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One of the fun things to do in South East Asia is to hop on a local cart for a unique perspective of each city. What’s the difference you ask? Keep reading to learn more.
On a rickshaw, a runner pulls a two-wheeled cart which seats one or two people. The first known use of ‘rickshaw’ was in 1887, however over time cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws, and electric rickshaws have been invented. Pulled rickshaws were a popular form of transport and a source of employment for male laborers in Asian cities during the 19th century.
Also known as cycle rickshaws these pedal-powered tricycles carry passengers and are common in cities across South and South East Asia. The first trishaw were built in the 1880s and they later outnumbered pulled rickshaws. The vehicle is generally pedal-driven by a driver although
some are equipped with an electric motor to assist the driver.
The cyclo (pronounced “Xich Lo”) is a tricycle taxi with a double seat supported by the two front wheels and the driver sitting behind. Appearing in Vietnam during the French colonial period after failing to introduce rickshaws, the design in Ho-Chi Minh City differs from that in Hanoi where the driver sits much higher! A popular mode of transport in the past, it now represents Vietnam’s culture.
Pronounced “say ohm”, this informal word refers to a “motor-taxi” in Vietnam. A cheap and interesting way for tourists to get around “the country of motorcycles”, the literal translation is “hug the driver”. Simply board behind the back of the driver, put the helmet on and get ready to be a part of the organised chaos that is Vietnamese traffic! Look out for this service when a driver hangs a “XE OM” sign in front of the motorcycle.