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Do not miss cyclo ride in typical rickshaws when in Vietnam: A travel note
The typical cycle rickshaws of Vietnam attract your attention since they are not of the type found in other Asian countries. Known as 'cyclo', they first appeared during the French colonial period and served as bicycle taxies in most towns and cities of the country.

They are also known by the names such as pedicab, bikecab or trishaw. Unlike common rickshaws elsewhere, these cycle taxies have a double seat supported on the two front wheels with the driver sitting behind, at times much higher than the passengers.

In the interiors of the big cities of Vietnam, they are used as a means of passenger transport. However, they continue to be a popular tourist attraction. I too had a ride on a cyclo during my last visit to Hanoi.

The foreign tourists are invariably attracted to this unique means of transport when they visit Vietnam for the first time. However, cyclo drivers are prohibited on the main roads of big cities in Vietnam.

There are some cyclo services in Hanoi and visitors can find them in the central areas such as Hoan Kiem Lake or some nearby areas. I took a cyclo ride in the bazaar near Kiem Lake where drivers line up their rickshaws.

From the tourists they charge almost three times the normal fare. You have to haggle a lot to get to right fare. They often think that every tourist is a rich person.

Some of them are used to carry goods and loads for some distances like in Indian cities. You may find small animals like pigs, goats and hen being carried in the cyclos. For hiring a cyclo, one is advised to negotiate the fare in advance.

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