I had always had an image of women in Vietnam in a white ao dai with a traditional hat riding bicycles in the city before having visited in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City. I must have seen some old photos of Vietnam. In contrast to my image, I saw many women dressed up in western clothes in Saigon/HCMC as well as Hoi An. You do spot women in ao dai, but it seemed to me that they were a uniform. Ao dai is very pretty. I love the way the dress flows as a woman wearing it walks. It looked very graceful.
Ao dai makes a great keepsake for kids. I bought them at Ben Thanh Market, very well-known market in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City that attracts a ton of tourists. I will have to have another post about my experience at the market. Just for your information, our Vietnamese friend said she got an “ao dai” for around $5, so I had that in my mind when I negotiated. The quality is not impressive (I already had to mend some), but for the price, I didn’t mind it.