When you are in Georgetown, Penang you cannot miss the Pedi cab, a three wheeled bicycle contraption where the passenger seat is in front and the Rider at the back. The passenger seat seats two. But for a typical American, they might occupy the whole seat.
Most of them are gaily decorated and brightly lit and there is the blasting stereo running off an automobile battery which seriously tests the limits of human hearing endurance and those passersby too. Well if are riding on one, you are sure to get the attention though.
It is a fun way to see and take in the sights of Georgetown. Daytime rides are excruciatingly hot unless you want a good sun tan. Night rides are cooler and more fun. A typical one hour rides can cover many of the heritage sites in Georgetown including the Esplanade or a ride around Gurney Drive and some heritage sites nearby. Bigger hotels organize trishaw convoys for their guests.
If are a single male passenger, you get all sorts of offers but beware, all this ruse is to go off the agreed route so you end up paying more. If you are couple you might get to hear some sob stories from the riders, again don't fall for it. Mind you all this time the rider is talking to you above the boom box music!
A typical ride costs about 10 ringgit to 20 ringgit, for a distance of 1km to 2km.
It is amazing how these riders can move 100kg to 200kg with such agility. Pedal power at its best.
Obeying traffic rules and lights are neither in their vocabulary or skill set. Taking a corner or junction without stopping, where every other car, bus motorbike vehicle screeching to a halt or apply hard braking is routine, bear in mind that you are the buffer between the rider and whatever that screeched to a halt in front. In between as you recall flashes of your life you get to see Georgetown sights. You would notice no car, bus or motorbike rider ever gets into an argument with a trishaw rider. The language they use would make a seasoned seaman blush and that includes the boys in blue.
It is fun exploring Georgetown in the trishaw plus it is Green technology. I recommend every visitor who comes to Georgetown to go for a ride on the king of the road but do check out the prices before you board the trishaw.
Ian currently resides on the lovely tropical Island Of Penang, Malaysia. He has traveled extensively in South East Asia. He is currently working on a travel and tours information website to South East Asia. His website is http://www.a1travelntours.com