Preview: Cambodian Canoes, Part 1: Monastic Racing Canoes

This is the first in a series of articles serving as extensions of Ken’s wonderful book Classic Wooden Fishing Boats of the Vietnamese Coast, now available as an eBook in our Library.

My visits to Cambodia’s Mekong region were no more than a tourist’s reconnaissance of a week or so on three occasions, in the winter (dry-season) of 2008, 2013 and 2015. When I crossed with my motorbike from Vietnam to Cambodia in 2008 I was ignorant of the country, the language, the history, the geography, the people and their boats. Ostensibly I was working on a comprehensiv photographic survey of coastal watercraft in Vietnam and Cambodia, but in reality, I was riding a motorbike, traveling wherever weather, curiosity and opportunity called.

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2 Responses So Far to “Cambodian Canoes, Part 1: Monastic Racing Canoes

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    Andy Smith says:

    A great trip, especially on a motor bike, I’m envious
    I’ve always been curious about the tools used to hollow and fair these enormous canoes from a log, maybe chainsaws would be available now, the power planer you mention on view, is a makita belt sander, which really chomps through the external fairing job without leaving cut lines.

    • Ken Preston

      Ken Preston says:

      Thanks for writing, and your spotting the Makita sander is excellent! I have seen so many planers spitting out chips and essentially never remember seeing a belt sander in use in the region. . .I just missed it! Anyway, if you can manage it, a motor bike is a great way to travel in that part of the world, I enjoyed it enormously.