The Wildest Commutes in the World
If you think you have a rough commute to get to work or school, you might change your mind after reading what some people around the world go through. Some commuters have found unique ways to avoid mega-traffic jams. Others risk their lives everyday to earn money or get an education. School children zip lining and mountain-scaling are just a few terrifying examples.
Despite the dangers of a crazy journey, some commuters are willing to do whatever it takes to reach their destination. Here are some of the wildest commutes in the world.
China's 50-Lane Traffic Jam
If you think a five-lane traffic jam is terrible, imagine how awful a 50-lane jam would be. That's (kind of) what happened in Beijing, China. For three hours, the painful commute trapped thousands of drivers on the G4 Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau expressway.
Boat Jams in Venice, Italy
Many commuters get trapped in car traffic, but have you ever been stuck in a boat jam? Venice, Italy, is known for its large canals and beautiful architecture. The famous city is basically without cars, so everyone gets around on boats.
Pushers at Tokyo Train Stations
During rush hour, subway rides are usually extremely crowded in any city. In Tokyo, train traffic is so crazy the city hired "train pushers." The job is exactly what it sounds like. The workers push passengers into packed trains until the car doors close. Not weird at all, right?
Mountain-Scaling in China’s Atule'er Village
Atule'er village, also called the cliff village, is a poor, isolated community in China. Commuting to school is quite a journey for children. In fact, the kids must brave a half-mile climb up towering, steep cliffs on ladders to reach their school.
Piling onto Bangladesh Trains
If you think your daily train ride is a chaotic nightmare, check out the train commute in Bangladesh during rush hour. Passengers in Dhaka City usually fill up trains to maximum capacity — but why stop there? Not only do they pile into the train, but they also climb on top and cling to the sides.
Swimming in a River to Work
How far would you go to avoid traffic? One German commuter had enough of the busy roads, so he jumped into Munich's Isar River and swam to work. Each morning, Benjamin David packs his laptop, shoes and suit into a waterproof bag and puts on a swimsuit before jumping into the river.
Crossing a Narrow Suspension Bridge
In Java, Indonesia, students risk their lives everyday on their school run. Every morning, the children take a shortcut using a suspension bridge that connects Suro village and Plempungan village. What makes that so scary? The bridge wasn't made for people to cross it.
Sledding anyone? What about reindeer sleds? Some Russian folks still use animal transportation in the Arctic region, and using reindeer has plenty of pros. They're easy to maintain, they can run long distances and they can travel across challenging terrains, such as dense forests and frozen lakes.
Imagine never getting stuck in traffic. Paul Cox is living the dream because he doesn't get trapped in congestion; he watches it from the sky. Every morning, the daredevil flies 10 miles to work using a paraglider powered by a motor.
Descending into a Volcano
On Indonesia's Java Island, workers at the Mount Ijen mine have to climb down into an active volcano every day. Before the sun rises, they hike 9,000 feet up the mountain and then climb down 3,000 feet into the heart of the volcano.
Guoliang Tunnel Road
Found in the Henan province in China, Guoliang Tunnel is a breathtaking tunnel road carved into a mountainside in 1972. The road gives Guoliang villagers easier access to Huixian and Xinxiang in the Henan province. Tourists from all over the world also visit to look at the incredible hand-carved feat.
If you work near Yellowstone National Park and find yourself stuck in traffic, it’s most likely caused by a bison jam. Get ready to call in late to work because commuters can get trapped for hours. In fact, you probably won't even make it to work.
Dangerous Small Boats in Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, thousands of Dhaka commuters use water transportation to cross the Buriganga river. For passengers using small wooden boats, it's very dangerous. The busy waters are crowded with cargo ships and other passenger boats, so the small boats must be very careful.
If you think your daily subway ride is a headache, take a look at the insane rush hour conditions in Beijing, China. Almost 9.75 million riders take the trains across Beijing everyday, and they usually have to squeeze their way into already packed cars.
Guwahati Flood Commutes
Floods are a common occurrence in Guwahati, but they don't stop people from reaching their destination. After heavy rains submerge the roads and tracks with water, trains get canceled in the Indian city, forcing locals to find a different way to commute.
Kayaking the Hudson
Each morning, Zach Schwitzky kayaks across New York's Hudson River to work. It only takes him 20 minutes to paddle to the city. Where does Schwitzky park his kayak? He doesn't. He pulls it around the busy streets of Manhattan with him. Sounds exhausting, right?
Zoji La Pass
To reach Ladakh and Kashmir in India, many residents must travel Zoji La, one of the most dangerous roads in the world. With an elevation of 11,575 feet, the road has some amazing views, but it’s not like you can take your eyes off the road to enjoy the scenery. It’s often a scary commute.
Clinging to Buses in Karachi, Pakistan
It's common for Karachi folks to travel by rickshaw or taxi. Most people get around by clinging to the sides or sitting on the roof of buses when there's no longer space inside. Finding an available seat isn't impossible; it just involves a lot of pushing, shoving and elbowing.
Walking on a Frozen River in the Himalayas
During the harsh winters, some roads from the Zanskar district to Leh close. That's a problem for students who need to take that route to reach their boarding school in India's Himalayas. As a result, they walk a different, yet dangerous path.
Afghanistan's Kabul-Jalalabad Highway
Kabul-Jalalabad Highway is one of the most dangerous roads in the world. Along the Kabul River Gorge, the road stretches 89 miles along terrifying cliffs. Commuters often get stuck in mega-jams for hours, especially in snowy conditions. The traffic gets so bad that food vendors set up shop along the road.
Paddle Boarding Across the Hudson River
Running late to a meeting, Scott Holt refused to take the train or ferry. Instead, he paddle boarded across the Hudson River in his business suit and dress shoes. Within half an hour, Holt managed to travel from Jersey City to New York City.
Bike Traffic in China
If you think getting stuck in a bike jam is impossible, look for pictures of the 7 million registered bicyclists in Beijing or the 6.5 million in Shanghai. Frustrated commuters also have to deal with bicyclists who swerve or ride in the wrong direction.
School Children Zip Lining
In Los Pinos, Colombia, young children only have two options to get an education: walk for an hour or zip line across a canyon above the roaring Rio Negro. Reaching speeds up to 40 miles per hour, zip lining is a bit scary, but it’s easier and faster.
Walking on train tracks is dangerous, but dodging trains is even riskier. The capital of the Philippines, Manila, is one of the most populated cities in the world. To save time and money, some commuters have found a different way to get around: a conveyance propelled by "trolley boys."
Waterfall Road in Nepal
Along the Annapurna mountain range, Manang Road is a perilous, long, winding path carved into the side of a cliff. Beautiful waterfalls cascade down on some sections of the road, requiring drivers to cross through the waters. Doesn’t sound too bad, right?
Imagine traveling with the wind in your hair and the warm sun on your face. David Grimes, an IT manager in England, puts on a wetsuit every morning and kite surfs to his office. The wind does most of the work for Grimes.
North Yungas Road
Stretching 43 miles and reaching heights of 2,000 feet at some points, North Yungas Road is a deadly tourist attraction and commute. It earned the nickname "Death Road" due to the high number of fatal crashes and drivers tumbling off the cliffs.
Building Your Own Plane
Some folks take unusual commutes on the water, while some prefer to take to the skies. In the Czech Republic, Frantisek Hadrava travels 9.3 miles to work. He got sick of driving only 14 minutes in his car to work.
Lion Traffic Jam
Found in South Africa, Kruger National Park is home to 1,600 lions, so it's no surprise that cars get stalled occasionally by the king of the jungle. It's a thrilling, yet scary experience because things can go wrong quickly.
Electric-Assisted Water Bikes
In California, San Francisco and Oakland commuters often travel by vehicle, the subway system and the ferry — all methods that are jam-packed. In 2019, locals may soon have a new way to get to school or work: a personal water bike.