Travelling through various countries in Asia is on many people’s wish lists. Because of COVID-19, it was not possible to fulfil this wish for a long time. In the past year, many Asian countries have reopened their borders to tourists one by one. Since 11 October 2022, Japan has also lifted travel restrictions for vaccinated travellers. Here you can read about what you need to do to properly prepare for a trip through Asia.
Which countries are open to tourists?
For most countries in Asia, travel restrictions depend on the vaccination status of the traveller. Most countries have no entry requirements for fully vaccinated travellers. Only in Myanmar do all travellers have to do an antigen test, regardless of their vaccination status. Recently, Japan has also reopened its borders. International travellers are welcome again as of 11 October 2022. India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand opened their borders earlier this year to welcome fully vaccinated travellers. For some countries, travellers still have to do a COVID-19 test.
Despite the fact that the borders have reopened, in most Asian countries, people still have the urgent advice or obligation to wear a medical mask on public transport, in indoor areas, or even in crowded outdoor places. Furthermore, some countries have several other measures. For example, to be able to travel to Vietnam, travellers have to obtain special health insurance for potential medical costs due to a COVID-19 infection. In India, travellers can be asked at random to do a COVID-19 test on arrival.
Planning the trip
To ensure a problem-free trip travelling through Asia, it is important to know which rules apply to which country. That way, you significantly reduce the chance of any problems. For example, for most Asian countries, you will need a visa. Travellers from the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain and most other European countries do not require a visa, as these countries have a treaty with Japan that allows visa-free travel.
For those Asian countries that do require a visa, such as Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Cambodia, you need to take into account the maximum length of stay allowed with the visa. For instance, a Myanmar visa allows you to stay in the country for a maximum of 28 days, while the maximum length of stay with a Vietnam visa is 30 days. Therefore, make sure you plan your trip well so that you leave for the next country before exceeding the maximum length of stay. It is convenient to be able to complete all visa applications in one location to simplify and clarify the planning of your trip.
Apply for a Vietnam visa and other Asian countries
If you want to travel through Asia soon, you can already start applying for the required visas. When applying for the Vietnam visa, for example, you do not need to know the exact arrival date. You do need to know when you will approximately arrive in Vietnam, because when applying for the Vietnam visa, you need to enter an expected arrival date. The validity of the visa starts on that date. Check the validity and maximum stay of the required visa for all countries you wish to visit to ensure that all visas are valid at the time of travel. A lot of additional information on the current state of affairs regarding COVID-19, the visa requirements and actual travel tips can be found on this website.