All good things come to those who wait, apparently. And so, after years of waiting, Hongkongers have been rewarded for their patience with the multibillion-dollar M+, billed as “Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture”, in the West Kowloon Cultural District. A Legislative Council PowerPoint presentation from July 2011 envisioned M+ as “a museum first and foremost for the people of Hong Kong”. One of the slides asserts: “M+ shall be a museum of its time and of its place. Hong Kong now.” Needless to say, Hong Kong now is a vastly different city to that in 2011, not least because it is administered according to a national security law that squeezes freedom of expression. And that law may thus determine what is put on display at M+. However, one imagines that most people who visit the museum will be less concerned with what is absent than with what is on show. And at first glance, it looks impressive, both architecturally and in terms of installations. It will also be free to enter for the first year, an offer that was announced in September along with the museum’s opening date, November 12. Expect M+ to be all over Instagram any day now. When it was conceived all those years ago, it was hoped that M+ would help put Hong Kong on the cultural tourism map – in Asia at least, if not globally. Seemingly without irony, travel trade fair ITB Berlin has already likened it to Paris’ Centre Pompidou and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, in New York – two stellar institutions that welcome millions of visitors every (non-pandemic) year. What those cities have that Hong Kong lacks, though, is an organic arts ecosystem not stifled by the authorities. They also have tourists. For the world, and for Hong Kong too? M+ museum opens its doors Soon after Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor confirmed on November 4 that Hong Kong’s border with mainland China would begin to open, gradually, as early as mid-December, it was announced that M+ would extend complimentary entry to non-residents. The only ones arriving are likely to be from mainland China for who knows how long, and as a brand new addition to Hong Kong’s somewhat limited tourism portfolio, M+ will probably be a hit. Expect it to be all over Douyin , China’s equivalent of the TikTok short-video platform, any day now. Chinese tourists increasingly cite cultural experiences as a motivation for travel , with journal The Art Newspaper reporting last month that “travel restrictions – and political encouragement – have driven increasing domestic demand for cultural travel experiences in China”. Whether the trend travels across borders remains to be seen, but M+, with its huge collection of Chinese contemporary art, will probably satisfy both curiosity and patriotism, especially without any potentially offending works being on show. The opening next door of the Hong Kong Palace Museum , a sister site of the beloved Beijing institution, in July 2022, won’t hurt, either. “A museum first and foremost for the people of Hong Kong” M+ may or may not be. But “a museum of its time and of its place”? Certainly. Much like Hong Kong now, it is being talked about for the wrong reasons – such as artistic omissions and administrative suppression – but let us allow visitors to judge for themselves. Vietnam to restart international commercial flights Hong Kong is not the only place that is gradually letting go of border restrictions. On November 5, the Reuters news service reported that “ Vietnam plans to restart international commercial flights with 15 countries from January next year”, citing the nation’s aviation authority. “The resumption plan will be over four phases, the first possibly this quarter, focusing mostly on repatriating Vietnamese stranded by the pandemic and international tourists in government-approved trips to specific destinations.” Phu Quoc, Khanh Hoa and Quang Ninh are expected to be among those destinations, according to online newspaper VnExpress, although no details regarding which 15 sets of tourists can consider themselves welcome have yet been released. Indonesian quarantine slashed to three days Meanwhile, in Indonesia , quarantine for fully vaccinated visitors has been cut to just three days “in a move that might just attract international tourists to finally visit its open travel destinations, like Bali”, reported news platform Coconuts Bali, on November 3. According to a circular released by the country’s Covid-19 task force, fully vaccinated Indonesian and foreign nationals arriving from overseas have to endure only three days of self isolation upon entering. For those who have received just one dose of the vaccine that rises to five days. “All other rules previously stated still apply,” Coconuts reported. These include health insurance with at least US$100,000 coverage, including treatment for the virus. Tourists also have to cover the cost of their own quarantine.