When getting there is the adventure

From floating trains to recycled WWII jeeps, we explore the world's wackiest modes of public transportation

Published July 3, 2011 7:01PM (EDT)

The world certainly needs efficient and well-connected subway systems, bus routes and rail networks. However, when you have a bit of extra time on your hands, patchy, idiosyncratic ways of getting around can make for the best adventures. If you approach travel from an anthropological perspective, the way that people move from place to place reveals a lot about a culture and its institutions.

Whether through benign neglect or fierce historic preservation, some communities have held on to antiquated modes of transportation that perished everywhere else. In transit, what's old is new again. Light rail is back. The Tomorrowland vision of monorails taking over the world may have crashed and burned (in some cases literally), but it is rising from the ashes in Asia with several lightning-fast maglev trains launching in the past decade.

On the other end of the transportation spectrum, in many parts of the world the automotive castoffs of developed countries are creatively reincarnated into psychedelically painted ad hoc transit systems packed to the gills. These are art cars with a purpose -- chivas, jeepneys, diablos rojos or tap taps -- and the driver is the king of his moving castle.

We'd love to hear about your transportation adventures in the comments. You can read more at http://www.trazzler.com/tags/public-transportation

By Megan Cytron

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