Ok, so this may not be the easiest way to travel, but it sure makes for one original ride!
There’s no better way to see a destination than by getting around the ‘local’ way, and there are a whole range of sensational rides that let you soak up the scenery AND get around on holiday. Forget planes, trains and automobiles or a gentle bicycle ride, we’re talking about an adventure for thrill-seekers, from hot air balloon rides to bizarre boat trips.
Here are the top ten most unusual and sensational rides out there, guaranteed to put your Monday morning commute to shame. But buckle up, these are some wacky ways to travel!
Taking ‘drink-driving’ to a whole new level….They may have been banned (for having too much fun?) in July 2008, but the Beer Bicycle is back on the road again for a guzzling good time in Holland.
Rent this Amsterdam Bicycle and up to 22 revelers can ride around the city on this bike-cum-bar, seeing the historic streets and scenic canals, with a pint of the local brew to toast you along the way. With a free driver, beer and a booming stereo included in the price, you don’t have to worry about driving under the ‘influence’ around this party-loving city.
Tricycle Ride in the Philippines
This isn’t your average tricycle for toddlers, but a three-wheel mini car. Tricycles are as common as Jeepneys in the Philippines, but a little bit safer – the pickpockets can’t get at your cash when you’re whizzing past! Each tricycle carries up to five without luggage, and two with heavy backpacks. Part of the fun is picking up other passengers along the way!
Traveler Max Erraouhi offers us his tips for taking a tricycle from Manila to Boracay:
‘It is very common for tourists to get ripped off, so tell the driver the destination, and ask for prices before you jump in. On the Islands you should pay a flat rate from airport to port or hotel, but distances are so short, never pay more than 100 pesos. Make sure you don’t have any valuables in your pockets (in case anything falls out) and hang on tight – with no seatbelts, you’re in for a bumpy ride!’
The best places to go dog sledding are on the snow covered plains of Alaska and Canada, where experienced ‘sledders’ will drive you on a sleigh pulled by huskies through the snow. Tours are offered all over Canada, and most take you along the lakeside scenery, with Bridge Lake in British Columbia, Lake Louise in Alberta, and Alongquin Park in Ontario.
Soak up the dramatic mountains and desolate landscape along the Kavik River in Alaska, while you sit back in a sleigh, but wrap up warm – the cold wind feels even sharper when you’re racing along at a dog’s pace!
Camel Rides Across the Desert
Once you’ve mastered mounting a camel and sitting between its humps, it’s the best way to see the desert. For the real deal, head to Tunisia where you can trek on a camel across the Sahara.
In a long procession of about thirty others, you’re not the only novices wobbling in the saddle, and a tour guide leads you across the sand dunes, where you can dismount and watch the sun set. In Cairo, Egypt, there are hundreds of touts promising camel rides around the pyramids of Giza.
Be wary of dishonest guides who will lead you away from the main tourist area and force you to pay a princely sum to get down! Agree a price before you mount, and go in a group or tour party so you wont be led astray.
In Morocco it’s also best to ride a camel into the desert with an organized tour rather than the hop on and hop off rides in the tourist areas. Tours depart from Marrakech to the dunes of Merzouga.
Elephant Trekking in Thailand
Elephants are something of a national animal in Thailand, and feature heavily in local legends and folk tales. There are plenty of the graceful creatures wandering around in their natural habitat, but elephant trekking is a great way to explore Thailand’s lush jungles from on high.
The main tourist areas in Phuket and Pattaya are packed with short elephant tours, where two or three passengers are safely strapped in a wooden saddle and ride through a woodland trail. For a true trek in the jungle, Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand is the place to visit, where there are elephant training centers and camps. Make sure that on whatever tour you take, you are accompanied by a trained elephant handler.
You’ll really see the world from the giddy heights of a hot air balloon. There are hot air balloon festivals all over the globe, where the skies are packed with colorful balloons in all shapes and sizes, but the best way to start is to buy a ride with an experienced ‘pilot’, and marvel as they take you higher and higher.
In Melbourne, you can take a balloon ride at dawn over the scenic city, before flying over the lush vineyards and hills of the Yarra region, with kangaroos darting down below.
See Paris, the ‘city of lights’ from above, and the Eiffel Tower won’t seem so small! The smaller balloons are ideal for a romantic trip to the skies, taking place in a field 50km south of the city, with a champagne reception.
There are balloon rides offered all over the changeable landscape of the USA and snowy mountains in Canada, from the tropical Keys of Florida’s coast , to the desert plains and city lights of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Bangkok Boat Express
The easiest way to get around Bangkok is to take to the water and avoid the traffic-congested main streets. The Bangkok Boat Express runs along the Khlong Saen Saep river, with two lines that run past many of the busiest shopping streets.
Gab Le Gona, a recent visitor to Bangkok says, ‘The Bangkok Boat Express is the easiest, cheapest and fastest way to explore the city’
Cable Car in San Francisco
San Francisco is California’s coolest city, with its hippy heritage, vibrant gay community and multi-cultural residents. But it’s also home to some of the steepest hills we’ve ever seen, which take their toll on your feet after a hard days sightseeing. So thank the Golden Gate Bride that Cable Car is still around!
This quirky tram is an ‘experience’ in its own right – the San Francisco Cable car is iconic, and the three main routes snake through the city’s most interesting neighborhoods – bustling Chinatown, scenic Nob Hill and the bay at Fisherman’s Wharf. Tickets cost $3 for a single ride, but buy a pass if you’re planning on sightseeing across the city – a One Day Pass is $9, and allows unlimited rides on buses, street cars and cable cars.
The Wheels on the bus go round and round…and all night long on the London party bus, where from £25 per person you can party on board a traditional red double-decker bus.
The Party Bus rides through the streets of London, pumping out music, and you can pick from a range of themed ‘routes’, from a tour of London’s top clubs and bars to a 70s disco on board with fancy dress and food. Forget stumbling home after one too many, hop back to your London hostels from the Party Bus…
LS – Have you been on any original rides on your travels? Share your craziest trips with us below!