It was towards the tail-end of a great flight (one of the best I’ve been on after constant delays in my previous flights in Southeast Asia) when I first had a glimpse of Georgia from the window of the plane. Everything was covered with snow and for the nth time, I pondered on my seemingly spontaneous decision of coming here during the depths of the Soviet winter. Average temperatures in Georgia were supposed to hover at around 2 to 10 celsius, but in reality, it turned out to be a numbing -10 to 0 celsius.
I have heard about the legendary Georgian hospitality before, where visitors are believed to come from God. Even from the immigration part alone, it certainly did seem like it. The arrival formalities at the airport was a breeze. Ex-Soviet countries are notorious for gifting tourists with a lot of red tape but Georgia was refreshingly efficient and welcoming. Over 70 nationalities can enter visa-free and Filipinos can enter with a visa on arrival for roughly USD 30. It is the only European country that Filipinos can visit without needing a pre-arranged visa. (Note: Georgia changed its visa regime in September 2014. Visas are no longer issued on arrival and need to be secured beforehand)