Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Xich Lo

I am not a big fan of the Xich Lo because I feel a bit mean sitting there looking around while there is an old man using all his energy to pedal the thing.

Xich Lo

While walking along the street on my recent trip to Saigon, I was starting to feel exhausted when an old Chinese man rode past and asked if he could show me around. I refused twice but I then agreed after he told me that he would take me to a very good Hu Tiu(noodle soup-Chinese style). I talked to him about a variety of things, about the city and the people. The xich lo driver also told me about himself and how his income fluctuates everyday but remains low compared to other jobs. This is really hard work and the charge is usually dependent on the distance.

Xich Lo man

Nowaday, most people who use the Xich Lo are from the older generation or they are kids. Young adults prefer to go by bike or taxi for speed and convenience which is opposite to the old folk who care more about safety and a relaxing ride. Some people use Xich Lo to take their children to school. I think I might use Xich Lo more often because I can see things happening during my trip and also using them will preserve one of the traditional trades and customs in Viet Nam.

10 comments:

ScruffyEatsLambchop said...

"Cyclo" is one of the beautiful cultural signature that Vietnam has. When you utilize their service, you're continuing that cultural existence. Don't feel guilty as you're not taking advantage of them because you're subsisting their daily lives. Good read and keep up the good work.

jetrealisations said...

I never made a comment in your blog?????
I don't understand what you are saying.....

April said...

good for you--it will also help those who do this for a living. i can't imagine doing it all day (and i know it gets very humid there). they must be in good shape!

Shoshauna said...

I remember as a kid in HCMC, my sister and I both had a xich lo driver that would take us to and from school everyday.

junebee said...

Can't wait to see some pictures taken from the xicho. As two commenters said, the drivers would rather have you patronize their services than pass them by on moral grounds!

BionicBuddha said...

You are very thoughtful and it will one day be rewarded very handsomely.



www.bionicbuddha.com

junebee said...

I like the out-of-focus picture, it gives the impression of the hustle and bustle on the streets.

Godknows said...

I wish I had more time to take a cyclo. It's so relaxing.

Kat said...

One of the things that I noticed right away when I arrived to HCMC were all the motorbikes and taxis on the streets. There were signs posted everywhere prohibiting xich lo drivers on major thoroughfares. Made me kind of sad because it's already one of the lowliest occupations and likely a main source of livelihood for many of the drivers and now they are being forced out.

Godknows said...

Kat, I think they can do their business in certain time of the day. because when they do the tour and includes about 10 bike, it causes the traffic jam. Hoep you understand this situation
Thanks for your comment.