21 Quirky Modes of Transportation You Would Love To Commute In
If you thought trains, cars, planes and buses are the only way to get around then think again. Different countries have their own peculiar modes of travel, which will leave you enthralled and give you an exciting experience of a lifetime!
Quaint modes of transportation are on the itinerary around the globe, which will make your navigation to markets and other places an adventure. Right from navigating on a junk boat in Hong Kong to racing the dog sleighs in Alaska, here is our list of the unique modes of travel from around the world.
The Americans pulled their troops out of the country at the end of World War II, gifting to the citizens, surplus army jeeps. The locals used their creativity, stripped down the jeeps, added shade roofs and used them as a measure of public transport in the country. A mammoth vehicle that is aptly called the “undisputed king of the road”; Jeepneys represent the culture of Philippines and is a fascinating way to get around.
Chicken Bus, Panama (Also in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua)
Decorated in a multitude of colours each with a unique design, Chicken Buses are recycled yellow school buses that were once used to carry chickens and other fowls to and from the marketplace. Also known for cramming a large number of people in these cheap travel modes, these buses are an interesting way to seek a little adventure for the intrepid vacationers travelling across Central America.
Chiva Express, Ecuador (and Colombia)
A traditional Latin American bus renovated into a train, the Chiva Express is an amusing form of public transit that offers tourists a thrilling journey through some of the country’s most picturesque spots. The joy of riding the Chiva is combined with the Trans-Andean rail, which takes you through the famous Devil’s Nose in the Andes highlands. The frequently changing scenario, snow capped peaks, plush valleys and hastening streams will make this rail journey an enjoyable experience.
Dog Sleds, Alaska (also Norway)
Near the Arctic Circle, embark on a dog sledding voyage through the magnificent winter backdrops while you glide your way through a frozen canvas of snow. Lead by a pack of 4 to 6 dogs trained for speed and endurance, swish across the charming tracks on a bumpy canter to create an unforgettable experience. Although not a means of transport for the locals, this interesting transportation is exclusively offered to the tourists.
Barco de Totora, Peru
Also called Totora Boats, these reed watercrafts are created by the locals that resemble the form of a dragon. Legend has it that these boats were used to ward off the evil in primeval Inca times, although today they are used to make transportation easy and convenient. These light and resilient boats cruise on the tranquil lakes of Lake Titicaca offering visitors a delightful experience to get across the massive and attractive expanse of water.
DUKW (pronounced ‘duck’) are amphibious trucks that were used during WWII by Americans to transport men and machinery over land and sea. Presently called the ‘Duck Tours’ in Central London, these fun and quirky trucks offer a ride through the famous London landmarks before a dramatic take-off into River Thames.Enjoy a classic sightseeing experience as this entertaining ride is suggested for individuals of all ages.
Monte Toboggan, Madeira
First originating in the early 19th century, this public transportation is a fast and fun way to voyage down from Monte to Funchal. These slide rides make for a thrilling experience for adventurous tourists to slide at a great pace down the slender curving streets. Running on a course of 2 kms, lasting for 10 minutes at 48 km/h, these two seater sledges that glide on wooden runners are steered by two drivers using rubber-soled boots as brakes.
Jugaad, Rajasthan, India
A local motorized automobile used as a low budget means of voyage in North India, Jugaad is an interesting arrangement built by carpenters and mechanics using diesel engines. The Jugaad vehicles use motor pumps of wells; tractor engines and wood/aluminium frames. Popular in the rural sectors of the country, they have 3 or 4 wheels and can accommodate around 12-15 people and have enough horsepower to manoeuvre through farms and sandy tracts.
Bamboo Train, Cambodia
Locally known as a ‘Nori’, these Bamboo Trains are built using an electric generator engine and a makeshift bamboo platform for seating space that run on railway tracks at a speed up to 40km/h. The train itself is cobbled using a wooden framework while old military tank wheels are used to cruise on the track lines. Gear up for a bumpy ride as these train rides are cheap and is a once in a lifetime experience that you can’t miss.
A three-wheeled vehicle for hire that can take up to 3 passengers, Autos are a great means of transport to squeeze through the chaotic Indian traffic. These are the most common and popular travel modes in Metro cities. Autos have open doors on both sides and a small cabin for the driver in the front and passengers in the rear. Painted in vivid colours of yellow, green and black that is determined by fuel used, these vehicles have regulated metered fares, although it is not habitually deployed.
Junk Boat, Hong Kong
An ancient 2nd century Chinese sailing vessel design from the Han Dynasty, Junk Boats are used as sunset boats for booze cruises and private charters for tourists.They are located along the Victoria Harbour and soar against the backdrop of majestic skyscrapers. Although not primarily used for transportation, these boats offer leisure and a nice change of pace from the busy city life.
Traditional sailboats of the Egyptian Nile, these wooden boats sail through the inshore waters of the Red Sea. These boats have lateen-rigged sails andare a great way to experience the Nile at a slower and quieter pace. Felucca Boats are about 11 meters long and have a triangular sail but lack a motor as they rely on the steady north winds. The tranquil rhythm of the river with occasional stops to stride through fields and villages will leave you absorbed as you nap on the deck and unwind under the canvas canopy of the sailboat.
Camel Back, Jordan
Camels have forever been the most advantageous form of conveyance in Jordanian history. One way to try the remarkable camel ride is by trekking through the striking deserts of Wadi Rum in Jordan. Engage in a 3 day camel safari to discover the primordial archaeological sites and go camping with Bedouins amidst gorgeous natural ambiances. Experience the placid hypnotic swaying and soft shuffle of riding camel back in the sweeping desert.
Elephant Palanquins, Jaipur
Elephants have a long history in the employment of man ever since the early millennium up until the late 19th century. Valued for their immense strength and intelligence, Elephants were used to carry palanquins as a popular form of transport especially for the kings and royal folks. A traditionally enclosed carriage that is carried on poles and mounted upon an elephant with compartments for seating, these palanquins are now used to carry tourists up to the various forts in Jaipur.
Habal Habal, Philippines
One of the most popular and amusing rides to embark upon; the Habal Habal is a two-wheeled motorized vehicle that can carry around 10 passengers along with their baggage! Used mainly in remote villages with slender paths, this method of travel is supported by wooden boards that extends on both sides and is remarkably well balanced by the competent drivers. Although an indigenous means of transportation, the Habal Habal has unfortunately been banned, although you can hire one for a single passenger.
Rail Carts, Philippines
A unique cart literally pulled along rail tracks by a person, Rail Carts have special wheels that allow quick transport across the railway lines. It is amusing to note that when a train approaches, passengers simply get off and lift out the rail cart off the tracks! Although they require extreme manual labour from the driver, these rail carts carry 6-8 people and are very convenient for people living near the railways.
A ramshackle community minibus that is scruffily decorated with slogans and religious sayings, Matatu’s bench around 14 to 24 people. Matatu’s tour along the streets of Kenya and are used for inter and intra-city travels. It is amusing to note that the Matatu shoves in a large number of people besides their luggage and several livestock too!As a low-priced way of transport, this is one of the finest local experiences one can engage in to discover Kenya in all its originality.
Tuk Tuk, Thailand
Named after of the sound of their engine, these nimble and sputtering motorized taxis can be found jockeying in the clogged streets of Thailand. These three-wheeled carriages are attached to motorcycle chassis while being messily decorated in amusing colours, lights, paints and swaying trinkets. These noisy contraptions are chaotic, fast paced and quirky and will give you a entertaining experience!
Local Trains, Mumbai, India
The local trains of Mumbai will allow you to feel the zeal and spirit of the beautiful city of Mumbai. Getting on and off these trains is quite a tussle as the daily ridership is more than 6 million people! These trains are economical and the fastest way to get through the busy populated city with crazy road traffic. Special coaches for men and women exist and the absence of a door is a special way test your perseverance.
Being a land criss-crossed by rivers, Bangladesh has a wide-ranged tradition of Ferry Boats, which is a cost-effective mode of transport. These ferry boats are generally over-crowded and are considered notoriously dangerous due to the age of the primal colossal vessels which has been disgraced extensively. River transport options are broader such as using a Rocket Steamer instead which is slow moving yet gives you a pleasant insight into the country.
Couch Bike, Canada
With an undeniable style and an unusual galloping, Couch Bikes are literal couches that are mounted upon a pedaling bike! This example of transport intends to poke fun at the sedentary life and culture of humans but also exemplifies the scope of human power. Looked upon as an eco-friendly means of travelling, couch bikes allow you to be seated and pedal your way across cities, although knowledge of legality and traffic rules should be gained before you engage in this amusing experience.