For a long time, “xich lo” pedicabs, along with small stalls and ancient houses have made Hanoi culturally different from other cities. However, pedicab riders and tourists cannot help but feel sad when this means may be banned from Hanoi ’s streets.

Deeply ingrained in Hanoians’ consciousness, pedicabs help create a colourful picture for the city’s tourism.

Since 2009, the city has given permission to four businesses to run about 300 pedicabs. However, riders are now very worried that this vehicle may be banned.

“I have had a strong attachment to this job for a long time. I am wondering how my family will live if I don’t have it any longer,” said Le Van Duc, a pedicab rider in Hanoi .

Hanoi has recently intended to remove the cyclo service, reasoning that it is no longer suitable as it delays the flow of transport, causing traffic congestions. The city also said it will buy cyclos from riders and arrange new jobs for them.

However, leaders of Sans Souci, a popular t ourism cyclo services c ompany, said most pedicab riders are old-aged men, and the job is their true means of subsistence. It would be difficult to arrange new jobs for them.

“How much will each cyclo rider receive in compensation? I am considering how they can live with their savings money from possible compensation, especially war invalids back from the battlefields,” said Director of Sans Souci Tourism Cyclo Services Company Do Anh Thu.

For tourists, having a pedicab tour helps them leisurely contemplate Hanoi’s surrounding landscape and take some photographs.

Foreign tourists would feel sorry if the pedicab service disappeared from Hanoi. They said the ancient streets of Hanoi will look very “sad” and empty without pedicabs.

Naichand Micheal, a French tourist, said, “I am really fond of touring with a pedicab. The image of cyclos is different from modern life. Pedicabs, along with small stalls, distinctive architecture and ancient houses are the cultural identities of Hanoi .”

Meanwhile, Graham and Megan, two tourists from South Africa , said they have already toured on a pedicab for a time. They showed their sadness on hearing that the pedicab service may be removed.

No one can deny that pedicabs help bring unique cultural identities to Hanoi. Moreover, pedicabs are the means of many people’s survival.-VNA