Several young people have recently responded to the trend of photographing themselves in Vietnamese antique clothing. Every day, hundreds of visitors visit Thang Long Imperial Citadel to rent costumes and make use of the historic palace area for photography, especially on weekends.
The Viet Phuc booth in Thang Long’s Imperial Citadel rents ancient costumes including Vietnamese “ao tac”, “ao ngu than”, “ao Nhat Binh”, and so on. Each style of costume typically costs between 80,000 and 250,000 VND (USD 3.50 – 10.50) to rent. This is a recently established booth to suit the demands of renting and taking pictures, as well as a new center of interest for tourists to Thang Long’s Imperial Citadel.
The “Ao dai ngu than” (Ao dai 5-piece dress) with exquisite hues that exude modesty, discretion, composure, and a delicate aesthetic. This is a type of traditional Vietnamese costume that originated in 1744, after Lord Nguyen Phuc Khoat’s revision of the Dang Trong costume.
P.K.V (Phan Dinh Phung High School, Hanoi) explained why she chose to dress up in a Vietnamese costume to take photos and preserve special moments with her friends: “I believe Vietnamese culture is beautiful and deserves to be known by more people, so I chose these Vietnamese costumes to take pictures. We also enjoy history and wish to understand more about the country’s traditional clothes.”
[A Guide to Traditional Women’s Fashion in Vietnam]
This is the first time Phuong (Hanoi) has worn a “Ao ngu than”: “I noticed on TikTok that many of my friends had come here to shoot photos in wonderful Vietnamese costumes, so I encouraged my friends to join me. I’ve been to here previously, but now that I’m back, it’s pretty exciting to experience life as a courtesy women, or a palace maiden in a Ao ngu than.”