Man Takes Epic 5,670km Wheelchair Journey Across China

By Anna Myers, March 21, 2016

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Quan Peng, who is originally from Gansu province in western China, is backpacking across China – in a wheelchair.  

Quan began his journey in August 2014 in Beijing. Since then he has visited 43 cities in five provinces. By the end of his trip, he will have travelled nearly 3,500 miles (5,670 kilometers). He will finish his journey in Sanya, the southernmost city of Hainan province.


Man Takes Epic 5,600km Wheelchair Journey Across China

Man Takes Epic 5,600km Wheelchair Journey Across China

Quan lost the use of his legs at the age of 17, when a procedure to remove a tumor from his spine damaged his nerve endings. Although his life changed dramatically, he chose not to let it get in the way of his ambition. He moved to Beijing to start a career and managed a Taobao store in his spare time.

But Quan had always wanted to travel across China. Although he knew it would be difficult in a wheelchair, he didn’t let that stop him. He believes that his journey can help all disabled people – by showing the world that they are just like anybody else, and should be treated that way. As he told CNN: "I see it as a battle…I'm not only battling against my disability, but against discrimination."

Man Takes Epic 5,600km Wheelchair Journey Across China

Man Takes Epic 5,600km Wheelchair Journey Across China

His trip has not always been easy: sometimes he has had to sleep in his wheelchair with only an umbrella for shelter. Quan has also faced discrimination, often being turned away from restaurants and told that hotels were fully booked.

Although he planned to travel for nine months, it looks like his journey will take him more than two years. He has reviewed the facilities for the disabled in every city he has visited – sadly most are non-existent.

Quan was determined to complete the trip by himself: to show people that the disabled are neither lazy nor incapable of achieving great things. He even climbed Taishan mountain without help, crawling to the summit when he could not use his wheelchair. "There is no place I can't reach after that," he said. "I have no mental barriers now."

[Images via CNN]

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