Hello, all! To continue our accessible Asia extravaganza on Disabled Travelers, today we’ll be cooking up access guides for Thailand. A bit off the beaten path, Thailand and its capital Bangkok are, nevertheless, top tourist destinations for those interested in exploring Asia; and it’s come to my attention that handicapped travelers are far from left out here. Bordering India, Vietnam, and Indonesia, this exotic 90% Buddhist nation is one of the world’s last remaining monarchies, and not to be missed no matter what your level of ability. Here we go!
Another good general overview, covering tips for wheelchair users and those with vision or hearing impairments, is found here. It has a directory of disabled organizations, where to find assistive technology in-country, and quite a bit more. For a closer look at Thailand itself, see ThaiFocus, a general interest website on Thailand travel that also includes a disability access page. Though that page is a bit sparse, the rest of the site is packed with all kinds of helpful stuff to ground you in the Thai culture and what to see, do, and experience while you’re around. Finally, don’t miss the Wheelchair Accessible Thailand blog, written from the POV of a couple living life to the fullest despite a lifelong muscular disorder. Good stuff – and a lot of true glimpses into life in Thailand (plus, some great restaurant info!)
Time and time again, sources talk about how friendly and accommodating the Thai people are toward those needing mobility impaired access on their trip. Unfortunately, there are still some challenges to overcome. Wheelchair accessible taxis are available, but typical hotels are often too narrow to comfortably navigate, especially on the lower end of the price scale. For accommodations, visit this site offering accessible holiday suites in Thailand, France, and Hungary. Thai options include a private villa and apartment living. Another good resource is this page from TVTrip, which describes itself as “the hotel videoguide”, and has a searchable database of accessible hotels in Thailand. There’s also a hotel database for Phuket, an island south of Thailand at TravelMuse.
Thailand has a lot to offer travelers of all kinds and experience levels, but we all know you can’t beat the “inside perspective” of a good tour operator. For just that need, there’s Wheelchair Tours to Thailand, which offers tour packages, accessible vehicles, advice, photography, and a whole range of other nifty features. Another well-established company, Accessible Journeys, also has several Thailand tour packages from six to twelve days long. Looking for more than just land travel? If you’re a fan of water sports, you might enjoy Worldwide Dive and Sail’s Best of Thailand diving trip, which is accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing.
(Incidentally, speakers of German can visit RollOn Travel, which offers tours in Thailand and elsewhere but, unfortunately, does not provide information or services in English.)
That’s about it for Thailand, at least for now. But we still have a long way to go to get a really good grip on accessible Asia. Our quest will continue soon, and I’m also cooking up some views around the U.S. and another installment of Disabled Travelers mailbag. Keep an eye out for my next post shortly, and as always, adventure on!