What a lovely picture - exotic and familiar at the same time. As blog reader Kim Apel says, a Chinese equivalent of the gondola.
Chris: From my recent visit to the Shanghai Museum, a display of models (about 1:3 scale was my guess) of native fishing craft of the Gaoshan ethnic group of Lanyu Island, Taiwan. Looks like rowing craft to me, which, though working craft, show at least as much artistic care and sensibility as any Thames skiff.
Also, above, the Chinese equivalent of the Venetian gondola ride, at the Tiger Hill Garden in Suzhou.
San Clemente, CA, USA
Lanyu Island, also known as Orchid Island, has an amazing tradition of boat construction. The entire village turns out to launch a new one, passing it literally overhead to launch it, as related here. Must get there sometime....