KATHMANDU, Nepal — The busy tourist sites around Kathmandu were all walking distance of my hotel. Even so, bicycle rickshaws abounded.
Relatively luxurious compared to the hand-pulled rickshaws in Kolkata, India, the local human-powered taxis resembled tiny covered wagons, with retractable cloth canopies shading its passengers. The trikes sat on spoked wheels, which looked a lot more comfortable than the wooden wagon wheels on their Indian counterparts.
Yet as many bike rickshaws as I saw, they were almost always empty, with a couple of drivers even using their own rides as a place to relax or catch a nap. I wasn’t tempted to take a ride, especially I didn’t have any destination in mind while walking across the city.