If you’re going to do a rickshaw ride in Vietnam, you should do it in Hue.
Hue (pronounced Whey) is the old Vietnamese capital, home of former kings and now one million people.
The city is less crowded than Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh. That means less traffic for rickshaw rides to negotiate.
Our ride, organised through our Intrepid Family Tour guide, starts at our hotel the Thanh Lick Hotel on Hai Ba Trung Street in central Hue. It’s an optional adventure on our Vietnam Family Holiday, one of the most popular Intrepid Tours.
The expert riders negotiate the crazy push of the city scooters, bikes and cars as we zoom past shopping streets, the football stadium, coffee shops and bars.
One crazy roundabout in the middle of Hue is a little hairy to negotiate. But we make it through in one piece. In Vietnam, you can be fairly certain the traffic will negotiate its way around you.
Horns toot as scooters zoom past us. I watch locals crouch down onto stools at curbside Pho restaurants. Couples, and groups of friends fill the seats at coffee shops.
Then we hit the quieter suburban streets.
Here we see how the local people live. We roll past chickens, ducks and dogs in the street. Many Vietnamese people here will sit out the front of their house as the sun sets, preparing dinner or welcoming parents home. They smile widely and say “Sin Chow” as we ride past.
As you ride to the rural area, the landscape shifts again. From enclosed roads, pockmarked by banana trees to wide swathes of rice fields.
We travelled to Hue, Vietnam a the time of the harvest (the end of April) as the tips of the rice leaves turn yellow.
Local Vietnamese villagers in typical rice hats stand and watch as the harvester reaps the grain. When the harvester has done its work, two people collect the spent grass in huge piles, ready for burning. Others spread the grains over the hot road to dry out before sweeping them into piles ready to be bagged. Once the field has been harvested, the farmers set fire to the rice root. And we pass by several plumes of smoke.
We stop to examine the rice on the road, to watch the water buffalo stop through the field and to check out a duck farm.
We also take a break for a drink and a snack at a local village. The stall owner sells fresh coconut and sugar cane juice. We sip our drinks and admire the incredible view.
In Hue, a rickshaw ride will offer the best of all of Vietnam – rural life, city life and the village. Check out our video below to see what it’s like to be on the rickshaw as we ride through Hue.
Check back with Family Travel for more stories on our Intrepid Family Tour of Vietnam to come.
Intrepid Travel’s 12 day Vietnam Family Holiday starts from $1,720 per adult twin share and $1,548 per child.
The trip starts in Hanoi and ends in Ho Chi Minh City and includes accommodation, transport, an expert local leader, most activities and most meals.