The Nón Lá – Vietnamese Hat

A typical sight in rural villages all over Vietnam is a person wearing a traditional conical nón lá hat (leaf hat).  Worn to protect the wearer from both the sun and rain they are hand-made from palm leaves.  There are other Asian versions of the hat but the Vietnamese forms the most perfectly circular cone which tapers smoothly from base to tip.  In some parts of the country the hat is called a nón bai tho (poem hat) where lines of verse are romantically inscribed inside the hat and can be seen only when held up to the sunlight. 

When I see an image like this I know immediately from the nón lá that it’s set in Vietnam and this is why I’ve chosen it as my entry to The Departure Board’s Picture the World photography project. 

Picture the World

Thanks to Kat from Travel with Kat for nominating me to submit a photograph from Vietnam to The Departure Board’s Picture the World photography collection.

I’d like to nominate Tricia from Tricia A Mitchell with her lovely images of India and Madhu whose fabulous photographs can be found on her site The Urge to WanderYou don’t need to be nominated to take part; just visit Picture the World and see what countries don’t yet have an image partnered to them.  Instructions on how to enter are all on the page and please do share any images you submit.

If you liked that you might like this too…

Hoi An – A Little Piece of Heaven

Hoi An – A Culinary Quest


  1. I didn’t know about the poems inscribed inside some of these hats. That’s just lovely. :)

    I do have to mention that here in the Philippines, we have a similar hat called the ‘salakot’ and some versions of it, including that from my home region, is as perfectly conical as the non la. Not as well known or as widely worn anymore, though, sadly.

    • Hi Tita – I didn’t know about the ‘salakot’. It’s a shame that these old traditions are dying out – it’s happening here in the UK too…

      • A shame indeed that traditional garb are increasingly relegated into the category of ‘costume’. It makes the continued use of the non la more remarkable and admirable in the Vietnamese people. :)

  2. Greetings, Suzanne & many thanks for this fun nomination! :) At your suggestion, I’ve shared one of my images from India’s Lodi Gardens with the Departureboard. And in turn, I’ve nominated street photographer, Cornelia, to share a photograph from her native Germany, and culinary enthusiast, Virginia, to submit one from a country of her choosing. Thanks again!

    • Hello Tricia – I’m looking forward to seeing your image and those of Cornelia and Virginia and also checking out their blogs.
      What a great way to discover new blogs!

  3. Great choice of photo – it really sums up Vietnam to me. Look forward to seeing the next country choices!

    • Thanks Lucy – I loved your cafe shot too. The Picture the World project seems to be cranking up a gear!

  4. Beautiful photo and yes the Non la is immediately identifiable with Vietnam. Thanks for the nomination. Let me see if i can come up with something as nice.

    • Looking forward to your choice of country and image 😀

  5. Hi Suzanne, Many thanks from the departureboard for taking part. Another great photo to the Picture The World Project!

    • Thank you – I’ve very much enjoyed taking part…

  6. Lovely photo Suzanne. Looking forward to Madhu’s submission and thank you for introducing Tricia to me – another great blog.

    • Thank you Kathryn – I’m looking forward to their submissions too – both have some excellent images – they’ll have a tough job choosing!



  1. The Colours of Hanoi | the travelbunny - [...] Post navigation ← Previous [...]
  2. Picture The World – Peru « The Urge To Wander - [...] to Suzanne of The travelbunny for my nomination. In turn I get to nominate two other bloggers to submit photos …

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