Photo du Jour: The Ubiquitous Vietnamese Nón Lá Hat

A traditional Vietnamese hat - known as Nón Lá - rests on an outdoor table in Vietnam.

From rice paddies to urban centers, wherever you roam in Vietnam, you’re likely to see ladies of all ages donning the traditional nón lá. In Vietnamese, nón lá means ‘leaf hat.’

This conical hat is sported to protect the wearer from rain or sun — whether she be tending to a rice paddy or selling fresh fruit on a bustling street.

As an alternative, some Vietnamese ladies carry a parasol to protect their skin from the sun.

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All rights reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

4 thoughts on “Photo du Jour: The Ubiquitous Vietnamese Nón Lá Hat

    1. Hi Karen! We loved the Vietnamese fare – especially that which we tried in the picturesque town of Hoi An. We did a cooking class there and made fresh spring rolls (using rice paper), a savory pancake-like dish (also rolled in rice paper), a banana pancake dessert (so sinful, but quite rich and delicious) and a light jeweled rice. Outside of Hoi An, we enjoyed western-type fare too (sandwiches on wonderful crispy baguettes). The sweet treats were fun too – particularly these gummy, rice-based sugary bars with sesame seeds inside. So tasty – my tummy is rumbling just thinking about it! I’ll be doing a post on the cooking class soon, with the recipes – so stay posted! Have you been to Vietnam?

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