Sailing on an ancient junk boat in Vietnam, riding a rickshaw in Japan or seeing the pyramids on camels – there are thousands of strange and oddly intriguing forms of transportation around the world. Inspired by my hero Charley Boorman who travelled from Ireland to Sydney using 112 modes of transport on TV series ‘By Any Means’, I’m piecing a post together on the 10 most unique transportation means.
1. Bamboo Train, Cambodia
Between Battambang and Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, you’ll find this interesting train, cobbled together with a wooden frame, bamboo planking, an upright engine and reused military tank wheels. As basic it looks, it can haul passengers and cargo from one city to the next. Known as ‘norry’ in Khmer, it uses the spur lines, which means when a real train comes puffing, get ready to jump off your ride!
Photo by el Floz
2. Tuktuk, India
These motorized three-wheelers are used all over Asia – originally from Thailand, they then spread to Laos, Cambodia, Pakistan and India. Although Bangkok is the pioneer in the tuktuk industry, it’s India where traffic-swerving drivers and chaotic road conditions make it a thrilling ride. Whether you are looking for good food in Bangalore or going shopping in New Delhi, hop on for some fun. A tuktuk can usually accommodation two persons and a suitcase.
Photo by nakwoodford
3. Junk Boat, Hongkong
Along Hongkong’s Victoria Harbour, the nation’s signature junk boats float against a backdrop of skyscraping offices. These Chinese sailboats date from ancient times, specifically the Han Dynasty. Today, they are converted into sunset boats and booze cruises for tourists and locals seeking a breathe of fresh air.
Photo by avlxyz
4. Elephant Trekking, Thailand
Before Phuket was developed into a tourist hub, wild elephants used to roam its dense forests and rolling hills. Today, their numbers are dwindling. Instead of lounging by the beach all day, travelers can explore the area inland on elephant tours.
These elephant trekking tours offer a much-needed lift to the tourism industry, and generate the funds to assure the survival of thousands of elephants in a dignified manner. Be sure to go with ethnical operators who ensure the elephants are well taken care of.
5. Zorb, New Zealand
The zorb is the sport of rolling down a hill inside a giant inflatable ball, cushioned by a thick layer of air. New Zealand first brought us bungee-jumping, white-water raftin, skydiving and now this! There’s a range of rides to choose from – from wet to dry, individual to multi-person or zigzag rides. As the kiwis call it, globe riding sure is an interesting way to find your way round New Zealand.
6. Dog Sleds, Norway
There aren’t many places where you can do this. In Northern Norway, close to the Arctic Circle, you can embark on dog-sledding trips that bring you through gorgeous winter landscapes. Every participant will lead your own team of four or six dogs, and swish across scenic routes. Many trips are organized in the Saltfjellet – Svartisen national park and Jotunheimen National Park, where overnight stays in wooden lodges can be included.
Photo by De Kleine
7. Totora Boat, Peru
On the floating islands of Lake Titicaca, the Uros tribes weave their homes and transportation with reeds – or totora in their tribal language – found in the lake. Built to resemble the shape of a dragon, it is said that the boats were used to ward off evil in ancient Inca times. These incredibly light but resistant boats sail out swiftly on the calm lake, making transport for the locals easy and convenient.
8. Chicken Bus, Guatemala
Guatemala’s public buses are nicknamed the ‘chicken buses’ for the hectic and tight conditions where passengers are crammed into these old U.S. school buses alongside chicken and goats. For the intrepid travelers seeking a little adventure, it’s quite an interesting way to get under the skin of the country. Some chicken buses are decked out in neon signs or voodoo posters, but all pose the same thrill. Be warned – petty crimes have been reported on these buses.
9. Felucca, Egypt
These traditional Egyptian sailboats have remained, over the centuries, the primary transportation of the Nile River in Egypt. Its ancient form still graces the river as it has done since the time of the Pharaohs.
These days, both locals and foreigners enjoy a relaxing ride on the felucca, basking under the sun or catching the sunset. Travelers can also take a multi-day felucca ride from Luxor to Aswan and back.
10. Camel back, Jordan
Riding on a camelback through the red-rose deserts of Wadi Rum is one of the highlights of Jordan. Since ancient times, camels have always been the one of the most useful transport tools in the Jordanian history. Travelers can go on a 3-day camel safari trip that includes camping with Bedouins and exploring archaeological sites.
Sare with us your experience below: Have you tried any of these transportations? Are there any other transport mode that you’ve been on?