Published for the Royal Geographical Society by J. Murray,
Text on page 3
THE UPPER MEKONG, SIAM.
generally about 40 feet long, 10 feet 4 inches beam, with 6 feet 4 inches extreme draught when loaded, and carry twenty koyans of rice) comes the rua pet, which is a great favourite with the Siamese. It is cleaner lined than the rice-boat, the cabin arrangement being the same; that is, the long roof, the deck at the a level of the gunwale going fore and aft, and the storage-room all below, reached by taking out the neatly fitting pieces of deck, which are made to fit into the main cross-beams. The helmsman has a slightly raised atfcap roof over his head, and he (or she, for the wife and the children down to six years old can steer as well as the father) looks out from under this and over the long low roof in front. The steering is done with a rudder shipped in the usual way on the stern-post, while in the big rice-boat it is generally on the quarter (if under sail, on the lee quarter), kept in position by a rope grommet at the head, and another lanyard put through an eye bored lower down. In both kinds of craft a finely peaked calico lugsail is used with a fair winda the matting, of which the junks and local coast-luggers make their sails, being never seen inland. The size of the rua pet is generally 40 feet over all, 8 feet 4 inches beam, and 3 feet 4 inches draught loaded; a new one will cost 300 to 320 ticals, say A 26. Teak is largely used in the construction, and when finished the whole is covered with a coating of clmnam, a mixture of oil from the Mai Yang (a magnificently proportioned tree common in the forest), with dammar oil, which gives a beautiful red varnish to the hull.
A third distinct type of boat is the rua nua (a nua a meaning north, and a ruaa boat), which seems to be rather a Laos than a Siamese form. It is hardly accurate to call them distinctively a Laos boats,a as is often done, as the real a Laos boat,a used both on the Mekong and in the Laos states proper on the Meinam, is simply a long dug-out canoe, 60 feet long, with an extreme beam of 4 feet. The rua nua is a much more highly developed type, and is in construction as elaborate as those above mentioned. It is generally longer than the rua pet. My boat was 56 feet 10 inches over all,
B 2B 2