Unique transportation may not be the first thing you think about when planning your next trip. However, many travelers miss out on the fantastic experience of using unique transportation that can be found in different counties. Typical buses, trains, trams, and taxis exist in almost every country. Some counties have their own modes of transport that are extremely different.

As a budget traveler, I have seen and experienced various kinds of public transportation. Taking a ride in a Tuk-Tuk or a Cyclos can add to your traveling experience and many counties have their own local norms for you to try out. Here is a list of some of the unique transportation modes that you should try if you visit the country of origin.

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Cyclos, Vietnam:

Unique Transportation

A cyclo is a bicycle taxi that is standard in the big cities of Vietnam. It is especially prevalent in Hanoi and the neighborhood of Hoan Kiem Lake. The carriage for the passenger is attached to the front of the bicycle. By design, this gives you an uninterrupted view.

Though the bicycle may look like a slow mode of transportation, they are faster than cars during rush hour in big cities. This quiet, but maneuverable bicycle taxi will take you to your destination swiftly and on an affordable budget.

If you are traveling to Hanoi, the cyclo is a unique transportation option; it will be both exciting and budget-friendly

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Suspension Railway, Germany:

Unique Transportation

Photo Credit: www.GlynLowe.com from Hamburg, Germany [CC BY 2.0]

Judging by appearance, the suspension trains in Wuppertal, Germany, look more like an amusement park ride rather than a mode of public transportation.

This innovative idea was brought to Germany to provide a clear route over the dense traffic roads. However, because of the complex infrastructure required to create tracks for these trains, they aren’t as popular as planned. In Germany, 20 million people travel on the suspension trains every year.

If you are in Germany, take some time to check out this unique transportation mode of travel.

Hydrofoil, Greece:

Unique Transportation

ArnoWinter On Wikipedia (Creative Commons)

Greece is a beautiful country with around 8000 small islands. The hydrofoil is one of the primary methods for island hopping in Greece. The hydrofoil doesn’t float in the water. Nor does it fly like a plane; its movement is something in between. The hull is lifted from the water, and it skims the water rather than floating.

The hydrofoils are very efficient, affordable, one of the unique transportation types for those that enjoy travel via water. The innovative hydrofoils are popular among tourists and locals alike.

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MagLev, China:

Unique Transportation

The maglev or magnetic levitating train is another evolution in the field of unique transportation. These trains use magnetic repulsion to lift themselves above the track and levitate. The absence of ground friction allows the train to reach extremely high speeds.

The maglev is capable of getting a top speed of 430km per hour on long and straight tracks. Though Germany and England have small implementations of maglev trains, they aren’t on the level of Shanghai, China.

If you ever travel to Shanghai, you have to use maglev trains. The experience will be super exhilarating, and you will reach your destination in a matter of minutes.

Tuk Tuk, Thailand:

Unique Transportation

The tuk-tuk is the most famous unique transportation mode on this list. This affordable transportation makes the most out of a small motorbike engine. A fixed carriage is attached behind the bike to increase the number of people it can carry.

Tuk-tuks are one of the primary travel modes all over Thailand, especially in crowded cities like Phuket and Bangkok. As it is evident from the name of these vehicles, they make a lot of noise. When you are sitting in one passing through a busy street in the city, the sound can be overwhelming, especially for someone who is not accustomed to living in a loud environment.

Therefore, if you are visiting the larger cities of Thailand, bring along some earplugs. Earplugs work like a wonder, and they aren’t only for blocking noise. They can also make your flight to your destination comfortable by avoiding ear blocking because of cabin pressure. Check out some online reviews for the best earplugs on the market to figure out which type and brand are suitable for you individually.

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Matatu, Kenya:

Unique Transportation

The matatu is a standard mode of transportation in Kenya. Though a matatu is a minibus, there is nothing average about it. These privately-owned buses are usually covered with art and images of local and worldwide celebrities.

After the increase in the popularity of matatus, many countries in Africa have started using them for public transport. However, the roots and beginning of these busses can be traced back to Kenya.

Bamboo Trains, Cambodia

Unique Transportation

Shankar s On Wikipedia (Creative Commons)

A bamboo train consists of boards made from light bamboo trees, which are mounted upon two wheels to form a slow and thrifty mode of transportation. The locals use the train for their daily commutes and for carrying luggage as well. When it comes to cheap and unusual means of transportation, very few modes can compete with the bamboo trains in Cambodia. This makeshift train runs between O Dambong and O Sra Lav in Battambang, Cambodia.

Classic Red Double-decker, Macedonia:

Unique Transportation

Photo courtesy of Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of North Macedonia 

Almost everyone is familiar with the vintage red double-decker buses that operated in London in the 60s. These busses had a certain romanticism about them that made them very appealing. Though you may not be able to find the classic ones in London, they are the primary type of bus used for public transport in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia

These busses aren’t the old versions that were used in London; they are Chinese made modern variants of the original London double-decker, so you don’t have to worry about safety and reliability. You can take some iconic photos with these busses and enjoy an excellent ride on the top deck, as well.

Closing Thoughts

Public transportation is a general requirement for people all over the world. Some of the modes listed here run in many countries; some places have unique transportation that can only be found there.  If you are planning to visit any of the counties mentioned above, don’t miss out. The transportation options are “once in a lifetime” rides. You will enjoy a new experience, get some great photos, and, most importantly, you will create new memories.

Author Bio:

Katherine Joseph writes this article. She has been wearing hearing aids for over twenty years and still is a veteran of the audiology industry. She gives a holistic view of the hearing aid industry and the equipment available at https://doctear.com/

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