Travel News: Thailand Expands Its ‘Phuket Sandbox’ Tourism Strategy, and is Set to Open More Destination by October - Lifestyle Asia

Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Pattaya are among the stops that the Thai government will be treated with the same plans they launched in July.

Last week, the government of Thailand announced that it will be reopening more destinations for tourism, including Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as beach resorts Pattaya, Cha-Am and Hua Hin.

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Set to open on October 1, these will allow fully-vaccinated tourists to fly to these travel bubbles without the need for a lengthy quarantine. Visitors will not be move into other areas of the country. More Thai destinations, such as Chiang Rai, Koh Chang and Koh Kood, might reopen soon after that.

This move follows last July’s Phuket Sandbox, an initial execution of this strategy in one of Thailand most popular stops. The rollout of the program and its apparent success, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Phuket Tourism Association, proves that the city is still an attractive destination within and beyond Asia.

Phuket Sandbox enables travelers into Phuket and chosen extension areas. Previously, tourists were mandated to stay in Phuket for a minimum of 14 days, but with the upgraded program, fully vaccinated travelers can reduce their mandatory stay in Phuket from 14 to 7 days.

After this stay, tourists can spend another 7 nights in any of the extension areas: Krabi (Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai, or Railay), Phang-Nga (Khao Lak or Ko Yao), or Surat Thani (Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, or Ko Tao).

Tourists under this program can enjoy sea excursions such as yachting and cruising, enjoy traditional dance performances around the island, and enjoy dining, shopping, lifestyle and lodging establishments in the island as long as they are accredited by the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration Plus (SHA Plus).

In this new Phuket travel bubble, old favorites can still be checked of your itinerary. Here are five of them:

Get a top view of Phuket at Karon Viewpoint

Situated at the south of Kata Noi Beach, Karon is one of the many famous viewpoints in Phuket, but one that allows you to see three bays in just one vantage point: the Kata Noi, Kata Yai and Karon beaches.

Dive deep in the Andaman Sea

Book a scuba diving tour with one of the local tour agencies and immerse yourself in crystal clear waters that reveal a rich ecosystem of marine wildlife: corals reefs, fishes of all kinds and colors, seahorses and other hidden ocean treasures.

Pick from Phuket’s many beaches

From the bustling Patong Beach, to the limitless stretch of Mai Khao Beach, to the relatively untouched Nai Harn and Nai Yang beach, there’s bound to a beach that suits your preference.

Find peace at Wat Chalong Temple

Give a prayer of gratitude and guidance for a renewed opportunity to go on vacation at the Wat Chalong Temple, biggest and most popular among Phuket’s 29 sacred.

Go island hopping

Whether privately amongst your travel circle or as part of a tour group, discover the nooks and crannies of Phuket’s islands: from the Phang Nga Bay Sunset Cruise to the James Bond Island Day Tour.

As mentioned, Chiang Mai is one of the desinations next on the list of areas slated to re-open in October. This effort is dubbed “Charming Chiang Mai,” and aims to highlight the innate beauty and appeal of the Northern Thailand city.

For more information on Phuket Sandbox, visit

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