Bucket Boats

Hoi An, Vietnam

I ride in a basket boat in Hoi An

August 2015

One of the excursions we really wanted to do while in Hoi An was ride in bucket boats, after seeing a friend of a friend post pictures of a similar experience.

However, finding a place to ride the boats was a lot harder than we expected. We showed pictures of bucket boats to our front desk, and they told us we could find them on the beach. Perfect! We expected to be able to find somewhere to buy tickets to ride on the boats, but the ones on the beach were privately owned for fishing.

We ended up finding the bucket boats by talking to a taxi driver, and we finally ended up being taken to the correct place.

The bucket boats were in a residential part of town, very far away from the town center.



Water buffalo-drawn cart, seen from within our taxi

We had to ask our taxi driver to come back for us, since we were so far away from an area that had ready transportation back into town.


Although this part of dtown was a bit run-down, it was still lovely, nonetheless. Children played in the streets, and ducks floated on streams filled with crawdads.

We payed for our bucket boats, donned our life jackets, and hopped aboard, two people per boat plus our drivers.



The women paddling our boats chanted, “hey-la! lay-la!” which we guessed was some variation of “right! left!”

The area we explored was gorgeous, and a pastel sky filled with clouds was reflected in the rippling water.






Coconut groves seemed to stretch in an endless maze.


Hundreds of little crabs scurried along the banks and over tree trunks.


Our boat drivers pulled over and grabbed some of the leaves, and fashioned hats and rings for us!






Next, our drivers put little pieces of octopus meat on the end of strings, and we went crab-fishing in the groves!





At one point, my friend accidentally flung a crab onto our driver! We all squealed and laughed, as my friend apologized profusely.


Everybody loves squid chunks



After our boat ride, we hung out a bit to wait for our taxi driver to return. We watched the local kids play with paper guns, and one kid flinging around a crawdad on a piece of string.

Our taxi driver never ended up showing up (we would have waited longer, but we needed to book it back into town to catch the sunset), but luckily another taxi showed up into town right as we were thinking of giving up and hopping on some motorcycles. We made it back just in time for the sunset.


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