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Photographer's Note

"Anyone who has traveled to Phan Thiet or any of the fishing villages along Vietnam’s central coast will recognize the tiny basket-shaped boats called Thuyen Thung. They are so widely used in the region that they have become synonymous with well known places like Phan Thiet and Mui Ne.

The small, round bamboo boats put out to dry in the sun look like mushrooms growing on the sand. Thuyen thung have become thoroughly ensconced in the central coast’s local history and culture. One of the more famous legends surrounding the boats is that the French levied heavy taxes on boats and many poor villagers could not afford to keep their boats, so they invented the thuyen thung, thus evading taxes as the French did not consider the basket-like vessel hardly a boat.

Villagers make the boats by selecting and splitting high-quality bamboo into thin strips and drying them in the sun. They then skillfully bend and knit the strips into a round shape. After knitting, the boat is coated with many layers of dipterocarp resin for waterproofing.

A thuyen thung costs some VND1 million. Many households make thuyen thung by themselves, while some buy a boat from others."


experimenting with b&w conversions, any comments are welcome. uploaded the colour version as a ws..

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Additional Photos by Mark Panszky (markoci) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 434 W: 91 N: 406] (3927)
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