Malaysia tourism in times of Coronavirus pandemic

COVID-19, Tourism, and Malaysia

Malaysia had thought of establishing travel bubbles with New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea as these were considered as Covid-19 green zones. However, rapid changes in these countries have put a freeze on such thoughts. Opening up with the ASEAN only maybe the other option under consideration. 

The ASEAN region countries are planning to progressively open its borders to tourism by the first quarter of 2021. This means that those living in this area still have to wait for tourism and recreation travel for long four to six months. Malaysian officials have suggested that cross-border leisure travel will commence on a phased basis sometime in the first quarter of 2021, provided that the situation of Covid-19 in Malaysia remains under control. 

So, during those six months or so, the only way to experience any leisure is by domestic travel. Additionally, this is also subject to the non-occurrence of COVID-19 cases in local areas and the free flow of inter-state and inter-city traffic. In most countries, certain regions may become vulnerable to sudden surges of COVID-19 cases and can therefore be declared hotspots. If so, the travel restrictions may be placed there, and when travelers return from such areas within their country, they may need to undergo quarantine. 

Having said this, the fact is that on domestic flights in Malaysia and neighboring Thailand, AirAsia is already seeing 60 to 80 percent capacity. This means that things are moving in the right direction, albeit very slowly. 

In Malaysia, many developments and events have been happening in recent times. It is better to go through some of these here.

China-Malaysia Culture and Tourism Month-Fun

In the recent past, even with such a suffocating situation because of COVID-19, there have been several happenings. On Twenty-six September 2020, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, launched the China-Malaysia Culture and Tourism Month-Fun with Nature campaign. Under this program, many events have been organized. These include cultural shows, traditional Chinese arts, and crafts cultural displays as well as other activities. The Nature Campaign consists of booths set up outside the Giant Panda Conservation Center. People could drop by to see the shows, including bottle painting and demonstrations of paper cutting, etc. Some people come to see Yi Yi, the second Malaysian-born giant panda. Many kids feel happy to visit the stands that gave a fascinating look at traditional Chinese craftsmanship.

Hikers of Mount Kinabalu tested positive for COVID-19!

Although things are going on positively in some places, other sites have a different story to tell. In another COVID-19 related development, the Board of Trustees of Sabah Parks (LPATTS) recently announced that all operations at Kinabalu Park have been suspended after a hiker tested positive for Covid-19 following close contact with another patient. The park will remain closed until October 8, according to the reports. Malaysian domestic visitors going to Sabah may take note of this. 

Melaka to be promoted as a “Must Visit” destination

The Melaka state government in Malaysia is promoting tourism in the state using a campaign called the "Dream Now Travel Later" campaign (DNTL). The objective of this campaign is to plan and book your trips and tours now and visit later. In Melaka, the tourism promoters call Melaka as a "must visit" destination, which it definitely is. If you are thinking of visiting somewhere, do consider Melaka, whether you are a domestic Malaysian visitor of overseas traveler. 

Innovations from Air Asia 

Air Asia Group is evolving from a tourism only business group to a multi-service provider. The largest budget airline company in Southeast Asia is launching what they call "AirAsia Digital." This project involves three main business lines, namely the venture builder, the RedBeat Academy online education provider, and a data center. Currently, its venture builder division is developing five businesses, including the super app, Teleport logistics provider, BigPay fintech solution, Biglife loyalty program application, and Santan restaurant franchise.

The AirAsia Supper app is said to be a one-stop application for food delivery, entertainment, shopping, payments, and travel. This follows developments with other apps such as Grab, which began as a ride-sharing site, and has grown into an application for users to make payments and opt for food delivery, among other things, and Gojek, which operates in Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines.

The app will also allow users to book hotels and flights (from non-AirAsia airlines) and provide a program of travel and lifestyle rewards. The organization is said to have terminated its Expedia agreement and is providing its own travel booking service. 

My Malaysia Experience Packages

In Malaysia, the government has suggested tour promoters to develop niche tour packages for domestic tourists. The government would promote such niche tour packages through special brochures that would be published through its web portal. These tour packages are named as My Malaysia Experience Packages.

The River of Life project

While COVID-19 has affected tourism, planning work is continuing on tourist sites in Malaysia. One such project is called ROL (River of Life) Project. This project aims to turn the Klang River into a livable and vibrant waterfront with high economic value. This project is divided into (1) river cleaning, (2) master planning and beautification of the river, and (3) growth of the river. This is not just a tourism aimed project but comprises multiple objectives, one of which is to attract tourism in the future.

So all is not bad, things are going in the right direction, very slowly though. Let us keep alive our hopes for the restoration of freedom of movement for tourism and other activities related to it.

Singapore - the best Southeast Asian escapade

Singapore - view of Marina Bay Sands
The Island of Singapore, conveniently situated off the coast of Malaysia, is a paradise for those wanting a luxurious cultural trip away from the confines of home. It's time to fly across the world, leading you on a trip away from your western ways, and the Lion City is roaring for you.

What makes Singapore so exceptional?

Singapore proves itself to be a cultural center of diversity, with four official languages (including English, Malay, Tamil, and Mandarin) and several accepted faiths. When visiting, one may comfortably feel welcomed and get to explore walks of life they might never otherwise have experienced.

In more ways than one, variety makes a happy traveler. With a variety of cuisines caking the city, your belly will be as satiated as your knack for language and religion, with Singaporean food being just the start of it. You'll never be in want, from Hainanese chicken rice to laksa and kaya toast.

This city is cleaner than any country in Southeast Asia where you have set foot. Thanks to tight anti-littering laws, you will be forced to reflect on the beautiful architecture that surrounds you, rather than on the polluted side of the street. Besides, the tap water is safe to drink (something all Southeast Asian travelers would find relieving), giving you one less thing to think about as you prepare your itinerary for Singapore.

Avoid the wet season to make the most of the weather

Singapore is mild throughout the year as is the rest of its regional neighbors. Regardless of the season, rain can arrive at a moment's notice, but if you want to avoid showers as much as you can, it is better to schedule your trip between February and September. With cool nights, spring is relatively dry, while summer offers a variety of outdoor festivals and events to enjoy. Be sure to pack a lightweight raincoat, whatever the month might be.

Getting there is a breeze

Whether you're coming from an Asian mainland or an American coast, actually getting to Singapore is likely the first thing you'll want to organize. If arriving by plane, you'll find yourself at the Singapore Changi Airport, where you can easily take a quick taxi or an affordable train into the city center. From there, the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) can get you anywhere in the city, and public buses galore only add to the convenience. Whether by air, sea, or road, you likely won't have to worry about snagging a visa in advance of your Singaporean escapades. Most visitors can enter the country for up to ninety days without a visa, so you should have plenty of time to explore your traveling heart's desire. [Need a visa? Look for a link on this site]

Your Singapore itinerary starts with the stay

Everyone wants something different out of their travels. Whether you prioritize nightlife or are aiming for a luxurious island respite, Singapore can deliver.

Orchard Road is a shopper's haven, so stay in this district if you envision yourself taking to the storefronts. Upscale clothing and modern malls (like ION Orchard) make up the area, as does the world's largest bookstore, Kinokuniya.

Staying in the Colonial/Historic Area places you central to all that Singapore has to offer. With beautiful architecture dappling the area, you'll be able to go from the National Gallery Singapore to the St. Andrew's Cathedral in one fell swoop.

If you've got the budget for it, stay within Marina Bay. With unforgettable views from your posh hotel room, including that of the mythical Merlion Statue, you'll wind up with memories (and photos) that can't be beaten.

Sentosa Island is a resort region chock full of ways to busy yourself. From golf to theme parks to beachside lounging, you and your family (even the little ones) will feel comfortable, all while being a short trip from the city center.

Travelers can also stay in The Quays for easy access to nighttime shenanigans, or Bugis and Kampong Glam for a taste of trendy music and art. Both Chinatown and Little India offer their bustling take on food and worship for a more niche stay.

Make time for the experiences

Figuring out where to stay is just the beginning. Filling your days with experiences is what really makes an international trip one for the books, and Singapore has plenty of offerings.

A variety of festivals make their way to the island throughout the year. Chinatown throws down for Chinese New Year, so if you find yourself in the area during January or February, you'll want to add this to your list. During October or November, Little India celebrates Deepavali, or the Festival of Lights, showing off vibrant energy through decor and activities. Though slightly more serious, May's Vesak Day celebrates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha, and even offers tons of vegetarian food to enjoy as you revel in religious history.

Regardless of when you're visiting Singapore, you must check off Gardens by the Bay. This site joins the urban and natural with the world's largest greenhouse and largest indoor waterfall, among other unbelievable intricacies. 

Hawker centers, or uninhibited food courts, throughout the city offer street food galore. From Lau Pa Sat to Maxwell Road, visiting one (or many) of these will allow you to integrate into the local lifestyle and try a plethora of delicious food to boot. 

More noteworthy stops

Universal Studios Singapore, a theme park located on Sentosa Island, offers a load of attractions for families and couples alike. Even better, it’s open every day of the year.

Whether you’re staying on Sentosa Island or not, this resort area is a blast. With striking waterside views and plenty of fun to keep you busy (think Adventure Cove Waterpark or Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom), you’ll want to make a stop. You can even take the Singapore Cable Car to the island for an added layer of amusement; just catch it at Faber Peak.

iFly Singapore also found on Sentosa Island, allows the adventurous of the bunch to conquer their fears amidst the largest themed wind tunnel in the world.

If you plan on checking off attraction after attraction, you may want to look into the iVenture Card Attraction Pass. This streamlines the payment and even grants discounts, allowing you to spend your days enjoying the world around you rather than worrying about your wallet. [Click on the 'Activities' link in the menu and search all these activities and tickets]

Not everything in Singapore costs money

If you're a backpacker on a budget, you'll find plenty to keep you busy in Singapore without spending a fortune.

Visit the Sisters Islands Marine Park for a spectacular view of wild dolphins amidst beautiful blue waters.

Worship is available at Buddha's Tooth Temple, where you can even get a free or donation-based vegetarian meal to complement your visit.

Movie Mob offers outdoor cinema showings throughout the city, granting you entertainment as you enjoy the sky and stars.

See a different way of life by taking a trip to Kampong Lorong Buangkok, a place many Singaporeans haven't even seen. This area will give you a true peek into minimalistic existence without the most modern amenities.

Know the Rules in Singapore

Singapore has a reputation that it seeks to uphold, and it does so by keeping many rules in place.

Smoking is illegal in most places in Singapore, so avoid doing so in public. Tipping is not required and is even deemed disrespectful by many, so keep that in mind as you make your way through the city's restaurants. Possessing and using chewing gum is also illegal, so leave it at home. Do not litter (it's wrong to do anywhere, but particularly illegal in Singapore).

Perhaps most importantly, respect the conservative culture you're in with everything you do.

Be a Smart Traveler

Singapore is highly regarded as one of the safest places to travel in Asia, but it's best to keep your wits about you wherever you roam. Avoid falling victim to pickpocketing by keeping your phone and money in a safe space. When traveling in taxis, always take note of the company and vehicle number and ask for meter rates before agreeing to the ride.

In an emergency, you can always call emergency call numbers.

Get an e-Visa online fast and convenient


e-Visa service

An increasing number of countries are offering facilities to apply for tourist or travel e-Visa online. If you are eligible you can apply and receive an e-Visa by email in a short time. 

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What is an e-Visa?

An e-Visa is an official document that allows you to enter and travel within a specific country. The e-Visa is an alternative to visas provided at border checkpoints or visiting the embassy/consulate to obtain a conventional paper visa. E-Visas are electronically linked to the passport of the passenger. 

Do you require a visa to travel? Find out on our e-Visa page

You can use the Visa Requirements tool on the website to check if you need a travel visa. It's as easy as informing us where you're from and where you're going. Based on this information, our service provider will instantly tell you whether you require a visa and how much will it cost, the number of entries, the start date, and then you can apply directly through the platform!

How long will the e-Visa be valid? And How much will it cost?

You can get this information by using the Visa Requirement Tool on the website. Every country has different rules for entrance and visa charges. You can also apply electronically if you're in a hurry, and the form will guide you in this regard as well.

How long does it take to get the e-Visa?

It varies from country to country. For some countries such as Australia ETA and Turkey e-Visa, the procedure can be carried out within fifteen minutes with an urgent application process. For other countries such as the Indian Tourist Visa (if eligible), the procedure normally takes twenty-four hours. The exact time for each application can be found on the form on our website. What we assure is that your application with our affiliate would be the quickest way to apply anywhere.

E-Visa Printing

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Malaysia tourism in times of Coronavirus pandemic

COVID-19, Tourism, and Malaysia Malaysia had thought of establishing travel bubbles with New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and South...