If you live in Thailand, this form of transportation is nothing new for you. Longtail boats are a common form of water transportation used mostly in Bangkok, Thailand. These boats can also be seen in others cities of Thailand. Did you know that at one time Bangkok was known as the "Venice of the East?" Canals went throughout the city. Today most of the canals have been covered and turned into roads. The long, slim longtail boats (called Rua Hang Yao) were once used to travel through the canals.
The longtail boat earns its name from the long rod in the back of the boat that holds up the motor and propeller. Longtail boats are useful for exploring the canals of Bangkok. They are also used like water taxis. They can transport between 6-8 people.
There is one problem with longtail boats. Many people think they are too noisy. Their motors are quite loud and some people say they sound like dragsters (racing cars). Some people think they should be required to have mufflers.
So now you know that the longtail boat should be a part of your Thai experience.
Foose, George. "Mufflers on Longtail Boats." Phuket Gazette. April 23, 2001. <http://www.phuketgazette.com/issuesanswers/details.asp?id=170>.
"Getting Around Thailand ." Gay Thailand. 4 November 2004
"Bangkok City Guide." INM Asia Guides. 7 March 2005 <http://www.inm-asiaguides.com/thailand/bangkok/ebkkriv.htm>.
Permission to use all copyrighted photographs from Ko Phi Phi Longtail Boats <http://www.iipix.com/thailand/phiphi/longtailboats/> from Edward Kaspar. < firstname.lastname@example.org> March, 2005. Email message.