Georgetown is an Island with small alley streets. In the old time, most locals were riding rickshaws to get around downtown area. In Penang, locals called their rickshaw as Beca in Malay language.
From my pictures, you can see the passenger seat is mounted in front of the driver's seat. It is quite unique as comparing to the rickshaw in Singapore and Philippines as the passenger seat is side by side with driver's seat. With the unique design, passengers would be able to enjoy the scenic views during a ride.
Due to modern infrastructure, most locals are taking buses and taxi in the island. The number of rickshaws in the city is reducing. Currently, Penang has less than 200 rickshaws on Penang streets, mainly to ride tourists to nearby attractions within the city. All of these rickshaws have special permit from the government and a round plate at the back of the driver's seat.
Try Penang rickshaw to enjoy the charm of Penang heritages buildings!
When I was small, i used to follow my adopted parents to Penang, we leave the car at Butterworth Jetty and took the ferry to Penang. Then we took a Beca (in malay language) or Trishaw. It was indeed very fun travelling around Penang in Beca.
So, when you holiday in Penang, try to take this old fashion transport like Beca to go around Georgetown,Penang.
Please read for more informations :
You can find Beca at Ferry Terminal and next to Cititel Hotel at Penang Road.
Once the most common mode of transport, the trishaw (rickshaw) is still very much alive today. Riding in it is a very pleasant experience for in Penang and, the trishaw is King Of The Road. You can rent a trishaw on an hourly basis or per trip. Do negotiate before getting on a trishaw though, 'cause there is no standard fare for it. And you can stop anywhere along the way if you wish ...
You can pick a trishaw to tour around town. Make sure you don't get the one with music because you can't talk to your partner during the ride. Be patient to wait for the trishaw to cross because roads are narrow and cars move faster than you thought.
You can't go to Penang without having at least one trishaw ride. It's a wonderful way to see the sights of Georgetown, and the drivers generally double as a tour guide and have lots of information to share.
It is a little scary being amongst the heavy traffic, just hold on and hope for the best
If you want a nice, relaxing way to travel around Georgetown then jump aboard a tri-shaw and let one of Penang's incredible tri-shaw drivers take you on a tour. It's truly amazing how these wirey old men are able to push about 150kg of passenger plus their own weight! We climbed aboard near the SoHo Free House bar/restaurant on Jalan Penang and the guy took us for 1 hour all over Georgetown for about 20 Ringgit (we felt like we were ripping him off so we gave him an extra 10 Ringgit...).
One of my fondest memories is taking a ride on the trishaw when I was a kid. It was the easiest and cheapest mode of transportation in those days. We would haggle the price before we hopped on and take a slow leisurely ride. Traffic then was a lot less so it was pretty safe.
Today, taking the trishaw is a novelty and a very touristy thing. As traffic has worsened significantly, these rides are only available at certain touristy places like Gurney Drive.
A trishaw ride would be a good substitute for a walk around Georgetown's little lanes. Away with the trouble of identifying locations on a map. Just tell the driver where you like to go. The ride is cheap and slow enough to take nice photos. The trishaw rides can be found along Jalan Penang.
We always stay at the Casuarina Beach Resort and this is where the night markets begin and are set up all the way down to the Golden Sands .. and by the time ya get to the end .. forget walking back .. take a trishaw .. its a fun way back .. AND DIRT CHEAP
We met Sammy as we were about to leave Penang, and I must say that he gave us absolutely astounding service. I approached Sammy as we left the hotel to find out what a trip to the ferry would cost and he replied "About 5 Ringit". He was also prepared to wait for us, at no extra charge, while we went shopping for almost an hour. Then it was the trip itself down to the ferry and Sammy was kind enough to show us all the various temples along the route and a bit of history about them as well. Sammy's English is impecable, even though spoken through broken teeth. He must have been one of the friendliest people that I met in Penang.
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