Conical hat (nón lá) is a part of the Vietnamese traditional costume. It is an iconic item which signifies the very Vietnamese characteristics. Vietnamese take a huge pride of this pieces of clothes and takes it to everywhere in the world and send it to friends from other countries as a distinctive gift particular to Vietnam.

It could be true that because people in Vietnam also used to give this hat as the symbol of loyalty, of promise. It is a very Vietnamese traditional gift.

Conical hat is made from the natural materials like bamboo and bamboo leaves. Even in the modern days, most of the non la are still hand-made product. And still, many women in Vietnam prefer using this traditional hat in the casual situation.

In the intense heat of tropical zone, it is always a puzzle for people to shield themselves from the sunlight. Rooted as a very ordinary and practical item, it has developed into a very important cultural icon for the whole country.

What could make a small piece of wear become a such an important images in the large picture of Vietnamese culture?

Maybe because it has been attached inseparably with Vietnamese women. By this way, it has built up its symbol of feminine and purity. Besides, it is also a symbol of labor. Vietnamese farmers have been wearing conical hats for most of their time, as it is a very convenient and very suitable for their job’s nature: being outside the sun a lot. Non la, therefore, retains another deeper layer of meaning.

Non la in Hue

Non la could be seen in any part of Vietnam. However, there is the place where non la pays a very significant role in the economic scene and a profound cultural meaning. It is Hue – the imperial city of Vietnam.

Hue is also the biggest factory of conical hats to distribute to all around Vietnam for practical use as well as being a best-selling souvenir.

When traveling to Hue, you can pay a visit to villages where people mainly produce conical hats. Some of the most famous conical-hat-producing villages is Chuong village are Dạ Lê, Phú Cam, Đốc Sơ, Triều Tây, Kim Long, Sịa

Here you can get to know more about the complicated progress of making conical hats. Any maybe, bring home some best-qualified conical hats as a souvenir.

The most significant product of conical hats made in Hue is non bai tho – conical hat which bears a poem on it. The presence of poems enhances the poetic beauty of this item and gives it a deeper meaning.


Tours provided by C-Vietnam will surely give you an insight into not only the human, nature but also the culture and tradition of Vietnam. Contact us at for more information and advice on your trip to Vietnam or other Indochina countries like Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar.