Knowing how to get around is important no mater where you are in the world, and everywhere has their own way to get from Point A
to Point B
. With much of the world's largest cities running on some sort of combination of under and above ground public transportation system, buses, street cars and subways tend to be just as commonplace as cars and taxis. But what about other methods? Certain places are unable to accommodate some commonplace forms of public transportation to work, so it's important to consider the possibility that you may not be able to travel around town in the same way that you're accustomed to. It's important to be open to this and prepared to use the local mode of travel, even if it's different than what you're used to. Here, we take a look at a few unique modes of transportation from around the world.
Traghetto - Venice, Italy
When you think of Venice, images of of slow moving canoes travelling wistfully down the city's canals instantly come to mind. While those picturesque gondolas are mainly for couples looking for a romantic boatride, Traghettoes are essentially economical water taxis for more day-to-day travel from one side o the canal to the other. Follow bright yellow signs around the city directing you to the nearest landing and be sure you travel light when getting into one.
Bamboo Train - Cambodia
Known locally as the "Nori", a raised bamboo platform sits on top of an electric generator engine and runs on wooden tracks to provide cheap and accessible public transit around Cambodia. Able to travel up to speeds of 40 km/h, the ride can sometimes be bumpy depending on where you are.
Thai-Style Canoe - Bangkok, Thailand
Much like the Traghettoes of Venice, the city of Bangkok has its very own systems of canals that are worth travelling. Not only do the canals serve as water roadways to other parts of the city, some of the action stays there; with floating vendors at the sides of the canal selling everything from fruits to clothing to the passing canoe traffic.
Suspended Monorail -Wuppertal, Germany
These hanging trains have been running since 1901, hovering 39 ft. in the air over car and pedestrian traffic. It services 20 stations in the city and carries approximately 82,000 riders to their destinations daily.
Maglev Train - Shanghai, China
Connecting two major airports in the city, the Maglev train reaches top speeds of 431 km/h, making it the fastest high speed train in the world. With its name short for Magnetic Levitation, a system that uses magnets to allow vehicles to travel without touching the ground, magnets in the tracks and train use the powers of both attraction and repulsion to reduce friction and accommodate much higher speeds than traditional transport methods.
Jeepneys - Phillipines
Using modified Jeeps left behind by the United Stated after the Second World War, locals stripped down the vehicles and added roofs for shade; quickly turning them into what is now the most popular form of local public transportation in the country.
Chicken Bus - Latin America
These brightly painted former school buses can be found all over Central and South America and serve as the most common and economical form of transport in the region. Getting its name from the fact that you're just as likely to see livestock as you are people on board, these buses fill up quickly with the roof top used for luggage storage. Typically, the driver has an assistant responsible for collecting fares, organizing the rooftop storage and calling out upcoming stops.
No matter which mode of transport you choose, it's important to be prepared before heading to a new place to make sure you're comfortable with these modes of transportation. Using local public transit gives you much better insight into a region's culture and day-to-day life, but it's also important to be sure these these methods are convenient for you during your stay, as some may not work well for you if you are prone to motion sickness or are afraid of heights.
Be sure to do your research in addition to being prepared and well-packed using one of our Rise Gear
bags. Happy Travels!