Vietnam cyclo experience

Cyclo is like a famous vehicle in Viet Nam and also some of the countries in Southeast Asia. Taking a cyclo is always on the list of must-do things when traveling in Vietnam. Let’s find out about this cyclo.

What is cyclo?

In Vietnam, Cyclo called Xich lo. This is a vehicle designed with 3 wheels by a French in 1939. It is a human-powered transport which is created from the bicycle but instead of one wheel in the front of the driver, it turned to be a seat with 2 wheels so the guest can sit on. In the French colonial period, Cyclo is the luxury transportation for the French in Viet Nam and the rich Vietnamese only.

After that, the number of cyclos in Vietnam increased and it became very popular because Vietnamese people found that it was better than bicycles for hauling cargo and groups, such as a couple of mothers with children. Moreover, it had a suitable cost and it’s suitable with the small alleys and streets in Viet Nam at that time.

Until the motorbike appears in Vietnam, cyclo became redundant because the motorbike helps people to travel further and faster, the cyclo did not meet those demands. At that time, the Xich Lo was used mainly to deliver large and heavy goods in a short distance.

Nowadays, cyclo is not allowed to carry goods anymore, but it’s a symbol of Vietnam and Vietnamese tourism, transportation serving tourists. It becomes an interesting and favorite experience for any tourists to wander around the conners at cheap prices but very comfortable and relaxed whenever visiting Vietnam. It has a slow pace which helps you to easily take photos of streets and see locals’ daily life from cyclo.

Some tour packages incluse city tour on cyclo:

Where to take a cyclo?

In Vietnam, the cyclo looks different in each region (North, Central, and South Vietnam). Hanoi’s cyclo is wider and low, central Vietnam’s cyclo is a bit narrow but longer, Saigon’s cyclo is tall and long. And the big cities such Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Saigon are also the place where the presence of narrow streets so that you can take a cyclo to experience a long-established cultural trait of the Vietnamese.

  • In Hanoi: Along crowded streets in Hanoi Old Quarters, you can see many cyclo drivers and easily take a cyclo for your trip in 1-2 hours that you can easily find a cyclo around the north of the Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son pagoda, Hanoi Opera house or thereabouts.


As usual, cyclo drivers can speak English and help you explore corners and valleys of the Hanoi Old Quarter. With 1-2 hours, you can spend your time enjoying the atmosphere around Hoan Kiem Lake in the morning, wander 36 old streets of Hanoi Old Quarter, Dong Xuan market, St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi opera house,… and try some unique street foods and learn about Vietnamese people’s etiquette.

  • In Hue: Cyclo tours are very popular in Hue that is at every corner such as around the Imperial city, along Perfume River, Truong Tien Bridge, and Dong Ba Market, or at your hotel in the city center.

You can spend your Hue cyclo trip exploring the famous tourist destinations as well as the hidden charms here. A relaxed cyclo trip from the Perfume River to Trang Tien Bridge for sightseeing and breathing the fresh and peaceful atmosphere and the tranquil flowing river will surely satisfy you. You will be taken through some streets and visit from outside the historical and famous Imperial Citadel, The royal antique museum, Dong Ba market. A green city with all the intriguing things from the cyclo will make you relaxed.

  • In Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon): Unlike peaceful and green Hue city, Ho Chi Minh City is a modern and bustling city then cyclo experience in Ho Chi Minh City is distinguished from other cities.

You can spend one hour, two hours or half-day on a cyclo tour in Ho Chi Minh because there are many things to see in this city depending on your interests and your timetable. You can choose to explore historical sites such as Reunification Palace, Central Post Office, Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral, or the big markets such as Ho Thi Ky, the biggest atmospheric flower market, Ben Thanh Market, or a great mix of both. The special thing is that you will have a chance to connect with local people and understand more about them or easily drop by to enjoy a coffee or tea in a local store by a local lifestyle.

Video: Cyclo in Saigon:

If you love to discover and uniquely learn more about Vietnamese life, then the slow pace of cyclos is a must experience in Vietnam. To avoid travel scams, it’s better that you should contact a local travel agent to arrange a cyclo in advance. Or if you book a cyclo trip by yourself with the driver, please do not forget to negotiate and clear the price and the itinerary before your trip. Another thing, you should book a morning or late afternoon tour to stay away from the heat, and bring water, hats, and sunscreen.

Travel Authentic Asia Company is your best choice for discovering the beauty of Southeast Asia. Our experienced and knowledgeable travel advisors are committed to helping you create a tailor-made tour and extraordinary experiences in this majestic region.

If you're looking for an authentic cultural experience, do not hesitate to contact Travel Authentic Asia to choose a Vietnam tour, Southeast Asia tour package or to customize your own style tour to South East Asia.

Vietnam bestselling tours