12 Unusual Ways People Get About Around The World

When you think about it, we’re a bit bland in Britain. We get around on our feet, in cars, buses, trains, and bikes – motored and push. I want to see a tuk tuk on our streets! Spice up the streets! Here’s how the rest of the world’s doing it…

1. Tuk-tuks (Thailand)

Tuk-tuks (Thailand)

Didier Baertschiger (CC by SA 2.0) / Via Flickr: didierbaertschiger

These motorised rickshaws aren’t always the most comfortable or practical, but they’re undeniably iconic.

Just be prepared to haggle, as the first price will always be extortionate – especially if you’re a tourist!

2. Hydrofoils (Greek Islands)

Hydrofoils (Greek Islands)

ThinkStock

If you’re planning on hopping around islands such as Corfu and Crete, then one of the more exotic modes of transportation is the futuristic-looking hydrofoil.

The aerodynamic shape makes for a much faster journey, although they’re relatively rare due to being expensive to build and maintain.

3. Downhill Wicker Toboggan Rides (Madeira, Portugal)

Downhill Wicker Toboggan Rides (Madeira, Portugal)

Paul Mannix (CC by 2.0) / Via Flickr: paulmannix

Believe it or not, this is actually a legit form of transportation! Inhabitants of the tiny island of Madeira have been using these wacky sleds to journey down the Monte Mountain to the town of Funchal since the 1850s.

Today, they’re a popular tourist attraction, taking around 10 minutes and reaching speeds of up to 48kph!

4. Khlong Boats (Bangkok, Thailand)

David McKelvey (CC by 2.0) / Via Flickr: dgmckelvey

Christine Olsen (CC by ND 2.0) / ViaFlickr: islandgyrl

Bangkok’s water taxis are surprisingly efficient. Surprising because whenever you see a canal boat in the UK, it seems to take a while to get going. And don’t even start on the whole ‘lock’ thing.

But the Khlong boats are a vital means of transport for the city’s commuters, travelling right through the heart of the city. (It even has its own tube map!)

5. Human-Powered Rickshaws (Japan)

Human-Powered Rickshaws (Japan)

Necip Yanmaz / Getty Images

Once upon a time, this was the main transportation in Japan, with 40,000 in Tokyo alone in the 1870s.

Most places now outlaw human-powered rickshaws, but they are allowed in Asakusa as a tourist attraction, where they offer a kitsch, retro way to see the neighbourhood.

6. House Boat (Kerala, India)

House Boat (Kerala, India)

Saad Faruque (CC by SA 2.0) / Via Flickr: cblue98

These picturesque house boats offer a breathtaking way to experience the backwaters of Kerala.

Effectively floating hotels, they have all the comforts of a home (bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens – even balconies). Remarkably they’re completely natural too. Not even a single nail is needed!

7. The Bullet Train (Tokyo, Japan)

The Bullet Train (Tokyo, Japan)

sot / Getty Images

Ah, Japan’s famous bullet train. Putting Britain’s railway lines to shame since the 1960s.

As well as always being on time, the Shinkansen reaches speeds of up to 320kph,and is just an all-round wonderful experience. Who knew travel could be such a delight?!

8. Longtail Boat (Thailand)

Longtail Boat (Thailand)

Kevin Tao (CC by ND 2.0) / Via Flickr: ktao1

It’s almost a crime to visit the islands of Southeast Asia and not take a reua hang yao, which have been used in Thailand for hundreds of years.

Known as the “gondolas of the south”, longtails are an enormous part of the local culture, economy, and way of life.

9. Mid-Levels Escalators (Hong Kong)

Tom Bonaventure / Getty Images

Tom Bonaventure / Getty Images

Think of those moving walkways at airports, except if they were used to create a new mezzanine level for you to get around the city easily.

That’s what’s happened in Hong Kong, where it transports thousands of commuters every day. It’s so popular, that all kinds of businesses, shops, and stalls have popped up on this new level of the city too.

10. Ojek (Bali, Indonesia)

Ojek (Bali, Indonesia)

Serenity (CC BY-SA 3.0) / Via commons.wikimedia.org

Motorbikes rule the road in Indonesia, so it’s only logical that taxis come in motorbike form as well.

Pretty much anyone with a bike can be an ojek, which has its upsides and downsides. But they can be very handy at reaching places your typical four-wheeled vehicle can’t.

11. Funicular (Budapest, Hungary)

Funicular (Budapest, Hungary)

alxpin / Getty Images

This quirky vertical railway was established in 1870 as a cheap option for commuters to get to the Castle District.

The cars and line were destroyed by bombs in World War II, but thankfully wererestored and reopened in the 1980s.

12. Songthaew (Thailand)

David McKelvey (CC by 2.0)

David McKelvey (CC by 2.0) / Via Flickr: dgmckelvey

Songthaew literally translates as two rows, and is kind of like a cross between a bus and a pick-up truck. They’re cheap, convenient, and really handy for getting around towns and beach areas.

As far as public transport goes, they’re pretty chill…to the point that sometimes even the locals won’t be clear on where they’re headed! So it’s always best to check with the driver, just in case you end up on the other side of town.

It just looks a hell of a lot more fun!! That’s why in our Motor Vehicle courses we’re constantly looking at new ways to do things. We’re even converting a Beatle into a pick-up truck! Take a look at our courses here today!

 

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