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The Basket Boat of Vietnam

The Vietnamese Basket Boat

Fishing has been at the heart of Vietnams economy for centuries. One of the unique Vietnamese inventions to arise from this is the Basket Boat.



Basket Boat

Created to avoid paying excessive taxes to the French

Made from bamboo these boats became popular during the French rule. The French had levied aggressive taxes on boat ownership, so in response the Vietnamese designed a new type of boat the “Thung Chai” or basket boat was born. The fisherman argued that these were not boats but baskets, and thus could not be taxed for boat ownership. This is certainly not thefirst time in Vietnamese history where they outsmart a foreign invader.


Constructed by hammering strips of bamboo into place, the boat is then coated in waterproof resin made from coconut oil, tar or (increasingly) fibreglass. With regular re-coating, each boat can last decades – longer even than the people who make them!

Basket Boat Tours

Although the basket boat is still widely used for fishing, it is becoming increasingly known as a tourist activity to do when in Central Vietnam towns like Hue, Da Nang and Hoi An. Take a basket boat tour from Hoi An and hop on a water buffalo afterward for example. Riding down a river on a basket boat is becoming one of the main things to do when in Vietnam. The tours are usually around 2 hours which take you along

How to Row a Basket Boat

Many that try to row a Thung Chia (Basket boat) end up rowing themselves into circles. It is important to gently wave the paddle back and forth through the water in an arcing motion. That ensure s that you go on a straight course and avoid drowning as a result of sailing a basket boat which would unquestionably be on the sadder ways to leave this earth.