Rickshaws / Trishaws, Mandalay
You need to try this at least once.
Trishaw travel in Mandalay is great. More than affordable, but with one drawback.
Many (or most) of the trishaw drivers are limited in their education and cannot read a map or english.
You really need your hotel to tell them where you want to go, and in this situation you have no hassle. BUT, if you pick one up on the road, you are going to have trouble explaining where you want to go.
This is an embarassing thing to admit but I couldn't fit into the rickshaw seat. The driver tried a few different things and eventually I just decided to pedal myself. Same fare of course (500 kyat for a short return trip).
I stayed at the Sedona hotel and the nearest shop for drinks and snacks was about 10 to 15 minutes walk away (the minibar prices were outrageous). By the third time I did this, I just casually walked up and the driver got straight into the passenger seat. Got some very odd looks!
Bear this in mind anyway. You might not fit in the rickshaw ;-)
A trishaw is a bicycle who carries two people.
The first one sits next to the 'driver' (cyclist) while the second other is back to back with the others.
If you have the chance to have a good English speaking cyclist, it's a terrible experience being driven around for no money.
But beware, bargain - they know the prices. Bargaining before is the word
We took a trishaw to the pier to take the boat crossing the river to the Sagaing - Mingun Area. When we came back, we found he was still waiting for business there. So we decided to hire him for the rest of the trip: Palace - Mandalay Hill - Hotel. He was really nice, honest, fun and patient.
When two people sit on one trishaw, they have to do it back to back. The back seat gave me another view of everything. I liked it.
Rikshaws function as the basic taxi service in Mandalay. They can be found almost everywhere, though not late at night. If you are planning on a late night at a hotel bar or restaurant it is best to arrange in advance for a ride back to your hostel.
Rates are quite cheap, even if you are paying a tourist price. Rarely more than two - three dollars for the longest ride.
Beware! Rickshaws are not comfortable if your back muscles are not used to them.
The best way to get around sight seeing is by Trishaw. You will find Trishaws almost at every corner and in front of the guesthouses. The problem is: The unequal allocation of work. Most of the traishaw drivers in front of the Guesthouses speak English and some of them are quite 'professional' and pushy. That means they have the chance to earn a lot of money whereas the other Burmese trishaw drivers are excluded from this lucrative business. Many times I was 'cheated' a little bit by the trishaw drivers in front of the Guesthouses in Mandalay asking me for too much money or driving me to more 'convenient' places (to them!). When I asked one of the non 'official' drivers,I saw deeply grateful faces, they almost felt on their knees to say 'thank you' (I was deeply moved and embarrasedd having spent too much money on the other drivers). It seems that there is something like an unspoken rule that only a few drivers earn everything whereas the others stay out. PLEASE mostly use the 'unofficial' drivers. They need work, too!