A look at top destinations in Asia that are accessible for people with reduced mobility.
Setting a top precautionary priority when travelling is essential, especially when it is overseas and you don’t know the nature and topography of the place itself. Your top priorities should be your destination’s easy accessibility, so as not to compromise your safety when travelling alone or along with someone. For your options, here are top destinations in Asia, which are suitable and accessible for your condition:
Called the Forbidden City, China’s Beijing is known for its modern architectural feats, historical landmarks and museums. Here, some public transports have already been converted for disabled individuals. Few examples are wheelchair taxis and airport express trains. For subway access, you can ride on a stair climber with no hassle of letting someone carry you up with your wheelchair up and down the stairs, if there’s none, some generous subway staffs will come pick you up if you’re in need of their assistance. Its major attractions are the National Museum of China, Olympic Village, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. In strolling along parks and grand palaces, you must have a heavy duty power wheelchair for an easy navigation along sidewalks, pathways, and curb cuts, most of all, you need not steer your wheels manually because it’s automatic and after that bustling tour. You may check out some luxurious hotels like the Pan Pacific Beijing, The Peninsula Beijing, Waldorf Astoria Beijing, or any of the local hotels, nearby.
Locals call it, “The City of Angels”, Bangkok is a city of various means. Here, it is not just about wild parties and alcohols, but a unique culture that you should also try to embrace and experience. Beautiful historic grand palaces, temples, and serene parks are one of its few attractions that you might want to discover. Places like the Lumphini Park, Wat Traimit – Temple with the Golden Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew – Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Grand Palace, and Baiyoke Sky Tower Viewing Deck, are just few wheels away with your wheelchair. If you’re bored and wanted to have some leisure, enjoy the vicinity of Siam Paragon Shopping Center and Siam Square. You can check in on some of its luxurious hotels with their roll-in showers, for options you can book at Starwood, Marriot, or Hilton for best experience. Speaking of public transports, its improving, like wheelchair taxis and elevated train systems like the BTS Skytrain. For “roll-ability” sidewalks it is much convenient if you use high powered wheelchairs.
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
Regarded as the Asia’s “Garden City of Lights” and rated as the alpha world city – a vital fixture in the global economy, Kuala Lumpur is currently developing in both transportation and infrastructure. Sidewalks and curb cuts are readily available on some streets, for at least 75% usable in all crossings and intersections. Its public transit is almost accessible for wheelchair users, trains like the LRT Light Rail System, KLIA Ekspres, and KTM Komuter Train, has available elevators, with level-entry boarding, and seatbelts (convenient for manual wheelchairs). On the other hand, KL Hop-on/Hop-off Bus, with ramp and onboard spaces reserved for wheelchairs, is perfect for disabled tourists exploring the city. The numerous attractions here is the iconic PETRONAS Twin Towers, Aquaria, KL Tower Mini Zoo, Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, Sultan Abdul Samad Building, St. John’s Cathedral, Merdeka Square, and the KL City Center Park easily accessible for you. Foreign hotels carrying a Western brand are more likely to offer wheelchair-accessible hotel rooms with roll-in showers, grab bars and other accessibility features.
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
Korea’s “Special City”, it is ranked 10th in the topmost visited city by tourists. Fascinating sights need to be seen and to be discovered in this marvellously historic place, iconic tourist spots and attractions like the Gyeongbokgung Palace, the Namdaemun Gate, the Cheonggyecheon Stream, the National Folk Museum of Korea, and the Namsan Cable Car & Seoul Tower awaits you. Public transports are almost accessible for the disabled, like on airports, subway systems, city buses, and wheelchair taxis. Some of Seoul’s hotel has handicap-accessible rooms with roll-in showers, like Banyan Tree Club and Spa, Hotel Loft, and Conrad Seoul.
HONG KONG, CHINA
Hailed as “Asia’s World City,” the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China is ranked third in worldwide economic prominence. It is one of the topmost wheelchair-friendly cities in Asia. Wheelchair taxis, Airport Express Systems, city bus systems, and both public and private taxis and ferries going to and from Hong Kong are almost wheelchair accessible. The “roll-ability” of city sidewalks are already available. Certain attractions and rides like the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car & Big Buddha Statue, Victoria Harbour & Star Ferry, Symphony of Lights & Avenue of Stars, Victoria Peak, and the IFC Mall Rooftop are must-see destinations around. For a convenient hotel accommodation, you may check-in at Cosmopolitan Hong Kong, Courtyard by Marriott, Crowne Plaza Causeway Bay, or some local hotels nearby offering handicap accessible rooms and roll-in showers.