"thuyen thung" Vietnam Off The Beaten Path Tip by jeffmorg

Vietnam Off The Beaten Path: 162 reviews and 194 photos


Whenever I travel to Nha Trang, Phan Thiet or Mui Ne I cant help but be amazed at the tiny basket-shaped boats known as Thuyen Thung. They have almost become a symbol of Vietnam's central coast. They are used in the local fishing industry.

You can find the tale about the history of thuyen thung in many documents and books. Hundreds of years ago groups of people from across the country moved to settle down around Ngan Ha and make a living by catching fish, oysters and shrimps. When the French ruled Vietnam they levied taxes on many things, including boats. Many poor villagers could not pay the tax imposed on their small boats so they invented a new type of boat called thuyen thung to evade taxes because the thung (round basket) was not considered as a boat. The villagers make thuyen thung from bamboo and cover it with chai (a waterproof material made from a plant). First people select quality bamboo plants and split them into thin strips before drying them in the sun. Then they skilfully bent and knit the strips into a round shape. After knitting, they coat the boat with many layers of chai to make the boat waterproof.

Review Helpfulness: 3 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 11, 2007
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