Asia travel

Asia travel

Survival guides, insider secrets, top things to do, eco-tours, independent hotel reviews, family-friendly itineraries: fire your imagination with the South China Morning Post’s travel guides and must-

see lists for holiday destinations across China and the rest of Asia. 

Next time you fly, don't forget your Covid passport
Traveling may not look the same for years after the coronavirus pandemic, starting with the need to get a “Covid-19 passport” to fly in the future. There are several forms of digital health passes in development, the latest of which is a Travel Pass from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association based in Canada. The pass would serve as a “digital passport” with testing or vaccination certification for passengers.  The IATA app – which will likely include a global registry of health requirements for travel as well as testing and vaccination centers – is expected to launch at the beginning of next year, the latest effort to ensure safe travel during a global pande
Kyoto is not necessarily clamoring for the return of Chinese tourists
The coronavirus might have curtailed international travel from China, but it hasn’t stopped what the United Nations World Tourism Organization identified as “the leading tourism outbound market in the world both in departure numbers as well as total expenditure” from wanting to explore beyond the nation’s borders.  In lieu of real-life expeditions, they have been making do with tours of popular destinations, including the Palace of Versailles, in France, and London’s British Museum, live-streamed by travel companies. On November 9, Alibaba’s travel platform Fliggy joined forces with the West Japan Railway Company (JR West) to “bring popular tourist attractions in Kyoto online to Chinese neti
Coronavirus: huge cuts by Hong Kong’s Cathay deepen global airline woes
Hong Kong’s carrier Cathay Pacific has joined US, European and other Asian airlines in making drastic job cuts as coronavirus-enforced travel restrictions continue to hammer the aviation industry. Cathay announced on Wednesday it is to shed 8,500 jobs, making 5,900 staff redundant, mostly in Hong Kong. As well as losing over a fifth of its headcount, it will shut one of its regional carriers, Cathay Dragon, with immediate effect as it battles to survive the pandemic. The airline had a $5 billion bailout in June, with the Hong Kong government contributing $3.52 billion to prevent its collapse. But the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents the global airline industry
What you need to know before you grab that bargain travel deal
Is it time to plan for when the world will be open for travel again? The global Covid-19 pandemic has effectively put the aviation industry into hibernation, with travel restrictions and quarantine requirements around the world.  Eager for crucial cash flow, airlines are producing some very tempting deals for anyone who has got the stomach to book ahead. Here’s what you need to know. How low will prices go? For the rest of 2020, demand for flights is impossible to predict. When, where and how travel restrictions will be lifted in the short term is anyone’s guess. But for those happy to make plans slightly further into the future, there are already some very low prices being offered for long
Travel bans fly in the face of WHO recommendations
After decades of experience in dealing with global disease outbreaks as deadly as Aids and Ebola, the World Health Organization has forged a series of guidelines on how to deal with epidemics.  Most countries are now ignoring them in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. It has specifically advised against imposing travel bans on countries with Covid-19 outbreaks and warned that international restrictions can be “ineffective” during public health emergencies. Over the past week, places from Hong Kong to Europe have dramatically tightened their travel restrictions. On March 17, the European Union sealed its borders to most foreigners. More curbs are being announced daily. Experts say such act
Coronavirus travel ordeal: quarantine, detention, more quarantine
What started as a potentially lucrative business trip for one Hongkonger and a dream honeymoon for another ended in a Russian detention nightmare for both after they were accused of breaking the country’s quarantine laws. In an ordeal lasting three weeks, a businessman trying to buy surgical masks and bring them back to Hong Kong, who gives his name as Sky, describes being held in a dirty, crowded cell in Moscow before his deportation to mainland China. He was briefly detained in the mainland before he returned to Hong Kong, where he had to undergo a compulsory quarantine. A similar trauma befell another Hong Kong resident – a newlywed who is also now back in the city after visiting Russia
Hong Kong and Macao are ramping up global travel restrictions
Travelers arriving in Hong Kong from any foreign country from Thursday will be put under 14-day home quarantine or medical surveillance, the city’s leader has said, as she extended a red travel alert to cover all overseas nations.  The new restrictions will not apply to arrivals from Macau or Taiwan. People arriving from mainland China were already required to isolate at home for the past month. Meanwhile, the Macau government announced it would block entry of all non-residents except those from the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau from Wednesday. A mandatory 14-day home quarantine measure for city residents remains effective. Hong Kong and Macau are Special Administrative Regions (SAR) of Chin
Temperature checks have a terrible record of failing to detect coronavirus
Temperature checks have become the new normal in airports, offices and even some residential buildings as authorities rush to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.  (Where did the coronavirus come from? How to prevent infections? Here’s what we’ve learned so far about the coronavirus.) Despite their widespread use, medical and public health experts have said temperature checks are unlikely to detect infected people. Are ‘temperature guns’ reliable and accurate? Handheld, non-contact infrared thermometers, or “temperature guns,” have emerged as a popular device to screen people for fevers during viral outbreaks. The guns can quickly measure surface temperature without touching people’s
Getting home for Lunar New Year
It is the 2020 Lunar New Year holiday, and 11-year-old Xiaoxiao and her little brother are at home with their grandparents in a remote part of central China. They are anxiously waiting for the Spring Festival reunion dinner when their parents return from their jobs in southern Guangdong province. Like hundreds of millions of rural migrant workers in China, Chen and Liu travel home only once a year. The travel rush over the holiday period, which lasts up to 40 days, is considered the largest annual human migration in the world.
Here are some tips to find China’s hidden travel gems
The United States sends the most tourists to China, and almost all of them go to Beijing. Tibet is high on many bucket lists, but few Western tourists ever actually visit. China virtually empties of Western tourists during November, December and January. These are some of the takeaways from the third annual report on popular travel destinations in China by The China Guide, a travel agency in Beijing that develops customized tours for travelers from the US, Germany, France, Spain, Britain, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. What immediately stands out from the report – compiled from surveys of 2,300 travelers from across the globe – is that Beijing dominates almost every foreign traveler’s iti