The Great Wall of China is quite famous all over the world, which attracts tourists from all over the world every year. But for those who are wheelchair bound or have problems with mobility, they might have concerns about weather they are available to visit the wall or not. If yes, which section of the Great Wall around Beijing is accessible for wheelchair users?
Here, TCT would like to clear some ideas about access to Great Wall for seniors or disabled in a wheelchair.
Most of sections of the Great Wall of China that have been maintained over the years are still quite challenging to ascendant for tourists relying on wheelchair, with no guard rails and the Wall has steep and slippery stairs. However, in preparation for the Olympics, an elevator was installed at the section of Badaling he Great Wall, so those in wheelchairs could finally take par in the experience and witness the beauty of the Wall.
Both Badaling Great Wall and Mutianyu Great Wall are wheelchair-friendly. Special flat lanes are built for wheelchair users to get to the certain area of the Great Wall. Badaling is the closest and most touristy, Mutianyu offers amenities like a cable car and toboggan slide, but sees less people. If tourists do not completely rely on the wheelchair and can still walk for a while or some steps, he can visit Badaling Great Wall or Mutianyu Great Wall both. Both of the walls are the most famous sections of the China Great Wall. However, when it comes to which part of the Great Wall is more suitable for wheelchair users, the Badaling Great Wall has an advantage, and its slow ramp leads to the first clock tower of the Great Wall. So, it is more recommended to visit Badalin instead of Mutianyu, as Badaling offer more no-barrier facilities.
By now, Badaling is the only section of the Great Wall around Beijing which is wheelchair-friendly. There are ramps, cable cars, and elevators at Badaling that will get you on the Wall easily, but it's at a fairly low level and from there, if you are wheelchair bound, there isn't far that you can go. A special flat wheelchair accessible lane is built for wheelchair tourists to get as far as to the third watch tower of the Wall. In addition, if you contact the Badaling Great Wall administration in advance, you can use the one of two elevators equipped for easy ascending to access to Great Wall for seniors or disabled in a wheelchair.
When you get to the entrance of Badaling, look for a sign across the Badaling ticket stand that says "No Barrier" access. Follow that sign up the ramps to the ticket taker and purchase tickets. Choose whether to use the elevator or to continue up the ramps. Continuing up the ramps may involve navigating a few short stairs, while the elevator avoids stairs altogether. Alert the ticket attendant that you wish to use the elevator so they can arrange for a security escort to take you up to the third watchtower. Ride the elevator up to the third wall and follow the crowds forward along the wall if you can walk for a while.
On the Mutianyu Great Wall, wheelchair users can take the cable car and then use the barrier-free access to the platform below the 14th watch tower to see the beauty of the Mutianyu Great Wall. The cable car in Mutianyu Great Wall is much helpful for tourists to save energy, but tourists still needs to walk for some steps, because you have to go up a long flight of stairs to get to the cable car entrance, and after out of the stations of the cable car, you still need to walk for some steps to get to the top of the wall. As for wheel chair users, you can reach the cable car station through barrier-free way in the Wall area. Cable cars are situated at a number of sites. The Wall is challenging for anyone with mobility issues and not really suitable for anyone with any serious disability. If you rely on wheel chairs, you got to travel with someone who can push the wheelchair for you, for there are some steep slopes before you get into the cable car station or out of the station.
There are no elevators in Mutianyu Great Wall. Search for some images to get an idea of different places. Mutianyu has a reasonably sized platform at the top of the cable car from where the Wall can be viewed if you don't wish to walk far on the wall itself. There are some steps as well, though. The cable car will take you to the top of the Wall. Once you get there however you are not dealing with a flat surface. The Wall is not even, just continuous steps. It would be difficult to make wheel chair access without spoiling the wall structure.
At the East Gate of Juyongguan Pass, there is a 180-meter long barrier-free way for wheel chairs users or those who have difficulty in moving around. People can get to the top of the Pass by this barrier-free way, to have a view of the wall in a distance. But one can not reach more if he can not walk at all, as there are stairs and steep slope on the Wall. Only a short way access to Great Wall for seniors or disabled in a wheelchair
If you have difficulty moving around due to your physical disability or have visual or hearing problems, you still can have a sound and exciting travel experience with careful planning, sound arrangements and detailed preparation. Book a wheelchair-accessible van before your departure because they are hard to come by. If you have a folding wheelchair that can be placed in a standard-sized trunk, ask your hotel concierge to arrange for transportation or you can book a private car with drive and tour guide from a travel agent in local, so you can get around easily.
In a word, with more consideration are taking into account for wheelchair users, access to the Great Wall for the Seniors or Disabled in a wheelchair is not a big problem.