All aboard! Embark on a journey in discovering the many captivating types of transports around the world. From tuk-tuks to gondolas, house boats, hot air balloons, and many more. Read on for a curation of the most interesting facts about some of our favorite modes of transportation and travel that make each country unique! What are you waiting for? Learning, creativity, and adventure await!
Beep beep! The coco taxi is like a rickshaw, but automated! This yellow taxi is seen predominantly in Cuba with this mode of travel beginning in Havana in the late 1990’s. The coco taxi is a small, open-air, three-wheeled vehicle. They can carry two or three passengers at a time. The name coco taxi comes from its rounded body shape and resemblance to a coconut.
The magnetic Maglev! Maglev is a form of train transportation that uniquely uses two magnets to make the train move. One set of magnets repel and push the train, while the other moves the train ahead. The maglev can be quite quick and is comparable to high-speed railways and airplanes. The way the magnets work allows this train to move quietly and quickly, which is very alluring to passengers!
Cousin to the rickshaw and coco taxi is the tuk-tuk! The tuk-tuk is mostly seen in the Asian, African, and South American continents and is used as taxi services. The tuk-tuk gets its name from the sound it makes while motoring about. Most tuk-tuks are three-wheeled, but unlike the coco taxi, are a bit longer in length and not round in shape. Some tuk-tuks are quite elegant with a trendy style, cushioned seats, and a removable cover to adapt to the weather elements. Most tuk-tuks can seat anywhere from two to six people.
Hop on! The funicular is a cable railway system which operates by connecting points along a railway track laid out onto steep slopes. The railway has two carriages that are permanently attached to a cable, with a pulley system contributing to its movement. To put it simply, as one carriage ascends, the other descends. A “fun”, synchronized dance of carriages that can be seen across the world!
What’s that sound?! In Kenya, the matatu is a mode of transportation seen frequently making an impressive statement in both appearance and sound. The matatu is a type of minibus known for being elaborately decorated with slogans, famous people, or murals and playing music that aims to allure needy riders. They can seat a range of passengers, some as many as eighteen.
Don’t rock the... houseboat! A houseboat is a type of boat that is designed or sometimes modified to be used as a home. Many houseboats move, while others do not. Some houseboats have permanent dwellers, but many find themselves seeing an array of occupants through the seasons, particularly at the holidays. The houseboat can vary in size, and in luxury. Some houseboats are incredibly elaborate, while others are small and charming. The houseboat is as unique as you are!
Smooth sailing! A felucca is a wooden sailing boat used predominantly in the eastern Mediterranean and boasts one or two lateen sails. The felucca can board up to thirteen people, most commonly with ten passengers and a crew of two or three people. This beautiful and serene form of transportation is still widely used and an active form of transport.
Burrr, it’s cold! The terra bus, also known as the snow coach, is a type of transportation that is designed to move effectively over snow or ice. These buses either operate using massive, low pressure tires or have sturdy tracks. The terra bus can seat around ten passengers and is commonly used for tourism and sightseeing. The terra bus can be found (and experienced!) primarily in Canada.
Let’s ride! Primarily found in Vietnam, a cyclo is a three-wheeled bicycle taxi with a double seat that is supported by the front wheels of the bike. The driver perches higher behind the passenger so he or she can see. The cyclo is no longer used as a common, daily mode of transportation but tourists find a fascination with them. The cyclos might also leave you chuckling as drivers often use them to transport bizarrely large or awkwardly sized items, anything from bedroom furniture to farm animals!
We all float along! The gondola is a beautifully unique mode of transportation that is primarily seen in Italy. The gondola is a flat-bottomed boat that is propelled by the diligent movements of the “gondolier”. The gondolier stands during transport and moves the boat by using a rowing oar that acts as a rudder. This was a major mode of transportation in times past, whereas now it is used predominantly by tourists or to travel over the Grand Canal in Venice.