You’re browsing the stalls of Thailand’s Maeklong Market when a train horn blows, the stall keepers abruptly shutter awnings, and you retreat to the edge of the street—which also happens to be a railway.
It’s one of those moments that inspire you to snap a photo or regale your friends later. The unfamiliar is part of the allure of traveling, whether sampling a local delicacy, witnessing a cultural tradition, or stumbling upon a decidedly unusual street.
Streets, naturally, have identities. They’re place markers, and some even become emblems of a destination, like New York’s shop-lined Fifth Avenue or the famous curves of San Francisco’s Lombard Street.
But stranger streets are not so uncommon. Some feature record-breaking designs, from widest to narrowest. In the Scottish town of Wick, for instance, Ebenezer Place measures 6 feet, 9 inches—making it shorter than many NBA players.
Others encourage unusual behavior, like fixing your gum to the colorful, sticky walls of an alley in San Luis Obispo, CA, a habit that dates back to the 1950s (germaphobes, be warned). Then there’s the Portuguese island of Madeira, where the popular means of transportation along the Caminho do Comboio Road remains a wicker toboggan “driven” by men in white clothes and straw hats.
Whether you’re hailing a toboggan or putting on your walking shoes, take a trip down the world’s strangest streets.