Friday, April 8, 2011

Pedal power rolls on in Thailand

You know you're in Thailand when ... see far more two-wheeled vehicles on the streets and highways than you do four-wheeled ones.

Most of the former take the form of small motorbikes. You'll see equal numbers of men and women driving them, often with someone else along for the ride, sitting behind the driver.

The other form, of course, is the bicycle.

One rickshaw taxi, at your service.

Both of those vehicles are also used to ferry passengers around city streets. The motorbikes-taxis are called tuk-tuks; the bicycle powered cabs are called rickshaws.

Similar to the ancient rickshaws of Asia, they are human-powered. And they're not a bad way to get around, see the city - and at a pace that actually allows you to see the city, and maybe even Shana a few photos while you're cruising along.

Although they're popular with tourists, locals often use them as well, especially for chores like hauling groceries or goods back from the markets, if you don't have a car or motorbike.

They can also take you places motorized vehicles may not be able to go, places like the courtyards of temples.

So if you're ever in  Chiang Mai, Thailand, why not try hailing one, and see the city from a different perspective?

Or as Freddie Mercury and Queen said, in  that famous song about rotund-reared ladies: "Get on your bike and ride!"

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