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Visa-free Entry to South Korea for 2018 Winter Olympics! (But wait, there's a catch...)

Good news for KDrama and KPop fans who have been wanting to visit the Land of the Morning Calm! The culture ministry of South Korea recently announced that it will allow visitors from Southeast Asian nations to enter the country without a visa until April 2018.
Gearing up for Pyeongchang 2018!
In line with the celebration of the 2018 Winter Olympics which will be held in Pyeongchang, the South Korean government will allow visitors from the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia to enter the country visa-free. The Winter Olympics, a major international multi-sport event, will kick off on February 9, 2018, with the closing ceremonies happening on February 25, 2018.
Soohorang (tiger) and Bandabi (bear), the official mascots for the 2018 Winter Olympics
The Winter Games will last for almost two weeks and will showcase more than 100 events in seven different sports. Some of these events include snowboarding, figure skating speed skating, curling, and ice hockey. A total of 84 nations will be participating in this much-awaited event.

Sounds exciting, right?
There is, however, a catch to this visa-free ruling. Tourist groups must enter South Korea through the Yangyang International Airport, located in Yangyang, Gangwon-do, which is 158 kilometers away from Seoul. Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from the Philippines to Yangyang.
I've tried all flight-finding sites to no avail. 
I googled 'flights to Yangyang Airport' and here's what I got:
Direct flights from Russia and Japan only.
Upon checking the international flight schedule at the airport's official website, I found that only Korea Express Air (which does not fly to Manila) flies to Yangyang. Turns out, this visa-free entry via Yangyang is a lot more complicated than we thought.

Anyway, should you decide to apply for a visa instead (and I strongly suggest that you should, because flying to Incheon or Busan is way easier than any other route) here are some tips on how we got our South Korean visa. And multiple-entry at that. :)

11 replies:

J Ro said...

I'd love to check out Olympics one year. Definitely a bucket list wish.

Unknown said...

It's pretty awesome to go there without having to worry about getting a Visa! Not to mention that you can watch the games too.

Unknown said...

The games are amazing to visit. I am lucky enough to have been twice now and everyone should take the chance to go if they can

Ronnie said...

What an awesome initiative on their part! We catch the Winter Olympics on the TV, but I would have much preferred to be there in person instead. :) Hope you guys can make it!

GiGi Eats said...

SERIOUSLY?! NO VISA? Hot damn, that's friggin' awesome! I am not sure I would want to go though because the amount of people that will head to South Korea to watch the Olympics scares me! LOL! I don't like a lot of people - hahaha!

Unknown said...

I'm a huge fan of the Olympic Games and The Winter Olympics are my favorite! I wish I could see them live in South Korea. Hope you manage to take advantage of the visa-free entry.

Unknown said...

Wow!! What a great experience you have. It seems that you really have a ton of blast. We do watch Olympic games on TV. But I really like the most is to personally experience to watch the Winter Olympic games. How's exciting!?

Chei said...

Wow! This would be a great experience to watch especially in Korea? Korea is a wonderful place to visit so i am sure this will be so much fun.

Unknown said...

Read people! Better get a visa than to do this complicated way to go seoul.

Unknown said...

that's really cool. Nice step taken to attract more lovers of the winter Olympics. I personally like watching winter Olympics more than its other events.

Irish said...

Good news! But complicated since there is no direct flight in Yangyang from Philippines. I rather get a visa.