There aren't that many trishaws left in Thailand, anymore. Motorbikes are simply too cheap and too convenient, and are widely used as taxis these days, forcing out the hard working pedicab drivers. But whenever I see one, if I'm not in a hurry, I flag it down. The slow ramble of a pedicab is probably the best way to see a small Southeast Asian city (not Bangkok... I wouldn't wish that on anyone). You have time to take in the scenery, make mental notes, take photos, and smell the flowers. Seriously. You can smell flowers when you ride in a trishaw.
Some of my fondest memories of my time in Chengdu, Sichuan, were late nights spent wobbling across potholes with a Snow Beer and good friends, in the back of these three wheeled bikes (bet you don't remember, AGP). They also remind me of Penang, and the south of India, and what is probably the most interesting trishaw town of all, Lhasa. High in the Himalaya, trishaw riders have their own language of whistles - one means 'I'm passing from behind', another 'turning left, or right.' In a trishaw, you have time to whistle where you're headed.
Above is a photo of my latest trishaw driver, Pit, who pedaled us around Nakhorn Si Thammerat this week. He is 74-years-old. As we slowly rolled through the charming provincial city, dotted with temples and mosques, he waved and smiled to almost every person we passed. You also have time to make friends, when you drive a trishaw.