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Vietnam opens its first museum dedicated to Ao Dai costumes

Vietnam’s emblematic Ao Dai, a long and elegant tunic wore by Female, will soon have its own dedicated museum in Ho Chi Minh City thanks to Vietnamese designer Si Hoang.

HO CHI MINH CITY – Vietnam’s first ao dai (women’s traditional tunic) museum will open next November in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 9. The institution will be the first of its kind in Vietnam and has been created as a private initiative. The museum’s founder is the well-known ao dai designer Si Hoang, who turned his suburban house into a museum. Surrounded by a garden, the new museum is aimed at domestic and foreign tourists and students keen to learn about Vietnamese dress culture. It will feature 500 dresses dating back to 1930.

The collection includes some dresses were by personalities such as an Ao Dai belonging before to Ton Nu Thi Ninh, who is former ambassador of Vietnam  to the EU and former vice-chairwoman of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee. The dress was wore by Ninh, her mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law. The collection also includes sets of ao dai owned by Nguyen Thi Dinh, Vietnam’s first female major general to serve in the Vietnam People’s Army, former deputy president Nguyen Thi Binh, and famous senior artist Cai luong Kim Cuong and Bay Nam.

The museum also preserves a rich archive of 3,000 pictures despicting ao-dai and related accessories.  According to an interview of Si Hoang to local newspapers, the project took ten years to be developed and requested an investment of a million US dollars to shape the collection and open the museum.  

Hoang’s Long Thuan Garden House  has a lotus pond, traditional Vietnamese wooden house, and camping space for students and tourists, sprawling over an area of 20,000 square meters and is located at 206/19/30 Long Thuan Street, District 9.

Luc Citrinot

Luc Citrinot a French national is a freelance journalist and consultant in tourism and air transport with over 20 years experience. Based in Paris and Bangkok, he works for various travel and air transport trade publications in Europe and Asia.