The theme letter for our travel pics this week is V, for Vietnam. (Yes, I know that was last week’s theme – but we decided to do a V2)
Our first in this second week is of Vietnamese women wearing the Ao Dai – the uniquely Vietnamese fashion that is elegant – but highly impractical.
Many westerners mix up the Vietnamese Ao Dai and the Chinese Cheongsam (or Qipao) – but they are quite different.
A Cheongsam, for example, has a slit that begins mid-thigh, whereas the Ao Dai (as you can see) has a slit that always begins at the west – so trousers must be worn.
Many schools now require female students to wear the Ao Dai as a uniform – ostensibly to teach them “modesty, caution and refinement”. In fact, in the south of Vietnam (where this photo was taken), white Ao Dai are the uniform of many high schools.
While we were at the Bitexco Financial Tower’s “Skydeck”, in January ’16, there was an Ao Dai museum, featuring examples by a leading Saigon designer – but I also loved seeing them on the streets of Ho Chi Mihn city.