Travel “Non La” or “leaf hat” working villages in Vietnam

Non La

Non La is an item used for protecting you anti the sun and the rain – a specific type of the weather in Vietnam. From ancient times, “non la” is close to the Vietnamese image. Although, it is not one of the national symbols in Vietnam, if anyone see the “non la”, they will just think of Vietnam – a small and beautiful countryside. 

Almost, there are the leaf hat working villages all over the world. The “non la” are produced to hide the sun and the rain, but each region has specific characteristics in the process. And, Hue city is the the most popular leaf hat working village in Vietnam. 

Where is the “non la” villages in Vietnam?

The leaf hat working villages form and develop in Hue city from a hundred years. There are many famous villages for instance: “Da Le, Phu Cam, Doc So, Trieu Tay, Kim Longm Sia….” Nowadays, there are a lot of popular villages such as Tay Ho in Phu Ho village, My Lam in Phu My village; Phu Vang town; Trieu Tay; Doc So; Huong So town, Hue city… has marketed a million of leaf hats. The hats not only provide for the Vietnamese, but also provide the world-wide tourists going to Hue with keepsakes.

Actually, Hue conical hat or “non bai tho” is not only a simple hat, but also a work of art. To have a “non la” in quality, the Hue leaf hat makers must be so detailed, careful, and skilful. From choosing its body; bending the hoops of hats; putting the bamboo leaves on the body of the hat and sewing them following the circles of a hat; cutting the images or logos; to oiling to maintain…..Thus, maybe, the Hue leaf hats are popular with the foreign tourists.
 How to make “non la”?

Making the body of hats is the first step which decides its shape and size. After that, its frames are made of light wood. Specially, each hat has from 15 to 16 hoops which people still compare to 16 “moon hoops”. The Hue bamboo leaves are simple leaves, but they are collected and handled through many steps. They are sewing, drying, dew-reting ( to ret (flax or hemp) by exposure to rain, dew, and sun), keep hats in good condition… Next, it is putting the patterns on the hats in order that that patterns are balanced on the hat when it is illuminated under the sun. The symbols which hide and appear in “non la bai tho” or “poem leaf hat” are often the images of Truong Tien bridge, Ngu Binh mountain, Ngo Mon gate, Thanh Toan bridge….

How to get to the leaf hat villages?
Travel is increasing in Hue, and “non la” also become a kind of keepsake expressing the special culture. Certainly, tourists are quite satisfied with the item. Many travellers take the rest to go to the the leaf hat villages to see and join in the process to make “non la”. From the Hue city to the villages, it is so nearly about 12 to 15 kilometres. Consequently, it is easy for you to go there by motorbikes or taking coaches. However, the trip brings tourists the interesting experiences. Specially, they are amazed when the leaf hat makers save their image and name on “non bay tho” or “poem leaf hat” to memorise.
“Non La” is the first handicraft product which National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam” or “NOIP” certificate about safe location-guide in August, 2010.



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