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Flights from Hong Kong: travel yes but at what cost?

Around the world, the trend is towards the relaxation of covid rules and the adoption of a “living with covid” policy. Thus, many countries have reopened their borders and relaxed entry and quarantine rules. With the summer holidays approaching, we offer you an update on the situation of several tourist destinations, as well as on entry conditions and flight prices.

Please note that this overview is not exhaustive and that flight prices fluctuate.

Flights from Hong Kong to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea, Indonesia

Health situation in Thailand

After a peak in covid cases at the end of February, counting between 20 and 25,000 cases per day, the situation is now recovering with 8,000 new cases recorded on May 7, for a population of almost 70 million inhabitants.

Note that these are only reported and registered cases, if the country does not test a lot, the numbers may not be representative.

Thailand Entry Rules

Vaccinated travelers do not need to book 1 night in a quarantine hotel or do a PCR test upon arrival. Fully vaccinated tourists will need to provide proof of health insurance and their vaccination certificate when applying for Thailand Pass which can be done via the Internet. This pass is required to report your vaccination status and enter Thailand.

Unvaccinated children under 18 can travel with vaccinated parents without quarantine.

As for unvaccinated travelers, they have 2 options to enter Thailand:

Perform a 5-day quarantine in an approved hotel or do a PCR test maximum 72 hours before the flight and upload the result if negative of course in their Thailand pass application.

Hong Kong – Bangkok flight prices

Count between 100 and 160€ per person for a one-way trip to Bangkok. Book in advance to get the best prices! The cheapest flight is operated by Ethiopian airlines for the modest sum of 108€ and a duration of 2h40 (the shortest duration). Thailand is one of the cheapest destinations in Asia with good hotels and restaurants at very affordable prices!

Health situation in Cambodia

The health situation in Cambodia seems completely under control since the end of March, with 0 cases recorded on May 8 and an average of 1 case per week!

Cambodia entry rules

Vaccinated travelers do not have to quarantine. You just need to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccinations. Unvaccinated travelers must nevertheless be quarantined for 7 days in a hotel designated by the Cambodian government. They will be required to deposit $2,000 in cash to cover quarantine costs and any unused funds will be refunded to them.

COVID-19 testing before departure and upon arrival is not required.

You need a visa to enter Cambodia. Tourists can apply for an electronic visa online or obtain a tourist visa upon arrival, which costs $30. Visas are valid for 30 days. For longer stays or other situations, obtain a visa from a Cambodian embassy or consulate.

Hong Kong – Phnom Penh flight prices

The cheapest flights to Phnom Penh are around 165€, but they usually last more than 14 hours. For a shorter flight (between 5 and 7 hours), you will have to pay at least 210€ per person (one way). The best option still seems to be the one at €209 for a 6-hour flight operated by Thaï Smile.

Health situation in Vietnam

Vietnam experienced a huge covid spike, recording almost 200,000 cases a day in March. The situation slowly recovered and there were around 2,300 cases on May 8 for 97 million inhabitants.

Vietnam Entry Rules

No quarantine and no need for a Visa for French people staying 15 days or less.

You will need to present a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours before entering Vietnam or have a negative rapid test result within 24 hours before departure, certified by the competent authority of the country where the test is carried out.

Hong Kong – Hanoi flight prices

In the direction of Hanoi, prices start at 150€ for flights of more than 15 hours. The fastest flight is priced at 379€ for a duration of 5 hours and offered by HK Express. Nevertheless, the option that seems the most favorable is the 5h45min flight operated by Thai Smile for 190€.

Health situation in South Korea

South Korea was also hard hit by the Omicron wave, peaking at more than 600,000 cases in one day in mid-March. Now, the average daily case is down to around 38,000 for the country of 52 million people.

South Korea Entry Rules

All travelers to Korea must provide proof of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure.

There is a mandatory 7-day quarantine upon entry for travelers who are unvaccinated or who have not registered their vaccination status before entering Korea.

The quarantine exemption is available for vaccinated travelers who have registered their vaccination history through the Quarantine COVID19 Defense (Q-Code) system before traveling to Korea. Vaccination is considered complete 14 days after the 2nd injection for a two-dose vaccine (valid for up to 180 days) or with booster injections (no expiry date).

Short-term travelers who are infected with COVID-19 upon arrival or during their stay in Korea will be taken to a government-designated quarantine facility for 7 days and charged for treatment.

Hong Kong – Seoul flight prices

With the low cost company HK express, you can travel to Seoul for 3h30 for just over 200€. The other companies offer flights starting at 300€, with most being between 400€ and 600€ and lasting more than 7 hours. This time, the cheapest option is the best in terms of flight time!

Health situation in Indonesia

Indonesia is doing quite well in the face of covid with an average of 200 cases recorded per day.

Indonesia Entry Rules

To enter Indonesia, you must present proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 (2 or more doses). Your last vaccination dose must have been administered at least 14 days before travel. You must present proof of a COVID-19 (PCR) test taken within 48 hours of departure for Indonesia. Children under the age of 6 are not required to be vaccinated to enter Indonesia. For those who have not been vaccinated or who have only received a single dose, a 5-day quarantine must be carried out.

The visa for French citizens is free and expires after 30 days.

Hong Kong – Jakarta and Hong Kong – Bali flight prices

The prices of flights to Jakarta are very varied, starting at 175€ for a flight of around 9 hours. The fastest flight takes 4h50 and costs 515€. You can find slightly more reasonable prices for 7:30 a.m. flights, around 400€. Reminder that these prices are for one way for one person.

If you prefer to arrive in Bali, the best flight time / price ratio seems to be the 8h flight operated by Singapore Airlines for 292€!

Travel from Hong Kong to Paris, London, Sydney and Los Angeles

Health situation in France

France has not been spared by the wave of Omicron, and has recorded an average of 37,000 daily cases in recent days.

Rules for entering France

According to European regulations, vaccinated travelers no longer need to test themselves before departure. Proof of complete vaccination is once again sufficient to enter France, regardless of the country of departure, as was the case before the distribution of the Omicron variant. Unvaccinated travelers must still present a negative test result to enter France, but the measures on arrival (testing, isolation) are lifted when they arrive from a “green” country where the circulation of the virus is limited. Hong Kong is considered green.

Hong Kong – Paris flight prices

Direction Paris, the cheapest flight is displayed at 460€ and lasts 18 hours. The fastest flight lasts 15 hours but you will have to pay 950€ per person… the other flights fluctuate between 500 and 700€ for flights lasting between 16 and 22 hours. The prices displayed by Cathay Pacific for flights to Paris are quite indecent: more than €4,000 for a seat in economy and a 19-hour flight.

Health situation in the United Kingdom

UK covid cases are on the decline, with 11,000 new cases recorded on May 8.

UK entry rules

When traveling to England, you do not need to take COVID-19 tests before you travel or after you arrive, and you do not need to self-quarantine upon arrival. This applies whether you are vaccinated or not!

Hong Kong – London flight prices

The cheapest option to reach London is the company Ethiopian Airlines which offers a flight at 495€ for 39 hours all the same with two stopovers. If you are hoping for a shorter flight, you can find alternatives around 650€ for flights of around 20 hours. The fastest flight is offered by Cathay Pacific for 13 hours and over €1,400. The most advantageous option in terms of price and flight time seems to be offered by Turkish Airlines with an 18-hour flight with a stopover in Istanbul for 715€.

Health situation in Australia

In Australia, the health situation was under control until January, during which hundreds of thousands of cases were recorded on certain days. Now, the situation seems to be stabilizing but is still quite critical with around 40,000 cases reported daily.

Australia entry rules

To travel to the state of New South Wales, whose capital is Sydney, you do not need to quarantine whether you are vaccinated or not. This new measure was put in place on April 30 and the only prerequisite is to take a rapid test within 24 hours of arrival and self-isolate while waiting for the result. After being tested negative, you are free to move wherever you want.

Hong Kong – Sydney flight prices

The cheapest flight to Sydney is offered by Thaï Smile for 308€ and still 37 hours of flight while the shortest flight lasts a little less than 9 hours and is offered by Cathay Pacific at a price of 883€. You can of course find an in-between as with the 14 hour flight operated by Singapore Airline priced at 437€.

Health situation in the United States

The number of positive cases is decreasing in the United States with an average of 70,000 cases per day this past week and only 12,000 cases recorded 2 days ago. Los Angeles has zero cases as of May 7 and averaged 2,000 a day for the past week.

USA entry rules

Tourists must present proof of full vaccination (2 or more doses) before traveling by air to the United States from a foreign country.

Passengers 2 years of age or older, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, must present a negative PCR test result.

Hong Kong – Los Angeles flight prices

The cheapest flight to Los Angeles is also the longest. It is operated by Thai Airways for 652€, 29 hours and 2 stopovers. China airlines offers the fastest flight, count 16 hours of flight for 1500€. You can find reasonable prices for 22 to 25 hours of flights with companies like Korean Air and Singapore Airlines (750 – 800€)

Remember to choose the best option with an online comparator and book in advance to take advantage of the cheapest flights! Bon voyage and happy holidays!

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