The British travel guidebook Rough Guides voted the Vietnamese conical hat (non la) on its list of stunning traditional costumes around the world.

The publisher praised the hat as “the most recognisable item” in Vietnam, continuing to highlight the abundant clothing traditions in the north, such as the red brocades of the Flower Hmong people and the decorated headdresses of the Red Dao.

Notably, it focused on the “non la” version available in Hue, non bai tho (poetic conical hat), that “has lines of poetry written into the brim, only visible when you hold it up to the light”.

Made out of simple materials including palm leaves and bamboo, the non la is sold nationwide. It can serve as a shield against sun and rain, a basket, a fan, or a keepsake. The combination of a Non la and Ao dai has become a symbol of Vietnamese traditional beauty.-VNA