Get ready to get surprised in Asia. Apart from the regular modes of transport like taxies, buses, trains and planes, you may come across some unique ways of travelling from one point to another in this sprawling continent! Not necessarily classified as the “normal” means of transportation, these unique and exotic vehicles are rarely found in other parts of the world. Take a look at some of the most intriguing ways of reaching Point A from Point B in Asia—in an easy manner !
Tuktuks are the local version for taxis in Thailand. This three-wheeled vehicle essentially looks like a smartly modified motorcycle and boasts of a metal frame carriage capable of accommodating up to 2 passengers. Bright and colorfully decorated, these public transit vehicles carry the sign of “TAXI” on their roof. Found in practically every city and town of Thailand, along with the mega-packed city of Bangkok; tuktuks are the right way to travel in this country. They are great for buzzing about busy and crowded streets and allow you to experience the many facets of Thailand in an intriguing manner.
The Jeepney reminds you of your very bus and is the easy way of seeing the many bounties of Philippines’. Taking its name from the American Jeep, a jeepney is a fine example of local Filipino ingenuity and is a tough mode of transport found all across the country. With an engine of a jeep, two long rows of seats and a long body, the jeepney can easily seat 16 to 18 people. As the traffic regulations are not as rigid in the country, you will usually find this vehicle loaded with more people than you may ever imagine. This “King of the Road” is the best way of moving in the Philippines.
If you are in India, then get ready to hail an auto rickshaw—oft referred to as the sub-continent’s version of the tuktuk. This three-wheeled vehicle is equipped to ferry 3 passengers and is smaller than a tuktuk. They can easily squeeze through the chaotic traffic prevailing in most towns and cities of India and give you the ride of a lifetime. A word of caution for the faint-heartened—hang on to the rods located on the sides, there are no seat belts here! They come with pre-installed meters but you still need to careful with what you pay—these meters may not have be re-calibrated to align with the latest fares. To avoid rip-offs, it is best advised to consult a traffic policemen or passer-by for an input on your payables.
The Songthaew was first introduced in Thailand and is now an important means of travelling in and around the city in nearby Laos .The songthaews found in the capital city of Vientiane historic Luang Prabang are quite similar to the ones found in Thailand. However, Vang Vieng and the far-fetched rural areas of Laos have their own version of this popular public transport—which is worth a ride too.
Motorela in Philippines and human-powered rickshaws in Kyoto are other fascinating ways of exploring Asia—try them as well!