Let me just start off by saying, I would NOT recommend it..
It’s probably not that serious.
I’ve been traveling since October last year and I guess you could say that I’ve had a few bumps in the road. First the bush fires in Australia and now a pandemic.
I noticed the first changes in daily behavior while I was traveling in the Philippines. They controlled the fever of anyone who would enter buildings such as grocery stores and hotels. This was in February. The second place where you could clearly feel the tension was in Bangkok. One of the locals described the atmosphere as if the city was under bomb threat.
Is it actually going to effect my traveling?
About two weeks later, when I was in Khao Lak, the situation suddenly got a lot more serious and they started telling everyone to return home immediately. I also read that they will stop giving out Visa on arrival to travelers arriving to Bali, where I was headed. I wrote about the importance of Visa on arrival in my earlier post.
My plans were to continue to Phuket and Bangkok. 10 days later I had my flight from Bangkok to Denpasar, Bali. So I had 3 options:
- to do as the ministry for foreign affairs of Finland advised and return to Finland.
- to stick to my original plan and hope that nothing gets cancelled, or
- to book a new flight to Bali asap.
I went with option number 3. I took a cab to Phuket the same day and booked a flight to Denpasar to the next morning.
I couldn’t sleep.. The walls in my room for the night were paper thin and there was a girl crying in the room next to mine. She was on the phone talking to someone, I guess it was her boyfriend. She was crying for hours while explaining to the person on the phone how she couldn’t get a flight back home to Canada. Hearing her desperation really got me thinking if I was crazy for not doing as advised and go home while I still had the chance, but instead I was heading to the opposite direction.
The next morning, I got myself to the airport in good time. I watched the last Finnair planes fill up with people who were desperate to get home to their homes and families. I started going through the messages I got from my family and friends, begging me to come home. I felt bad, but I wasn’t ready to return just yet.
The flight to Denpasar went smoothly. The first morning in Bali when I checked my messages, I noticed that I had received an e-mail from AirAsia, informing me that the original flight from Bangkok to Denpasar had been canceled. Well, good thing I was already here 😊
Stuck in paradise?
The first couple of weeks in Bali were quite normal. Then they started closing beaches and restaurants. A lot of restaurants still have the takeaway-option and the grocery stores are open so at least I won’t starve.
My ticket back to Finland, Denpasar – Doha – Helsinki – Vaasa, was booked a couple of months ago. I was supposed to return home at the end of April. First they canceled the last flight from Helsinki to Vaasa. Then the second one from Doha to Helsinki got postponed with two days which would have meant spending two nights at the airport. Just a few days ago they finally informed me that all my flights had been canceled. Yey!
I called Qatar customer service and luckily, they let me change the canceled ticket to an earlier departure date without any charges. If these get canceled too, I might as well start looking for a long-term apartment.