Ao Dai … Vietnamese Dress

After many years living in Vietnam, I came to take the ‘AwZai’- Ao Dai for granted until I stumbled upon Benny Hanigal’s photos.  They brought memories back, dear friends, busy and noisy Hanoi, the Old Quarters, my haunts in Don Xuan market for silk, weddings with fairy like decorations amidst chaos, balmy evenings at Uncle Ho’s Mausoleum, detour from the tourist infected Temple of Literature, tranquil waters of Tay Ho, friendly faces on To Ngoc Van street, street food mecca, ‘you can get anything you want’ in Hanoi, stilettoe perched on bike ladies, and above all the Ao Dai.

Quintessentially Vietnamese, although not worn as often these days as in the past. The classic white Ao Dai is still popular as a school uniform in some areas, while red, yellow, pink and other colors are worn on special and more formal occasions.

Embroidered, silky, gauzy, satiny, or plain white, the Ao Dai is not na easy garb to adopt to your daily runs but is sure a stunningly elegant view on the gracefully slim Hanoiians.

Flower Girl – Hanoi

Ladies Descending – Emperor Minh Mang Mausoleum Grounds, Hue

Flower Girl 2 – Hanoi

Under the Banyan Tree – Temple of Literature – Hanoi

Friends – Temple of Literature, Hanoi

Lovely with Incense – Temple of Literature – Hanoi

Mekong Taxi – Mekong Delta

Mekong Girls at Floating Market

Mekong Girls at Floating Market 2

Delta Girl – Soc Trang Province

Ancient Arch – Imperial City of Hue

The Girl and the Emperor – Minh Mang Mausoleum – Hue

Minh Mang Mausoleum Grounds – Hue

Visions in Red & Yellow – Ha Long Bay

Visions in Red & Yellow 2 – Ha Long Bay

Two Ladies Holding “Non La”- Imperial City of Hue

The Emperor’s Forest – Hue

Hanoi Model – Temple of Literature

High School Girls in Uniform – Nha Nam

The Gaze – Temple of Literature – Hanoi

Day Dream Bridge – Hue

Reflections – Temple & Tomb of Lê Văn Duyệt – Saigon

Lady in Red – Temple & Tomb of Lê Văn Duyệt – Saigon

Strolling the Imperial City – Hue


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