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Personal World Travel Ranking

Accessibility in the world

ASIA    /    EUROPE    /    AFRICA    /     AMERICA    /    OCEANIA

Just my travel impression. Big cities and villages are different. Please read this easygoing, not so seriously. 

 Bangladesh
   2004

 

Flat lands. Easy to move around by wheelchair. Not so many taxi. Main traffic is rikishaw, tricycle pulled by human or some baby taxi. Cheapest traffic is ship or boat. Town are so noisy, crowded, and smelly. People, car, rikishaw, animal, pee, shit, stall, shop, beggar, all mixed. Real Chaos. I never seen any accessible toilet. Above all, very rare western toilet. 

 Bahrain
   2012
No public transportation for tourist. Taxi price was not cheep. Rental car is the best way for tourist. May be some accessibility in shopping center and public space. 
 
 Brunei
   2017
Oil rich country, but poor accessibility. Building ramps were too steep. No curb cut between pedestrian and roads. Only stairs to enter national mosque. Some wheelchair large toilets in public space, but they were always locked or out of order. So disappointed.

 

 Cambodia
   1999
Airport no aisle chair, no accessible toilet, no bridge. Charter taxi is the best way to see around.
I used a speed boat from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap without accessibility. Porter carried me. Normally, shops are only on ground floor. Easy to enter. Road condition were too bad. Very bumpy. Sometime muddy. No accessible toilet.  
 China
   1997, 2001, 2004
   2005, 2006, 2008
   2010, 2012, 2016
Many bicycle = accessible road ( flat, smooth, non step ). Generally, not good accessibility. Not kind for disability. Many discrimination and prejudice. No aisle chair at some airport. Not many bridge at airport. Do not allow passengers to use their wheelchair before boarding. Sometimes airline deny disabled passengers traveling alone. Too bad. Concerning about train, many people, many stairs, big step, and no rule and manner. Using a train in China is the most tough in the world train. Train workers are luck of helping passengers include with disabled. They did not any help. New super express trains like Japanese one now run through big cities. The train are accessible, but no wheelchair seats and no lifts at stations. Taxi are cheap and charge correctly. Impossible to use a local bus because of so many people and no manner. But walking around is very comfortable because of a lot of bicycle and bicycle road. I had a flat tire of my wheelchair 3 times by bad road. Many bicycle repair shops on road. Some wheelchair toilet in public but a few. Also western toilet are rare in country side. Smelly and dirty are also China toilet problem. About airplane, it was so tough to use by wheelchair only. They  did not understand why I came by myself and had bad attitude openly. I visited Shanghai Expo in 2010. All the metro station have elevators, but many were broken or locked. Some can be used if we call a train worker. Many many fake wheelchair in Expo because of priority lane.

 Hong Kong
   1999, 2000, 2001
   2003, 2004, 2009
   2010, 2017
Accessibility is getting better and better. Today almost all metro stations are wheelchair accessible, but not perfect. Good home door at station. The number of non-step bus is increasing. Taxi price is cheap and clear. The number of wheelchair toilet is increasing, but still low. Airport is perfect. Airport express train are well accessible. Speed boat to Macau are wheelchair accessible. Star Ferry is now accessible. Not easy to walk in town by wheelchair because of  a lot of people and narrow side walk. So many steps on road and stairs at building. Shopping building is OK. Pedestrian bridge is problem, only stairs or escalator. Some hotel have wheelchair accessible room.

 India
   2006, 2008, 2012
Not good accessibility at airport. Trains are the best for travelers include wheelchair. Many ramp at railway station for baggage. Every train has an disabled seat. Sick people and dead body also use it. It had better use 2nd class sleeper. Keep the under bed. Very good railway system in India. Chartered taxi is also very cheap. Train is better than inter city bus because of no accessibility. Local bus is difficult to use for wheelchairs. We can see many people with disability in town. They work and beg and live together. Watch out animal shit on road. Big problem is toilet. No accessible toilet and few western toilet. Do it at hotel. Also be care about bad sanitation. 

 Indonesia
   2007, 2009
Very bad road condition. Bumpy, narrow, dirty and many traffic. Bali island Kuta beach has a nice paved walking road. Bali island Ubud is hilly not good for wheelchairs. I have never seen person with disabilities in town. Jakarta new transportation system " Bas lane " is good. Many stations are accessible for wheelchair and non-step to buses. 
 Iran
   2012
Toilet problem. Normally only Arabic style toilet. There are few wheelchair toilet even in public space. Some ramp at town and popular tourist place. The ramp have some edge for prevent slipping. Mashhad new Metro (LRT) was completely wheelchair accessible, but Tehran BRT were not wheelchair friendly. Tehran main railway station have lifts to each platform, but there was about 50cm gap between platform and train. Special attendant service was so kind. People are generally very kind, but problem is communication. People do not speak English. Hard to travel if you do not speak and read Persian language.    

 Iraq (Kurdistan)
   2016
I visited Erbil, Kurdistan region of Iraq for 4 days to attend the conference. Erbil airport is wheelchair accessible. Lower floor bus run between terminals and large accessible toilets. City was quite peaceful, but they always care about terrorism from outside. Not good for walk in town because people always drive a car. Almost no public transportation. Many taxi run in a city.  Some ramp in town, but still many stairs at entrance of shops and restaurants.   

 Israel
   2013
Developed. Good accessibility. Accessible LRT runs in Jerusalem. Many hill in old Jerusalem, but some ramps and wheelchair route to Jewish holly place western wall. Local people in Jerusalem use electric scooter. Local city buses are non step. Many train stations are accessible. Wheelchair users can go to airport from Tel Aviv by train. Some new train coach are non step now. Problem is traveling costs, specially hotel.

 Japan
   1973 - 2017
My home country. Good accessible equipment, but not good heart barrier free. Only focus on facility. It tend to be deluxe and high cost. People think that disability is special difference and need divided equipment and service. I hope more natural and simple accessibility. Some local tour is possible for wheelchair users if they can walk. It means transfer from wheelchair to seat on bus. Generally, elder wheelchair person hire an accessible taxi with lift from their house or each destination. But the price is high and the number is limited. information and no English. Today public transportation became accessible, especially train. Some non-step bus exist, but the operation are not good.


 Jordan
   2000, 2013
They started to promote accessible tourism. Jordan has many resources. Accessibility is poor, but people are so kind. 4 star, 5 star hotels have wheelchair accessible rooms and facility. Some world famous tourist spots are accessible. Local toilets are Arabic styles.

 Kazakhstan
   2005
No bridge and no go up and down car for wheelchair at Almaty airport. A wheelchair toilet existed at airport but it was used as worker's storage. Need to speak and read Russian. People do not speak English. Many steps on road. Difficult to walk by wheelchair. The number of western toilet is increasing now as same as economy is up.
 Korea
   1994, 2010, 2011
   2015, 2017
I was discriminated at my first visit in 1994. Not kind for person with disability. Train workers did not help anything. Many taxi driver refused me to get in. Wheelchair toilet existed in public space, but all were locked. Many stairs in town. Some people ignored me when I called for help. But 16 years later, the society was completely changed. They think accessibility is important. Many stations of Seoul Metro with elevator. Some non-step bus. Wheelchair coach of express train. New airport train is really accessible. Hotel is still problem, but many cheep motel around night area. I was so happy to feel Korea's change. In 2015 visit, I saw many wheelchair toilet with electric door and wheelchair friendly taxi.

 

 Kuwait
   2012
Almost no public transportation. The number of taxi is not many. People move their own car, so they do not walk on the street like USA.
 
 Kyrgyz
   2005
No western toilet is problem. I have never seen western toilet except hotel. Many stairs at airport. Medical service helped and carried me. Mini bus are not easy to use if no Russian language. Very bad road condition. So bumpy.
 Laos
   2008
Almost nothing care about disabled people and wheelchair. Vientiane airport building was build by Japanese government support, so Japanese style accessibility there. Only helped by hand. Many western toilet in tourist area, but no accessible toilet there.
 Lebanon
   2000
Westernized country not like middle east. Quite different neighbor Syria and Jordan. Accessibility was developed. Many wheelchair in town. Many western toilet. Beirut is hilly, so it is not easy to move around by wheelchair. Use a taxi.
 Macau
   1999, 2000, 2010
Not good. Hong Kong is much better. Macau accessibility is like mainland China. Speed boat to Hong Kong is accessible, but not perfect. Many barrier outside. Difficult to walk by wheelchair on street. Taxi is only choice, but some drivers are not kind and extra fee for wheelchair. 
 Malaysia
   1995, 2009, 2011
   2014
Not so good. The bad road condition. Impossible to walk on side walk. There are metro, trains and monorail in Kuala Lumpur, but many stations do not have lifts or ramp. It is still hard for wheelchairs to use public transportation. Using taxi is only way to move. Many overpass and no signal in downtown. It is not kind for wheelchair and difficult to move around. Economy Air AsiaA hub airport has no bridge to air craft but they have a lift for wheelchair if you book before. Some used three wheels motorbike. It looks like a sidecar. Good idea for transit tools for mobility impairment. Kuala Lumpur International Airport Express train is wheelchair accessible. However no wheelchair space in trains. 

 Mongolia
   2012
Difficult to travel on wheelchair. almost no accessibility. Every shop, restaurants, hotels, buildings have many steps at their entrance. Road condition is quite rough and not enough space for pedestrian. Very dangerous to walk roads on wheelchair because of bad manner car drivers. 

 Myanmar
   1999
Nothing about accessibility, but a lot hospitality and kindness. They helped me without calling for help. Many road are not paved. Just  Do not travel in rainy season. I used a bicycle taxi and a carriage taxi in country side. No bridge and wheelchair at airport.
 Nepal
   2005
The capital was quite tough to move around on wheelchair. Many cars and people on street. The roads are bad and tiny. Use a toilet at hotel. Not many western toilet. No equipment at airport. I have never seen any accessibility in Nepal.  
 Oman
   2012
Not so many foreign workers compared with other Gulf countries (UAE, Bahrain, Qatar. Quwait) . Some ramp in town. Problem is toilet. Airline service was excellent.
 Pakistan
   2012
I visited Milestone office, center of independence living. They produced 150,000 high quality wheelchair made in Pakistan. Next they try 1,000,000 wheelchairs to all Pakistan people who need them. Some became paralysis by gun. Milestone activity lift up person with disability rights. They studied the way from Japan . Accessibility in town is not good yet, but they change in the future.  

 Philippines
   1996, 2005
Japanese government official development assistance support to build Cebu airport. The accessibility is the same as Japan. It was too deluxe. Many traffic in city center. Normally toilet is westernized. Many ramp in town. They know its importance. Not bad accessibility. 

 Qatar
   2011, 2017
Government try to promote accessible tourism with good vision. Very rich country. Many investment to Doha city. New buildings and shopping center are designed accessibility. Not bad, but not so good.  Many international workers in Doha. One of the world international city. Therefore they have many colors and diversity. Problem is lack of public transportation. Automobile society. Taxi is the only choice of tourist. Doha Metro will open in 2020. It should be very helpful for tourists with mobility impairment. 

 Singapore
   1995, 2008, 2009
   2013
My first visit was bad accessibility. But now completely changed. All the MRT stations have elevators and accessible route to street. MRT network is quite useful. Some non-step buses. Taxi price is not high. Shopping mall and new buildings have ramp, accessible toilet, and some equipment. Modernized, developed, and controled city. One of the easiest cities to live for wheelchair.

 Sri Lanka
   2004
No idea of accessibility. I was asked " What do you ride on ? " three times on street. I always explained " This is a wheelchair." They did not imagine that I could not walk. It means no people with disability in town. They are isolated. Only few disabled beggar in town.  
 Syria
   2000
Few western toilet. Only Arabic style. It was tough. Also do not forget bringing a paper. Arabic people use a water to clean their hips. Not accessible but people are very kind. Everybody helped me. Service (shared) taxi is good for wheelchair travelers. Keep the front seat. 
 Taiwan
   2000, 2008, 2009
   2011, 2012
Their accessibility model is USA and Japan. Both style were imported. Metro are great accessibility. Express train are also good accessible design. Some restaurant and shops have steps but many road are curb cut. There are many many four wheel motorbike. I have never seen such kind of motor bike any other counties. So unique ideas. Also many parking place for motorbike users with disabled. 

 

 Thailand
   1998, 1999, 2004
   2005, 2006, 2011
   2015, 2016
Accessibility is rapidly spread. Full wheelchair accessible Airport Link train run to Bangkok Suvnarnabhumi airport. Taxi is very cheap. Trains to local cities are not accessible. Bangkok subway MRT is very wheelchair friendly like Japan, but the staff always follow the wheelchair users to help. BTS  sky train was not accessible, but city says it change accessible until 2016. Thai people are very kind. Problem is pedestrian. It is not easy to walk on street. Too much traffic, narrow road, big step between road and side walk. Many stairs in front of buildings and shops. Year by year the situation is getting better. LCC Air Asia Thai was more kind for wheelchair users. Thai people are generally very kind.

 

 Tajikistan
   2005
Economy is still under development. Isolated country. Road was bad. No western toilet. Taxi and shared taxi are main traffic. 
 
 UAE
   2008, 2012
Dubai Metro is perfect. Emirates airline has their excellent special attendant service. Many modern new buildings in Dubai. All buildings are accessible like Australia and USA. Arab people are also kind. They do not have a sense of disabled discrimination. No problem for wheelchair to travel, but the temperature is problem. It was very hot outside in summer. 

 Uzbekistan
   2005
No accessibility. I have never seen any accessible equipment. Use a human power. Deep rump for baggage in many building. It is good for wheelchair. Road made by Soviet Union is so wide and big. Walking around by wheelchair is easy. Russian language is also problem.
 Vietnam
   1997, 2011
Do not use walking road because of big gap. Walk on a road with car and bike. Like China, many bicycle or motorbike in Vietnam. It means good for wheelchair. No accessibility. I have never seen accessible toilet. You can hire a local helper. It cost very cheap. Many nice middle class hotels (15-30 US$) with lift, but many stairs in front because of motor bike parking space on ground floor.
 Yemen
   2000
Welcome to Arabian night world. No accessibility but well  heart barrier free. People are very kind. No problem to travel. However toilet is problem. Western toilet is rare. Only Arabic style. Some wheelchair people in town. Use shared taxi from town to town.

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