Cyclo is a three-wheeled vehicle that can carry up to two people.Cyclo is quite endemic to the Asian region. But in fact, it was invented by a French inventor in early 1930s. He took a great time and effort to register this invention even with the avid support from two Tour de France champions. However, cyclo was not licensed to be on the road in France then. Later, the administrators permit the use of cyclo in the then French colony- Cambodia. A promotion tour of cyclo from Phnom Penh to Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) introduced cyclos to Vietnam. Two riders had in turn cycled the cyclo for about 200km in 17 hours and 23 minutes. In 1939 there were only 40 cyclos in Saigon, while in 1940 the figure jumps to 200 cyclos. The term was Vietnamized thus becoming xich lo. Since then, cyclos have become a popular scene in Vietnam roads. Once upon a time, during the French colony, the use of cyclo had been seen as the symbol of wealth and nobility. Only the rich and the French use cyclos to go around.Cyclos were even used in the Vietnamese wars as an affordable transportation of supply for the guerilla soldiers.
With the advent of motorbikes and cars, cyclos are no longer popular. Nowadays, these tricycles are mostly used for tourism. You can indeed explore the charm of the life at the Old Quarter from a view on a cyclo. The roads in the Old Quarter are like the shape of checked board- narrow and intersecting. Thus, it is quite confusing to navigate around on your own feet. Motorbikes can a little bit tricky and not for everyone. Thus, cyclos arise as the best choice. You can sit comfortably in a cabin while the cycler is behind you. Most of them can speak some English.
There are many street food shops around on your tour that you can stop by any time from your cyclo to quench your hunger and curiosity. The view from the cyclo would bring your eyes further off the modern, shiny stores to the upper tops of the Old Quarter where traces of colonial architects are left behind. Don’t be surprised to spot a Chinese character going together with some French decor at one point. Remember to bargain hard before setting off your cyclo journey and avoid the trip at weekend nights as you do not want to be stuck in the traffic jam then.