You should be wondering why I haven’t blog for almost a week now, the reason is – I just came back from my short holiday in Georgia. Today I’m so excited to share with you my memorable experiences while visiting Georgia. I’m sure some of you might have been planning to visit this beautiful country.
Georgia is a country situated in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads between Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it’s bordered to the west by the Black Sea, Russia to the north, Turkey and Armenia to the south, and Azerbaijan to the southwest. Tbilisi is the largest and the capital city of Georgia.
Visa Free For Filipinos and Other Nationals With GCC Resident’s Card
If you were reading my previous blog, you know that I went to Armenia a month ago a neighboring country of Georgia. Being a resident here in Saudi Arabia visiting Georgia as a Filipino is visa-free. There is no direct flight from Saudi Arabia to Georgia, the flight is most-often a connecting flight from Saudi-Dubai-Georgia.
Since I booked a bit late the ticket that I got was 2000 Saudi Riyal back and forth. I could have saved more if I have planned my trip ahead. Flight time from Saudi-Dubai-Georgia is around seven hours or more depending on your layover. As of this writing, Georgia is in summer time right now (August) perfect according to my preferred weather as I don’t like winter season.
Georgia Is A Mixed of Europe and Asia
It was Friday afternoon when I flew from Saudi Arabia, had a couple of hours layover in Dubai and eventually reached Georgia almost midnight. I went straight to my hotel located in the old city of Tbilisi. In the morning I started strolling around Tbilisi, just like many Eurasian countries Tbisili shares western influence based on the architectures and shapes of their buildings.
If you’re a visitor from Southeast Asia you wouldn’t think Georiga is still part of Asia since the people there are all white and blond the same as of that in Europe. Technically speaking Georgia is both parts of Europe and Asia (Eurasia). Anyway, as I went around the city I saw well preserved ancient buildings dated more than centuries old.
Tbilisi City Is Fascinating With Old and Futuristic Buildings
Hundreds if not thousands of old monasteries and churches dotted all around the city. Tbilisi is considered one of the oldest cities in the world. While there are lots of medieval edifices around, surprisingly Tbilisi is packed with futuristic buildings you wouldn’t see outside Georgia. Like their police station that looks like an art museum, the Public Service office that seems like a theater and their Performing Art building that looks like a spaceship.
Amid the city is the mighty river “Kura” (Mtkvari) splitting Tbilisi City into two parts (old and new). Connecting the cities is the famed “The Bridge of Peace” it’s an iconic landmark of Tbilisi, you should have seen it before on social media. This bridge is only for pedestrian use and not intended for vehicles. The bridge is completely made out of steel bars and fiberglass ceiling its shape resembles a bow or somehow like a marine animal (sea worm).
The Bridge of Peace Is In Georgia
The bridge was opened last 2010, since then, it became the most recognizable landmark of the city bypassing millennium old monasteries. Day and night, thousands of locals and tourists hang out here eager to take selfies. At night the bridge splendors as it lits up its LED lights installed on it. As you wander around the city expect to see monuments of notable Georgian people.
Despite the city’s limited spaces, there are several parks intended for public use. As you venture through the alleys – cafes, resto-bars, and restaurants would greet you along the way. Tbilisi’s topography is hilly and surrounded with high altitude mountains. Georgia, in general, is a mountainous country considering its geographical location.
Georgia Has Delicious Food To Try
As you journey through the countryside you would see either rocky bald mountains or mountains covered with grassland. Several types of pines trees are common in Georgia due to its being a cold (on winter) country. As I traveled through the remote villages of Georgia, I haven’t seen that thick forest as much as those in the tropical countries. Instead, creeks and rivers are almost everywhere.
Georgian cuisine is composed of bread, cheese, and meat. The food in Georgia is one of my favorites among all my trips abroad. Lamb meat and salad are always on my menu every time I dine in the restaurant. Don’t forget to try its famous delicacy “King Khali” it’s a popular dish in Georgia and always present in the Georgian menu. “King Khali” resembles like “siomai,” in it, is grind meat packed with local seasoning.
A Cheap Options Over European Countries
Generally, the cost of living in Georgia is cheap and it’s one of the cheapest countries to visit in Eurasia. But always check your budget when dining in the restaurant as sometimes it may cost you a bit. There are several options for dining out if you’re on a budget though.
Georgian people are friendly and accommodating as far as the owner of my hotel is concerned. He offered to fetch me at the airport for free on my arrival in Georgia. You wouldn’t get a free ride anywhere in the world except in Georgia perhaps. He’s a middle-aged big man with a genuine smile. I can’t imagine how happy he was meeting me at the airport and told me about the recommended places to visit and restaurant to try.
Extremely Safe For Tourist
Just like many European countries Georgia is an extremely safe country to visit, I have walked around the city day and night and I’ve never felt unsafe at all. Locals are respectful towards all the foreigners. Mostly all nationalities (except for a few) who are working and residing in the Gulf Council Countries (GCC) could visit Georgia visa-free.
Important reminders if you’re planning to visit Georgia from GCC, kindly printout and prepare your round-trip plane ticket, travel insurance (although not really required), your entry visa back to Gulf country (KSA, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar etc.,) and “iqama” or residence card from the Gulf country where you’re currently based at and if possible an English translation of your residence card or iqama is great (sometimes immigration officer will ask).
You Should Visit Georgia
So if you love to see a country enriched with history, a city combined with old and futuristic buildings, friendly and accommodating locals, delicious food, a mixed of Europe and Asia, safe and lovely people. Then a visit to Georgia is what all you need.
Watch out for the continuation of this blog about my recommended itinerary and exciting places to visit in Georgia. Have you ever been there? Did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comment box below! Don’t forget to pin and share this blog with your friends.
The author is currently based in Saudi Arabia, the holiest land of Islam. He’s a full-time employee of the largest energy company in the world. He’s a graduate of Communication Management, loves to write and travel.