Photo of The Day #75, Rick-Shaws at The Blue House in Penang Malaysia Played My Emotions

As we approached the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion commonly known as The Blue House, in the old Georgetown section of Penang Malaysia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I immediately gravitated to the plethora of Rick-Shaws lined up on the front porch. I have no idea why I am attracted to these antique modes of transportation or why I take endless photos of them. I can remember my first visit to Hong Kong in 1973 and how common they were at that time, as a personal transportation source. They have fascinated me for over 40 years.

 

Single Rick-Shaw with Umbrella

Single Rick-Shaw with Umbrella

 

Over time the quantity and elaborate vehicles have waned and their use diminished extensively. They are still found in a select few cities, like the Georgetown area of Penang, but in most cases it is just a form of tourist attraction and there seems to be a perpetual contest to see which Rick-Shaw can be decorated the gaudiest. We stopped our first night in Penang and all climbed into our Rick-Shaws for a pre-arranged guided and moderated tour. I was fortunate that my guide spoke excellent English and was familiar with local history.

 

 

Double Rick-Shaw

Double Rick-Shaw

 

I was amazed that my guide was near my age, probably had about 1% body fat and I had to outweigh him by at least 50 pounds. He peddled like I was a feather and no sign of struggle or additional effort was displayed during our tour. I think he was used to this routine and when we stopped the ride I tipped him, thanked him and walked away. When I looked back he was lighting up a cigarette, as if to say “I got this covered and then some”!

 

Double-Single Rick-Shaw That Could be a Triple

Three-Single Rick-Shaw That Appear to be a Triple

 

I would recommend you take a whirl on one of these magnificent contraptions and try and visualize what is was like “Back in the Day”! They are in the process of being phased out and it is just another piece of history that we will not be able to experience before too long. Jump in and travel back while you have the chance. I feel fairly certain your brain will allow you to transport yourself back in time and you will be able to appreciate a little slice of history, when things moved at a slower pace and one could appreciate their surroundings.

 

 

 
*** My trip to Thailand and Malaysia was sponsored by Thai Airways, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Tourism Malaysia USA. All opinions are solely mine and as always, generated without any influence.

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3 responses to “Photo of The Day #75, Rick-Shaws at The Blue House in Penang Malaysia Played My Emotions”

  1. I think I need to move to Asia and become a rick-shaw rider for a couple of months to lose some weight. These are unique vehicle, and I love the pics.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Ted,
      They are so thin and my driver was about my age pedaling my fast rear end around! I really kind of felt sorry for him. We both can do it for like a month and probably lose all the weight we need to! Ha!
      Mike

  2. It’s fun, isn’t it, to take it slow and use traditional local transport? The rickshaw is something we’ll have to hop in when we visit Malaysia early next year. (And no doubt pedaling a rickshaw is a great form of exercise for the driver!)

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