Transportation Around the World

by Anders Bruihler / Apr 20, 2013 / 3 comments

During my ten months of travel around the world, I have seen an astonishing variety of forms of transportation. We’ve done all the regular kinds (like train, car, bus, plane, and subway), but there are many more. Although this list could go up into the hundreds, I’ve shrunken it down to just a few. These are the most interesting, unique, and fun.


Interesting Forms of Transportation


Safari Land Rover

When we went on our safari in Tanzania, we rode in a modified Land Rover. This went all over three different parks on gravel roads. The roof lifted up so we could stand in the back and see all around.


Safari Land Rover



In New Zealand we rented a rocket! No, not one that blasts off into outer space, but from the Rockets campervan rental company. It was still very cool, with all sorts of great gadgets. You could open the back at night to have more space inside. There was also a locking compartment under the bed, and a small table that attached to the outside of the car where you could set up the camp stove.


Rocket Campervan, New Zealand


Thai Bus

I tinkered with the massage seat buttons, and found a setting I like. I relaxed as the seat vibrated and looked out the window. Buses we have taken range from fantastic to the complete opposite. This bus we took in Thailand was probably our best bus experience on our trip so far. My dad said that the bus company must be trying to be an airline, and he was right. We sent our luggage through an X-ray machine and there was an attendant who handed out snacks.


Thai Bus


We also got a breakfast and lunch.


Breakfast and lunch on a Thai Bus


African Buses

If the Thai bus was the best bus, these would have been the opposite. They were jammed with people, and on one bus the aisle was lined with bags of grain. During one of our long rides, a window shattered and sent broken glass flying all over. We also had to constantly watch where our luggage was stored beneath us. Whenever the bus stopped, it was mobbed by people selling drinks and snacks. We also witnessed a few people throwing up.


African Bus Vendors


Horse Carriage

Clip clop clip clop… the horse trotted along beside cars in the road. In Jogjakarta, Indonesia, one of the many kinds of transportation we took was a horse carriage called an andong. These target mainly tourists downtown, and will take you around to the many sites of interest.


Horse Carriage, Indonesia




Unique Forms of Transportation



The loud engine accelerated, and the ground whizzed by a few inches past my feet. I clung to the metal bar, wondering what would happen if I fell off. I overcame my fear though, and let go. No hands!


Tuk Tuk


The tuk-tuk is a form of transportation used in parts of Asia. A motorcycle pulls a small wagon behind, or sometimes they are integrated together. This is a good form of transport, with tuk-tuks all over Cambodia and Thailand.


Tuk Tuk


Nepal Taxi

Our taxis have varied in all sorts of ways, but one of the smallest taxis we had was in Nepal. We had to put most of our bags on top, and I had to watch the road behind us to make sure they didn’t fall off. I think we only took the taxi because my dad wanted this picture.


Taxi in Nepal



We’ve ridden elephants in both Indonesia and Thailand, and they’re an interesting way to get around. You get used to the height and swaying motion after a while, but there’s nothing else like it. It’s amazing to see these gigantic animals in motion. They place their rear feet in the perfect place when they can’t see. When we went on an elephant trek in Thailand, we saw one of these powerful beasts snap a small tree like a toothpick.


Riding an elephant in Thailand


Bathing an elephant in Thailand


Becak (Pronounced bay-chahk)

Similar to the tuk-tuk, this is another cheap way to get around in some parts of Asia. This is a tricycle with a seat in the front where two people can fit (with a squeeze). The driver pedals around.






Fun Forms of Transportation



I raced around a corner and accelerated. Up ahead I saw a corner, and I braked and started to turn. The kart started to slide, and I slammed into the tire barriers. Oops! Too fast.

This isn’t a form of transportation that you would normally use, but it still is great fun. I went with my brother for the first time in New Zealand. If you haven’t tried this before and love adrenaline rushes, this is perfect for you.


Go-Karting in New Zealand


Grass Kart

I shook violently as I headed down the hill. My cart rattled as we went over clumps of grass and dirt. I pushed with my feet to turn, and I rolled into the tow area. I pulled the cart into position and grabbed a handle. It pulled me back up the hill.

You can only find this in Australia, and if you guessed it’s like go-karting, you’re right. You ride down the side of a hill in a little contraption that you steer with your feet. It can be very thrilling, and is usually also very bouncy. There’s also powered grass karting, but ours didn’t have motors.


Grass Karting, New Zealand


Grass Karting, New Zealand



I leaned into the corner as I followed the track. Up ahead I saw a drop, and as I went over it, the wheels stopped rattling. There was a big bump as I came back to earth, and I let out a yell as the trees blurred past.

The luge is a fantastic combo of a go-kart and a sled in Rotorua, New Zealand. You control the steering and brakes as you navigate trails down a hill. At the bottom, something like a ski lift takes you back up. For more info (and exhilarating video!) check out my article on The Skyline Luge in Rotorua.


Luging in New Zealand


Bamboo Raft

We glided over some rapids, and cold water rushed over my legs. If you ever end up in Chiang Mai, Thailand, be sure not to miss the bamboo rafting! Rafts made out of long bamboo provide a (wet) seat as the raft driver poles down the river. The small rapids send waves around your legs as you float through the forest. Our guides made it a wonderful time, even though the air and water was cool.


Bamboo Rafting, Chiang Mai, Thailand


Stand Up Paddle Board

This sport has only recently become popular. The board is similar to a surfboard, but you have a paddle to navigate. We got to try this sport when in New Zealand, and it’s a leisurely way to explore little bays and inlets.


Stand Up Paddlboarding, New Zealand



Kayaking is another great way to get around on water. I like this more than paddle boarding, because I don’t get tired so soon and you don’t have to constantly worry about falling over. The most recent time we went was at the same place we went paddle boarding in New Zealand. We went on a guided kayak tour around some of Tasman Bay and got to see Split Apple Rock.


Kayaking in New Zealand


Zip Line

Imagine flying between trees high up in the air in a lush rainforest. You race towards a giant tree, and pull down on your hand to slow down. You gracefully alight on the platform. That is what zip lining is all about, and it can be both thrilling and educational. Although I’ve gone on a ropes course several times in Montenegro, we went zip lining in Chile in a tiny city in the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park.


Ziplining, Chile


Ziplining, Chile



These are only some of the countless kinds of transportation I’ve used, but these are certainly the most interesting, unique, and fun as of yet. I hope you enjoyed them!


If you want to read more articles connected to transportation around the world, check out my articles on:


Our Safari in Tanzania

Snorkling the Great Barrier Reef





Anders Bruihler is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program


All photos courtesy and copyright Anders Bruihler






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