As Covid-19 restrictions take hold of Hong Kong yet again, residents and expats are seeking short term escapes from Hong Kong for a little relief. There are many other places in the world that are more open and accessible for people to travel to from Hong Kong.
Some of these places allow you to live, work, and for your children to go to school for a few months if you’re looking to be a temporary resident on your short term escape. Whether you’re looking for another big city, or some more quiet island or beach getaways, this list has it all.
You’ll find the top destinations to travel to from Hong Kong, guides and links for the cost of living, where to find a serviced apartment, resources and links for entry and visa requirements, and more.
Singapore is a top choice right now for Hong Kong residents to temporarily live. It’s open to travel (with some restrictions) and offers a similar quality of life that Hong Kongers will be familiar with.
Right now, as so many people are starting to make Singapore their base while things settle in Hong Kong, it’s going to be a little harder to find schooling and serviced apartments in the more popular expat areas.
Follow the resources and links below to explore the options right for you and your family, and enquire asap to make sure there’s space for you.
Traveling to Singapore During Covid 2022
There are restrictions for entry into Singapore, and it is all dependent on you and your family’s vaccination status. Singapore has implemented a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) option to allow for fully vaccinated travelers for entry to Singapore without quarantine. Travels for short-term stays will need an entry approval pre-travel.
Thankfully, it’s quite easy to find the information about what is required with this online search tool. It’s a self-help tool that you’ll input your Covid vaccination status to see the eligibility for specific visas and to see if travel to Singapore is available to you.
Singapore Serviced Apartments
Most ex-pats in Singapore will choose a serviced apartment for themselves and their family. These allow you to stay anywhere from a few weeks, to multiple months. Check out the range of serviced apartments for different budgets here.
There are super helpful online guides that break down the cost of moving to and living in Singapore, based on your lifestyle. They go into detail about apartment prices, transport, visa, food, and more.
Another top option for expats temporality reallocating from Hong Kong is Phuket in Thailand. You’ll get the island-vibes and some city luxuries, plus a lower cost of living than Hong Kongers are used to, which is a plus.
Travelling to Thailand During Covid 2022
The ‘no quarantine’ programs that Thailand offers are called the “Phuket Test and Go” and the “Phuket Sandbox.” The Thai government implemented a travel safe system in 2021 called the “Phuket Sandbox”, which allows travelers to enter Thailand without quarantine, given that they meet vaccination requirements. This scheme is similar to the VTL that Singapore offers.
The Sandbox program requires travelers to still take a Covid PCR test, and to stay a week in Phuket (but not confined to staying indoors the whole time) before they travel to other destinations. If you’re looking to temporarily relocate to Phuket, then the one-week period isn’t even relevant, as you’ll be finding a place to live in Phuket.
Where to live in Phuket as an expat
More Helpful Resources:
Not too far from Hong Kong is the stunning island of Bali. Once a top destination for people searching for an island vacation, Bali is beginning to open its borders for tourists with more relaxed quarantine policies.
Travelling to Bali during Covid 2022
You’ll need to apply for a long-term stay visa in advance, which can give you around 6 months, or longer depending on your work situation. Note from March 7, 2022, Bali does not require a quarantine from 23 countries! Take a look at the government website.
Where to live in Bali:
Some of the best places to live in Bali as an expat include:
Japan isn't only close to Hong Kong to travel for a short term getaway, but also has some similar energy in the busy city of Tokyo, which is one of the favourite expat landing places.
Travelling to Japan during Covid 2022
The Japanese government announced recently that from March 2022, Japan will be open for foreign business trips and students with a proper visa. If you’re able to obtain a business visa or related work permit, and one for your children if you’re taking your family, then Japan is an option for a temporary relocation.
Why not? Mexico is one of the most accessible places to travel and live as an ex-pat during the current pandemic. It stayed relatively open the entire time, within some lockdowns over the past few years. Currently, it is very open and operating as normal, with hardly any restrictions to enter. The cost of living is also quite desirable, even in the main center of Mexico City.
Travelling to Mexico during Covid 2022
There is no vaccination required or quarantine, and obtaining a long-term tourist visa or working permit is quite easy. You would start the process at a Mexican Consulate in Hong Kong, and complete the visa process once you arrive.
Where to stay in Mexico
Check Out These Additional Top Travel Destinations For Hong Kong Residents To Live Temporarily
THERE'S MORE! Explore more areas in Asia that are beginning to open back up: www.exotravel.com/blog/en/asia-reopening
Little Steps Asia knows what families need.
Sign up for our email newsletters to get the most out of Asia!