How I Crossed Georgia from Armenia (With a Philippine Passport)

Armenia and Georgia are 2 countries that sit beside each other. They’re both beautiful in their own way and distinct from one another. Given the time, it’s best to visit them both. In this blog entry, I’d like to share my experience on how I was able to visit these 2 countries in a single trip.

I started the trip in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. It took 3 long haul flights to get there (Manila-HK, HK-Moscow, and Moscow-Yerevan) since there are no direct flights coming from Manila. While a common route is Manila-Dubai then Dubai-Yerevan served by several Middle Eastern airlines, I opted out of the long 19-hour transit in Dubai.

Also read: How to: Apply for Tourist Visa to Armenia for Philippine Passport Holders
I'd described Armenia as a country with strong Orthodox Christian influence, with the numerous beautiful churches around Yerevan where I spent most of my time and for the religious Armenians I met during the trip. A popular side trip when in Yerevan is going to Kotayk province, where the Garni Temple and Geghard Monastery are at. I wrote a separate and detailed blog about it in my Armenia backpacking travel guide.
What’s good about Yerevan is that you can land travel to Georgia’s capital Tbilisi in 5 hours with a distance of around 272 km. The Armenia-Tbilisi route (vice versa) is very common, and public transportation is easily accessible. Unlike common commercial buses though, the public vehicle is a 12-seater van locally called as the marshrutka.
In Yerevan, you can get a marshrutka to Tbilisi at the Kilikia Bus Stop located at Admiral Isakov Avenue. From Republic Square, you can ride a taxi that may cost around AMD 800 (USD 1.65).

When I reached the bus stop, I was greeted by several local drivers, all speaking in Armenian. Since I didn’t understand any of them, I simply told “Tbilisi” and I was eventually pointed at the right marshrutka. A one-way fare costed me AMD 7,000 (USD 15) and I just bought the ticket from the driver.
The bus stop is quite old and very simple. There's a small store if you wish to buy snacks and drinks. Also, toilet is available but you need to pay a small amount (AMD 100) to use it.
The 5-hour ride from Yerevan to Tbilisi was smooth. There was one stopover for snacks and toilet usage somewhere in Tsovagyugh where I glimpsed upon the snow-capped mountains of Armenia. I traveled in late March, a time when winter is still in season.

A few kilometers before reaching Tbilisi, at the Armenia-Georgia border, the marshrutka stopped and all passengers were requested to go down, enter the building, and pass through the immigration. Luggage also need to be brought in for security checks, thus the process is just like in any other airport.
Holding a Philippine passport, I had to secure a Georgian visa, which can be either applied when you’re there (via VOA - visa on arrival) or ahead of time and online (via E-visa - electronic visa). I opted the latter since I feel more at ease knowing my visa is approved ahead. I wrote a detailed guide on this and you can check out how I applied a tourist visa to Georgia.

So after sliding the luggage through the x-ray machine, I went straight to the immigration counter.  If you have to get a VOA though, you have to fall in line at a separate counter, then go to the immigration counter afterward.
With my experience, the immigration officer wasn’t as strict as I expected. He only asked for my passport and the e-visa, plus asked how long I'll stay in Georgia. Even if the e-visa indicates health insurance is required (and I got one), I wasn’t asked to present it. Likewise, I wasn’t asked to show proof of accommodation, financial means, and return ticket. To be on the safe side, however, always have all the requirements ready.
That’s it! After all the passengers immediately got cleared at the immigration, the trip continued and in a few minutes it reached the final stop in Avlabari, Tbilisi. The Avlabari Metro Station (line 1) serves a landmark and when you walk further up, the huge Tbilisi St. Trinity Cathedral is just 15 minutes on foot. I also had a great time in Tbilisi and in other Georgian towns, and you can check out my Georgia backpacking travel guide for more details.





How I Crossed Georgia from Armenia (With a Philippine Passport) How I Crossed Georgia from Armenia (With a Philippine Passport) Reviewed by Shelly Viajera Travel on 13.4.19 Rating: 5

4 comments:

  1. is it possible to cross the border of Russia to Azerbaijan with Phil passport ? then to Georgia and Armenia back to Georgia to cross border to Turkey..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! Note that Philippine passport holders need visa to enter Azerbaijan, so make sure to apply online or when you're in Russia.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete

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