In my latest article for NerdWallet, I wrote about how I’m considering cancelling an upcoming trip that I have to Taipei due to concerns about the coronavirus. Right now, after discussing it with my doctor, I’m still planning to go to Taiwan (although I will keep monitoring the news and may change plans if the situation deteriorates).
That said, concerns for the coronavirus has travelers around the world re-thinking their Asia travel. While I do not think it makes sense to avoid Asia entirely, I wanted to compile a list of alternative destinations you could travel to if you were considering postponing your Asia trips.
Instead of Singapore, go to Dubai.
Both Singapore and Dubai share a passion of futuristic design, safety (at the cost of personal freedoms, but that’s for another post), skyscrapers, and cleanliness.
While Dubai is technically still in Asia, it’s much closer to Africa and even Europe than where the coronavirus outbreak is occurring, which is why I’ve included it on this list.
Instead of Ho Chi Minh City, go to Istanbul.
Looking for a bustling city on a river that is full of culture? Well, if you’re travel is going to take you away from Ho Chi Minh City, a good alternative would be Istanbul.
Located on the Bosporus River and straddling Europe and Asia (but again, far enough away from the outbreak to make this list!), Istanbul is an affordable city with great food, wonderful people, and a rich history that makes the city worth discovering.
Instead of Koh Samui, go to Mallorca.
Thailand is one of my favorite places on the planet but, luckily, so is Mallorca. If you were planning on going to Koh Samui and are looking for crystal-clear blue water, beaches galore, warm weather, and a fun experience for either solo travelers or families, you should consider going to Mallorca instead.
I’d recommend getting out outside of Palma and traveling to the beach downs of either Port de Sóller or Port de Pollença.
Instead of Beijing, go to Mexico City.
If you’re looking for a sprawling metropolis with impressive man-man architecture just outside the city, you may want to consider swapping Beijing for Mexico City.
Mexico City is home to just about 9 million residents and just outside of the city you can find Teotihuacán, a complex of temples is known for its two massive pyramids, Pirámide del Sol (Pyramid of the Sun) and Pirámide de la Luna (Pyramid of the Moon)
Instead of Hong Kong, go to Rio.
There is perhaps no skyline in the world as beautiful as Hong Kong… except, maybe, Rio. I’ll just post the picture below and you’ll be able to see why Rio may be a good alternative to those looking to enjoy the city lights of Hong Kong.
At the end of the day, I’d recommend speaking with your doctor before rescheduling any travel to Asia. That said, for those who have already decide to cancel a trip or are too hesitant to book one, the cities listed above provide great alternatives for your Asia travel.