a rooftop bar with a city in the background
Banyan Tree Bangkok

Update: this article has been updated to reflect a slight delay in reopening plans. Read up to get the latest information on travel to Bangkok, Chiang Mai and others.

Thailand accelerated plans to reopen more areas to quarantine free tourism. Then, it put the brakes back on — slightly. It hasn’t been the smoothest sailing on the way to getting there, but the Southeast Asian nation seems to now be hitting its stride.

After success with the Phuket and Samui “sandbox”, which allowed tourists from all over the world to enter without quarantine, provided the remain on the islands for at least 7-14 days, Thailand now officially plans to open up major cities to quarantine free tourism as well, including Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

a group of people sitting at tables on a rooftop overlooking a city
Banyan Tree Bangkok

Thailand Expanding Quarantine Free Travel

According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Royal Thai Government will welcome “Phase 2” of its tourism reopening plan on October 15th. The initial plan was a October 1st, reopening, but officials quickly backtracked. More people will be able to visit more areas of Thailand without quarantine.

The second phase will allow quarantine free travel to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Phetchaburi, and Prachuap Khiri for all vaccinated visitors. From the middle of October a further 21 destinations, including Chiang Rai will also reopen. Visitors must spend at least 7 nights in whichever entry point they choose.

At some point in October, it may become easier to count Thai destinations which can’t be visited without quarantine, than those which can. No one’s complaining.

Entry to Phuket has remained more complicated than many visitors would like, which includes the need for a Certificate of Entry (COE), confirmed reservations, numerous tests before and after departure and more. It’s unclear at this time whether the same level of paperwork will exist for the newly opened areas.

“This October reopening will be launched alongside with the country’s newly adjusted ‘universal prevention’ guidelines against COVID-19, under which Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Phetchaburi, and Prachuap Khiri Khan are getting ready, including accelerating vaccination for the local population and formalising tourism campaigns; such as, Bangkok Sandbox, Hua Hin Recharge, and Charming Chiang Mai,” 

Mr. Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, Thai Government Spokesperson
a landscaped garden with Doi Inthanon and a pond

More details will certainly help anyone hoping to visit in mid October, and as they appear, we’ll update this article accordingly. The good news for now though, is that after nearly two years without any meaningful visitor numbers, Thailand is reopening.

If the global health situation continues to improve amid increasing vaccine access, it might not be too long before other highly sought after Asian countries choose to do the same.

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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