The boat that is likely to catch the eye soonest when first reaching the Vietnamese coast is no more nor less than a round bamboo basket coated with tar or varnish to waterproof it. They vary in size from a one-man boat to those big enough to carry several men and their fishing gear and catch as well. Some are simply stunning surf boats working off exposed beaches through daunting breakers. Their construction and utility is remarkable: a simple and elegant solution to a number of problems.
These boats (and they are remarkably effective boats) are ubiquitous all up and down the coast, working in any number of trades. They represent everything from a simple round basket to a very large class of “true” boats (ordinary looking pointy-ended boats) either entirely or mostly made of split bamboo basketry and occurring from the far north of Vietnam at least as far as the southern coast.Woven Bamboo Basket Boat with Young Paddler Mostly these woven boats are nearly invisible: hiding among ordinary wooden boats pulled up on the beach or tied up in harbors cheek by jowl with wooden boats. The larger basket boats are almost all diesel powered now, though the occasional type still carries at least an auxiliary sail. The smallest do their work under oars or paddles or very small gasoline engines.
Uploaded: Dec 26, 2016