Disabled in Hong Kong

One last blast in Honkers before heading back to Blighty

oldhk

This is what Hong Kong used to look like, perhaps some 90 years ago. On the right centre they’re constructing what used to be an artificial harbour and dock for visiting military ships in Admiralty. See the island top left? That’s Stonecutters, which became the base of British military forces in colonial times. Top right is the tip of Kowloon, where the Star ferry still stops between Hong Kong and Tsim Sha Tsui.

Hong Kong was my first home in Asia almost 21 years ago. And the skyline then looked nothing like it does today.

hkstone

This is Hong Kong harbour today, from almost the same spot, but not as wide. But Stonecutters is now firmly attached to Kowloon and pretty much all of the top right of the landscape didn’t exist even 20 years ago. That tower is the International Commerce Centre and that’s appeared in the last ten, all built on reclaimed land.

The harbour overall is considerably smaller than it was 100 years ago. You can just see the dome of the former Legislative Council building on the waterfront at the bottom on the picture. That’s now perhaps 800m inland maybe more.

When I lived here I was not disabled, so the things that drive me nuts now were not even in my mind then. But I can think of countless bars and restaurants that I wouldn’t be able to enter now.

(Mind you, given that Hong Kong’s famous bar street  Lan Kwai Fong, where I consumed my fair share of alcohol, is built on a hill, that might not be such a bad thing today 🙂 )

A friend spotted this article in a local magazine while I was there Wheelchairs in Hong Kong and it gives a good perspective of life in the Dragon City

But everyone’s experience is different.

 I had been hoping to go to Hong Kong with a friend and try to take a ride on The Peak Tram

It would be a challenge to get on it but definitely worth the journey. As it was, I went by taxi and did the trail around the top of the Peak along Lugard road. We stopped here beneath the root fronds of a magnificent Banyan tree

hkbanyan

It wasn’t particularly warm, about 15 degrees perhaps, hence the fleece, scarf and gloves. burr. It’s cold when you’re used to 30 degrees every day.

So getting around – the taxi drivers in Hong Kong are pretty good about helping disabled customers in and out of their cars. But if you don’t want or can’t move from your chair there are two cab firms set up to help people in wheelchairs.

There’s Syncab which I took to the airport, and have taxis that operate across Hong Kong, including the New Territories (green cabs) and Lantau island (blue cars)

And theres also Diamond Cabs which offers a similar service. So that’s a big plus.

Hong Kong has also produced an online accessibility site Hong Kong guide which gives some pointers as to what you can do. But do check the hotels individually. Just because it claims to be wheelchair friendly doesn’t mean it is.

I chose Lanson Place from previous experience.  The toilet was great – a raised seat and two railings (woohoo).

lansonloo

The shower area was tricky, but not impossible.

lansonshower

So I survived the weekend unscathed, caught up with a bunch of mates and of course had my last Chinese meal (for a while at least) in China. 😪

Peking duck, mapadofu (spicy tofu), dumplings. Bubbles and friends. Can’t complain about that 😄

hkdinner

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s