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any small skiff, widely used in the Orient, that is propelled by oars or a scull



a general name for various types of flat-bottomed wooden boats used in the coastal regions and on the rivers of East and Southeast Asia mainly for transporting passengers and freight. Sampans are up to 9 m long, and 3 m wide and have a load capacity of up to 80 tons. They are propelled by one or two stern oars or by a straight sail made of mats. An awning or cabinlike structure made of mats is sometimes located astern or amidships; it may serve as a dwelling, store, or workshop.

References in periodicals archive ?
Ray, who volunteered to take the first sampan ashore, said: " It wasn't that I wasn't frightened, but I was young and foolish.
Sampan Singh Bist, MS; Manisha Bisht, MBBS; Rajesh Kumar, MS; Saurabh Varshney, MS
Sampan Indian Cuisine in Brewery Lane, Ponteland, is raising cash for UNICEF UK at the restaurant from 7.
You get a free sampan ferry from the pier, easily accessible by taxi.
Funniest TV moment last week was in Clive James' Postcard From Hong Kong (ITV, Tuesday) when the Aussie star, after a tricky time with chopsticks, hitched a ride in a leaky sampan.
By Johanna M Sampan / Manila Times Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr yesterday absolved his two commissioners who met with a politician whose son is seeking a congressional post in May from any wrongdoing.
As if my prayers were answered, a broken sampan [boat] floated toward me a few days later.
A visit to Aberdeen Harbour is a must, where you can take a sampan ride through the jungle of boats that are floating homes for hundreds of Chinese families.
I also visited the fishing village of Sai Kung (take the underground to Diamond Hill then get a bus) and hired a skippered sampan from the harbour.