The Colosseum in Rome Italy - Lockdown Blog - The Hollapinos
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(Last Updated On: August 20, 2020)Today is 10 months after our wedding and Mike and I are still in a long-distance relationship. The lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic made our time apart longer. I can’t help but miss Mike and our travels together.
The Colosseum in Rome Italy - Lockdown Blog - The Hollapinos
The Colosseum in Rome, Italy
To help myself cope up with missing Mike, I listed the 10 countries that I have been without Mike with the hope to travel to these places with him after the lockdown.  Since I visited most of these countries quickly except Palau, I also hope to return and to slow travel to these countries especially the number 1 on my list! Aside from the best places to visit and the best things to do in these countries, the list also includes the official reference to quarantine rules and other restrictions to help you when planning your trip.  Read up to the last part to get tips on how to travel to the “new normal”.

10 countries I want to travel after the lockdown due to coronavirus

1. Switzerland

During the lockdown, one of the things to do at home is to binge-watch. If you are a K-drama fan, you will only have one Netflix series in mind right now. Yep, it’s “Crash Landing On You”! Switzerland was the first country I visited in Europe. Watching “Crash Landing On You” made me miss my travel to Switzerland and how I wanted to go back with Mike. My friends and I went to Europe for a dragon boat race in Venice but we went to Switzerland first before heading to Italy. We went there during the summer season so we packed light clothes.  But we were wrong about their summer! I can still remember how I shivered as soon as we got out of the Zurich airport. Lucerne is the place we have chosen to stay in Switzerland. We arrived on Saturday evening so we just rested for the night in our hostel and started our touring the following day.
Lucerne Switzerland - Lockdown - The Hollapinos
After touring Mount Pilatus

Why do you need to visit Switzerland after lockdown?

Switzerland is known for its azure lakes and majestic mountain views. The photos of Switzerland on the internet and social media did not give justice to this place. I was amused by the views of the mountain. Moreover, the Swiss are pleasant and known to be the happiest people in the world. After arriving in Zurich airport, my friends and I are going to stay in Lucerne. We were clueless and having trouble purchasing the bus tickets from the bus stop near Zurich airport. When the bus arrived, I saw that the bus driver wanted us to rush to load on the bus. The bus driver was quick to realize that we needed help so he went out of the bus to assist us to get our tickets. The Swiss were also friendly. When we were taking a group photo using a selfie stick in Lucerne, a guy asked us if he can help us to take our pictures. The people of Switzerland also recognized Sunday as a rest day. The streets were almost empty and most establishments are closed. Zurich Switzerland - The Hollapinos

What are the best things to do and places to visit in Switzerland?

Zurich

The center of banking and economy in Switzerland, Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland. Walk around Lake Zurich, admire the fascinating buildings in the surrounding, and shop for souvenirs like the famous Swiss chocolates! Alternatively, you may join a pocket-friendly walking tour or a bus tour to visit Zurich’s Old Town and get a little travel back to history. Then relax at a thermal bath while enjoying Zurich’s skyline from the rooftop. We only toured in Zurich for a day. After the lockdown, I wanted to go back to Switzerland with Mike and visit several museums in Zurich. Zurich Switzerland - The Hollapinos

Lucerne

Having only a few days to stay in Switzerland, we stayed in Lucerne as it is near Zurich and known for several points of interest. On a Sunday, we did a self-guided tour in Mount Pilatus. There was a shop at the entrance of the valley station where I bought and mailed the first postcard I sent to Mike. We went up to the top of Mount Pilatus riding a cable car while appreciating the marvelous views of the Swiss Alps. As soon as we unloaded the cable car, we were surprised to see snow on Mount Pilatus while most of us were wearing shorts and light clothes. The cold was manageable as long as you will not touch the snow but of course, some people cracked some funny comments like “Filipinos are not bothered by the cold.” If Mike and I will visit Lucerne after the lockdown, I know we will both enjoy the beautiful landscapes while hiking. And for sure, I will be dressed properly for the weather the second time around.
Snow on Mount Pilatus in Switzerland - The Hollapinos
Snow on Mount Pilatus in Switzerland

Geneva

The second most populous after Zurich, Geneva is a luxurious and second-largest city in Switzerland. Tourists go to Geneva to wander around the Old Town or visit Chateau Chillon castle right on the shores of Geneva Lake. Moreover, you can join a chocolate tour in Geneva to experience one-of-a-kind chocolate creations or visit the Chamonix mountain resort that is located at the foot of Mont Blanc.
Mount Pilatus in Switzerland - The Hollapinos
I wished Mike was here with me in Mount Pilatus

Interlaken

Nestled between the emerald waters of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, Interlaken is a resort town in Switzerland that is surrounded by old timber houses and lush mountains. Sometimes the wrong train takes you to the right station. ~ CLOY Click To Tweet The best things to do in Interlaken are to visit the Harder Kulm to watch panoramic sunset, be on top of Europe in Jungfraujoch by train, and walk at the panoramic bridge Panoramabrücke Sigriswil above Lake Thun. Other famous things to do in Interlaken are joining kayak or boat tours, paragliding, and canyoning.
Mount Pilatus Switzerland - Lockdown Blog - The Hollapinos
The view from Mount Pilatus

Tips in planning a trip to Switzerland after lockdown

Switzerland COVID travel update

Read here to know and get updated about the opening of the borders of Switzerland.

Flight update and cost

Always check the International Air Transport (IATA) page to see which countries has flight restrictions.  See the airfare cost to Switzerland at a glance based on your origin.
Click below to book the cheapest flight to Switzerland

Where to stay in Switzerland

In Lucerne, we stayed in Bellpark Hostel Luzern to minimize cost and the room rate includes breakfast. Bellpark is perfect for solo travellers and has a spacious common and dining area. The only downside in staying in a hostel if you are travelling is a group like us, we were assigned to different rooms depending on the availability of beds.
Me somewhere in Mount Pilatus

2. Italy

After a couple of days in Switzerland, our next destination was Italy. Unlike in Switzerland, the weather in Italy was more comfortable for us. We were welcomed by an Italian priest and a Filipino community in Castello.

Why do you need to visit Italy after lockdown?

Even after the impact of COVID-19, most travellers still desire to travel to Italy. It has several world-famous cities, ancient ruins and wondrous architecture, and scenic mountains and beaches. Italian food and culture are also known worldwide. Besides, who doesn’t like Italian food, right? And visiting Italy is the best way to experience authentic Italian food and we indulged ourselves with pizza and gelato.

What are the best things to do and places to visit in Italy?

Venice

Undeniably, Venice is a romantic place. It would have been perfect if I was with Mike during this trip. Every race day, we walked from the church in Castello to the race site in Tronchetto which was more than 3 kilometers away. 
Walking in Venice - Lockdown - The Hollapinos
Our walk back to Castello after racing
We didn’t mind walking as it was also like touring every day because our route includes passing along the Grand Canal and other amazing sights along the streets of Venice. The downside of Venice is that it is touristy and not friendly to anything that is wheeled. Aside from the fact that the streets of Venice are mostly made of cobblestone, a small bridge is built on every canal. This means that there are several stairs along the route that you have to carry the baby strollers or your wheeled suitcases frequently.
Travel in Italy
The busy Grand Canal in Italy
Sir Luigi toured us in San Marco, the tourist heart of Venice. San Marco is a public square in Venice that is home to famous buildings like Doge’s Palace & St. Mark’s Basilica.
We were curious to try the gondola ride but it was expensive. The price starts at 80 euros for 40 minutes. If the price bothers you, it is recommended not to do it as you might miss the other good experience from the ride. Don’t miss to visit the colorful houses in Burano and buy some glass products for souvenirs in Murano.

Tuscany architecture

After the race, we travelled to Florence and Pisa in Tuscany. Florence is the home of renaissance architecture while Pisa has the famous leaning tower.
Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy - Lockdown Blog - The Hollapinos
Leaning on the Tower of Pisa
One night, we went to a cafe in front of our hostel in Florence. The coffee costs 2 euros if you will drink it standing near the bar while the coffee costs 5 euros if you will sit on a couch with a table! We had an amazing tour around the cities of Tuscany but if I will go back with Mike, I would like to explore the countryside. Drive along the charming hills of Tuscany, visit medieval castles, and try the best of Italian wine.

Rome

Rome was our last stop in Italy. We started our tour at the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine.
The Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine in Rome - The Hollapinos
The Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine in Rome
Other spots we visited were the Vatican City, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, the Piazza Navona, and lastly, the Altar of the Fatherland.
Touring around Rome - The Hollapinos
Touring around Rome
Seeing the Trevi Fountain melted my heart! It looked so much better in person than in the series that I’ve watched. Taking a good photo of it was impossible as it was too crowded!
Trevi Fountain - Lockdown - The Hollapinos
We cannot take a full photo of the Trevi Fountain due to the crowd
My friends and I were able to eat in McDonald’s in Rome that has a black and yellow logo that is contrary to the usual red and yellow logo. We thought the color may be related to the petition about building a fast-food chain in Rome. Building a fast-food restaurant in Rome is opposed to the Italian food culture of eating multiple course meals and overall healthy eating habits. I have appreciated the architecture works in Tuscany, but I can say that the architecture in Rome is much more astonishing. For me, Rome was the most beautiful place we’ve gone to Italy during our trip. Rome is special to Mike and me. While I was in Rome and Mike is in the US, he accidentally sent me a Facebook notification asking me to confirm that we are in the relationship. The rest was history.

Sicily

Sicily is the largest island in Italy and the Mediterranean Sea where you can enjoy staying on the seaside especially the beach of San Vito Lo Capo or exploring the mountains particularly Mount Etna.

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is a famous spot to visit in Italy. It has these picturesque houses suspended on a cliff above cerulean water. Cinque Terre’s five villages namely Corniglia, Monterosso al Mare, Manarola, Vernazza, and Riomaggiore including its surroundings is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Canva - Cinque Terre, Italy Read here to know more about Cinque Terre.

Tips in planning a trip to Italy after lockdown

Theft and pickpocketing on tourists are prevalent in Italy so always be mindful of your belongings. To minimize cost in your accommodations, book apartments or condo units. Before starting to plan your trip to Italy, read here for COVID travel updates.

3. France

Our last stop before going back to Manila on our 10-day trip to Europe is in Paris. We only spent a day in Paris but the experience was still unforgettable. Although Europe is a dream destination for most travellers, we kept in our thoughts the whole trip that it is also a destination famous to scams and thefts. And Paris did not fail us to experience this! We had a weird encounter in the train station with two ladies who approached my friend. One of the ladies started talking to my friend in an unfamiliar language with her face a few inches away from my friend’s face. Realizing the situation, we quickly walked away from the ladies only to realize that they were following us even outside the train station. We went back to the train station and waited until they were gone.

Why do you need to visit France after lockdown?

Despite our weird encounter and scams experienced by other tourists, France is undeniably one of the beautiful places to visit in the world. France is known because of its fashion houses, art museums, and stunning landscapes. French wine and cuisine should also not be missed when you visit this country. Mike and I are supposed to be in Aix-les-Bains, a town that is southeast of France, this year for a dragon boat race but the event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. We hope to be able to visit France together after the lockdown.

What are the best things to do and places to visit in France?

Paris

The Notre-Dame de Paris, the Louvre Museum, and the Eiffel Tower were the places that we visited in Paris. The Eiffel Tower is the most popular spot in Paris. Being one of the most recognizable structures in the world, there were some replicas of the iron tower and the symbol of France in different countries. The Notre-Dame de Paris is the gothic cathedral that has been the main plot of the Disney movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. If you are into the arts, visiting the Louvre Museum should be in your bucket list. The Louvre is the world’s largest museum. I noticed that the streets of Paris were not that clean like we expected but the view of the architecture will leave you at awe.
Louvre Museum in Paris - Lockdown Blog - The Hollapinos
Louvre Museum in Paris, France

Versailles

Known as one of the world’s largest palaces, visit the Palace of Versailles, a former French royal residence and center of government in France. 

Nice

Located in French Riviera, Nice is another city worth visiting in France. Photograph the beauty of the fields of lavender resting beneath the great canyons of Verdon when you visit Nice.

Languedoc-Roussillon

Pont du Gard aqueduct is a highly photographed bridge and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in France. Another spot to visit in this major wine-producing region is the Cité de Carcassonne, a medieval citadel in Southern France.

Tips in planning a trip to France after lockdown

Visit this website to find information and guidance from the French Government regarding the travel restrictions in France. Rent pocket wifi if you will be doing a self-guided tour so it will be easier to navigate using your phone as we experience difficulty in asking directions.

4. Palau

Palau was one of my solo travels and is the most unforgettable. Even if no visa is required for Filipinos to travel to Palau, a trip to Palau is not cheap. Flight from the Philippines to Palau is about $700. I just got lucky to get a flight voucher from my sister.
Rock Islands Palau
Rock Islands in Palau
Click below to book the cheapest flight to Palau

Why do you need to visit Palau after lockdown?

I chose to go to Palau over South Korea and Japan at that time simply because I don’t know anyone who has gone there and I wanted to experience swimming with the jellyfish as seen in Survivor Palau. Swimming with the jellyfish in Palau - The Hollapinos

What are the best things to do and places to visit in Palau?

Aside from swimming with the jellyfish, one of the famous spots in Palau is the Milky Way. You get to scrub and rejuvenate your skin using the white mud in this lagoon. Then enjoy swimming at the beach or kayaking in the Rock Island of Koror.
White mud in Palau - Lockdown - The Hollapinos
After washing off the white mud
This tour was amazing but it comes with a price too! The Kayak and Jellyfish Tour with IMPAC is at a discounted price of $95 if you book online. The regular price is $100, the cheapest rate I found in Palau. It may not be that much but it’s still a discount. Yet there’s more because the Jellyfish Lake permit fee is $100 on top of the tour price! The guide was very nice and entertaining especially to me who was travelling solo. Looking back, I still find it expensive to pay $195 for a tour but during that time I was willing to try it. Writing this post made me realized that it was more expensive than a tour in Moorea!
Jellyfish Lake in Palau - Lockdown Blog - The Hollapinos
Jellyfish Lake in Palau
Palau is a diving haven so this should be your main activity during your trip. I wanted to go back to Palau and freedive with Mike after the lockdown. Then after diving, you can explore the waterfalls and jungle in Koror. Or simply relax at the beach! The thing that I love about Palau is that you can go anywhere and find a beach with white sand and clear waters. It was amazing to me plus there are beaches where you can go for free or pay a small fee. In the Philippines, even if we have several best white beaches in the world, we have to go far from the city to experience this.
White Beach in Palau
One of the nice white beach in Palau

Tips in planning a trip to Palau after lockdown

Read here to get updated regarding the travel restrictions in Palau due to COVID. The internet is really slow in Palau. Slower than the Philippines! If you are okay to disconnect from social media, this is the perfect place to connect with yourself. My solo travel in Palau changed me a lot as a person. I felt more connected to myself and nature. But if you need to stay online, you can rent pocket wifi for your trip. Accommodations in Palau are expensive at around $85 to $150 per room per night. You can get a bed in a dormitory at $35, however, expect that it may not be available on your dates as Palau is a famous tourist destination. I found a $45 rate for a bedroom but I was persistent to search for a lower rate. An apartment owner was kind to meet my budget at $25 per night by staying in her daughter’s room. Filipinos and locals in Palau have been nice, thoughtful, and generous to me. No words are enough for me to thank these people.
House in Palau Museum - Lockdown - The Hollapinos
A house in Palau museum

5. Thailand

I’ve been to Thailand twice. One is a solo trip to Bangkok after my trip to Singapore with my mom; The other is a trip with my mom in Bangkok and Pattaya. One notable thing on my first solo travel in Thailand is that I never experienced guys looking at me like a target or fresh meat. During that trip, I was wearing an off-shoulder top and denim shorts to feel comfortable with the warm weather. As a solo female traveller, I felt secure walking on the streets of Bangkok.
READ  Why Choose French Polynesia As Your Honeymoon Destination In 2020

Why do you need to visit Thailand after lockdown?

Thailand is my dream country to travel because of its stunning white beach with crystal clear water, its affordable and mouthwatering Thai food, and its shopping markets. Thai food, Thai massage, and other Thai things that you can find somewhere else can never match when you try it in Thailand. You must visit Thailand!

What are the best things to do and places to visit in Thailand?

Bangkok

What I love in Bangkok is that it is so cheap to go food tripping and shopping. My go-to Thai food is Tom Yum (Spicy Sour Shrimp Soup), Chicken Wrapped in Pandan Leaves, Pad Thai (Stir-fried Noodles), and the Iced Milk Tea! I could eat all of these in one sitting! My mom was amazed at how much I can eat Thai food. “You can’t eat authentic Thai food every day!”, I told her. For me, people saying that they love Thai food without going to Thailand don’t know what they are saying. Bangkok is a shopping haven. My shopping go-to is the Chatuchak and Siam markets. I can buy a dress worth $2 in Bangkok! An authentic Thai massage is a must to experience too! We got ours at Khao San Road, the most famous street in Bangkok. In Khao San Road, exotic food like scorpions and insects are being sold on the streets. Wat Phra Kaew ,Bangkok, Thailand If you want to visit temples, the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun should be on your list! Dress appropriately because these are sacred places to the Thai people. Avoid wearing sleeveless tops, bottoms above the knee, and high heel shoes. Other things to try in Bangkok is a Tuktuk ride and the floating market. Woman Sitting On Boat

Pattaya

While Bangkok is a bustling place, you can unwind in Pattaya.  Koh Larn Beach is the best beach to visit in Pattaya. It is a white beach with clear sparkling water.
Katie at Koh Larn Beach Pattaya - Lockdown Blog - The Hollapinos
Koh Larn Beach, Pattaya

Phuket

Experience the plot of The Beach movie in Phuket by visiting Phi Phi and Maya Island. Or visit James Bond Island, where The Man with the Golden Gun was filmed. Even if I have been in Thailand twice, I have never been to Phuket. This is the place in Thailand which I hope to visit with Mike after the lockdown. Boats on an Island in Phuket

Tips in planning a trip to Thailand after lockdown

Always check for updates regarding the travel restrictions in Thailand due to COVID before planning your trip. On your trip to Thailand, try and enjoy several things except for riding the elephants. The elephants undergo brutal taming just so you can have fun riding them. I’m sure you don’t want to contribute to that.

6. Hong Kong

Like Thailand, I have been in Hong Kong twice. One is a personal trip which is my first out of the country trip and the other is for a dragon boat race. Mike had also been to Hong Kong for a dragon boat race but not the same year that I went. Hopefully, after the lockdown, we can both return to Hong Kong together.

Why do you need to visit Hong Kong after lockdown?

Hong Kong is another shopping haven with various luxurious malls, street markets, and trendy shops. Aside from shopping, tourists can enjoy marvelous sightseeing in Hong Kong whether it’s day or night. Hong Kong is also perfect for quick international getaways and highly recommended for family trips. One of the things that I love in Hong Kong is its MTR (Mass Transit Railway). It was the easiest railway to follow in Asia for me.

What are the best things to do and places to visit in Hong Kong?

Lantau Island

Hong Kong Disneyland, one of the Disney theme parks in Asia is located in Lantau Island, the same island where the Hong Kong International Airport is located.
Parade at Hong Kong Disneyland - The Hollapinos
One of the parades at Hong Kong Disneyland
Other activities in Lantau Island in Hong Kong is the Ngong Ping 360, a glass-bottomed cable car ride leading to the Big Buddha resting on the hilltop. A 10-minute walk from the foot of the Big Buddha is the Wisdom Path, a series of 38 wooden monuments containing verses from the centuries-old prayers recognized by Confucians, Buddhists, and Taoists alike.

Kowloon

Hike the Lion Rock to get an epic view of Kowloon. The summit of the Lion Rock is the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the busy city of Hong Kong. You may also walk along the Avenue of Stars and watch the skyline sunset at the Victoria Harbour or watch the Symphony of Lights at night. Hong Kong Skyline at Night If you are not afraid of heights, experience a 360 panoramic view of Victoria Harbour from Sky100, the city’s tallest building. If you are into shopping, Mong Kok is a busy district of narrow streets of shops and food stalls in Kowloon. The go-to places are the Ladies Market and the Temple Street Night Market. Or shop designer brands along Nathan Road at Tsim Sha Tsui (TST).

Hong Kong Island

Ride the Peak Tram for a scenic and quick way to arrive at the Victoria Peak. Enjoy panoramic views of Hong Kong from Sky Terrace 428 at the Peak or visit the world-known wax museum, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong.

Aberdeen

Ocean Park is another known and the second-largest theme park in Hong Kong. Located in the Southern District of Hong Kong, Ocean Park is an animal theme amusement park with rides and shows that are suited for all ages. Ocean Park has more thrilling rides than Disneyland but on my second trip, Disneyland has constructed the Toy Story Land whose rides are hair-raising too!

Sidetrips

From Hong Kong, you can do a side trip by ferry to Macau or visit Shenzhen via train. I’ve previously read that they will issue a visa upon arrival (VOA). Unfortunately, when we arrived in Shenzen after a long train ride from Hong Kong, they were not allowing Philippine passport holders. Make sure to read Shenzen’s visa guide when planning your trip to Shenzen.

Tips in planning a trip to Hong Kong after lockdown

Read here to check for updates regarding the travel restrictions in Hong Kong due to COVID before planning your trip. When shopping in the markets, haggle the price to 50% less and if the vendor will not agree, walk away. They will follow you and sell the item on your price. Going to theme parks when you travel to Hong Kong is honestly not the cheapest thing to do but it was my childhood dream. Disneyland is a trip that most kids could have ever dreamed of so I made sure that I will be able to go there when I can afford to travel.

7. Macau

A side trip to Macau is common when you are travelling in Hong Kong. I visited Macau every time I went to Hong Kong since it is only a ferry away. The ride will only take 50 to 60 minutes and Hong Kong dollars are accepted in a 1:1 ratio with Macau Pataca.

Why do you need to visit Macau after lockdown?

Macau is known as the Las Vegas of Asia. It is home to several 5-star casinos and luxurious resorts. One notable thing in Macau is that the bus rides going to casinos are free.  Not just a gambling paradise, Macao is a destination of mixed Asian and European culture. Enjoy walking on cobblestone streets and discover wondrous architecture in Macau.

What are the best things to do and places to visit in Macau?

I have visited both the Venetian and the Grand Lisboa Hotel. While the Grand Lisboa Hotel is shimmering in gold, the Venetian was my favorite until I was able to go to Venice. Even if you will not play at the casino, the experience inside the Venetian is remarkable. There were gondolas and singing gondoliers, designer brand shops, and a food court with an amazing sky roof! If you are looking for the perfect spot for your Instagram feeds, make sure to visit the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf. This attraction has no entrance fee and is child-friendly. The complex has several shops, restaurants, and European structures replica like the Roman Colosseum.
Senado Square Macau - The Hollapinos
Senado Square in Macau
For shopping, visit Senado Square. It is a plaza resting in the center of Macau that is surrounded by shops in colorful and classically designed buildings.  From Senado Square, take a 10-minute walk to the Ruins of St. Paul. It is the wrecks of a Catholic complex. For a 360 view of Macau, visit the Macau Tower. Your visit may also be more thrilled by trying the Skywalk on the reinforced glass floor or by bungy jumping from the top of the tower.

Tips in planning a trip to Macau after lockdown

Get updates here regarding the travel restrictions in Macau due to the pandemic before planning your trip. When touring the food shops along Senado Square, most shops offer a free taste of chocolates, beef jerky, and a lot more. Touring around will already fill your tummy!

8. Singapore

Singapore is my first out of the country trip with my mom. We had a funny experience of staying in Geylang. I decided to book here because the accommodations are cheap and this is the area where our church is located. The downside is that whenever we go back to our hotel every night after touring, we have to pass through a long line of girls in front of our hotel like a beauty pageant. Nonetheless, we never felt that there were in danger. Garden by the Bay in Singapore

Why do you need to visit Singapore after lockdown?

Most people I know are a bit intimidated in visiting Singapore due to the strict laws of the country. But if you will check these rules, nothing is overwhelming. Why would you be afraid of going to a country that prohibits littering, smoking in public, vandalism, and the likes, right? Singaporeans give significant importance to discipline that’s why Singapore has rapidly developed to become a high-income country.

What are the best things to do and places to visit in Singapore?

A few days ago, I watched the Hitman Agent 47 movie that featured the Gardens by the Bay. I felt so nostalgic about the time that I have been in one of the popular gardens in the world. The view of the Marina Bay Sands from a distance is phenomenal! Can you imagine what’s it like staying in Singapore’s iconic hotel? A stay in Marina Bay Sands offers a wondrous view of the city plus a dip at the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool. If you are into theme parks, you will never go wrong with Universal Studios. My mom and I both enjoyed our day in Universal Studios and I had fun tricking her into riding some hair-raising rides.
Universal Studio Singapore - The Hollapinos
Universal Studio Singapore
For a quick glimpse of the city, my mom and I took a ride at the Singapore Flyer, Asia’s largest giant observation Ferris Wheel. Aside from touring, we were also able to visit our relatives and some of my college friends that are based in Singapore. And make sure to never leave Singapore without visiting the Merlion! The Merlion is Singapore’s national symbol so a photo op is a must!

Tips in planning a trip to Singapore after lockdown

Before planning your trip to Singapore, make sure to read the travel restrictions due to the pandemic. Singapore is sometimes quoted as “The Fine City” so make sure to read the laws so avoid any penalty or inconvenience during your trip. Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

9. Malaysia

I’ve been to Malaysia thrice. First is a trip with friends in Kuala LumpurGenting, and Melaka. The second and third times were for a dragon boat race in Penang. If I will go back to Malaysia after the lockdown, I wanted a photo of the Petronas Twin Tower with Mike. Petronas Tower, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Why do you need to visit Malaysia after lockdown?

Teh Tarik! I will go back multiple times to Malaysia for Teh Tarik, a popular milk tea beverage in Malaysia. A glass of iced Teh Tarik is for only 1 to 1.20 Malaysian Ringgit! Malaysia has several streets of hawker stalls with rows of plastic tables and chairs. These are the best places to taste the best of Malaysian cuisine at an affordable price. Aside from the milk tea and cheap tasty food, Malaysia is home to World Heritage sites and natural world attractions.

What are the best things to do and places to visit in Malaysia?

Kuala Lumpur

The Petronas Towers should be on your travel bucket list! This twin jewels of Kuala Lumpur is more majestic to see in person than in pictures. I kept glancing at the Petronas Towers when we were touring around Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC). Every glance I took, I am amazed! Another thing to do in Kuala Lumpur is to visit a century-old temple inside the caves made of limestone. But there’s a catch! You need to ascend 272 colorful steps to arrive at the temple in Batu Caves. Batu Caves

Genting Highlands

My friends and I were still able to experience a day trip at the old outdoor theme park in Genting Highlands. It was rusty and not the best theme park out there but the fun we had with each other’s company was a good memory. The theme park has been renovated and is now called the Genting SkyWorlds. After visiting the cool hills of Genting Highlands, you can do a side trip to the Colmar Tropicale for your Instagram feeds. The Colmar Tropicale is a French Village in Bukit Tinggi Resort that is perfectly Instagrammable.

Melaka

Melaka, also known as Malacca, is also a good place to visit in Malaysia that is rich in heritage and cultural landscape. Ride the Menara Taming Sari to get a 360-degree panoramic view of Melaka.

Penang

Of all the places I’ve been to in Malaysia, Penang is my favorite. You can enjoy the beach or tour in Georgetown and search for all its famous street arts. We bought some delicious egg tarts in Georgetown too!
A street art in George Town, Penang, Malaysia - The Hollapinos
A street art in George Town, Penang, Malaysia
The venue of the dragon boat race in Penang is in Teluk Bahang Dam. With its blue waters surrounded by lush mountains, Teluk Bahang Dam is the perfect place to compete in a dragon boat race. Mike has raced in Penang too but it was on a different year from my visit. When the lockdown is over, we are both looking forward to visiting Malaysia together.  

Tips in planning a trip to Malaysia after lockdown

Before planning your trip to Malaysia, read the travel updates on COVID-19. While there is no particular dress code in Malaysia, wear something that covers your shoulder, stomach, and knees when visiting temples and traditional areas.

10. Taiwan

My two trips to Taiwan were both for dragon boat racing. The event was held in Lukang, a township in Taiwan. I think the design of this race site was convenient for spectators as it has bleachers but the water condition was unpleasant. During one of our finals heat, I remember seeing a floating dead dog at the starting line. Both of our trips in Lukang, we stayed in a dormitory of a Presbyterian Church where the head and the members of the church were welcoming.

Why do you need to visit Taiwan after lockdown?

The food is amazingly good! Xiao Long Bao, a Chinese soup dumpling, is my go-to food in Taiwan. And don’t forget the Pearl Milk Tea! Travelling in Taiwan is convenient because of its efficient public transportation system. Plus bringing a small notebook is a must! Taiwan has this souvenir stamping in its train stations and tourist spots. Make sure to collect as much as you can! Taiwan is also a diverse country. From its city to its mountains, Taiwan has something for everyone.

What are the best things to do and places to visit in Taiwan?

Taipei

If Malaysia has the Petronas Towers, Taiwan has a skyscraper titled Taipei 101. We also went to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall but we missed watching the changing of guards then treated ourselves with the best street foods in Taiwan at the Shilin Night Market. Taipei 101 Structure

Lukang

Lukang is the second oldest town in Taiwan and has delicious local street food. Bike around Lukang to visit the old street, Longshan Temple, and Wenwu Temple.
Biking around Lukang, Taiwan
Biking around Lukang, Taiwan; Credit to the owner

Other spots in Taiwan

After the lockdown, I hope to go back to Taiwan with Mike and enjoy more of nature in Sun Moon Lake, Foguangshan, Kaohsiung, Kenting, Taitung, the East Coast, and Taroko National Park

Tips in planning a trip to Taiwan after lockdown

Read the travel update and restrictions due to COVID-19 in Taiwan when planning your trip.

Conclusion

We are all itching to travel now that we are on a lockdown. Let us take this opportunity to keep ourselves healthy and to plan for future travels. Let us take this opportunity to keep ourselves healthy and to plan for future travels. Click To Tweet Things, including travel, may not be the same after the lockdown but we should not lose and wish for the best things to come.

Where will you go after the lockdown?

Share your travel bucket list after the lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic in the comment section below. We would love to know where is your next travel destination! Bored at home? Click for 15 things you can do while shelter in place. Or want a unique travel bucket list? Read the best places to visit in countries ending with land.

Tips when planning your trip on the new normal

Always check flight restrictions

Always check the International Air Transport (IATA) page to see which countries has flight restrictions. If you don’t feel that it is safe for you to travel, postpone it to a later date.

Prepare and protect yourself

Make sure to get your vaccinations before the trip and pack the following:
  • Airborne
  • Facemask
  • Alcohol
  • Disinfectant wipes

Booking Resources

Find cheap flights: Jetradar will help you book the best flight deals. Click to read our how to find cheap flights guide. Accommodation: Start with Hotellook! It will help you book hostels to luxury resorts at the best price comparing rates between Booking.com, Zen, Agoda, Expedia, Hotels.com, Trip.com, and others. You may also check Hostelworld for hostels only. Click to read our guide on how to find the best hostel for you. Car Rental: Book the best prices and services with Rentalcars.com Search using your phone: Download the Jetradar mobile app in iOS or Android to set price drop alerts on flights and compare accommodation and car rental rates Tours: Get Your Guide or book with Klook and Viator(a TripAdvisor Company) And don’t forget travel insurance with World Nomads! Click to read our travel insurance guide.

What to pack

Reusable Water Bottle: Nalgene Immune Support: Airborne Chewables Waterproof Action Camera: GoPro Hero 7 White Comfortable Walking Shoes: ON Sneakers, click to read our best travel shoes for travel post.

PIN to your travel board!

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37 Comments

  1. Italy is great, one of the most beautiful countries I’ve been to. My biggest wish is to someday travel to South Korea, such a lovely place ❤️

  2. Great suggestions there! We will go to Italy as well once lockdown is over, but first we will travel across France as it’s easier than going abroad!
    Hopefully, this will all be over soon and the second half of 2020 can be full of travelling!!

  3. Awesome list! We are currently spending our Covid-19 time in Phuket. Even with the beaches and most of the island shut down we are still enjoying our time. Also the island could really use some tourists when things open back up and you can’t beat the beaches and people here!

    1. Hi Amanda. Thank you. We are happy to hear that you are staying safe and are in a beautiful place. We are very anxious to become tourists once again as soon as it is safe for us. Take care.

  4. So many beautiful places that I’m dying to visit. We had hoped to spend our second anniversary in Paris but I don’t think that will happen. I am itching to travel again when it’s safe to do so xx

  5. I want to visit all theses places! We were supposed to go to Europe but then the pandemic happened. I can’t wait to plan our next trip!

  6. France, yes! Great places to visit on this list, and hopefully things will improve soon to make travel possible and smooth for anyone who wants to explore.

  7. I am so sorry your separation from your husband has been extended because of the virus, but your list of places to visit once things are open is my exact bucket list. I’ve never been to any of the 10 places you mention and have always wanted to , but other obligations got in the way.

  8. I really want to travel to pretty much all of these places! I am saving this post for later so I can refer to it again when we do get the opportunity to travel here. I hope you get to see your husband soon! Xoxo

  9. This is such a wonderful post…it’s giving me serious wanderlust! There are some bucket list destinations on here that I had considered already (France, Italy, Switzerland, Malaysia). But I had never considered Palau! It looks absolutely beautiful (and yes to swimming with jellyfish!). Thanks for this extremely thorough and informative post. I hope you get reunited with Mike soon.

  10. What a detailed post. As a digital nomad myself, the need to cure my itchy feet right now is strong! I’m looking forward to getting to some (or all!) of the places you’ve mentioned. Safe travels to you both!

  11. great post! I can really relate as I’am a big fan of Crashed Landing On You and I also been to Switzerland and went to Top of Europe where they shot some part of the film. I also stayed in Lucerne and Wengen when I was in Switzerland.

  12. Wow! Your travel list is amazing! All these countries are incredibly beautiful and have many interesting places to visit!
    Italy is by far one of my favourite countries and although I’ve been there for several times, there are still many new places to discover for our next trips!

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment

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The Author

Katie is a Software Quality Assurance Analyst by profession. She is also a dragon boat paddler, a Crossfit athlete, and a weightlifter by passion. She has travelled within Asia, Europe, and Micronesia before meeting Mike.

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