a group of islands in the water
Image by Lukas Adam from Pixabay

In a slightly unexpected move, Thailand is opening up to international travel faster than expected.

After serious doubts around a July 1st opening date for Phuket, the Southeast Asian travel wonderland came through, opening to vaccinated visitors from all around the world, albeit with a few hiccups. Now, another group of islands is set to welcome fully vaccinated visitors, in just a few days time.

As Singapore mulls opening up the country to international travel, the coming months could represent an exciting change in tourism to this one of a kind part of the world, with Thailand leading the charge. Next up: Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Ko Tao.

Thailand Adds Quarantine Free Islands

If you’re fully vaccinated and have the certificate to prove it, Thailand is about to open a few more islands, where you can travel without quarantine. It’s not quite like the old days, but it’s not far off.

Thailand’s vaccination numbers are finally starting to stack up, and for islands where tourism is a vital part of life, things can’t open soon enough. Minus a few hiccups, the reopening of Phuket has been a success, and thousands of visitors have made their way from the plane to the beach n the opening days.

a group of islands in the water
Image by Lukas Adam from Pixabay

Thailand Accelerates Reopening

Thailand initially planned to rollout ‘quarantine free’ sandbox destinations very slowly, but early successes seem to be accelerating plans. Destinations including Chiang Mai and Krabi are still in the waiting, but Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Ko Tao will open on July 15th to vaccinated arrivals.

To visit, travelers must provide proof of full vaccination, fill out a certificate of entry and arrange to stay at an approved hotel. Most western oriented hotels on the islands are part of the ‘SHA’ hotel program, and experiences with dining, beach access, pols and other amenities are largely untouched.

For adventurous travelers eager to be among the first guests to reenter the kingdom of Thailand, extreme deals await. Five star hotels can be found for $50 a night and up, and restaurants are eager to welcome back patrons.

It’s a unique time to visit Thailand, and for some, a great opportunity.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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1 Comment

  1. I don’t understand how the program works with these new additions in terms of reaching the destinations.

    I know one of the conditions with the Phuket ‘Sandbox’ was that you had to arrive on a direct flight from outside of Thailand. Phuket HKT being a relatively well served airport facilitates this.

    These additional destinations have much smaller airports that are mainly connected only domestically to BKK. The Thai government currently does not allow transit at BKK. Hopefully, they will change this rule soon.

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