News circulated in the Philippines via social media and major newspapers about the No-Visa entry that will be accorded to tour groups from the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam provided they enter the country through Yangyang Airport until April 2018 as part of the Korean government’s initiative to boost tourism for the incoming Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.
Understandably, excitement was all over since this is supposedly going to make travel to Korea easier as there is no need to apply for a tourist visa.
For Filipinos, will availing of the visa-free entry worth it? Let’s check this out:
Where is Yangyang Airport?
Yangyang Airport is a small international airport in northeastern South Korea. It is located in Yangyang County, Gangwon Province and was built to serve the nearby areas of Sokcho, Gangneung and Pyeongchang (source). It is expected to play a more active role comes 2018 for the Winter Olympics as it is the nearest airport to the winter olympic venues.
Travel time from Gangwon Province (where the airport is located) to Seoul is around 3 hours on a light traffic. Heavier traffic leaves you with a 4-5 hours of travel.
Is there a direct flight from the Philippines to Yangyang Airport?
None. No airport in the Philippines has direct flight to Yangyang Airport. The airport has flights between:
- Kitakyushu (Japan)
Currently, only Korea Express Air services the airport.
Yakutia Airlines (Russian airline) has irregular flights to Yangyang Airport from Vladivostok and Khabarovsk. I don’t think passing through the international routes is a feasible and practical idea.
Which leaves Filipinos using a no-visa entry to use the Philippines-Jeju-Yangyang Airport route since Jeju also offers a no-visa entry.
If you are willing to go through this airport and airline transfer hassles, you can go check the costs and decide if it is worth it.
You can check the Yangyang Airport flights here: Yangyang Airport
Or come over to Korea with a valid passport and go through the airports and airline of your choice.
Visa to Korea remains easy as long as you have complete requirements. I know the internet has plenty of information with regards to Korean visa requirements but please check the official requirements issued by the Korean Embassy in Manila. Here is the official link for the complete list for all types (as an employee, student, businessman, housewife, etc):
Good luck and see you here in Korea! Excitement for Pyeongchang 2018 is all around!
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