Published for the Royal Geographical Society by J. Murray,
Text on page 2
NOTES OF A JOURNEY ON
which has a long cylindrical roof of closely plaited work impervious to rain, extending from just before the helmsman to within 10 feet of the bows, where the two or three oarsmen toil at the long oars. As in all the Siamese boats, the oar is slung in a grommet, which is turned round the top of a small pole firmly let into the gunwale at the lower end. This gives the end of the oar sufficient height inboard,
THE MEINAM BELOW CHAIN AT.
and the oarsman stands to his work facing forward, the outer hand on a small handle turned at right angles to the oar, as in the Chinese sampans one sees in the straits. With a big heavy boat, the action, with a sharp jerk at the end of the stroke, is not pretty; but in the small rua chang (or sampan) of the city the motion is exactly
LOADED KICE- BOATS LYING IN BANGKOK.
that of the gondolier, and with the swaying motion of the inside leg, which is often quite free, is extremely pretty. It must be confessed the grommet principle, which at least keeps the oar in its place, makes the work much easier than the slippery crutch in which the gondolier at Venice works his long oar, and which proves a great source of difficulty to the beginner in the art. This method is known by the Siamese as a chaw (or a chow a -) ing.
Next in size and usefulness to the a rice-boatsa (which areNext in size and usefulness to the a rice-boatsa (which are