Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Exploring Hong Kong in a Wheelchair

On our way back to the States, we had a great opportunity to stop in Hong Kong for a few days so we took it.  With our friend Krystian, AJ and I explored this wonderful metropolitan city.  It was amazing to think we were on such a developed little island in Asia, of tall buildings and sky scrapers, surrounded by water.  This was a really cool experience for us. Mind you, this small yet overly populated city means buildings are a lot smaller in width, but extra tall in height and not wheelchair accessible with lots of steps and mainly no lifts.  The lifts also aren't made for wheelchairs, they are very tightly spaced.

One of the coolest things for us to see in Hong Kong was the Giant Buddha that is up on a very, very steep hill.  I can't even explain how huge he is, but it was definitely a cool site.  Sadly, I didn't get to see it up close because I didn't want to make the boys have to carry me up the stairs on their backs all the way up there.  But it was still worth seeing.

Another highlight was being able to see the "whole" city from a hill.  I couldn't believe that it was really that big!!  There was a mixture of eco and modern land. It was all so clean/well-kempt.  There are lots of expensive places, cars, people.  There are also lots of pretty beaches and greenery.

The people were so kind and for the most part helpful.  I was glad to be in a place where directions were in both the native language as well as English.  It would have been very difficult to get around without English and the guidebook.  Our first day there, we had to go up a few steps to get to our hotel, and these guys just came over and helped AJ lift me up.  That was such a kind gesture. 


I loved being able to see the Hong Kong LDS temple as well.  It's so different from any other one I've seen. But maybe I should have figured that one, because it's in a foreign country, and it just happens to be a in a the New York City of Asia.  This is the temple that most Cambodians come to by the ways because it is the closest one to them.  We donated some money to a family, whose father, Pu Sinhat was our tuk tuk driver in Cambodia.  We really wanted to have them reach their goal of being sealed in the temple.

I'm so glad I got to see different parts of Hong Kong.  It is a city that has definitely attracted me to come back again!!

FYIW: There are some limitations for someone in a wheelchair. Hong Kong is really small and they have to build up, so many places were compact with lots of stairs. There are many hotels crammed into one building.  That means small rooms and even smaller restroom. And it's kind of pricy compared to southeast Asia. But it's manageable.  If you are in a good financial position, you may want to look for an American hotel with greater chances of accesibility.

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