Traveling with a disability in Vietnam may not be the most convenient trip you will embark on, but the experiences below offer will be worth the effort.
General Guide to Traveling with a Disability in Vietnam
- Call ahead so that providers could best assist you. Vietnam Airlines offers free disability assistance provided that you made your request 24 hours prior. Likewise, there are many hotels (usually large chains like Indochine or JW Marriott) that claim to have accessible facilities.
- Be clear and specific when describing your conditions. For example, the wheelchair’s measurements or the severity of the disability.
- Consider working with a specialist travel agent.
- Bring a travel buddy.
- In case of emergency, you can call these hotlines in Vietnam for help.
- Refer to the table below for Vietnamese sentences stating for conditions.
Let’s be honest, Vietnam is not wheelchairfriendly. There aren’t any accessible paths or transport. The streets are always busy crazy traffic, and pavements are not entirely exclusive to pedestrians.
With that being said, it’s not impossible to have a nice experience traveling with a disability in Vietnam. You will have to travel on the streets, so it’s best to have a manual wheelchair to help you up on the curbs. Also, you will get stared at out of curiosity, but the people here are very kind and friendly. They will be more than pleased to help you get on a bus or a taxi or a boat (by carrying you sometimes).
Hearing and Speaking Impairment
It would not be hard for the hearing handicapped to travel in Vietnam as long as you stay alert. Pack extra batteries and hearing aids (if you use them). You can’t rely on announcements at the airport, so arrive early and pay attention to the information boards to not miss any updates.
Vietnam is a relatively laidback culture, so there aren’t any popular hand gesture that would be considered inappropriate here. However, sign language differs between countries, so the best way to communicate with people would be written English or Vietnamese.
Sight loss poses unique challenges for travelers. Crossing our busy streets will even be more frightening than it already is, and the sidewalks can be small and messy that your cane stopped being useful.