In a bid to prepare for the November 1 reopening, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) released three guidelines at a video conference on Thursday.
This was after the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced earlier on the same day that Thailand will allow double-jabbed tourists from 10 countries, including the US, UK, Germany, Singapore and China, to enter Thailand without having to quarantine. CCSA will review the list regularly every two weeks.
Meanwhile, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said that though Thailand will be open to everyone, different rules will apply to people based on where they come from and the number of jabs they have had.
The first guideline applies to people from 10 countries who can land in Thailand and travel freely without quarantine. The travellers are required to have stayed in any of the 10 low-risk countries for at least 21 days before they can be allowed to enter Thailand.
They must also have received two jabs of vaccines that have been approved by the World Health Organisation or the Public Health Ministry. Travellers who were infected by Covid-19 within three months and have received their first jab more than 14 days ago can also enter. Children below the age of 12 who have not been vaccinated will be allowed in provided they travel with their parents.
All travellers should produce an RT-PCR test result taken within 72 hours as well as present a medical certificate in case they were infected earlier.
Upon arrival, each tourist is required to download the “Mor Chana” app and travel to a hotel that can provide an RT-PCR test. They are required to pay for the test and stay in the hotel until the test result is released. They can then travel freely if the test is negative.
The second set of rules is for fully vaccinated tourists who have tested negative but come from medium or high-risk countries.
They are required to stay within the “blue zone” for seven days and undergo two RT-PCR tests before being allowed to travel elsewhere.
This group can spend their first seven days in the provinces that were reopened in the sandbox scheme, namely Phuket, Surat Thani, Phang Nga and Krabi.
Arrivals after November 1, can spend their first seven days at a hotel in any of the provinces opening in the first phase including Bangkok, Krabi, Phang Nga, Hua Hin and Cha-am.
Those arriving after December 1 can spend their first seven days in provinces opening in the second phase, namely Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Lamphun, Phrae, Sukhothai, Phetchabun, Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Trang, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Yala and Narathiwat.
Meanwhile, those arriving after January can stay in provinces reopening in the third phase, including Surin, Sa Kaew, Chanthaburi, Tak and Kanchanaburi among others.
The third guideline applies to travellers who are not double jabbed. They must be quarantined for 10 days if they arrive by air, and for 14 days if they travel by land.
Yuthasak added that travellers will not be required to produce a certificate of entry (COE) once the government lifts the state of emergency.
As for now, he said the process of applying for a COE will become far easier after November 1.
Chiang Rai’s famous Tham Luang cave complex will finally be opened to visitors from Friday.
Kawee Prasompon, chief of the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park, said all visitors will be screened and every Covid-19 prevention measure will be observed. Only 40 visitors will be allowed into the cave complex at any given time.
Visitors will also be required to present proof of vaccination or negative test results before they are allowed in.
In June 2018, the world was transfixed for 17 days when an elaborate rescue operation was launched after the 12-member Wild Boars football team and their coach got trapped in the caves by rising floods.
The 200-metre-deep Chamber 1, which visitors will use to enter the complex, was the command centre for the rescue operation led by former Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn and the Thai Navy Seals.
The Wild Boars have become celebrities and films have been made about their ordeal. The cave complex has been off-limits to the public, though the bronze statue at the entrance of Saman Gunan, a diver who died in the operation, has been attracting visitors.
Famous Tham Luang caves to be opened to visitors from Oct 15
The idea of sipping coffee while soaking in the cool, clear waters of the Ayutthaya’s Noi River appears to be a huge draw, with many tourists flocking to Phak Hai district last weekend.
Sutee Towornpun, owner of the Bank River House Resort and Café in Phak Hai said on Monday that he has turned this crisis into an opportunity.
Since floods have not receded and the pier outside the hotel is still inundated, he came up with the idea to serve coffee and food to tourists while they soak their feet in the water. Famous boat noodles vendor “Jae Joom Pak Daeng” (red-lipped Miss Joom) was also at hand to serve up delicious delights.
Ayutthaya resort owner makes floods into a tourist attractionAyutthaya resort owner makes floods into a tourist attraction
Sutee said this unique arrangement attracted many tourists.
“Once the situation returns to normal, Phak Hai district should be promoted as a tourism destination. With abundant resources, the beautiful Noi river, traditional riverside communities, rice fields, clean air, the old town market, etc, I believe the district can be developed sustainably,” Sutee added.
Thailand should consider using Lalisa “Lisa” Manoban, the only Thai member of K-pop band Blackpink, as a tourism ambassador for the country, Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) president Suphan Mongkolsutee said on Monday.
“Though Thailand has a rich cultural heritage and several natural tourist attractions, we still need to improve when it comes to adding value and integrating these resources to the manufacturing sector,” he said. “We need to promote other aspects linked with tourism such as handicrafts, spa and Thai cuisine through influencers. This is far more effective compared to only advertising spots on television and social media.”
Lalisa’s eponymously named first solo single won a record-breaking 73.6 million views in 24 hours when it was released via YouTube on September 10. It even surpassed Taylor Swift’s “Me!” which gained 65.2 million views on the day it was released in April 2019.
Meanwhile, Rida Srilomsak, president of FTI’s creative industry and handicraft group, pointed out that the government’s promotional campaigns on Thai handicrafts are usually a hit and miss.
“The government has been using yakshas [mythological guardian giants] and tuk tuks as mascots for tourism for years now. These do not promote Thai handicrafts among foreign audiences,” she said. “The ministries of Culture and Tourism and Sports must adjust their strategies and keep up with international trends. Apart from using famous artists like Lisa as brand ambassadors, we should also use online channels to deliver Thai handicraft products to target groups.”
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) on Monday (October 11) provided the latest information on air travel within Thailand on the various airlines that operate domestic route networks.
Updates on the country’s domestic air travel are as follows;
Thai Airways International
Thai Airways International (THAI) is offering twice weekly one-way flights from Bangkok to Phuket.
• Flight TG922 every Thursday from September 2 – October 28, 2021.
• Flight TG916 every Friday from September 3 – October 29, 2021.
Meanwhile, THAI announced that its domestic executive lounges at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Phuket International Airport, and Chiang Mai International Airport were back in service as of September 1, 2021.
From October 1, 2021, Bangkok Airways resumed the Bangkok-Trat service with three flights per week every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
This brings the number of the airline’s domestic service to 8 routes, including the following 7 routes.
Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) – Samui 3 flights daily. In addition, it is offering 2 sealed route flights daily for transit/transfer international passengers under the Samui Plus programme connecting from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) to Ko Samui.
Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) – Chiang Mai 1 flight daily.
Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) – Phuket 1 flight daily.
Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) – Lampang 4 flights per week every Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.
Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) – Sukhothai 3 flights per week every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Samui – Phuket 1 flight daily for international passengers extending their Phuket Sandbox stay with the Samui Plus programme.
Samui – Singapore 3 flights per week every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday for international passengers under the Samui Plus programme.
Nok Air is offering domestic flights from Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport to Buri Ram, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chumphon, Hat Yai, Lampang, Loei, Mae Sot, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nan, Phitsanulok, Phuket, Ranong, Sakon Nakhon, Surat Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, and Udon Thani.
Thai AirAsia is expanding its flight schedule in October 2021, adding routes from Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport to Krabi, Loei, Nan, Phitsanulok, Sakon Nakhon, Surat Thani, and Trang, as well as regional connections from Chiang Mai- Hua Hin (starting October 15, 2021) and Chiang Mai – Phuket (starting October 16, 2021).
Thai Smile Airways is offering domestic flights from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai, Khon Kaen, Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Phuket, Surat Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, and Udon Thani.
Thai VietJet Air is offering domestic flights from Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai, Khon Kaen, Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phuket, Surat Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, and Udon Thani.
Meanwhile, the airline has scheduled to commence its direct Bangkok – Taipei flights on October 20, 2021, (with sealed domestic Phuket Sandbox flight connections available).
It will also begin its Bangkok – Singapore and Phuket – Singapore services on October 21, 2021.
TAT would like to remind all travellers to travel safely; and to continue with the D-M-H-T-T-A precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, T – Testing for Covid-19, and A – alert application.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) updated its website on the operation of national parks nationwide on Friday. Many parks have reopened, though some partially, while several remain closed either due to Covid-19 measures or because of the rainy season.
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) has reopened 96 of its 155 national parks nationwide since Wednesday. Visitors are recommended to keep a frequent watch on the list regularly updated by the National Park’s Office via this link, or its Facebook page: National Parks of Thailand.
The updated details of the reopening or closure of each national park are as follows:
Chaloem Rattanakosin National Park in Kanchanaburi province – All tourist sites and accommodation are open, but overnight stay and camping are prohibited;
Erawan National Park in Kanchanaburi province – All tourist sites and accommodation are open. Overnight stay, camping, and water activities are closed;
Sai Yok National Park in Kanchanaburi province – All tourist sites and accommodation are open;
Thong Pha Phum National Park in Kanchanaburi province – The Khao Chang Phueak hiking trail, Chokkradin Waterfall, overnight stay, and camping are open only to the Pilok residents in Thong Pha Phum district;
Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi province – The Ban Krang tourist site is open for overnight stay and camping. The Pong Luek-Bang Kloi and Phanoen Thung villages are closed for the monsoon season until 31 October. Pa La-U Waterfall is remain closed since May 12 onwards;
Ao Siam National Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan province – All tourist sites and accommodation are open, but overnight stay and camping are prohibited;
Chaloem Phrakiat Thai PrachanNational Park in Ratchaburi – All tourist sites and accommodation open, while overnight stay, camping, and water activities are prohibited;
Khao Khitchakut National Park in Chanthaburi province – Khlong Phaibun Waterfall will be open on October 18;
Namtok PhlioNational Park in Chanthaburi province – Closed until October 7; (The national parks office has not yet updated the information.)
Khao Sip Ha ChanNational Park in Chanthaburi province – All tourist sites and accommodation are open, but overnight stay, camping, and water activities remain closed;
Khao Laem Ya-Mu Ko SametNational Park in Rayong province – Ko Samet and Mae Ramphueng Beach are open for overnight stay and camping;
Pang Sida National Park in Sa Kaeo province – All tourist sites and accommodations open, while overnight stay, camping, and water activities are closed;
Doi Suthep-Pui and Si Lannanational parks in Chiang Mai province – Open for visitors;
Huai Nam Dang National Park in Chiang Mai province – Pong Dueat and Tha Pai hot springs are open for overnight stay and camping;
Namtok Buatong – Namphu Chet Si National Park in Chiang Mai province – All tourist sites are open, but overnight stay and camping are prohibited;
Pha Daeng National Park in Chiang Mai province – Sri Sangwan Waterfall, Pong Ang Hot Spring, Doi Kham Fa are open for tourists;
Khun Chae National Park in Chiang Rai– All tourist and camping sites, and overnight accommodation are open;
Khlong Lan National Park in Kamphaeng Phet province – Khlong Lan and Khlong Nam Lai waterfalls, and Khlong Suan Mak are open except for overnight stay and swimming;
Khlong Wang Chao National Park in Kamphaeng Phet province – All tourist sites are open only for day trips;
Mae Wa and Doi Khun national parks in Lampang province – All tourist sites, accommodation and camping are open;
Tham Pla-Namtok Pha Suea National Park in Mae Hong Son province – Tham Pla, Pha Suea Waterfall, and Pang Ung tourist site are open for overnight stay and camping;
Doi Phu Kha and Nanthaburi national parks, and Tham Sa Koen (Sa Koen Cave) in Nan province– All tourist sites and accommodation are open for overnight stay and camping;
Khun Nan National Park in Nan province – All tourist sites and accommodation are open;
Nam Nao National Park in Phetchabun province – Fully open;
Doi Pha Klong National Park in Phetchabun province – Some tourist sites and accommodation are open;
Mae Puem National Park in Phayao province – All tourist sites and accommodation are open;
Thung Salaeng Luang National Park in Phitsanulok – Hanging Bridge tourist site is open for overnight stay and camping, while the Kaeng Sopha Waterfall is open, but water activities are prohibited. Other tourist sites and accommodation have been temporarily closed since June 1;
Ta Phraya National Park in Buri Ram province – All tourist sites and accommodation open, but overnight stay and camping are closed;
Pa Hin Ngam National Park in Chaiyaphum province – All tourist sites are open for overnight stay, but camping is prohibited;
Sai Thong, Tat Ton and Phu Laen Kha national parks in Chaiyaphum province – All tourist sites and accommodations are open;
Nam Phong, Phu Pha Man and Phu Wiang national parks in Khon Kaewn province – All tourist sites are open for overnight stay and camping;
Phu Ruea National Park in Loei province – Fully open;
Phu Suan Sai National Park in Loei province – All tourist sites open, while overnight stay and camping are prohibited;
Phu Pha Thoep National Park in Mukdahan province – Open for day-trip visits but overnight stay, camping and water activities are prohibited;
Phu Langka National Park in Nakhon Phanom province – Fully open;
Khao Yai National Park in Nakhon Ratchasima province – Chet Kot, Sarika, Haeo Narok, and Ta Kro waterfalls, Pha Diao Dai viewpoint and Lam Ta Khong Campground are closed. Other areas are open, but overnight stay and camping are prohibited;
Phu Pha Lek and Phu Phan national parks in Sakhon Nakhon province – Fully open;
Phu Pha Yon National Park in Sakhon Nakhon province – Some tourist sites and accommodation are open, but Kaeng Pho Waterfall is temporarily closed until further notice;
Pha Taem National Park in Sakhon Nakhon province – Open with prohibition of overnight stay, camping, and water activities;
Phu Chong Na Yoi National Park in Ubon Ratchathani province – Open for visitors, but overnight stay, camping, and water activities are closed;
Mu Ko Chumphon National Park in Chumphon province – Open for day trips;
Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park in Krabi province – Remain closed until further notice;
Mu Ko Lanta National Park in Krabi province – Open on Friday for day trips, overnight stay and camping;
Than Bok Khorani National Park in Krabi province – Open for visitors, but overnight stay and camping are prohibited;
Khao Luang National Park in Nakhon Si Thammarat province – Open for day trips, overnight stay and camping, except all the hiking trails which are closed until December 31;
Khao Nan and Namtok Si Khit national parks in Nakhon Si Thammarat province – All tourist sites and accommodation are open;
Namtok Yong National Park in Nakhon Si Thammarat province – Yot Khao Men hiking trail will be open in December;
Ao Phang-Nga, Khao Lak-Lam Ru, Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Mueang and Si Phang-Nga national parks in Phang-Nga province – Fully open;
Sirinat National Park in Phuket province – All tourist sites and accommodation are open;
Mu Ko Phetra National Park and Tarutao National Marine Park in Satun province– Open for day trips;
Thale Ban National Park in Satun province – Fully open;
Khao Sok National Park in Surat Thani province – Bua Phut site and Tham Nam Thalu are closed until October 31 and November 30, respectively;
Khlong Phanom National Park in Surat Thani province – Some attractions and accommodation are open;
Mu Ko Ang Thong and Ko Pha-Ngan’s Than Sadet national parks in Surat Thani province – Fully open;
Hat Chao Mai National Park in Trang province – Open for day trips.
Thailand has earned prestigious acclaim on the global travel awards stage with prominent placings in the best city, island and resort categories of the Conde Nast Traveler 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards, The Tourism Authority of Thailand said on Saturday.
Bangkok was named in 9th spot in the ‘Best Big Cities’ sub-category of ‘The Best Cities in the World’ category. The Thai capital was praised as being “Consistently ranked as one of the most-visited cities in the world” where visitors could experience “a multifaceted identity that blends history, culture, street style, and luxury like nowhere else.”
In addition, three Thai islands were named on the ‘Top Islands’ sub-category, with Samui coming in at 7th with a score of 93.33, Phi Phi Islands in 9th with a score of 91.83, and Phuket in 10th with a score of 89.79.
Honoured with impressive placings on the list of ‘The Best Resorts in the World’ category were Anantara Chiang Mai Resort in 8th, Amanpuri in Phuket in 13th, and Soneva Kiri on Koh Kood in Trat in 21st.
Meanwhile, the spa resort Chiva-Som in Hua Hin was named No 1 among 50 spa resorts worldwide that filled the ranks of the list of ‘The Best Spa Resorts in the US & Around the World’. The Readers’ Choice Awards described Chiva-Som as “one of the premier spa resorts in the world”.
The 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards also featured two Thailand-specific lists, a reflection of Thailand’s enduring status as one of the world’s favourites and best-known holiday destinations.
The ‘Top 10 Hotels in Bangkok’ list was made up as follows:
#1 The Sukhothai Bangkok (97.65 score)
#2 Capella Bangkok (97.55)
#3 Shangri-la Hotel, Bangkok (97.37)
#4 Lebua at State Tower (97.28)
#5 The Athenee Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok (97.14)
#6 Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River (96.55)
#7 Banyan Tree Bangkok (96.19)
#8 The Peninsula Bangkok (95.25)
#9 Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok (95.03)
#10 Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok (94.5)
The ‘Top 20 Resorts in Thailand’ list was made up as follows:
#1 Anantara Chiang Mai Resort (99.81 score)
#2 Amanpuri in Phuket (99.76)
#3 Soneva Kiri on Koh Kood (score 99.66)
#4 COMO Point Yamu in Phuket (98.93)
#5 Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui (98.76)
#6 Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Krabi (98.66)
#7 Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort (98.25)
#8 Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort (97.73)
#9 Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa (97.48)
#10 Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai (97.02)
#11 Rosewood Phuket (96.33)
#12 The Nai Harn Phuket (95.81)
#13 Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle (94.6)
#14 Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas (93.47)
#15 The Sarojin in Phuket (93.36)
#16 The Slate in Phuket (93.07)
#17 Anantara Hua Hin Resort (92.25)
#18 Pimalai Resort & Spa on Koh Lanta (92.18)
#19 Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort (91.58)
#20 Melia Koh Samui (90.98)
The 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards were the 34th edition of the annual awards, in which Conde Nast Traveler readers can vote in various categories; such as, best countries, cities, islands, spa resorts, and cruise lines.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is planning to launch a new tourism promotion programme called “Unlock Thailand” to target Asian tourists, said Thanes Phetsuwan, TAT deputy governor of marketing – Asia and South Pacific, on Monday.
“The scheme will make the fullest use of CCSA’s latest announcement that reduces mandatory quarantine period for foreign visitors to Thailand from 14 days to as low as 7 days, effective since September 30,” he said. “So far, the reopening of selected provinces under tourism sandbox programmes since July 1 has mainly attracted tourists from faraway markets at more than 90 per cent, while only 10 per cent of visitors under these schemes are from Asian countries.”
Thanes added that another factor that makes sandbox programmes unpopular among Asian visitors is the Covid-19 measure imposed by the government of each country. “Singapore and Japan now require returnees from Thailand to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine before entering the country, while China still prohibits its citizens from overseas travel to curb the outbreak,” he said. “However, we expected that these rules will be eased up by early 2022, to prepare for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.”
TAT’s Unlock Thailand will aim primarily at India and South Korea markets, as the Thai government has recently reduced warning level of India from high risk to medium risk country, and allowed Indians to be one of 78 nationals that can participate in the tourism sandbox schemes. “TAT will negotiate with Indian authority to draft the air bubble agreement, whereas commercial flights from India can directly land in Thailand without having to go through a hub at the Middle East to change flights,” said Thanes.
“As for South Korea market, TAT will try to push for travel bubble agreement for fully vaccinated tourists to engage in variety of activities in Thailand,” he added. “The pilot phase will focus on offering golfing packages in Chiang Mai, which has over 10 golf courses that are popular among South Korean golfers.”
Four selected districts in Chiang Mai are scheduled to open to foreign tourists on November 1 under the province’s “Charming Chiang Mai” programme, whereas vaccinated tourists can travel to Chiang Mai and stay at certified hotels for seven days, during which they can travel on sealed routes in the province under supervision of guide tour companies. After seven days and they still test negative for Covid-19, they can proceed to travel in other provinces of Thailand.