When you are visiting Georgetown, the best way to immerse yourself in the nostalgia of Penang city is taking a ride in one of the authentic trishaw. A trishaw or ‘beca’ (Trishaw in Malay) as they are known in Malaysia, is a three-wheeled vehicle with a rider pedalling, and a cab large enough to seat two adults. It is also called ‘lang chea’ in Penang chinese Hokkien dialect.
Trishaw is the best way to see and explore the city in a much slower pace, with full view of the sights as it moves along. Wind through the narrow streets where famous heritage places of George Town.
In Penang the trishaw cab is in the front where else the Malacca trishaw cab is on the side.
The three-wheeled trishaw used to be a common sight on the island decades before the arrival of comfortable taxis and public buses. Pedaling a trishaw may looks easy but it is tricky to handle and need a lot of strength to pedal the trishaw.
It takes approximately 20-30 days to build a trishaw. There are only 2 trishaw workshop left in George Town.
Trishaws form of public transport in George Town around the end of the 19th Century. Until in the 80s, it was still used as a transportation for children to go to school or housewife to the market. Those days a trishaw will ferry about 4 or 5 children in it and it was a fun thing for the children. Today, the numbers dwindled to about 200 trishaws in George Town alone and it is now a part of the city’s living heritage.
Trishaw riders often rely on tour buses and travel agencies for bookings. They normally charge RM40 to RM50 for an hour ride around George Town.
Trishaw is the most flexible means of transportation around the city, allowing you to make a few stops along the way and shop for souvenirs while touring the city. Let the trishaw rider decide where you are going.
You can find plenty of trishaws around the capital city of Georgetown, especially next to Cititel Hotel on Jalan Penang and junction of Armenian Street and Canon Square or take a tour package with us. Be sure to ask and agree on a price first before you board one, although it is always better to tip your trishaw peddler generously for their laborious effort alone.