When we think about traveling, we often think of flights, trains or road trips, but what about some of the more quirky forms of transportation that can be found on international travels? Here is a list of just 5 ways of ‘getting around’ that just have to be experienced!
1) Wicker Toboggans – Madeira, Portugal
On the Portuguese island of Madeira you can take a 2km/10 minute ride from the hill town of Monte down to the bottom near Funchal; all within a wicker toboggan that is pushed and controlled by two men dressed in traditional white cotton outfits. Speeds can reach up to 48 km an hour and this is certainly a unique and adventurous (yet safe) way to quickly get down from the heights of Madeira to normal level. What’s more is that the main way to get up to the top in the first place is by a cable car which allows you to have stunning views of the island as you make your way to the top.
2) Gondolas – Venice, Italy
One of the more well known things to do in Venice is taking a trip on a Gondola. Whether you have somewhere specific to go to or just want a relaxing ride through the waterways of this beautiful place, gondolas offer a unique way of getting around, not found in many other places in the world. Although many gondolas are there for the sole purpose of attracting tourists, there are also many that serve as ‘traghetti’ (ferries) over the Grand Canal.
3) Hot Air Balloon – Cappadocia, Turkey
So you may not actually get very far on a hot air balloon ride, but it is well worth the experience. Cappadocia is probably the place to get a hot air balloon ride as the sky is often full of balloons creating a beautiful picture against the almost moon-like landscape below. You’ll float over villages and farms, and get views that you will never forget.
4) Dog Sledding – Alaska, USA
Take a trip on a sled led by a small pack of dogs, with a professional sledder to guide your way. Take twists and turns through snowy Alaskan landscapes and take an opportunity that’s not found in many places throughout the world. Some dog sledders will even train you up to have a go at guiding the dogs yourself.
5) Tuk-tuk – Thailand, India, Cambodia, Laos and Pakistan
Tuk-tuks can be found all throughout various Asian countries (although originally from Thailand) in their cities and towns, and they are a similar equivalent to a taxi… only that it is a much smaller and three-wheeled version. Tuk-tuks are fairly cheap and make for an exciting ride given that the drivers will dash in and out of traffic to make the journeys quicker. They give you a taste of the true flavours of the country and you may often find that you end up making friends with most of your drivers.
Some forms of ‘getting around’ are more for the experience rather than taking you somewhere, but they are just as worthwhile to say you have done it and make the most of what is on offer in a country, whilst some of these are great ways to get around a place that locals have used for years. Alternatively, you may find you want to try camel trekking in Egypt, elephant back riding in Thailand or canal boating in Amsterdam.
Bethan Newman is an English girl trundling through life and jaunting to places the world over.