has taken off in the same way it has in the Philippines and in other countries in Southeast Asia. There are now a lot of sites and apps out there which have lots of members, good messaging functionality, and an interface that doesn’t require a degree in rocket science to figure out.

A good dating site or app increases your odds of success because, at the end of the day, dating is a numbers game. Even in Vietnam (which in my humble opinion is easier to get dates in than in many cities in the U.S. and Europe), you have to plant a lot of seeds. Online dating is also way more efficient given the culture in Vietnam. Walking up to a random woman on the street is just not the way things are done here. It is not even the way things are done in the major cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Perhaps due to a history of having a large foreign presence in the country, Vietnamese are pretty open to the possibility of dating foreigners. If you are an English native speaker, people will be curious to learn about you and ask you about your interest in their homeland.

And in contrast to my experiences dating in the U.S., it was a pleasant surprise to see a lot of Vietnamese women being the one who initiated contact (often for no other reason than to practice their English).

Here are some things I think you should be aware of before you start dating in Vietnam:

  • Coffee shops not bars: While in the U.S. and Europe, the bar scene is one of the most common places to meet women, in Vietnam, coffee shops (e.g. Starbucks is now all over the place) are way more popular.
  • Vietnamese women are caring: Vietnamese women remind me of women from Latin America. Don’t be surprised if she wants to cook or clean for you once she starts to develop a certain level of comfort.
  • Gold diggers everywhere: The income disparity between the Western world and Vietnam unfortunately leads to a lot of women joining these sites and apps so that they can be wined and dined and hopefully go back with you to your home country. The way to avoid gold diggers is to make sure that the first few dates you go on are cheap dates (coffee, park, picnic, etc.).
  • Women who just want to practice their English: Make it clear that you want something romantic. You are not there to be her English teacher.
  • Send a lot of messages: I can’t stress this enough. If/when you get frustrated on the dating scene in Vietnam, don’t forget that it is a numbers game. You will have to plant a lot of seed to reap a good harvest.

Ok, now that you know what to look out for, let’s get into my reviews.

Miss Vietnam Contestants

Miss Vietnam Contestants (source: Wikimedia Commons)

1. VietnamCupid.com

VietnamCupid is the best dating site in Vietnam (they have an app as well). If I only had money to spend on one site, this is the site that I would spend it on. If you log on at any given time, there will be hundreds of singles online.

vietnam_cupid

Vietnam Cupid

VietnamCupid is run by one of my most favorite online dating companies, Cupid Media. Cupid Media owns sites that I’ve used in the past like Afrointroductions.com and BrazilCupid.com, when I was living in Africa and Brazil, respectively.

The site has a vibrant community, a polished design and killer features. The translator app in particular is an amazing feature, massively growing the pool of matches you are able to connect with.

Sign up Process

Signing up for VietnamCupid is quick, simple, and costs you nothing. All that’s needed to begin is your name, gender, password and an email. Next step is to write a few words about yourself, and what your ideal partner would look like, and you’re done.

At this point, you can either finish your profile, or jumpstart your search for that perfect match right away. Occasionally the site will prompt you to fill out more of your profile to continue, which can be bothersome if you’re not looking to complete your profile right away.

How to Locate Potential Matches

After designating your ideal partner’s qualities, you can look through the matches VietnamCupid gathers for you. You can sort these matches by Newest Members, Photos First, Last Active, and Relevance, and either browse just their photos, photos with basic information, or their full profiles, one-by-one. These options also apply to your personalized searches, which can be narrowed down by age, location, body-type, etc.

How to Communicate with Other Members

Basic messaging on VietnamCupid includes a few different communication options, none of which are useful for actually connecting with other Standard members (there is unlimited communication with premium members). As a non-paying member, your options are limited to “sending interest”, adding to your favorites, or simply visiting their profile.

Whenever you do one of these actions, VietnamCupid will notify them, and they can visit your profile or respond. You can send messages to each other, but they’ll be “locked” and unreadable. As a premium Gold or Platinum member, you’ll have IM, audio, and video chat all at your disposal. It is well worth the extra money.

Unique Site Features

Some of VietnamCupid’s best features are its anti-spam measures, which I experienced first-hand.

When first signing up for this site, I filled out a cursory profile, refraining from uploading photos and barely including any information. Immediately after signing up, my profile was promptly suspended for 48 hours while they performed a background check.

A quick phone-call and an email with copies of my ID later, and the problem was solved. The whole experience assured me that I’d be safe from spammers moving forward.

What is Included in Each Membership Level

  • Standard – Sign up, fill out profile, upload photos, customize searches, send interest to other profiles, communicate Gold/Platinum members
  • Gold – All of the above, plus: Unlimited communication with all members (including audio/video/IM chat), no ads, hide your profile for incognito browsing
  • Platinum – All of the above, plus: Better search rank for your profile, double the profile space, access to advanced matching algorithms, message translation, VIP profile highlighting, extra search features

Dating is a Numbers Game

As I mention in my online dating e-book, just like the real world, there will be men or women who you will not click with or who don’t respond to your messages (or just disappear).  There will be men or women who might only be interested in helping you to part with your hard-earned cash. That is life. 

Just keep sending out messages and reach out until you find the person you are looking for and get success. As is typical with online dating, expect a response rate of around 1-10% depending on how good your profile is. (response rate = people who will respond back to you to whom you sent an introduction message).

2. Cherryblossoms

blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

Cherryblossoms (also known as Blossoms) is a popular pay site in Vietnam (and the Philippines as well) and is ideal for the guy who is really looking to get serious (i.e. find a wife).

Blossoms is a long-standing dating site that’s been up and running successfully since 1995 when the Internet was first introduced. This company has more than 40 years of experience in the dating game, originally having begun in 1974, in the form of a personals’ magazine called “Cherry Blossoms.”

The reason Blossoms has been so successful for such a long time is because it’s easy to navigate, has solid features, strong security measures and a lot of quality profiles. If you want to meet single people from Vietnam, this site is worth checking out.

Sign up Process

To sign up, all you need is to provide your name, gender, email address and password. On the following two pages, you’ll provide basic information about yourself, your age, birthday, location, etc., along with a brief paragraph describing yourself and what you’re like.

Once you’ve done this, nothing more is required. However, if you do confirm your email address, you’ll get a higher-ranking search position. To complete the balance of your profile, you will need to provide:

  • Additional personal details, including your current home address, which I found strange because people really should never put this information online for everyone to see.
  • You can upload up to 12 photos of yourself.
  • Select a profile background from an assortment of colors.
  • The Top 10 things you would like others to know about you, plus 10 Top things you’d like to know about them.

You are given the ability to edit certain profile logistics, like chat options, privacy settings, and message notifications. You can also have filter settings for messages and chat.

How to Locate Potential Matches

There are some preset searches on Blossoms: You can search through the active members (people that have been on the site in the past month), profiles of people who just signed up within the last 48 hours, members that are presently online, and members that have already viewed your profile. You can also search on your own using Basic and Advanced searches.

Blossoms will also present matches to you, all based on the criteria you provided, such as age, location, height, lifestyle habits, etc.

How to Communicate with Other Members

There are a lot of different options for sending messages. The basic ones are custom text messages, “smiles,” and saved template emails. You can also Favorite someone, or add them to your Friends.

There are features that are more advanced, like asking someone 10 questions, which are selected from a large list; things like “How do you handle conflict?” or “Do you like cooking?”

You can also do an Instant Messaging chat, live video chat and/or send video messages. My favorite is sending video messages because they’re a good way to revive a lapsed interaction or add more drama to an already lively conversation.

Unique Site Features

Blossoms has an especially unique feature allowing members to find out whether a certain profile is actually genuine or not. This is something that other dating sites should have.

With each profile there is a link to Tineye, which checks the origin of their photo, and a link to Google to find out if the information on their profile is repeated someplace else on the Internet.

Tineye is ideal for spotting fake profiles that use photos of a model or celebrity as their own, which unfortunately happens all the time on these dating sites. If something seems odd or fishy in any way, you can report this and even block members from viewing your profile or communicating with you. This is done right beneath the profile photo.

What is Included in Each Membership Level

  • Free – Create a profile, upload up to 12 photos, search/browse/visit profiles, send & receive miles, 10 questions and email/smile/chat invitations
  • Full Service – All of the above, plus: send and receive emails, video messages, and video chats

3. Tinder

Tinder

Tinder

In terms of online dating, when you hear the phrase “swipe left or swipe right”, the first thing that pops into most anyone’s head is Tinder. Even though more and more dating sites are using this feature, it made its name from the Tinder App which allows you to swipe right or left on a person to express your romantic interest. If both of you swipe right, then you’re a match and can start talking. It used to be as simple as that, but Tinder has added a lot of new features in recent months which we talk about in our review.

This type of online dating has its advantages and disadvantages, but one thing that it brings to the table that many other sites don’t is its convenience and straightforward approach, and in today’s technological world, people like that.

Over the years, Tinder has gained a reputation as a Hook-Up App. Whether you like that reputation or not, it’s caught on and has been extremely popular all over the world. Everyone wants to try it out. Over 100 million users have downloaded the app, according to Business of Apps, and it is most popular in North America, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, France, India, and Australia.

It’s also gained steam in South American countries like Brazil and Argentina, and in Mexico. Some don’t stick with it, but others have found success with it not just for hook-ups, but for real love, which is a bit of the hidden story in it all. It can lead to romance and everything you want in a long-term relationship. All it takes is finding the right one.

Sign up Process

One reason people like Tinder is it’s easy to sign up for. Almost everyone has a Facebook account nowadays, and you can simply sign up with that after you’ve downloaded the app. Just fill out a short profile of yourself, which only takes a few minutes, pick which photos you want, and set your dating preferences. In less than 10 minutes, you can verify your account and you’re ready to start swiping.

If you don’t have Facebook, you can still sign up through an email address. When you pick your photos, you can upload them from your phone library. If you have Facebook, you can choose Facebook pictures for Tinder. Then you set which one you want for your main photo.

Tinder will go through a verification process through your phone, asking you to submit the code they sent you.

One of the biggest issues Tinder has experienced over the years is fake profiles since it’s easy and free. Be careful with this when meeting others. If you have any doubt in the world, make them prove they are who they are. Asking them to FaceTime or Skype, even for just 15 seconds, is the easiest way to verify you’re talking to the right person. You can also take advantage of Tinder’s new photo verification process which filters out catfishing users. With this process, you can pose for real-time selfies to authenticate who you are. This isn’t available in all countries, though, but Tinder is working to expand it.

How to Locate Potential Matches

Okay, so this is where the pros and cons really come in. With a swipe app like Tinder, a person’s face takes a whole lot more meaning than, say, their personality. You have to expect most users want to go fast and quickly swipe right or left, so they don’t take time to go through other pictures or even what you wrote in your profile. They just rate you on your main picture and swipe one way or the other. Swiping left means you’re not interested, and swiping right means you are. If you get confused, Tinder has a red and green button on the bottom instead of swiping to let them know yes or no.

Tinder also has a blue star button, which is a super like feature. You save this for the ones you like the most. If you sign-up for a free membership, you only get super like every 24 hours, so use yours wisely. If you sign up for a premium account, however, you get access to more.

You can also pay for super likes separately if you want to use more in a 24-hour period. The advantage of the super like is your profile will show up on the person you super liked within the early stages of them swiping and it will notify them that you super liked them. With the free feature, you only have the ability to swipe 100 users in a 12-hour time period. With a premium account, you have unlimited swipes.

Unfortunately, again, this is where you need to be careful of the fake profiles. Many guys will see what they think is the hottest model in the world and waste their super like feature on them when their profile is anything but real. So again, be cautious.

One of the advantages of Tinder is your search settings. You can very easily in your settings dictate your age range preference and how many miles users should live from where you are. This will easily filter out your potential matches.

Say you live in Rio de Janeiro and are going to New York for two weeks and want to meet singles there, you can upgrade your membership to Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold and set your distance preferences to New York using the passport feature. This will allow you to search for singles in New York City. The free version only allows you to set your distance preference from where you are now, not where you’re going to be.

How to Communicate with Other Members
You are unable to message others on the app unless you both liked each other. Once you both swiped right, that other person will show up in your matches, and you can send them a message. If one person swipes right and the other left, you won’t know. They just simply won’t show up in your matches, and you move on.

The hard part with Tinder is the more attractive males and females get a ton of swipe rights, so they end up with a lot of matches. This makes the communication process more difficult. The really attractive females could get 100 swipe rights an hour, and if they are just as aggressive in swiping right on profiles, their match list could be quite extensive. Having a conversation with these users is a little more difficult.

However, many people do go on Tinder for love. They do look at what is written in the profile, study the other photos, and legitimately swipe right or left. This can lead to good conversation and plans to meet up.

Unlike some other apps, there’s no limit on how many messages you can send out. You have the ability to turn on read receipts to see if the other user read your message.

Unique App Features

One area where Tinder has really upgraded its app is in its features. When it first came out, it used to simply be a swipe or swipe left app, and if they liked you back, you could message them. Presently, there are a lot more features to take advantage of. Here are some of the most unique ones. 

  • Tinder has a Noonlight feature which allows other users to share their timeline of Tinder dates so others can see where they’ve gone and what they’ve done through Tinder. This is an optional feature, of course.
  • Tinder now has Tinder U, which is strictly for college students. Say you are attending Florida State University and want to view other college students at that same school. Using the Tinder U feature, you can see other college students’ profiles first that are right around you. A pretty neat feature and way to meet others for whatever reason (friendships, hookups, relationships) right around you.
  • Tinder has added a Swipe Night. It’s basically a game that other users can take part in that involves choosing your own adventure story by swiping right or left. At the end of the game, those who showed the most swipe rights as you did and similar adventures will be shown in your matches.
  • More online dating apps and sites are utilizing the Boost This allows you to be shown early in searches for other users so you get more views. This works for 30 minutes and you can get more boosts with a premium account.
  • Accidentally swiped left when you wanted to swipe right (or vice versa)? Simply hit the Rewind You can go back to the previous user. However, this can only be accessed with a premium account.
  • Tinder has added a Traveler Alert. For those in the LGBTQ community, this allows you to be notified when you travel to a community where the LGBTQ community could be penalized. It’s a good head’s up to avoid this kind of dating in certain areas of the country.

What is Included in Each Membership Level
While most users enjoy the free access, Tinder has its advantages for those who upgrade to premium accounts and are more serious about finding a companion. Many of the neat features that I mentioned in my review require an upgraded membership.

Tinder Gold is the most premium membership available and allows you to message other Tinder users even if they didn’t match with you. All you have to do is swipe right on them and you can message them. Tinder Gold also allows you to see who liked you first so you can utilize your swipes better.

As I mentioned above, the freedom to set your location preferences, the unlimited number of swipes, more super likes, rewinding a swipe, and being on the top of the line all come with Tinder Pro and Tinder Gold memberships.

Memberships also don’t have ads attached to them, which can annoy many free users as they use the app. One of the features that many older people don’t like is the fact that anyone 31 or older has to pay more for a premium membership than those who are younger. While I get their general premise, it makes Tinder seem like it’s targeting the college student and young generation more and trying to punish the older singles out there.

Whether you like it or not, Tinder really is a Hook-Up app that can lead to more. It’s not the worst thing in the world. But it brings the term “love at first sight” more into play in that most people swipe right or left on what they see, not what they read. What they read comes more into play in the messaging process and filtering out who they want to message and who to really ignore.

Tinder is also good if you live in or near a big city because it provides a big user pool and more people to choose from. It’s not an app to really swing for the fence, though. If you’re an average looking guy, you need to stay in your lane. Tinder isn’t the place where you’re going to land a supermodel. You may be able to meet some great females in your lane, though, who you can become compatible with.

All this being said, I’ve always liked Tinder. I’ve accepted its pros and cons. It is what it is, and it’s up to you whether you want to take advantage of it. Given you can match for free and not pay more for the extras, take a walk on the wild side and see if you can swipe your way to a future romance.

4. Badoo

Badoo

Badoo

Badoo began originally as a website in 2006 and now encompasses both website and app features. It takes about 10 minutes to set up an account and start finding other users near you.

Sign up Process

Badoo gives you a variety of options for account registration. You can connect your Facebook or Google account. If you don’t want to do that, you fill out a few form questions like age, city, gender, email address, and so on.

After registration, you have the option to import friends from your social accounts as well as upload photos from your device. If you choose a social sign-in, your most recent profile picture will automatically be imported to your Badoo profile.

To do anything on Badoo including browse users, you will need to upload at least one photo. Badoo has a rigorous (and beloved) photo verification policy to ensure users actually look like their photos.

How to Locate Potential Matches

Badoo gives you a few options for locating matches. With Badoo encounters, you press the heart icon if you’re interested or the X icon if not. It’s similar to Tinder’s swipe functionality and is the most common way people interact on the platform.

People Nearby allows you to search other members using search filters like: 

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Intention (friends, date, chat)
  • Location
  • Current distance from you 

Don’t let the name fool you. You can use People Nearby to search for people in other cities or states and even those who put their location to private. 

Badoo has other options like Featured Users, a premium option for profiles to be highlighted in specific areas. Another newer feature is Badoo Live, which allows members to host a live stream. Similar to TikTok, members can increase their popularity, give gifts, and communicate while doing various challenges.

How to Communicate with Other Members

Badoo gives you plenty of options to communicate with other users. For the most part, people exchange messages after the match through the Encounters.

You can choose whether to message someone right away or see if they contact you first. Remember, there’s no guarantee that if you match with somebody, they’ll actually talk to you.

Video chat is a unique feature of Badoo. It’s an excellent way to keep everything within the app. If you like somebody, you can always move on from there. If not, you can unmatch without somebody ever having access to your personal information.

There’s no rule on how long you should message somebody before arranging an in-person meetup. Keep in mind though you don’t want to message somebody for too long only to realize you have no chemistry in the real world. Try to arrange a real-life encounter within 1-2 weeks if possible.

Note: As with any dating app, there are some bad users on Badoo. Catfishing, harassment, unsolicited messages, and other issues may come up. If this happens to you, you should report the user to Badoo and unmatch with them right away.

Unique Site Features

Badoo has some free features that make it stand out like: 

  • Reliable profile verification process
  • Look-Alike, which uses facial recognition to help you find other users who like similar to the profile you’re currently looking at
  • Gamification options like the popularity meters and superpowers
  • Profiles organized by important information
  • Ability to connect with users outside of Badoo through their social media (if enabled)
  • Create both public and private photo albums
  • Badoo Credits to access premium features
  • Encounters matching game 

In addition to these free options, you can pay to access premium features like:

  • See who placed you on their Favorites List
  • View who likes you before you browse members
  • Highlight your messages, so they stand out
  • Undo votes on Encounters
  • Browse the site in Anonymous Mode
  • Be the first to chat with new users
  • Become a featured member
  • Send Crush alerts
  • Increase your popularity
  • Enable stickers
  • Send gifts

What is Included in Each Membership Level

Badoo has two membership levels, free and premium. You can also use Badoo Credits to access some premium features like increasing your popularity.

5. Tagged

Tagged

Tagged

Tagged is similar to Facebook, but instead of staying in touch with those you already know, which is what Facebook is primarily used for, Tagged was launched in 2004 to help users meet new people.

Since 2004, the website has grown into a virtual behemoth, with 300,000,000 members, with more joining every day, spread over 200 different countries. Given the site’s popularity, I was surprised to see how plain the web design is throughout the entire site. They have an app as well, so if you prefer to access it through your mobile phone, you can do that too.

The profiles and tags all look very sub-standard in my opinion. I recommend you sign up for Tagged and give it a try after you’ve exhausted the other options above.

Sign up Process

Just fill in the usual basic information and then you can upload a photo if you want, and, if you think your email contacts would like to join as well, you can invite them. You’ll receive a confirmation email with a code that you’ll need to enter, and at that point you’re allowed to enter and look around the site.

Tagged is designed so that you can pretty much customize your profile by allowing you to set prompts for favorite things, interests, and dreams. They also let you add your own fields with their very own themes, change the skin on your profile, join and create groups, post widgets, photos, comments, and videos to your profile, and purchase “Pets,” which are actually other profiles.

How to Locate Potential Matches

In addition to the basic browsing of profiles, Tagged has a feature called “Meet Me,” which has become quite famous. This feature allows members to browse photos, select the profiles that appeal to them, and when a mutual match pops up, both members are notified. A lot of other sites have copied this feature, most notably Tinder, the well-known mobile app for dating. 

Tagged also lets members play an assortment of games, which are all fun and make it easier to meet other members and connect. 

How to Communicate with Other Members

To start communicating, you can send a wink to someone, but no more than 1 wink per person in a span of 24 hours. You can also send a text message, which can be spruced up with stickers, emojis, and etc. When you click to send a message, a separate window will open, which seemed odd to me.

Other ways to communicate are to invite someone to join a group, post a comment on their profile, bestow a gift, give a TAG, which is a GIF, of which there are many options, but in my opinion all are fairly low-quality from a visual standpoint. 

Unique Site Features

The site’s emphasis on having everyone meet new people allows it to stand out as a good choice for singles seeking someone to date. The most unique feature on the site is the game Pets, which helps users do exactly this.

Pets is somewhat like fantasy sports, allowing members to use virtual cash in order to purchase other profiles that they can “own” like a pet. These pets can then be bartered with other members, or even sold for a fixed price. In the end, players compete with each other to see who can make the most virtual money, or who can buy the most pets.

Social media games have never held great appeal for me, nor has fantasy sports, so the Pets game didn’t really impress me either. But it is extremely popular on Tagged.

What is Included for Each Membership Level

  • Free – Sign up, create a profile, browse and contact other members. Basically everything except the perks below
  • Premium – See who likes you in Meet Me, see who has viewed your profile, contact the most popular users, contact new users before others do, “message read” notifications, chat and email support

Further Reading

  • Worldwide Online Dating Site Reviews: Be sure to check out my country-by-country reviews of the best online dating sites in the world.

  • Worldwide Moving Guide: Everything you need to know in order to plan your move to 65+ countries around the world.

  • Worldwide Jobs Guide: If you are interested in working in this country, be sure to check out my posts on how to find jobs in this country and other countries around the world.

  • Worldwide Apartments Guide: If you are interested in renting an apartment in another country, take a look at my articles on how to find an apartment in various countries around the world.

About Addison Sears-Collins

Hey! I'm Addison Sears-Collins, the founder of Visa Hunter. You can learn more about me here. Connect with me by liking my fan page on Facebook, connecting with me on Twitter, or check out my website Automatic Addison where I build robots and embedded systems.

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