After over two years of eagerly awaiting the reopening of international borders, avid Malaysian travellers can finally scratch that travel itch as the long-awaited permit to travel overseas finally received the green stamp of approval.
With borders now open for fully vaccinated Malaysians, it is time to dust off the cobwebs on your suitcases and set out for that much needed vacation – be it to check off some travel destinations from your bucket list, getting some much-needed rest and relaxation abroad with loved ones or to simply just get away from life.
To make things easier, Agoda has put together a list of unconventional destinations that may or may not be on your travel radar, as well as offbeat things to do that will come in handy when planning your itineraries. If your dream destination isn’t covered, check out www.agoda.com/traveladvisor (on desktop) for details on restrictions wherever you want to travel.
Egypt – The Gift of the Nile
Travellers looking to climb the desert’s highest peak or walk amid remnants of the world’s oldest civilisation can now easily do so without having to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test, so long as you possess a certificate of vaccination.
While visiting the land of the Great Pyramid of Giza, don’t forget to also check out the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, and the famous Khan el-Khalili market. Sailing down the Nile River on a felluca, a traditional wooden sailboat, and the hot air balloon ride at Luxor are also must dos. Travellers can also visit the Sahara el Beyda, the white desert national park, or travel to Hurghada to experience Egypt’s expansive underwater marine life – you can take a submarine ride or even opt to go scuba diving. If you want to soak in some of the intricate culture of the country, you should definitely visit the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
While in Egypt, travellers can choose from a host of Agoda accommodation to stay at:
- Concorde El Salam Hotel Cairo
- Kempinski Nile Hotel
- Al Masa Hotel
Bahrain – The Middle East’s Best Kept Secret
This island country situated on the Persian Gulf is now allowing tourists to enter without pre-departure PCR test irrespective of your vaccination status.
There are so many exciting things for travellers to see and do in Bahrain. Visit the famous and ancient Al Jasra House and Al Bahrain site museum to indulge in the rich history and civilization of this place, wander through Manama Souq for some amazing spices, souvenirs and delicious sweets, and try out traditional Bahraini cuisines such as Machboos, meat or fish served with a fragrant rice cooked in a spicy broth or Muhammar sweet rice with dates, across the island. Do spare some time to dive into the world’s largest underwater theme park, Dive Bahrain, and for kayaking and other water sports at Nurana islands.
While in Bahrain, travellers can choose from a host of Agoda accommodation to stay at:
- Panorama Hotel
- Atiram Jewel Hotel Bahrain
- Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention and Spa
Lebanon – Small in size, big in adventure
Fully vaccinated travellers do not require a pre-departure PCR test to fly to Lebanon if they received their second or third dose at least six months before traveling. All you need to do is upload your vaccination certificate on the Ministry of Health’s website.
Lebanon has so much to offer with its geographically diverse country that offers you mesmerizing panaromas, rich history and architecture, and delectable cuisine that will make your trip a truly memorable one. Explore one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman temples, Baalbek – the temple of Bacchus, the famous cedars of Lebanon in the Chouf, on Mount Barouk, and the Beiteddine Palace that dates back to the eighteenth century. Go on a boat tour at Byblos to enjoy the sunset in the birthplace of the Pheonician civilization, hike the beautiful QADISHA valley to explore old churches and monasteries and separate yourself from the outside world. Don’t miss the Batara Gorge waterfall that drops 255 metres down into the Balaa Pothole, a cave of Jurassic limestone.
While in Lebanon, travellers can choose from a host of Agoda accommodation to stay at:
- BURJ ON BAY Hotel
- Lancaster Raouche Hotel
- Le Commodore Hotel
France – The land of wine and love
Fantasizing of fairytale fortresses and scenic villages? Well dream no more as France is now open to fully vaccinated travellers with no quarantine restrictions!
While visiting one of the most romantic destinations in the world, you will without a doubt visit the Eiffel Tower, go cruising down the Seine River, pilgrim to Mont-Saint-Michel, or wander around the Old Quarters of Paris. However, there is so much to experience in France beyond this. Run across the Lavender fields in Provence, take a helicopter ride over French Alps, take a stroll in Dijon – a walking city where cars are not allowed, explore vineyards in Burgundy, taste exquisite Champagne in Champagne, and explore Lyon city, recognised for its delightful cuisine.
While in France, here are some Agoda accommodations you can stay at:
- Villa Opera Drouot Hotel
- Victoria Palace Hotel
- The Hoxton – Paris
Turkey – The land of four seasons
Vaccinated travellers across the globe are welcomed in Turkey without a RT-PCR test. Travellers only need to fill a Traveller Entry Form at least four days prior to their arrival in Turkey.
Turkey is the perfect destination to resume your travel post pandemic. It has the right blend of cultural influences from Asia, Europe, and the Middle East paired with unforgettable natural wonders throughout the Turkish landscapes. Relax at the Thermal pools of Pamukkale lake, the pure white travertine terraces cascade down the slope looking like an out-of-place snowfield amid the green landscape; explore one of the oldest cities of the world, Konya, which has been inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC, and Kaymakli – an underground city in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey; take a hot air balloon ride to experience the surreal, swooping rock valleys of Cappadocia; and unwind with a traditional Hamam (Turkish bath) experience.
Travellers can choose from a host of Agoda accommodation to stay at in Turkey:
- The Marmara Taksim Hotel
- Bricks Hotel Istanbul
- Hotel DeCamondo Galata
Norway – The land of the midnight sun
The gates are wide open for travellers to enter Norway no entry restrictions for travel including requirements for testing, vaccination, quarantine and entry forms!
If you’re planning a trip to Norway, chasing the Northern Lights and seeing the Arctic circle will definitely be at the top of your itinerary. Apart from this spectacular sight in the skies, this Scandinavian country houses majestic mountains, glaciers, museums, and a whole bunch of activities to do on your travel. Travellers can hike to Mount Floyen, a 399-meter summit which will get you the best view of the city, explore the Geirangerfjord region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its icy Norwegian scenery, marvel at the beautiful architecture of the Arctic Cathedral, and even visit the world’s most powerful whirlpool, Saltstraumen Maelstrom.
Travellers can choose from a host of Agoda accommodation to stay at in Norway:
- Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Oslo
- Hotel Continental
- Clarion Hotel Oslo