Vietnamese society seems to be sexually conservative at a glance, but one cannot truly suppress human needs and desires. Café Om literally translates to Café Hugs, where coffee and drinks (albeit a very limited selection) are offered as fronts to massage parlours. These coffee shop/massage parlours cater mainly to Vietnamese men and it is generally understood that manual sexual stimulation is included in the ticket price which typically ranges between $5-$7 depending on the facilities. What exactly is offered and the subtlety at which it is offered varies from place to place and waitress to waitress. Like Capitalism, these shops run contrary to official policy, but are tolerated to an extent. This is a series on such coffee shops.
Funding provided by the Canada Council for the Arts and shot with a Nikon D3s with thanks from the Eddie Adams Workshop and Nikon USA:
Café Om: Coffee, Hugs and Happy Endings - Images by Lung Liu