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Where can I travel in Southeast Asia? Here what’s open for tourists


The islands of Southeast Asia are reopening to visitors — one small step at a time.

There are several countries in the region, including Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia that have kept Covid rates at a low level throughout 2020.

This changed when the delta variant arrived, which caused large outbreaks in many Southeast Asian countries.

Plan to reopen tourist hotspots Bali and Phuket were put off. Singapore also saw an increase in tourist cases, but kept its borders closed to foreigners.

Until now.


Thailand has announced plans this week to open its tourist attractions and major cities for the rest of 2011.

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Under the plan, vaccinated travelers who test negative for Covid-19 before and after arriving can enter Phuket without quarantining. According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, 26400 tourists were vaccinated and it generated tourist revenue of 1.63 Billion Thai baht ($48.5 Million) between July and August.

Travelers who have been vaccinated can now visit Thailand’s other provinces, such as the islands of Koh Samui or Phang-Nga.

On Monday, Thai authorities announced plans to open a large swath of the country in the next three months. A four-phase plan was approved by the authorities. This prioritizes tourist hot spots like Bangkok.

Thailand’s reopening plans

Phase Starting date What’s happening
Pilot Oct. 1 Continue reopening of Phuket, Surat Thani, Krabi and Phang-Nga; more places opening in Krabi
1 Nov. 1 Reopening of 7 more provinces, including popular spots like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Hua Hin
2 Dec. 1 Reopening of 20 more provinces, including Ayutthaya, Chiang Rai, Songkhla, Sukhothai, Trang, Trat, and Yala
3 Jan. 1, 2022 Reopening of 13 more border provinces, including Satun, Surin and Udon Thani


The Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc (pronounced “foo kwok”) is scheduled to reopen to vaccinated international visitors in October, according to VGP News, the Vietnamese government’s online newspaper.

It is Vietnam’s biggest island and attracts many tourists. Home to white-sand beaches and night markets, Phu Quoc has a UNESCO recognized biosphere reserve and one of the world’s longest cable cars, which links to the nearby island of Hon Tham (Pineapple Island).

Phu Quoc has a cable car which covers nearly five miles in fifteen minutes.

iStock – Getty Images PhuQuoc will open in stages.| iStock | Getty Images

Phu Quoc is scheduled to open in phases. According to Vietnamese authorities, the island will welcome between 2,000 and 3,000 tourists per month for the first three months. The charter flights allow these visitors to visit only a few places.

According to the news report, the second phase will also last for three months and allow approximately 5,000-10,000 visitors to enter the country via commercial flights. They can then explore more islands.

Vietnam is expected to welcome “visitors from markets with high tourism potential and epidemic safety … such as Northeast Asia, Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East,” according to the article.


Singapore welcomed flights filled with European tourists this month, its first in roughly 1 1/2 years.

Under Vaccinated Travel Lanes, vaccinated travelers from Germany and Brunei can visit Singapore without quarantining if they pass four Covid-19 tests.

Singapore is welcoming visitors from select countries through two schemes — Air Travel Passes and Vaccinated Travel Lanes.

Suhaimi Abullah | NurPhoto | Getty Images

If the program works well, Singapore plans to open travel lanes to other countries, according to Singapore authorities.

Travelers from select parts of Asia can also enter Singapore regardless of their vaccination status if they apply for an Air Travel Pass. This scheme is currently open to travellers from Taiwan, Macao and mainland China.

The plans to create a travel bubble in Singapore and Hong Kong were postponed several time. The two governments decided to drop pursuing the travel bubble due to differences in their anti-Covid strategies.


Southeast Asia’s largest and most populous country is taking steps to welcome visitors soon.

CNBC has been told that three islands, Bali, Bintan, Batam, are being reopened as part of an international pilot project due to high safety standards, vaccination rates and demand.

The representative stated that a date for reopening has not yet been announced.

According to the representative, Bali will open for international visitors in October.

Anadolu Agency – Getty Images Bali has had to reopen several times in the past year because of infection epidemics.| Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Bali’s reopening has been postponed several times this year due to infection outbreaks on the island. The representative said that Bali opened on October 17th.

However, not everyone will be allowed to access the island when it reopens.

According to the spokesperson for the ministry, “At this time, countries that have high levels of Covid-19 containment will be considered,” Australia will most likely be considered once it has achieved an 80% vaccination rate.


Langkawi reopened this month as part of Malaysia’s Tourism Recovery Plan. But, domestic tourists are not allowed to visit the archipelago which lies 30km (18.6 miles) away from Malaysia’s northwest coast.

According to the government, it anticipates welcoming domestic tourists to popular destinations like Tioman Island and Johor as well as Melaka, Melaka, the state of Sabah, the capital of Borneo.

Langkawi was reopened for travelers but they must be residents of Malaysia.

According to Malaysia’s tourism authorities, international travelers are welcome at the fourth phase of the plan.| Moment | Getty Images

International travelers will be welcome at phase 4 of the plan, according to Malaysia’s tourism authority.

Langkawi, a favorite resort spot for local tourists, is well-known for its beautiful beaches and lush rainforests.

Due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic, Malaysia’s tourism revenues have dropped significantly. The country saw $9.08 billion taken off its annual earnings last year and gave up 83.4% of its 2019 visitor total — the third-highest of all countries, according to Next Vacay.