The festive season sees a lot of unique and even weird services becoming available.
While Vietnam isn’t a Christian country there’s a festive atmosphere on the street, in stores, and even in homes. Besides being a holiday to enjoy it’s also a time when special services are offered.
Instead of buying a red dress, a red coat, or a Santa Clause outfit, they can all be rented. Prices start from VND30,000 ($1.30) to VND150,000 ($6.60) depending on what you want and your size.
“I have dozens of outstanding orders at the moment,” one store owner told local media. “We expect our customer numbers to grow 10 per cent this year because the Christmas atmosphere is really catching on.” The three days before the holiday, she said, is when they do their best business.
Renting Christmas trees
Red clothes and the green of Christmas trees are the colors of this time of year. Christmas trees in Vietnam are not cheap so many companies and individuals prefer to rent one, which generally includes a design service.
The price is only about one-third or one-quarter of the cost of buying a tree. A plastic tree covered by plastic snow standing from 90 cm to 1.5 m high can be rented from VND200,000 ($9) to VND600,000 ($27). Restaurants and hotels normally rent a bigger tree for VND3 million ($130) to VND5 million ($220) instead of paying VND15 million ($660) to buy one, according to a store owner in Ho Chi Minh City.
Renting Santa Claus
Even Santa Claus is available for rent, compete with gifts.
Compared to last year prices have gone up by 10 to 15 per cent. If Santa comes one or two days before Christmas he costs around VND100,000 ($4.50) to VND120,000 ($5.30). On the actual day, though, it’s VND200,000 ($9) or even more. For events with a lot of kids it can be as much as VND3 million ($130) to VND6 million ($270), depending on actual numbers.
A representative of the Jingle Bells Company said they had dozens of orders coming early compared to previous years.
This totally above-board service is a new idea. Single men can rent a girlfriend for Christmas Eve for VND1 million ($45) to VND4 million ($180) so they can feel a bit better about the festive season.
One provider of the service told local media she has 20 female staff but orders have reached 40. Some customers prefer an hourly service, which is from VND200,000 ($8.90) to VND300,000 ($13.30).“My staff are pretty girls so our prices can be higher than other operators,” the provider said. “They have been carefully chosen so customers can feel at ease.”
Other providers also said that orders have outnumbered the number of “girlfriends” they have available.