The conical non la
(literally translated as “leaf hat”) is worn almost everywhere in Vietnam, but it's becoming harder and harder to see them make.
Chuong Village in Hanoi’s Thanh Oai District is probably Vietnam's most iconic source for the hats. Its market, which opens on the 4th, 10th, 14th, 20th, 24th and 30th every lunar month from 6am to 9pm, boasts a reputation that goes back for centuries.
Despite being much less popular, a small market some 30 kilometers east of Quy Nhon, the capital town of Binh Dinh Province, is still worth visiting.
Non la sold at Go Gang market are made by residents from villages in An Nhon and Phu Cat districts which historians believe started making the hats in the 18th century.
Moreover, the image of people selling and buying nothing else but non la, riding bicycles loaded with dozens of hats and motorbikes carrying hundreds under flickering oil lamps in the predawn silence is a quite rare sight nowadays.
Starting at 3am, every day, the market remains open for two hours before piles of non la are packaged and transported to other provinces and cities throughout the country.
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