The Travel Ahh….The Phenomenal Conical

I think this woman felt bad that I was such a sucker, so she gladly posed for photos and gave me a lighter for the incense.

At Marble Mountain, near Danang, this woman sold me two packets of incense for five dollars. I didn’t even bargain with her.  Feeling sorry for me that I was such a sucker, she gladly posed for photos and gave me a lighter for the incense.

On my recent trip to Vietnam, it was a thrill every time I spotted someone wearing a Nón Lá, the traditional conical hat made out of palm leaves and a prevalent symbol of Vietnam. And, after sporting one in both heinous heat and pouring rain, I soon discovered it is the ultimate all-weather hat. Not much has changed with its design over the centuries. Nothing is more effective than combatting the blistering Southeast Asian sun and tropical monsoons. Here are some photos I took of the phenomenal conical.

Women run the show at the Hoi An market.

Women run the show at the Hoi An market.

Hoi An

I was always amazed at what women could haul with the shoulder pole carrier.

It’s amazing what women could haul with the shoulder pole carrier.

Cholon, (Chinatown) Ho Chi Minh City

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Woman with plants on bike in hanoi

Who needs a van for floral deliveries?

Hanoi

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I liked the composition of this shot at the citadel in Hue.

I liked the composition of this shot at the citadel in Hue.

Hue

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Bicycles are still the way to go in Saigon.

Bicycles are still the way to go in Saigon.

Ho Chi Minh City

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The quiet streets of Hoi An.

The quiet streets of Hoi An.

Hoi An

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This scene looked like it was straight out of the 1960s.

This scene looked like it was straight out of the 1960s.

Tay Ninh Province.

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older woman with fan

It’s hard to tell, but this woman has a black coating on her teeth, which was once quite fashionable in Vietnam. I mistakenly thought she had rotten teeth, but I read about the teeth blackening practice at the Women’s Museum in Hanoi.

Ho Chi Minh City

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I loved this hot pink version.

I loved this hot pink version of the conical.

 Ho Chi Minh City

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This scene pretty much inspired my inner Zen.

This scene pretty much inspired my inner Zen.

Hoi An

This happy woman beckoned me over to take a photo with her, and then when I rose to leave she said, "One dollar!"  My friend Silk said, "She is Crazy." But, she's the most likable crazy person I've met.

This happy woman beckoned me over to take a photo with her, and then when I rose to leave she said, “One dollar!” My friend Silk said, “She is Crazy.” But, she’s the most likable crazy person I’ve met.

 

 

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5 thoughts on “The Travel Ahh….The Phenomenal Conical

    • Lottie! This response is well overdue. I’ve been buried under piles of English Composition papers that I need to mark. Thanks for reading — and yes, blackened teeth — who knew?
      Hope all is well in Spain. Happy Holidays 🙂 xxxx

  1. Bueno! I love your photos. They give importance to the ordinary which becomes so very special in Vietnam. I am eager to read some of your writings. Always love,

  2. Wonderful photos Steph! The Nón Lá truly is the most versatile hat. When we lived in Dallas, there was a little old lady down the street who spent all day working in her beautiful garden – and she wore a Nón Lá. Said she had picked it up years ago in Vietnam and would never part with it. Sounds like she’s not the only one! 🙂 ~Terri

    • Terri,
      Thanks so much for the comment. Yes, the Nón Lá works so well for gardening. I’ve been wearing on rafting trips — it’s perfect when the sun beats down in Utah and Colorado canyons. My conical has even withstood hail. However, it does want to launch in wind.

      Hope all is well with you and James and now that I’ve finished grading piles of English Composition papers, I’m looking forward to catching up on your adventures. Happy Holidays!! 🙂

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