Water transportation is an important means of communication in Bangladesh, a floodplain with more than 700 rivers and numerous oxbow lakes (locally known as haor). Traditional country boats are still popular and they provide low cost convenient transport in this extensive inland waterways. Approximately 150 types of boats still populate the flood-basin and they vary in design, size and construction materials. They would be either of Bainkata type or of flat bottom type. A bainkata type boat would have a golui fore and a spoon shaped hull whereas a flat bottom type would have neither.
River and boat are central to traditional Bengali culture and they fascinated generations of Bengali artists and poets.