Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by Nellie Huang
Sailing on an ancient junk boat in Vietnam, riding a rickshaw in Japan or traversing the Sahara Desert 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 compiling a post together on the 10 most unique transportation modes in the world.
Table of Contents
Unique Transport Modes Around the World
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!
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, you definitely won’t miss riding one when traveling in India. A tuktuk can usually accommodation two persons and a suitcase.
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. Riding the junk boat is an essential part of any trip to Hong Kong!
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Chicken Bus, Guatemala
Public buses in Guatemala 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.
8. 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.
Have you tried any of these transportations? Which unique transport is your favorite? Let us know in the comments field below!