Indonesia’s Bali is reopening to vacationers however not Australia, Singapore

The holiday island of Bali reopened to tourists from select countries on Thursday in what Indonesian authorities have dubbed “baby steps” to resume international travel.

Indonesia closed its borders to foreign travelers about 18 months ago.

Vaccinated tourists from 19 countries – including China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand as well as parts of Western Europe and the Arabian Gulf – can now travel to Bali and the Indonesian Riau Islands. Travelers are subject to a five-day quarantine and Covid-19 test.

The plans are considered a milestone for the tourism-dependent islands of the Southeast Asian country, which have been destroyed by the ongoing travel restrictions. But several large feeder markets for foreign tourism – including Bali’s No. 1 market from Australia and neighboring Singapore – have been removed from the list.

Talks with Singapore and Australia are ongoing

Speaking to CNBC, Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and Creative Industries Sandiaga Uno said the current policy was based on scientific data and guidelines from a panel of epidemiologists. He added that the list will expand as data from additional markets support it.

We want to make sure that there is no stop-and-go.

Sandiaga Uno

Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and Creative Industries

“We want to make sure it’s not a stop-and-go, but a smooth, incremental basis,” Uno told CNBC “Street signs.”

“[With] Singapore and Australia, we definitely continue, “he said, noting that talks are focused on ensuring that the reopening” is done on a safe basis first “.

Competition with quarantine-free travel destinations

Indonesia’s partial reopening comes as neighboring countries, including Thailand, Singapore and Parts of Vietnam, welcome vaccinated tourists from selected countries quarantine-free.

Indonesia – burned from a sloppy approach to quarantines that led to a surge in Covid-19 cases in July – is taking a more cautious approach. You have reason too. The country is preparing to host the G-20 summit in Bali in 2022.

“It will be purely scientific and will ensure that this process goes smoothly for the next 18 months as we are hosting G20 events here,” Uno said.

People visit Seminyak on January 5, 2021 on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali.

Sonny Tumbelaka | AFP | Getty Images

In addition to quarantines, which the UN said would be revised in good time, the islands are introducing new security measures such as hotel certifications and vaccination boosters.

“We are making sure that Bali gives priority to the entire island to get 100% boosters in the first quarter of next year,” he said.

Authorities hope the new measures will help revitalize Indonesia’s tourism industry, which accounts for around 4% of the country’s gross domestic product. However, Uno acknowledged that reaching the pre-pandemic number may take some time, as visitors are likely to opt for less frequent but longer stays in the near future.

Can vacationers journey to Japan? Digital excursions make it really feel attainable

While travelers won’t be able to attend this year’s Summer Olympics, they can still experience Japan virtually.

As the global pandemic progresses, tourist attractions and enterprising tour guides are finding ways to mimic the look, feel, and taste of a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Sightseeing and shopping

For 2,000 Japanese yen (US $ 18), armchair travelers can take a virtual trip to the Asakusa district through. make one hour interactive tours carried out by the Tokyo Localized travel company.

The tour takes viewers through the narrow streets of Asakusa, one of the six remaining geisha districts in Tokyo. The area is also home to Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest temple; Asakusa Hanayashiki, Japan’s oldest amusement park; and Hoppy Street, famous for yakitori skewers and theirs Namesake, beer-like drink.

The Kaminarimon of Sensoji Temple – or “Thunder Gate” – was first built around 1,000 years ago.

Allan Baxter | The image database | Getty Images

The tours are led by Dai Miyamoto, the company’s founder, who said he buys and mails items to online tourists who will pay them back by credit card.

Viewers can take online tours to other locations. request Japan online tour. Charges are $ 150 per hour, plus Kobe transportation fees.

Companies such as Tokyo Localized and Japan Online Tour are sending Japanese products home to online tourists.

Courtesy Nikhil Shah

Founder Kazue Kaneko said she has a client who loves Kyoto. She takes him on virtual tours where she buys Godzilla figurines, matcha (a finely ground green tea), and other products before shipping them to her client’s home in Los Angeles, she said.

“Now he’s my regular customer,” she told CNBC.

Enter the Shibuya Crossing

Except for London Abteistrasse, it is rare for a street intersection to gain international recognition. But one of the most famous places in Tokyo, Shibuya Crossing, joins the ranks.

Crowds walk through Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan.

@ Didier Marti | Moment | Getty Images

The intersection is considered “the busiest intersection in the world” and can accommodate an estimated 3,000 people in each light interval. The outbursts of organized chaos symbolize Japan’s devotion to the “Four Ps” – patience, courtesy, punctuality and precision – attributes that rule one of the most densely packed societies in the world.

For a 360-degree view of Shibuya Crossing, see The interactive feature of CNBC, which contains interesting facts about the crossing.

Attentive readers will find no fewer than eight people wearing masks, despite the fact that the photo pre-dates the global pandemic. The story explains why.

Folding furoshiki

Virtual tours rarely come with souvenirs, but those who sign up for them do Furoshiki online workshop receive a tailor-made package from Japan before the course starts.

Wrapping valuable items in furoshiki or decorative fabric squares is a centuries-old Japanese tradition. Today, the practice is considered an environmentally friendly way to Wrap small items without paper or plastic wrapalthough they can also be used as small handbags and home accessories.

The Furoshiki cloth is widely used for gift wrapping, but unlike wrapping paper, the cloth is traditionally returned to the gift giver.

Image navigator | Image navigator | Getty Images

In this one-hour, live English course, participants will learn how to wrap gifts and make a furoshiki handbag. The cost is 10,000 Japanese yen ($ 91) for the class, two furoshiki towels, and a pair of rings.

Get on the Shinkansen

The speed and punctuality of the Shinkansen have made Japan’s bullet trains so popular that traveling on them is considered a tourist attraction in itself.

Trains regularly reach speeds of 200 miles per hour and have a reputation for arriving and departing on time – to the second.

ON Live cam of the tracks in Settsu, a city in Osaka prefecture, shows how fast the trains go. Once the sound of an approaching train can be heard, viewers can see it for about eight seconds before disappearing in the distance.

Online travelers can also hop on the Shinkansen. With Google Maps, viewers can explore the length of the train See how the cabins differ based on class and comfort.

Museums and gardens

Online viewers can view current and past exhibits at The Sand Museum in the Tottori Sand Dunes.

John S. Lander | LightRakete | Getty Images

Visitors can explore the virtual walkways of the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo, Japan.

Christopher Jue | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Tokyo’s neighborhood

Covering more than 3,100 square miles, Tokyo-Yokohama is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world. This makes it difficult for tourists to visit Tokyo’s better-known neighborhoods on foot.

Stationary live cams give an insight into parts of the city such as Shinjuku and Ginza, but mobile livestreams better mimic the traveller’s sightseeing experience.

Japan only, a YouTube channel owned by the American John Daub, broadcasts live streams of the Olympic Games and takes viewers to the Olympic Stadium and the red carpet of the opening ceremony in real time.

Another YouTube channel, Japan Walk, has several live cameramen who roam the streets of Japan, through important tourist destinations and back alleys, past business people on bicycles and women in kimono looking at restaurants and window shopping on the go.

Exploring Hiroshima

Shocking photographs in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum tell the story of the world’s first atomic bomb, which was dropped on the southern Japanese city on August 6, 1945 towards the end of World War II.

A virtual museum tour with the title “Future Memory” guides viewers through dark corridors displaying burnt clothing, children’s toys and other items recovered from the explosion that killed an estimated 140,000 people. English captions include testimonies of those who survived the explosion and life stories of those who did not.

During a virtual tour of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, visitors can examine the objects recovered from the rubble in 3D.

Carl Hof | Getty Images News | Getty Images

One of the better online parking tours in Japan is from Hiroshimas Shukkeien garden. A location map offers a bird’s eye view of the area and lets the viewer virtually immerse himself in a 360-degree view of the teahouses, manicured lawns and cherry blossom trees in the garden.

Virtual tea courses

Japanese tea ceremonies become high tech as teachers turn to the internet to explain the country’s tea drinking traditions.

In virtual classes, viewers learn how to prepare and drink Japanese Matcha at home.

Yue Yoshida / EyeEm | EyeEm | Getty Images

The Japanese cultural experience company Maikoya runs a 45 minute course on Zoomwhere viewers can learn the traditional way of drinking from a tea bowl from a living kimono-clad teacher in Kyoto for 4,900 Japanese yen (US $ 44).

For 10,000 yen ($ 90), Camellia Tea Ceremony, a tea company with two tea houses in Kyoto, sends matcha, a tea scoop, whisk, and seasonal sweet treats before the interactive tea ceremony begins.

Colosseum vacationers can go underground to see ‘backstage’ | Arts & Leisure

ROM (AP) – After 2 1/2 years of work to support the underground passages of the Colosseum, tourists will be able to explore part of what was once the “backstage” of the ancient arena.

Italy’s minister of culture officially announced the completion of work to secure and restore the underground section on Friday, in the presence of the founder of Tod’s, the shoe and luxury goods manufacturer who paid the bill.

In the centuries when spectators filled the Colosseum to see spectacles filled with gladiators and wild animals, the public was forbidden from venturing below the stage level. The ban lasted from AD 80, when the amphitheater was inaugurated, to the last performance in 523.

Dozens of mobile platforms and wooden elevators were used in ancient times to carry vivid landscapes, as well as performers and animals for dramatic performances at the stage level.

Colosseum director Alfonsina Russo said tourists can walk down a 160-meter walkway to see some of the original 15 corridors that surrounded the underground levels.

Restoration work by teams of engineers, surveyors, construction workers, architects and archaeologists was halted during part of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tod’s founder Diego Della Valle responded a few years ago to a call from the Italian government for private sector funding for restoration projects because the country was unable to raise the money to maintain its immense art and archaeological treasures.

Della Valle also paid for a multi-million euro (dollar) cleanup of the Colosseum, a monumental project that took decades to remove soot and grime that made the arena look dull and barren.

Last month, Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini detailed a project to build a light stage inside the area so that visitors can admire the ancient monument from a central point of view. The stage will be retractable.

The original arena had a stage, but it was removed in the 19th century for archaeological exploration of the underground. The new stage will also allow cultural events to be held, which the minister said would respect the Colosseum as a symbol of Italy.

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The largest errors vacationers make in main world cities

Travel writers make their trade out of helping tourists navigate unknown places. Still, even the most savvy traveler tends to make the occasional gaffe while on vacation.

This is where CNBC’s travel agents share the biggest mistakes visitors make in the cities they call home.

A stroll through Singapore

“Trying to stroll around Singapore is a huge mistake. If you cover just a few miles that you would love to walk in most cities, you end up drenched – either from the heat or from tropical weather.” Regardless of whether Google Maps shows your destination is not far, take a taxi or the MRT [Mass Rapid Transit] Train. They’re both cheap and luckily air-conditioned. “

—Christian Barker, Australia

See everything in New York City

“New York is a huge travel destination with a multitude of options, and that makes a tourist’s time in the city precious. Unfortunately, I’ve found that many visitors – especially first-time visitors – try to squeeze too much into a trip to their Midtown hotel to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, then speed up to Uptown to tour part of Central Park, before seeing a Broadway show that evening.

The view of Lower Manhattan from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

cmart7327 | E + | Getty Images

“Rather than packing an itinerary for 12 hours each day, I recommend picking a handful of sights to explore. And leaving some unplanned blocks of time as the moments you’ve only heard of in New York are almost over . ” always unplanned.

“For example, don’t try to see the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in one day. You will be so exhausted – you won’t appreciate any of Liberty and then head to nearby Ellis Island and its immigration museum, or dedicate a day to Central Park and the surrounding areas – the park is bursting with beauty in every corner and nooks and crannies of its 840 hectares.

“Remember, New York is not going anywhere. The city will be ready and waiting to welcome you back.”

—Tracy Kaler, United States

“Stick to the script” in Jamaica

“I’ve nested in Jamaica for the past six months and vacationed here many times over the past 20 years. Now that I’ve spent time here, I realize how much I’ve missed – and how many tourists miss.

Jamaica is the kind of place to stray from the script.

Sheryl Nash-Nance

American travel writer

“So many come to the island and hardly venture beyond their all-inclusive resort or stick to the tours that the hotel offers. Heavy sigh. Jamaica is the kind of place to stray from the script if you haven’t gone to a beach only locals know about, or if your taste of Jamaican cuisine is limited to the typical jerk chicken or pork, try a restaurant outside the hotel and the tourist area.

“Dunn’s Rivers Falls is fine, but there are spectacular waterfalls without the crowds. Negril and Montego Bay get all the press, but make your way to Portland. Jamaica is full of secrets. Do a little digging before your trip, be it from your social media groups or friends of friends. Find an insider who will give you the skinny. “

—Sheryl Nash-Nance, United States

Be a morning person in Melbourne

“Stroll around Melbourne on Saturday morning at 9:00 am and you might be wondering if aliens abducted most of the population overnight.

Melbourne’s most popular coffeehouses are busiest after 9 a.m.

Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd | DigitalVision | Getty Images

“The only people in museums and galleries at 10 am are families with young children. Instead, we tend to pile up the other end of the day and meet later – brunch should never start before 1 p.m. – and go to the footy [football match], linger over dinner, meet for a drink, then maybe see a show. It’s not uncommon for a headliner to take the stage in a pub … at midnight.

“If you got up at 7 a.m. and filled the day with activities, you won’t make it to the encore. Relax, get a good night’s sleep and make sure you see the best of Melbourne – it glows after dark. “

—Carrie Hutchinson, Australia

I miss the quieter side of Hong Kong

“I’ve lived in Hong Kong since 2005 and many first-time international visitors still assume it is mostly a concrete jungle when it is actually made up of 261 islands. There are stunning secluded hikes, beaches on par with the French Riviera.” can accommodate, cascading “Waterfalls, jungle-covered temples and great snorkeling spots … there is so much more than just skyscrapers here.”

—Chris Dwyer, United Kingdom

The view along the Dragon’s Ridge, a popular hiking trail in Sheck O Country Park on Hong Kong Island.

Nukorn plain pan | Moment | Getty Images

“Hong Kong was my expat home for 20 years. I have always asked myself why visitors – be they tourists or business travelers – make the city a shopping and dining paradise. The ‘Pearl of the Orient’ has so much more to offer just requiring tourists to be on the MTR. climb [Mass Transit Railway] or a minibus and get off at one of the many landscape parks.

“After living in the city for a long time, I started kayaking to get a new and different perspective on the place. There is much more for tourists to explore, discover and enjoy. “

—Petra Loho, Austria

Worries about street food in Bangkok

“Bangkok’s reputation as one of the world’s most incredible culinary destinations is largely due to its street vendor offerings. The street chefs produce a fantastic selection of Thai classics and conjure up everything from Chinese-inspired stir-fries to spicy salads, spicy curries and grilled meat.

A seller cooks street food in Bangkok, Thailand.

Nigel Killeen | Moment | Getty Images

“Despite the fame of the street dining scene, some visitors are squeamish about the hygiene standards in these places. It doesn’t have to be. Every street vendor stall that’s worth its price – fish sauce with blindingly hot bird’s eye chilies – has freshly cooked food.

“Look out for long lines of local guests and you will know you are on a good cause.”

—Duncan Forgan, United Kingdom