Disabled Travelers to China

China is becoming friendlier to visitors with disabilities. Specially-designed & equipped facilities in the public areas of transport, airport and hotel are now more accessible. If you have difficulty getting around because you are disabled physically or have visual or hearing impairment at any level then, with the necessary assistant tools, proper planning, reasonable arrangements and good preparation, traveling can still be a unique and rewarding experience. Some tips to enjoy such exciting, challenging and adventurous travel follow for your reference.

Disabled traveler in Beijing Airport
Disabled visitor at Beijing Airport
Handicapped tourist in Xi'an Airport
Handicapped visitor at Xi'an Airport

1. Know your own abilities. Clearly assess your strengths and, if possible, attempt to improve your body health and mobility before your departure.

2. Make a thorough physical examination and discuss the visit with your doctor. Ask for advice and suggestions on all aspects of your visit.

3. Take your doctor's name and telephone number with you so he/her can be contacted in any emergency.
Xi'an Airport has passage for handicapped persons
Xi'an Airport has passage
for handicapped persons

4. Get plenty of information and finalize your destinations. The barrier-free environment in China is developing fast, especially in cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Try to get more information about your destinations and their accessible facilities. Services and/or facilities may be different from your home city, so do a good research and prepare yourself for a new environment.

5. According to your disability, bring any appropriate equipment needed to enjoy & complete your visit such as canes, rolling walkers, wheelchairs, audiphones and mobility scooters. Do not forget to bring some spare parts and the toolbox to carry out emergency repairs.

6. Choose a nonstop fly as changing flight could bring a lot of hassles.

7. Recheck your health insurance policy to ensure it covers the medical expenses incurred during visits overseas. Check that it covers pre existing conditions and, if in doubt, contact your insurers.

8. Contact the airlines, cruise ship company, hotel, airport and railway station as early as possible to ensure whether and how they can offer help based on your impaired mobility. Give plenty of time for them to make the related preparations and arrangements well in advance. Remember that a higher service charge may be levied.

9. Do not put all your medicine in your checked baggage. Put some in the hand luggage you are going to take on the plane in case of lost or emergency. 

10. Go to the airport earlier to allow enough time for check in.

Lift for Handicapped Persons
Some buildings in China are equipped with
special lift for handicapped persons
11. Contact with your airport to see if you can bring your wheelchair on board. Usually a plane can only allow one wheelchair. 

12. If you book through a travel agent you must ensure you disclose the condition of your disability so that they can make the appropriate arrangements for you. If you travel with a group then notify others including your families, friends, companions and tour guides. They should be aware of the true situation so that they can look after you during your visit.

- Last updated on Apr. 14, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Disabled Travelers to China
Asked by Patricia from UNITED KINGDOM | Sep. 08, 2023 05:06Reply
Hire a mobility scooter or motorized wheelchair in Guangzhou
Where can I hire a mobility scooter or motorized wheelchair in Guangzhou. I will be staying in the Tian He area.
Answers (1)
Answered by John | Sep. 10, 2023 23:59

I'm afraid it's not easy to hire one. People in China usually buy one if they need it. Maybe you can buy one, too. It's much cheaper than in UK. After, you cna deliver it to your home.
Asked by Lee Beevor-Reid from UNITED KINGDOM | Aug. 11, 2019 04:22Reply
Electric mobility scooter
I am thinking of a visit to China, taking in the normal tourist sites, Great Wall, Terracotta Army etc. Will I be able to get round such sites with a mobility scooter. I appreciate I will not be able to get to the top of the wall and some of the temples but on the whole, could I manage it, I am able to walk short distances, 3/400 yards at a time. Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Olivia from DENMARK | Aug. 12, 2019 17:52

Well, as I know, if you don't enter into the scenic areas, I think you can do that. :)
Asked by Richard Chen from USA | Apr. 03, 2019 00:39Reply
Accessible travel on Chinese high speed trains
Is it possible to travel via high speed rail in China with a motorized mobility scooter? Also do any of the high speed trains in China have bench seats in second class. I remember 2 years ago I went on the high speed train from Shanghai to Guangzhou and they were, which enabled me to sit with my daughter alone on a 3 person bench seat. I wonder if that is possible nowadays. If not, do the seats' armrests lift up completely for 2 people to share two seats next to each other to include the space between their seats?
Answers (1)
Answered by Lily from AUSTRALIA | Apr. 03, 2019 18:38

Generally, you can take the motorized mobility scooter. The 3 person bench seats are just in the normal speed train and there is no such seat in high speed train now. The armrests of the second class can be lift up but those in the first class can not.
Asked by Luis from AUSTRALIA | Mar. 24, 2019 02:07Reply
Hi, I heard there is discount for disable and elderly people on attractions, museums, etc.
Is this valid for visitors as well? Do we have to bring a translation in Chinese of the certificate of disability? Thanks!
Answers (1)
Answered by Janny from USA | Mar. 24, 2019 19:18

The policies are different according to the different scenic spots. You are suggested to prepare one and verify with the staff of scenic area before buying tickets.
Asked by Ruth from USA | Nov. 30, 2018 14:35Reply
Is there wheelchair assistance at Xi'an and Dunhuang airports?
Answers (1)
Answered by Amy from CANADA | Dec. 03, 2018 10:39

I know there is wheel chair assistance in Xi'an airport but not very clear about the Dunhuang Airport. In fact, you are suggested to contact you air company in advance.
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