Hang On—Visa-Free South Korea Comes with a Catch

Read past the headlines, guys.
IMAGE Unsplash/Jakub Kapusnak

Yesterday, Facebook was abuzz with reports that Filipinos could now travel to South Korea without a visa. According to an announcement posted by Yonhap News Agency, tourists from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam could visit Pyeongchang city—where the Winter Olympics will be held in February—if they enter through YangYang International Airport.

However, it seems most people overlooked the condition that the visa requirement will be waived only until April 2018. Others commented that there are no flights from Manila to YangYang International Airport. A quick Google search shows that you’d have to fly in from Russia via Yakutia Airlines or Japan via Korea Express Air. Either way, you’d need a Japanese or Russian visa. What’s more, Korea Express Air doesn’t even have an English website, while Yakutia doesn’t list YangYang International Airport as a destination. This visa-free announcement is looking sketchier by the minute.

According to an update from, the Korean Embassy in the Philippines has yet to make a statement. If you really have your heart set on going to the Winter Olympics, it’s probably simpler to just apply for a visa and take a train from Seoul to Pyeongchang.

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Angelica Gutierrez
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