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Local Transport Around the World: Muscle Power

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An ox cart in Cambodia

An ox cart in Cambodia

Ox Carts in Cambodia

“An iconic form of local transport in Cambodia is the ox cart. You’ll find them on the souvenir postcards, but, as a matter of fact, ox carts are still widely in use in the countryside.”

~ Thomas Holdo Hansen, the whl.travel local partner in Siem Reap, Cambodia

A mule cart in Capurgana, Colombia

A mule cart in Capurgana, Colombia

Mule Carts in Colombia

“We all get frustrated these days with strict luggage limits on airplanes; it seems like the planes should be able to handle a few kilos more. Well, when you arrive in Capurgana in Colombia, a mule carries your luggage, so try to pack lightly! Once the pack mules are ready with your luggage, they take you, too. The carriages are wooden platforms with benches or, as you can just see in the background, plastic chairs with their legs cut off, nailed to the platform.”

~ Melissa Vickers, Green Path Transfers local partner in Colombia

Reindeer sleds in Sweden

Reindeer sleds in Sweden

Reindeer Sleds in Sweden

Nutti Sámi Siida is a Sámi tourism enterprise situated in the village of Jukkasjärvi in Sweden. The enterprise is owned by Nils-Torbjörn Nutti, a reindeer herder from Saarivuoma Sámi village, and Carina Pingi from Gabna Sámi village. During one particularly bad winter in the pastures, starvation of the reindeer forced Nils and Carina to move their reindeer to corrals and feed them there. The high costs of feeding the reindeer caused Nils and Carina to saerch for an additional source of income. So, in the winter of 1996, they invited visitors to the corrals; these guests paid for their unique experience and also helped with caring for the reindeer.

~ Read more in Nutti Sámi Siida Leads in the Responsible Development of Indigenous Ecotourism in Swedish Sápmi

Horses in Mongolia

Horses in Mongolia

Horses in Mongolia

Mongolia‘s long history owes much to a certain gentle beast of burden: the horse. Under the auspices of the Great Emperor, Genghis Khan, it was on horseback that 12th-century Mongol forces captured much of Eurasia and built the most expansive empire in the history of the world. At the time, an efficient mail relay system, called the Yam, also relied on equine power; postmen regularly covered 200-300 kilometres per day, faster than any record set by the United States’ Pony Express. Today, horses and horsemanship remain an important part of Mongolia’s traditions and culture. The country is home to approximately 20 million steeds, while the number of Mongolians is barely 2.8 million.

~ Read more in Horsing Around in Mongolia

The toboggan in Monte, Madeira, Portugal

The toboggan in Monte, Madeira Island, Portugal

The Toboggan in Monte, Portugal

“The toboggan appeared in the mid 19th century as a means of transport for people living in Monte, on Portugal’s Madeira Island, to come down to the city of Funchal nice and quickly. Although today we have buses and a cable car, the toboggan never stopped its operation and still holds appeal for thousands of tourists and locals alike.

It consists of a wicker sled on two wood runners with two seats. It is steered and pulled by two skilled men, the carreiros, traditionally dressed in white, and wearing straw hats and, most importantly, sturdy pair rubber-soled boots as breaks.

The two-kilometre downhill trip takes about 10 minutes through winding narrow cobbled streets and the toboggan can sometimes reach speeds of 48 kilometres/hour. This is definitely a ride not to be missed.”

~ Paula Ferreira, the whl.travel local connection in Madiera, Portugal

Horse-drawn 'karozzin' carriage, Malta

Horse-drawn 'karozzin' carriage, Malta

Karrozin Carriages in Malta

“On the island of Malta, the karozzin (carriage) was once the most common means of transport, before the introduction of motorised vehicles. This form of transport was hugely popular with British servicemen in the heyday of the British Empire. During colonial times, soldiers and sailors needed to get quick access into the shopping areas of the city and sometimes straight to Strait Street, the red light district that was then better known as ‘The Gut’. Carriages have now become an integrated aspect of Malta’s culture heritage; they are very commonly used by tourists for leisurely rides throughout Malta’s towns and villages. Horse-drawn carriages are found in Valletta, Sliema, St. Julians and Mdina.”

~ Marco Attard, the whl.travel local connection in Malta

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+ GO TO THE LOCAL TRANSPORT MAIN PAGE
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