Taking a pedicab traveling around the old residential area in Beijing ( Beijing Hutong Tour ) is one of the highlights for the many first time foreign tourists visiting Beijing. The old Beijing residential areas are mostly composed of Beijing Hutongs which form and contain the traditional living houses locally called “Siheyuan”, a kind of vernacular courtyards.
Foreign travelers normally prefer to take a walk or a rickshaw around the Shichahai area north of Beihai Park, where the old hutongs and courtyards have well been kept.
Hutong tours are greatly promoted and incorporated into a complete Beijing sightseeing picture. There are several rickshaw tour tour companies providing pedicab service both in the Shichahai area north of Forbidden City and Qianmen area south of Forbidden City. Most of the rickshaw rides are restricted to the these hutong and courtyard areas.
Through years’ hectic competition, the hutong rickshaw market has been controlled and operated by several huong tour companies which have a clear code of conduct for their pedicab drivers to follow. The code of conduct include the follow:
Tips for taking a rickshaw in Beijing
Rickshaw has filled up a hole in the transport market in the hutong areas where normal cabs are found clumsy and useless. The hundreds-year old rickshaw ride in Beijing has become a popular and nostalgic mode of moving around in the fast developing metropolitan Beijing. Rickshaw rides are greatly favored by foreign visitors in Beijing and has also won the full support from the local government.
The pedicab drivers are mostly young foreign students who are going to make some money to help fund their studies. Many of them are independent rickshaw drivers though there are some registered rickshaw operators in London.
From the very beginning, the pedicabs in London have faced the question of existence due to the strong opposition from the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association which has vowed to fight them off the streets.
The pedicab fare is a matter of negotiation between the driver and the passengers. How much you pay is largely dependent on your negotiating skills and how far you are going. It’s daunting physical work.
Pedicabs in London are generally used by visitors for short journeys. Most of the rickshaw drivers look for their business in the West End Londdon, the most commercial and sightseeing area, posing a safety problem.
A few day stay in London gives me an impression that the richshaws in London are not well organized with little management and support from the local government.
Tip: Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for Beijing guided tours:
Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites
Any questions, just drop a line.