Means of transportation sometimes bear the imprint of the culture where they originated. Other times they are a variant of conventional vehicles and are specifically designed for tourists to have fun. The following are some of those curious vehicles.
Much of the means of transport are standardized in the world . Planes are the same everywhere, as are most buses, taxis, boats, and cruise ships. It is the same if you take them in Tokyo, as if you do it in Campala. The variations between one and the other are minimal.
At the same time, there are also means of transportation that are exclusive to some specific places . Although they share similarities with conventional transportation, they also have some characteristics that make them unique. In fact, using them is already quite an experience.
The reasons why these means of transport deviate from the conventional line generally have to do with the culture and tradition of the place where they operate. For the same reason, they are an additional attraction when you go to those places and you find these curious means of getting around . Here is a list of the most striking.
1. Elephant or dromedary
The elephant has been one of the traditional means of transportation in many places on the planet. The strange thing is that it continues to be so in the 21st century, but that’s how it is. Sometimes it is simply a tourist attraction, but in other cases it is part of everyday life in some regions.
Elephant riding is very common in Chiang Mai, Thailand . The handler or driver mounts on the animal’s head and taps it with his heel to make it move forward, or shouts to direct it. The passengers go on the back, on chairs that are not characterized by their stability.
On the other hand, in places like Marrakech , in Morocco, it is common to be offered camel rides . These animals are very sociable and friendly, but they are still unpredictable. On one of those dromedaries, you definitely feel like conquering distant lands.
2. Pedal Party, one of the curious means of transport
The Pedal Party is one of those means of transportation that was designed more for fun than for conventional tours. It is a strange bicycle , designed to be driven by several users at the same time.
The joke of the Pedal Party is that all the occupants have to synchronize their pedaling so that the device can move forward . If one of the passengers goes out of rhythm, the device immediately wobbles or stops. So it’s not very practical for traveling long distances, but it’s great for entertainment.
3. The amfibus, in its different versions
Amfibuses emerged as a curiosity in the Netherlands , but are already present in many parts of the world , particularly in cities with rivers or outlets to the sea. This type of vehicle, like others, is more touristic than traditional, but it is worth including it among the most curious means of transport.
It is a bus that at a certain moment turns into a boat . While running on solid surface, it looks like an ordinary car. The surprise comes when it hits the water and becomes an agile boat, with hardly any transition felt. Kids love it.
4. Basket or sled
Basket hopping has a long tradition in Madeira , Portugal . In fact, the writer Ernest Hemingway made use of it and described it as a memorable experience. The vehicle is completely handmade: a basket with wheels, directed by two men who push it and stop it, helping themselves with a rope. The point is that this is only done downhill.
A means of transportation that closely resembles this is sleds . These are typical of places with a lot of snow and consist of a small cart, practically at ground level, pulled by some animal. In some places dogs are used, in others reindeer and some more horses.
The Tuc-Tuc is an emblematic means of transport in Thailand , although it is also present in many cities around the world. It is a motorcycle that adapts in such a way that it works like a car and allows passengers to be comfortably seated in the back.
There is a more tropical version that are the famous “cocotaxi” of Cuba . They are similar to the Tuc-Tuc, but all of them have a kind of yellow cabin, like a coconut. Hence its name. In both cases, it is fast, very cheap and fun transport.