Wheelchair friendly travel for disabled people wishing to visit
Thailand can still enjoy the wonderful sites and exotic beauty the
country has to offer. This is in spite of some facilities for the
handicapped being somewhat underdeveloped.
I emphasize this
because should you wish to wander around on your own, you may find some
streets and paths around many of the cities and resorts a little
daunting at times. They are uneven and riddled with potholes and broken
Many are studded with unforeseen obstructions. Even for
the non-disabled, you would need to be especially careful. Occasionally
you get to see cobblers on many a street corner repairing damaged shoes
caused by holes on pavements.
Just trying to cross the major streets in Bangkok without utilizing the pedestrian bridges is to court potential disaster. The steep flight of stairs on either side of the overhead walkways are most certainly no-go-zones for any disabled person. As for blind people, there are no audio signals at any of the traffic crossings.
Most of the International hotels and upscale shopping centers are wheelchair accessible, although access ramps to many buildings and some temples are often non-existent. You would definitely require some assistance in these areas.
Another problem is that the normal taxi service is not sufficiently geared to assist you should you be disabled, as they lack storage space for wheelchairs. However, there are specially adapted and modified wheelchair taxis and buses available for hire which have ample room to accommodate your every need. Of course, the hiring of a private car could be your most reliable alternative.
The Underground Rail System
Travel for Disabled People - Transport
Skytrain in Bangkok has disabled facilities at five of their major terminals, access to
other stations can be burdensome for wheelchair users. Apparently plans
are in the pipeline to build elevators to alleviate the problem.
The Bangkok Underground Rail System
is far better equipped with elevator access for the handicapped at all
of it's stations. The trains have special locking devices for
wheelchairs and assistance is also available for you should you ask.
As far as the national rail network is concerned, there are no special facilities for disabled passengers, but assistance will be given to you should you request it.
You would think however that the new Suvarnabhumi Airport would provide a better service for the disabled but there is a total lack of elevators and toilet facilities thus making it somewhat inappropriate for wheelchair users.
Private Pool Hoist for the Disabled
Travel for Disabled People - Accommodation
In Thailand there are several villas, homes and apartments available
for disabled people to rent should you so wish. Some have multiple
bedrooms and bathrooms to accommodate up to 6 people. Other amenities
include kitchens, living rooms and verandas with terraces as well as
swimming pools all with easily accessible hoists for the physically challenged. Some homes even provide you with a Jacuzzi.
electrical adjustable beds, self propelled shower wheelchairs and or
fixed shower seats with hand grips as well as hand grips on both sides
of the toilets. Some have separate living quarters for housekeepers who
can provide you with various services such as cleaning, cooking and
I've located a website dedicated in assisting you with suitable lodging at the beach resort of Hua Hin on the Gulf of Thailand. Hua Hin is close to Bangkok and is fast becoming a popular destination for tourists. The selection of self catering accommodation in wheelchair accessible holiday homes for disabled people should greatly help you in making your vacation just that little bit extra special.
Travel for Disabled People - Contacts
Please contact the Association for the Physically Handicapped of Thailand
should you need some additional assistance. Their office is located at
73/7-8 Soi 8 Thanon Tivanon Talaat Kawan, Nonthaburi 11000. Telephone: 0
2951 0445 or 0 2951 0569. Fax 0 2951 0567. Their e-mail address is:
The Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality is an educational nonprofit membership organization whose main mission
is to raise awareness for the needs of all travellers with disabilities.
They assist in removing physical and attitudinal barriers to travel
access opportunities across the globe. Contact them at 347 Fifth Avenue,
Suite 610, New York, USA 10016 or telephone at (212) 447 7284.
A site worth visiting online is
Miusa Mobility International which is a USA based organization that empowers people with
disabilities around the world to achieve their human rights. You can
also contact them at 132 E. Broadway, Suite 343 Eugene, Oregon, USA 97401
or telephone them at (541) 343-1284.
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