Travelling the world is quite a thrilling experience, and trains, cars, planes and buses aren’t the only way to get around. There are lots of other unique and unusual modes of transport from around the world. From trains made of bamboo to sleds pulled by reindeer, these types of transport are sure to be a memorable experience.

Different Modes Of Transportation From Around The World

1. Suspension Railway – Wuppertal, Germany

unusual modes of transport

Opened in 1901, the Suspension Monorail (or the “Schwebebahn”) is the oldest electric elevated railway with hanging cars. It was built using 19,200 tonnes of steel. Over 85,000 passengers use it every day to travel around Wuppertal.

First Ride – March 1901

What Is Unusual About It The futuristic design of the Suspension Railway results in less vibration and makes it much quieter than other overhead rail tracks.

2. Coco Taxi – Havana, Cuba

various modes of transport

These yellow taxis shaped like hollow coconuts can be seen in Havana and in Varadero. They are faster and less expensive than regular taxis. The black taxis are used by locals, while the yellow ones are used by tourists.

First Ride – End of 1990s

What Is Unusual About It It’s essentially a scooter but it has a back seat for two people behind the driver. It also has a very unusual shape.

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3. Monte Toboggan – Madeira, Portugal

different modes of transport

Originating in the 19th century, this unusual transportation started as a fast and fun way of getting down the hill from Monte to Funchal. Wicker toboggans can be found near the Nossa Senhora do Monte Church. From here, you can slide down the 2 km curved street, which takes about 10 minutes. It is a wonderful and exhilarating experience.

First Ride – 19th Century

What Is Unusual About It They are hand made fromwicker and wood and moves when pushed by two drivers (carreiros) dressed in white garments and straw hats.

4. Bamboo Train – Battambang, Cambodia

tourists doing Bamboo train in Cambodia

Cambodian bamboo trains (known locally as nori) are made up of an electric generator and a makeshift bamboo platform as seating. They run along the railway tracks at speeds of up to 40km/h. While the unmaintained tracks make for a bumpy ride, the fares are low and this is a once in a lifetime experience. 

First Ride – Early 20th Century

What Is Unusual About It The back-to-basics engineering train which is made of bamboo platform alone is held in place by gravity.

5. Maglev – Shanghai, China

Shanghai China Maglev train high speed is the modern modes of transport

This isn’t your regular train to the airport. The Maglev (short for Magnetic Levitation) is something more. It can take its 30km journey to Pudong Airport in just 7 minutes, using magnetic repulsion to keep itself inches above the track, and can reach speeds of up to 431km/h.

First Ride – December 2002

What Is Unusual About It It is the world’s first commercial high-speed train with floating magnet design that helps in a smooth ride.

6. DUKW – London, UK

London Duck Tour amphibious DUCW vehicle

These amphibious trucks were designed by the American military during World War II to run over both land and water. Known as DUKW (pronounced ‘duck’) now offer rides past famous London landmarks before launching into the River Thames to get views from the water.

First Ride – Between 1950 to 1954

What Is Unusual About It The vehicle is shaped like a boat so that it can ride on both land and water.

7. Dog Sleds – Alaska, USA

dog sled alaska

Near the Arctic Circle in Alaska, you will find sleds being pulled by packs of 4 to 6 trained dogs. You can glide across the ice and through snow via a variety of types of sleds. This mode of transportation is celebrated each year with a 1,150-mile race from Anchorage to Nome.

First Ride – More Than 9500 Years Ago

What Is Unusual About It Unlike other modes of transportation, a Dog Sleds moves with the pull of two types of modern Alaskan husky dogs.

8. Gondola – Venice, Italy

Gondola on Grand Canal in Venice, Italy

Venice is famous for its large network of canals, and the best way to get around them is by using a traditional wood-carved gondola boat They are the perfect way to see a lot of the city’s attractions. However, gondolas today are mostly reserved for tourists; locals favour the somewhat less glamorous Traghetto.

First Ride – Since the 11th Century

What Is Unusual About It The gondola is an ancient row boat which is asymmetrical along its length. The design of the boat allows only one person to navigate the narrow Venetian waterways.

9. Barco de Totora – Lake Titicaca, Peru

Reed Boat In Puno, Peru On Lake Titicaca The World's Highest Navigable Lake

If you’re visiting Lake Titicaca, one of the best ways to get across this vast and beautiful stretch of water, is aboard the iconic Totora Boats. Fashioned from dried bundles of Totora reeds by Uros who live on the lake, they resemble dragons.

First Ride – Past 3000 Years

What Is Unusual About It These old fashioned boats that resemble a dragon are made from dried bundles of Totora reeds that are naturally waterproof.

10. Underground Funicular – Beyoglu, Turkey

Tunel the underground railway in Istanbul, Turkey.

Funiculars (or inclined railways where a tram moves up and down a hill) can be found around the world, but the Tünel is quite unique. Opened in 1874, it lies underground and covers the 60m between the quarters of Karakoy and Beyoglu in Istanbul.

First Ride – End of 1874

What Is Unusual About It Underground Funicular help people living in hilly or mountainous terrains to descend safely and efficiently into the depths of the earth.

11. Reindeer Sled – Lapland, Finland

People in Reindeer sledge caravan safari in winter forest in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland

In the northern Lapland region of Finland, there are almost as many reindeer as there are people. The area is inhabited by the Sami people, and they often use the reindeer to pull sleds along the snow.

First Ride – Somewhere around 1821

What Is Unusual About It Reindeer sleigh are Eco-friendly rides which allows one to get close to the fabled animals.

12. Felucca Boats – Egypt

A traditional boat sailing through the Nile River in a late afternoon in Egypt

Feluccas are traditional wooden sailing boats used on the Nile and the Red Sea in Egypt. Their lateen-rigged sails move the boat slowly, giving you lots of time to appreciate the beauty of the Nile at a quieter pace.

First Ride – 2570 BC

What Is Unusual About It It is a traditional wooden sailing boat with a single sail that’s made of native cotton and natural fibers. They also don’t have keel (a timber or steel structure along the base of a ship) to support the framework.

13. Cyclos – Hanoi, Vietnam

backwards rickshaw is weird modes of transportation
Image Source: istock

Cyclos is a three-wheeled bicycle taxi which looks more like a backward rickshaw. Generally in a rickshaw the driver sits in front and the passengers sits at the back, however here the passengers sits in the front and the driver at the back. This reverse concept of rickshaw first appeared during the French-Colonial period as a practical transportation, but today its use is more towards tourist purpose. 

First Ride – 1939

What Is Unusual About It A ride wherethe driver is behind youallowing the passenger aclose-up view of the local life and attractions.

14. Ice Angel – Wisconsin, USA

unique modes of transportation around the world
Image Source:

Ice Angel is an ice boat that helps people to move from Wisconsin’s Madeline Island to Bayfield when water has turned into ice. These unique boats with air propellers are designed in such a way that it can glide smoothly over the ice. This is the only mode of transportation that comes to the rescue of the inhabitants of Madeline Island during extreme winters.

First Ride – Early 2000s

What Is Unusual About It It can run on thin ice, water and slush, all in one trip.

15. Jeepney – Manila, Philippines

funny modes of transport
Baguio, Philippines – June 3, 2016: Jeepney station with colourful jeepneys lined up

Jeepney is not just the most preferred transportation option for the locals but also a very affordable one. It is during the end of World War II the American troops gifted the locals unused army jeeps. The locals stripped the jeeps down, painted them with bright colors and added roofs to convert it into a common transportation that became a hit among the poor.

First Ride – After World War II in 1945

What Is Unusual About It Jeepney are called the “king of the road” because they can jostle their way in and out of traffic easily.

Suggested Reads: How To Commute In New York City, A Quick Guide

It is not only a place that attracts tourists but also the unusual means of transport found there. So, what are you waiting for? Book your tickets and get going to explore these unusual modes of transport.


What is the oldest form of transportation?

The use of animals like bulls, horses, donkeys to pull carts is considered as the oldest form of transportation. This is because people started using these animal powered transport even before the invention of bicycles, cars and buses.

What country has the best public transportation?

Countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany take the top five spots for having the best public transportation in the world.

What is the safest mode of transportation?

In comparison to roadways, railways, and waterways, air travel is the safest way to travel. The very high safety standards, drastic technology advancements and various other factors make air travel the fastest and safest mode of transportation.



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