Asia quite often gets a bad rap for being a most inhospitable place for travelers in wheelchairs. And while in some cases this might be more than a little justified (Japan’s lack of elevators in some stations springs to mind), for the most part, Asia’s major cities are trying their best to offer wheelchair access wherever possible. A fine example of such a city is the ever popular tourist destination of Hong Kong. Hong Kong wheelchair accessible
Often considered the financial hub of Asia, Hong Kong attracts business travelers in their droves, but what is it about the city that attracts so many pleasure seekers? Here are five of the most popular tourist attractions and guess what, they’re all wheelchair accessible.
Okay so while Disneyland might not be the top of your Asia bucket list, it’s interesting to see how Mickey and his friends do their thing in an entirely different culture. If you’re not staying in the resort hotel, then it’s pretty easy to get there by public transport. The Disneyland Resort Line of the MTR takes you right there and is wheelchair accessible.
Once at the resort, you’ll find that many of the rides are specially adapted to allow wheelchair access. The management also made sure that getting around the huge site isn’t too daunting by operating a wheelchair capable shuttle.
Avenue of Stars
Another apparent import from the US is the Avenue of Stars which is a pathway along the shore of Victoria Bay that is similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Hong Kong version features handprints from local heavyweights of the silver screen such as Jackie Chan while there are also sculptures of legends such as Bruce Lee.
The Avenue is an ideal location to view the world famous Symphony of Lights. This incredible light show featuring lasers, searchlights, and even some fireworks is on for 15 minutes each evening at 8pm. The pathway is located by the Star Ferry Terminal and is flat and even with easy access.
For stunning views both during the day and at night, it’s hard to beat Victoria Peak. The local tourist authorities made great efforts to ensure that all can enjoy the views. The paved walkways are ideal for wheelchairs and even baby strollers, but they get a little steep in some places off the main areas.
Getting there is quite simple as the number 15 bus from Central is wheelchair modified, and the drivers are extremely friendly and helpful. Once there you’ll find that there’s more to do than just take in the views with Madame Tussauds and a variety of dining and shopping options all available at The Peak.
The Casinos in Macau
Known as the Las Vegas of Asia, Macau is a great place for a one-day trip and a chance to win some money at the tables. The ferries from Hong Kong to Macau are wheelchair accessible although you may require assistance from the staff on some boats. But don’t worry, they’re quite helpful.
In Macau, the old areas are hilly and not very easy to get around, but the newly developed areas around the Cotai Strip are very well paved and feature wide sidewalks. There are many casinos here such as Oceanus that offer wheelchair access to the entire area. Like visiting Disney, playing cards in a different culture is an interesting experience. However, if you’re not much of a card player then you should at least learn the basics before heading out.
Temple Street Night Market
For a taste of real Hong Kong cuisine and a few inexpensive souvenirs, head to Temple Street Night Market. The market is a veritable sea of color, sounds, and smells and the food is as authentic as it gets. Here you can buy almost anything under the sun, visit a fortune teller, or check out a Chinese Opera Show.
The street is paved and well maintained so you can easily get around the various stalls. But be warned, it can get quite busy there, and if you’re not good with crowds, then it might be a bit much for you. Crowds in China and Hong Kong can be a little push and shove at times, but they are very polite and considerate towards people in wheelchairs.
So, should you decide to take the plunge and see what Asia has to offer then there’s no better option than the incredible city of Hong Kong that, despite its many modern trappings, is still steeped in local culture and history.
*A Note from Curb Free with Cory Lee: This post includes affiliate links. When you click on a link, I may receive a small compensation, which will help this blog grow into a better resource for disabled travelers.