Asia is the land of rickshaws – from the original human pulled transport to the popular three wheeled pedicab and the noisy motorized tuk tuk or bajaj. I simply loved the three wheeled rickshaw which I often take for short distance hop in and hop out around town. In the bustling streets of Old Delhi, my taxi cab would be these wonderful three wheeled pedicabs. In China too, even if tradition seems to have disappeared is happily revived with the arrival of tourists – a great way to experience old Beijing and see some of the city’s traditional Hutongs.
In Rangoon Yangon, browse through the bustling down town and you are sure to glimpse some rickshaws who will be willing to give you a nice ride along the historic part of the the city.
In down town Yangon you might come across some sleepy pedicabs.
Jakarta, once a paradise for these three wheeled pedicabs, today they are only a handful operating in the outskirts and in some local markets, used mostly for transporting goods and shoppers, like that seen in Glodok Chinatown in Jakarta.
To see some of the country most original and aesthetically crafted pedicabs is to travel to Yogyakarta in Central Java, where these three wheeled passenger cart commonly known as becak will take you for a fun ride around the historic Javanese city. Depending on the distance, these becak rickshaws usually have their own asked price and bargaining can be an option, but I usually pay what they ask for, as they too are earning their living and pedaling passengers on a normal non electric three wheeled bicycle can be tough.
The idea of rickshaws for tourism soon hit some of European cities and not long Paris too is swarming with these wonderful tricycles manufactured as electric bicycles or e-bikes for easier use. Made specially for tourists, most are manufactured in Europe or some may come from China, and they all come in all shapes. You can catch a glimpse of these rickshaws in touristic places with rickshaw men mostly originating from Eastern Europe while some are the infamous Roma Gypsies. So the next time you take a ride with one of these modern Parisian pedicabs make sure they are not driven by Roma gypsies who may probably rip you off at end of the journey. Otherwise sightseeing in Paris with these electric “velo” rickshaws which has now become part of the city landscape, can be a lot of fun.
Here is another fun looking Parisian tourist rickshaw