Travelling in South-East Asia today – the latest update!

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Travelling in South-East Asia today – the latest update!

I was traveling for a few weeks in Europe recently and had the privilege to meet up with some customers and ‘old’ friends. It was such a delight to catch up after so long! With most I had been in touch via conference calls for the past two years, but it simply is not the same as meeting face-to-face. I hope that in the months to come and during the winter trade shows I will have the opportunity to personally meet with many more of my readers.

During my meetings, I realised that the level of information on South-East Asia is not up to speed with everyone. Therefore, I will use this CEO story as an opportunity to provide an update of the situation on the ground in our countries of operation.

  • All countries in South-East Asia have opened to vaccinated tourists. For non-vaccinated tourists please check country regulations for what testing rules currently apply.
  • The Thailand Pass was abolished. There is no need to apply for permission to enter Thailand. The pre-pandemic visa regulations apply.
  • Mask wearing rules differ from country-to-country in public and private places. In general, outdoor mask wearing is not necessary and indoor regulations vary. Note though, that many people in South-East Asia continue to wear masks indoors, even if not required to do so by the regulations.
  • Not all hotels have re-opened in all destinations. Many are preparing to re-start operations in October/November in time for the next high season. However, already, there is a large choice of hotel accommodation available for every budget throughout the region at competitive prices. We closely monitor the quality of all our hotel partners.
  • Depending on the destination, the choice of restaurants might still be limited since some have not re-opened yet. This does not apply to the main cities and tourist places where there is a good choice of local and international restaurants.
  • For night owls, entertainment venues including bars, discos, karaoke rooms, etc., have re-opened in all destinations. There might still be a limitation on opening hours though.
  • Malls and shops are opened throughout the region. Local markets have always been fully operational, but some of the tourist markets remain closed, or see a limited number of stalls. The famous Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok never closed and remains a tourist magnet.
  • Not all activities have re-opened in all destinations, but we see daily resumptions, including adventure activities and the operation of our ‘Asia Trails’ themed tours. At all destinations, all the main excursions are operational.
  • The transportation quality of cars, vans, coaches, boats etc., is on a pre-pandemic level and is always carefully monitored by our teams in our Asia-wide country offices. Of note, there is still a very small choice of electric vehicles available for rent throughout South-East Asia.
  • Some regional flights have not resumed and it is sometimes necessary to fly to the final destination via transit airports. With the increase of regional travellers, it is expected that in the coming months most regional flights will resume. Domestic flights are operating at all destinations, but some with reduced frequencies. This is an ongoing situation as more flight schedules are added on a daily basis.
  • As is happening elsewhere around the world, our destinations are dealing with price increases due to fuel, inflation and supply chain disruptions. Market demand, as well as the supply and demand situation, will dictate price adjustments, but South-East Asia remains an exciting holiday destination that is excellent value for money.
  • We do not currently have information on when China will re-open to tourists without quarantine and/or other restrictions.

This is only meant to be a general update on some key points related to travelling to, and within South-East Asia. Our Asian Trails’ offices will be pleased to send you more detailed information on their respective destination and answer any questions you may have. Please communicate with your personal Asian Trails’ contact for further details.

In conclusion, the large tourist crowds are not yet back in our part of the world, so now is an ideal time to experience South-East Asia. Do you want to see the Angkor temples with no one else in the picture? Check! Do you want to lounge on a deserted beach? Check! Do you want to skip queues? Easy! And all of this convenience and exclusivity is possible just minutes away from luxury hotels, famous restaurants and funky roof-top bars. Come and see for yourself – the time to travel is now!

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