Weird Methods of Public Transportation From around the World

Taxis, buses and trains may have become our everyday means to get from one place to another, however, the popularity of these transport options doesn’t make them any less exciting.

In some places, public transport takes forms which may not be familiar to first-time travellers. Sometimes, these “new forms” simply make the vehicles unique; sometimes, just downright peculiar!

Below are just some of the most weird modes of public transportation from around the world.

Underground funicular – Turkey

Underground funicular - Turkey
Tunel Funicular By: Christopher – CC BY 2.0

A funicular is a multi-section mountain railway in which a tram-like vehicle moves up and down a steep slope with a cable. Funiculars are most common in Europe and America; but there are funiculars in Asia, Australia and in South Africa too! But there’s no other funicular in the world like the one opened in, Turkey on December 5, 1874.

Istanbul’s Tünel is an underground funicular which takes its passengers from Golden Horn to the Istiklal caddesi in Beyoğlu. The entire route spans about half a kilometer, over a 60-meter elevation. The Tünel has been so useful in managing pedestrian traffic that in 2006, the city has built another nearby.

Cyclo – Vietnam

Cyclo - Vietnam
Cyclo driver in Hanoi By: Graeme Newcomb – CC BY 2.0

Having become so popular among tourists and locals alike, the Cyclo is surely not going to disappear in the streets of Vietnam any time soon. This pedal-powered tricycle taxi is a favourite of tourists, and are mainly found used along around the Hoann Kiem Lake and Old Quarter of Hanoi.

It is interesting to note that these little bicycle taxis may be able to get you to your destination faster than an actual car, given the chaotic traffic in some areas of the city.

Canal Taxi – Bangkok

Canal Taxi - Bangkok
By: eric molina – CC BY 2.0

Canal taxis may not be uncommon, but canal taxis where passengers have to “duck” when passing under a low bridge is. Often referred to as the “Venice of the East” because of the prevalence of canal networks within the city, water taxis have become an integral part of transportation in Bangkok.

Commuters usually prefer the canal-routes to avoid the heavy traffic in the congested areas downtown.

Camel Bus – Cuba

Camel Bus - Cuba
Cuban Camel Bus By: Gordon Werner – CC BY 2.0

A couple of unusual public transportation options in Cuba have been forcibly retired to improve traffic flow and passenger safety, but the one most missed is the “Camel Bus”. This massive bus is actually a semi-trailer truck which pulled a sloped back trailer carrying a payload of passengers.

Perhaps due to passenger congestion, the locals used to refer to the camel bus as an “adult film” – a complete package of bad language, sex and violence. Although despised by some, this notorious bus will definitely be missed by tourists.

Have you ever been on any of these? Have you taken any other forms of peculiar transport? We’d love to hear in the comments below!

About the author

Michael Jones

Created and runs the Holiday Point travel brand, incorporating a network of 9 location based travel information and attraction websites around Australia. With 15 years of online experience, Michael not only writes content for the website and is the face of social media, he also tinkers behind the scenes with the website functionality & design.

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