If the Mekong Delta in the south of Vietnam is famous with its three-plank wooden vessels, the basket boat in Hoian becomes one of the iconic images for this city. Riding a basket boat in Hoian is definitely a must thing to do while you are here
The bellow article includes some useful information for basket boat riding in Hoian, some activities on the basket boat, and tips for you when trying this activity.
Exploring coconut river with a basket boat
What is a Hoian basket boat?
A basket boat or a coconut boat is a special boat in Vietnam. It is a small, round bamboo boat with two meters in diameter, and used as a means to catch fish on the beach by fishermen in the middle and south of Vietnam. Other names of basket boats are Thuyen Thung, Thung Chai.
Basket boat first appeared in Vietnam in the French colony to avoid paying excessive taxes on boat ownership to the French. French believe basket boat is not a boat, but basket, thus there is no tax for the basket boat owners.
Nowadays, basket boats are still used to catch fish, but it is becoming more popular for tourists as a means to explore Hoian. You may feel it unstable for the first time you get on the boat, but it is not. The tour guide will instruct you where to sit to distribute weight evenly. A basket boat has enough room for 3 adults, including a tour guide. There is a lot of space for you to put bags, shoes, a camera… on the boat. You need to wear life jackets when on the boat.
Basket boat with a maximum of 3 adults and 1 kid
Activities on the Hoian basket boat
Basket boat riding lasts only about 1 – 2 hours in narrow canals as well as the large river section, but you can see a lot during the ride. The boat will stop at some beautiful spots for you to take photos. Moreover, there is an opportunity for you to discover the ecosystem, see craftsmen at work, and to learn how to catch fish with a traditional net, paddle the boat, make animals from palm leaves. The talented and clever boat operator is able to make beautiful flowers, rings, or animals from palm trees while telling the story about the Vietnam-America war on the river.
One of the highlighted activities on the basket boat is crab fishing. You can pick up fresh clam from the water and use it as a fishing bait. When you paddle close to the coconut trees, try to catch the crab. The water crab can appear shortly and you will be able to catch it because clam is a favorite food of this kind of crab
On the basket boat, there is a chance for you to see an interesting performance of actors dancing on a boat. You can have an adventurous experience by sitting on the boat while the ride paddle to shake the boat.
Grasshoppers made from palm leaves
Watching local people catching fish using a large net
Crab fishing on Hoian coconut boat
Place to ride a basket boat
The best place to experience basket boat riding in Hoian is Cam Thanh village which is about 7 km from the center of the town. You can get there by motorbike, car or book a Hoian basket boat tour to Cam Thanh village.
If you are wondering to take a basket boat ride by yourself. Book a grab which is much cheaper than a taxi. It is about 3.5USD for an 8 km ride. The entrance fee is 30.000VND, and you can hire a boat with about 300.000VND for 3 adults including the tour guide, or boat rider. The boat owners will try to charge you more, so use your bargaining skill to have a good price
Basket boat under coconut trees in Cam Thanh village
Experience on Hoian basket boat
Tips to learn how to ride a basket boat
When learning how to paddle, remember to gently wave the paddle back and forth through the water in an arcing motion. This is very important so that your boat can go straight and avoid drowning in the water.
What to bring
That is a very hot place, so bring something to cover your legs and arms, apply some sunscreen, take a hat or an umbrella, sunglasses, and a water bottle. Do not forget to bring your camera
Basket Boat swing
It is a fun experience, but bear in mind that this place can be noisy and full of tourists. It is not recommended if you want somewhere peaceful
Basket boat swing
Hope that the above information is helpful and you will have a great experience with the basket boat tour in Hoian.
Image sources: Internet