Transportation

 

 

Early in the morning, a Nepalese porter is passing through kitchen smoke, seeping out from a house in the village of Koto, Marsyangdi Valley, central Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Motorcyclist with wife, children, and firewood, Banteay Kdei, Angkor, Cambodia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

This man in Suicheng, Guizhou Province, China, has acquired a pig at a market and is now carrying it to his home in a basket. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

This farmer in Dhobichour, Helambu, central Nepal, is carrying a huge load of silver-headed grass to his farm, to be used as fodder. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

This parked bicycle, loaded with baskets, is illuminated by the evening sun, Delhi, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

While waiting for a third bus in Sikar, I am bothered by beggars, shoe-shiners, and snot-nosed kids. The queue in front of the ticket office is unusually long, but luckily the conductor from the previous bus spots me and drags me in front of the queue.

This act is indeed very nice of him, but, alas, of very little use, because when our bus finally arrives, it’s already packed with passengers. This fact doesn’t seem to subdue anyone – they push and shove and shout, and when the bus leaves the station, there must be about 150 passengers, inside, on the roof, and in every other place a person can possibly cling to.

Inside the bus, an obese man offers me his seat, my protests being to no avail. That’s Indians for you! The most paradoxical people in the world. For two hours, I am seated in a most inconvenient position, before the crowds thin out a bit.”

 

Excerpts from the page Travel episodes – India 1979: Hunting blackbuck with camera.

 

 

Buses, loaded to their bursting point, are a very common sight in India and Nepal.

 

 

Rajasthan, India. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Bharku, Langtang National Park, Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

An overloaded bus makes its way along a winding gravel road between Chisopani and Lodia, Ilam, eastern Nepal. The woman in the foreground is carrying a huge load of fodder, which she has collected in the forest. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

On board a crowded bus, women bring large baskets of cucumbers to be sold at a market in the city of Pokhara, Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Scooters and motorcycles are very common means of transportation in many Asian countries. Every morning and late afternoon, millions of people go to work, driving on these vehicles.

 

 

Hanoi, Vietnam. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

In the morning, scooter drivers are waiting for green light at a crossing, Taichung, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Parked scooters, Taichung, Taiwan (top), and Hanoi, Vietnam. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Despite heavy rain, this motorcyclist continues his journey through the town of Senggigi, Lombok, Indonesia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

These scooters in Hanoi, Vietnam, have seen better days. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The golden retriever in the picture below, from the town of Fangliao, western Taiwan, is too old (and too overweight) to run behind his master’s scooter, so he gets a lift in this way. Note that the tail is dragging along the ground.

The long relationship between the dog and Man is described on the page Animals: Animals as servants of Man.

 

 

(Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

High load on a motorcycle, Hanoi, Vietnam. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Three on a scooter, Taichung, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Provisions attached to the seat, this female pilgrim is participating in a procession during a festival for the Daoist Mother Goddess Mazu, Wangchien, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The pictures below, from the village of Dalinpo, near Kaohsiung, Taiwan, show two attitudes when it comes to transporting children on scooters.

The father in the upper picture has equipped his children with safety helmets, but the safety of his own head seems to be of less importance.

As a contrast, the couple in the lower picture, talking on their cell phones, are wearing helmets, whereas their children’s heads seem less precious.

 

 

(Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Trolleys and pushcarts are very common means of transportation in many Asian countries.

 

 

Men with pushcarts, Delhi, India. Taxi scooters, called tempo, are seeen in the background. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Trolley in Hanoi, Vietnam, laden with clothes. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

These street vendors at a bus station in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India, are selling peanuts and oranges. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

This pushcart in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India, is functioning as a peculiar type of ‘school bus’. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Trucks, or lorries, are large cars, constructed for transportation of huge or heavy loads.

 

 

This truck in Kochi, Kerala, South India, has been loaded with an enormous amount of oil drums. Hopefully, they are empty! (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

This petrol truck is stuck on a muddy road between Namtumbo and Tunduru, southern Tanzania. The driver is removing mud from under the truck. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Lorries, transporting gravel from a river bed, Aowanda National Forest, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

These trucks in central Myanmar also function as buses. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

A well-used, but still functioning lorry, Taitung, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Transporting sheep on a truck, Aðaldal, northern Iceland. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

This truck in the town of Cariari, Costa Rica, is decorated with a painting of a wolf, the sun, and a truck, on which the same image is repeated. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

In the picture below, a road altar has been erected next to a bus stop in the village of Karanao, near Laki, Crete, in case you might want to worship while waiting for the bus.

Pictures, depicting other road altars, are shown on the page Religion: Christianity.

 

 

(Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

The ’waiting room’ at this bus stop in the town of Kurseong, West Bengal, India, is not as fancy as the one in the picture above. A small boy has climbed onto the roof of the shed. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

In many Asian countries, bamboo poles are often used to transport heavy loads, divided into bundles of equal weight and tied to the tips of the pole.

 

 

Carrying his load on a thick bamboo stem, this porter is making his way up a steep trail on the Gunung Rinjani Volcano, Lombok, Indonesia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Winter mornings in Hanoi, Vietnam, can be quite chilly, hence the warm dress of this female street vendor, on her way out to sell items. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

This man is carrying numerous baskets, tied to a bamboo pole, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

This little boy gets a free ride, acting as counterbalance in one of the baskets on his father’s bamboo carrying pole, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

These men in Sonpur, Bihar, northern India, are transporting long bamboo stems on a carrier cycle. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

As close acolytes of Man, the horse and the donkey have been introduced to almost every corner of the world. The total population of the horse is about 58 million, whereas that of the donkey is c. 40 million, with the majority in the developing countries. The highest number, about 11 million, used to be in Chinese territories, followed by Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Mexico. However, the number in China has dropped significantly in later years.

A mule is a crossbreed between a horse and a donkey. In areas without roads in the Himalaya, and elsewhere, most transportation of goods still take place on mules. The total number of mules is not known.

Horse, donkey, and mule are presented on the page Animals: Animals as servants of Man.

 

At a very early stage, Man began riding horses and donkeys. The annual Tibetan Yartung Festival, celebrated in the Jhong River Valley, Mustang, central Nepal, includes horse racing, in which also monks participate. The monk in the lower picture is wearing a kata, a scarf, which has been presented to him as a sign of respect.

 

 

(Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Horse rider, Kyrgyzstan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Boy, riding a donkey, Birecik, Turkey. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Donkey carts and horse-drawn carriages are common means of transportation around the world. Some are called droshky, a word of Russian origin.

 

 

Horse carts, locally called cidomo, lined up to transport tourists around the town of Mataram, Lombok, Indonesia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Horse-drawn carriage, crossing a bridge across a canal in the town of Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Nicely decorated horses, near Prizren, Kosovo. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Donkey carts are (or at least were) a common means of transportation in Tibet. These pictures are from the town of Shigatse. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

This donkey is grazing at the edge of the road near Shigatse. The cart is loaded with fodder, consisting of leaf mustard (Brassica juncea). A field with this plant is seen in the background. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

This woman and her donkey are on their way towards a lake south of Abalak, Niger, to fetch water. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

A huge sack of apples, adorned with red plastic flowers, is loaded onto a donkey to be taken to a market in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

This mule train is returning without loads from the Upper Kali Gandaki Valley, Annapurna, central Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Taiwan is at a very high level, as far as recycling is concerned. Everywhere you notice various means of transportation, carrying huge loads of recycling materials, including small pick-up trucks, scooters, motorcycles, bicycles, and trolleys.

 

 

Various ways of transporting recyclables, Taichung. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Villagers in the Himalaya utilize materials from the surrounding landscape on a large scale.

 

 

People, carrying firewood from the forest to their home in the village of Sauraha, southern Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Staggering under their huge loads, these women carry dried grass, to be used as fodder, to their village Agora, Asi Ganga Valley, Uttarakhand, northern India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

These men carry part of a tree trunk from the forest to the town of Mussorie, northern India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Village women, carrying fodder, consisting of lopped branches from the jungle near Sauraha, southern Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Porters are hard-working people, carrying huge loads on their back in areas without roads. They are a very common sight in the Himalaya, where you occasionally also come across female porters.

 

The picture below, taken near the village Junbesi, Solu, eastern Nepal, shows a salesman, who is hiking from one village to another, his huge basket filled to the brim with all sorts of goods. I asked him, if he knew the weight of his basket, and he thought it would be around 90 kilos!

 

 

(Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

This porter is struggling, carrying a heavy load of planks up the Gokyo Valley, Khumbu, eastern Nepal. The mountains in the background are Kangtega (6685 m, left) and Thamserku (6608 m). (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

This porter is carrying a load of papadams (crisp, flat loaves, fried in oil), Old Delhi, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Porters, struggling to bring heavy loads onto the roof rack of buses in Jaipur, Rajasthan (top), and Joshimath, Uttarakhand, both in India. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The street, leading through the village of Marpha, Kali Gandaki Valley, central Nepal, is so narrow, that this porter, carrying a load of planks, must walk sideways. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Porters, struggling through snow and fog near the Keke La Pass (4229 m), Makalu-Barun National Park, eastern Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

This female trekker in the Annapurna area, central Nepal, has twisted an ankle and must now be carried back to civilization on the back of a porter. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

The domestication of both species of camel is described on the page Animals: Animals as servants of Man. My adventures during a camel safari are related on the page Travel episodes – India 2003: Camel safari in the Thar Desert.

 

 

This dromedary, or one-humped camel, is pulling a cart, laden with yarn, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Boats are dealt with in detail on the page Culture: Boats. A selection of pictures below shows various boat and ship types.

 

For millennia, Arabs were trading along the East African coast, sailing in their typical dhows – an ancient Arabian type of sailboat. Africans have adopted the dhow, and today you still see them in large numbers along the East African coast.

 

 

These dhows were photographed along the coast of Tanzania. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

A couple of minutes after this photograph was taken, this heavily loaded cargo boat capsized! – Rio Suerte, near Pavona, Costa Rica. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

Early in the morning, this freight boat is silhouetted against the Ganges River, Varanasi, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

For thousands of years, a huge marsh area in southern Iraq, between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, was the home of the Madan tribe, whose way of life was completely adapted to the wet habitat. They moved about in canoes, built their reed houses on islets, and made a living by hunting and fishing, growing rice, and raising water buffaloes.

This interesting wetland is presented in depth on the pages Travel episodes – Iraq 1973: The hospitable mudir, and Iraq 1973: Dust storm and sheep’s head.

 

 

Madan people, transporting a load of harvested reeds in a canoe, called meshof, near Al-Sabel. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

A stout boat type in the marshes of Iraq is the belem, which is utilized for transportation of bulky goods. This one, encountered near Al-Sabel, is heavily laden with harvested reeds. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

In the Kashmir Valley, northern India, lakes and canals form important waterways for transportation of goods.

 

 

This man is paddling a boat, laden with various items, through the city of Srinagar. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

A canoe on Dal Lake, Kashmir, heavily laden with fodder. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

The Suez Canal in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez, is about 193 km long. This canal, constructed between 1859 and 1869, reduced the travel distance from western Europe to the Arabian Sea by more than 8,000 km.

 

 

Ships in the Suez Canal. The ship in the lower picture is partly hidden behind a sand bar, creating an illusion of containers, being transported on board a train. The Attaqa Mountains are seen in the background. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

The picture below shows a scene from the ‘floating market’ in Damnoensaduak, Thailand, where two women and a man are selling fruits from their boats: rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum), mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), pomelo (Citrus maxima), pineapples (Ananas sativus), lime (Citrus aurantiifolia), grapes (Vitis vinifera), and longan, or dragon-eye fruit (Dimocarpus longan).

Other pictures from this market are shown on the page Culture: Boats.

 

 

(Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

The main thoroughfare through the town of Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar, is a canal, leading out to Lake Inle. Transportation of passengers and goods mainly take place in longboats with outboard engines, whisking the water into high plumes.

 

 

(Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

While rain clouds are looming on the horizon, this fisherman is paddling his out-rigger canoe across Nuwara Wewa, an ancient artificial lake near Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

The Unga are a Bantu people, who live on islands in the great Bangweulu Swamps, northern Zambia. Their main occupation is fishing, and they also grow manioc, or kassava (Manihot esculenta), besides collecting a number of wild plants, such as rhizomes of water-lilies (Nymphaea) and roots of papyrus (Cyperus papyrus). They also hunt birds and antelope.

The ways of the Unga people are described in detail on the page Countries and places: Bangweulu – where water meets the sky.

 

 

Unga men, bringing a load of dried fish to a market at the edge of the Bangweulu Swamps to exchange them with other goods. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

This sick Unga man is taken by boat to a local hospital. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

Traffic just before sunset, Ayeyarwadi (Irrawaddy) River, Bagan, Myanmar. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

The pictures below show various types of ferries.

 

 

Passenger boat, plying a river near Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Passengers on board the ferry M/V Ilala, cruising Lake Malawi from south to north. My stay on board this ferry is related on the page Travel episodes – Malawi 1997: A three-day ferry cruise on Lake Malawi. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

A small ferry boat crosses the Ayeyarwadi (Irrawaddy) River, Bagan, Myanmar. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Ferry, plying the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

In Kasanka National Park, northern Zambia, this pontoon ferry brings my car across a small river. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg

 

 

 

 

In various Asian countries, ox carts are a very common means of transportation. The pictures below were all taken in Myanmar.

The domestication of various wild oxen is described on the page Animals: Animals as servants of Man.

 

 

(Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Tandem bikes for rent, Taichung Metropolitan Park, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

In the old days, transportation of people in Asian cities mainly took place in so-called rickshaws, drawn by running men, in India called rickshaw wallahs. Later, their role was taken over by three-wheeled vehicles: bicycles, scooters (in India called tempo), and motorcycles (in Cambodia called tuk-tuk).

 

 

Today, running rickshaw wallahs are a rare sight. This picture was taken in Kolkata (Calcutta), north-eastern India, in 1994. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Wearing a hat against the winter cold (but no socks), this tired rickshaw driver is napping on his cycle, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Cycle rickshaw drivers, waiting for customers, Sibolga, Sumatra, Indonesia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Relaxed rickshaw driver, sleeping on his cycle, Delhi, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Tiny motorcycle taxis ply the streets of Weining, Guizhou Province, China. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

While waiting for his customers to return from a visit to Angkor Thom, Cambodia, the driver of this tuk-tuk, or motorcycle taxi, takes a nap. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sikhs, who may easily be identified by their immaculately bound turbans, are often employed as motor rickshaws drivers. Sikhism is described in detail on the page Religion: Sikhism.

 

 

This Sikh is working as a scooter rickshaw driver in Delhi, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Fresh meat, transported on a bicycle, Kathmandu, Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Three on a moped: Father and twin infant sons, Phuket, Thailand. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

At high altitudes in the Himalaya, yaks, burdened with bulky loads, are a very common sight. The Latin name of these beasts, Bos grunniens (‘the grunting ox’), is very descriptive, as they grunt incessantly. The females, called nak, yield excellent milk. The yak is described in depth on the page Animals: Animals as servants of Man.

 

 

Yaks and porters, laden with heavy burdens, Khumbu, eastern Nepal. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

A few places in Ladakh, northern India, and elsewhere, transportation across rivers takes place in cable chairs.

 

 

This tourist is crossing the Zanskar River, Ladakh, in a cable chair. The chair is pulled along the cable by men on the opposite shore. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

This elderly man in the town of Shenghsing, Taiwan, is transporting goods (and his wife) on a mini-tractor. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Instead of spending many hours herding his goats along the road to the market, this man is stuffing them into the luggage compartment of a bus, near Baunepat, central Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

The following three pictures show women with a perfect sense of balance.

 

 

This woman is walking along a road near Ngaunderé, Cameroun, balancing a dish on her head. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

This little street vendor is selling souvenirs in the central square of the city of Antigua, Guatemala. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Once in a while, this girl would dance along the road, gracefully swaying her hips, and still balancing the large bucket of laundry on her head, Bagan, Myanmar. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

A pig, two chickens, and palm leaves, all being transported on one bicycle, western Zaire. The domestication of pig and chicken is described on the page Animals: Animals as servants of Man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Numerous tourist buses are lined up during the ‘Cherry Blossom Festival’, celebrated in the town of Alishan, central Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

(Uploaded August 2017)

 

(Latest update August 2021)