Just as gondola is the undeniable symbol of Venice, dayak is the main trademark of Banja Luka. And while gondola tour of Venice is reserved for wealthy tourists mainly, a dayak ride is rather cheap. Moreover, dayak circuit guarantees an adrenalin experience, with wild sceneries and rough waves on the Vrbas River.
Being a principle emblem of Banja Luka City, the history of this boat is interlinked with the history of the city itself. In the past, it has been primarily used for the transport of goods and people across the river. Over the centuries dayak became the indispensable river vessel. Nowadays, every year regional competitions are taking place as well.
The name ‘dayak’ comes from the stick that is used to move the boat pushing it against the stream. Made of wood, the boat is around 7 meters long and it can accommodate up to 6 persons (ideally only 3). The most beautiful part of each boat is its bow. Every boat has a different bow, depending on craftsman’s inspiration. Each dayak also has its name. Usually the skippers call their dayak after their girlfriends or wives.
Boat Dayak is one of a kind in the world, as it is the only one that goes upstream, overcoming the rapids, cascades and waterfalls of vibrant Vrbas River. The typical ride is 15 km long and it can last up to 60 minutes. In summer, some 70 dayaks are cruising on the Vrbas River.
When in Banja Luka, the best way to grasp its awe-inspiring nature is to embark on a dayak ride that will bring you upstream the river. Only after this experience, you will understand why locals are so proud of the gondola of Banja Luka.
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