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November 2018

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Did you know that Armenia is the only FREE visa on arrival country we can visit us Filipinos in the European continent? Yes that is true! did you also know that its the only country that you can experience snow and do skiing without any difficult visa to get comparing to South Korea, Japan and China. How is that possible? well give you a quick guide on how we did it as part of our Middle East Europe tour coming from Manila.

See our flight and 1st day tour from Dubai straight to Yerevan, Armenia.

Here are our travel itinerary:

1. Book a cheap flight from Manila to Dubai round trip (since there is no flight directly to Armenia, you need to connwct through Dubai or Mozcow first). We got a great deal from www.cebupacificair.com for only Php2,750 each roundtrip. Isn’t amazing? yes, we got it last year during the New Year sale and the flight was last November 4 to November 14. I will attached here our flight itinerary for all your reference:

Cebu Pacific Promo Manila Dubai

2. Acquire a Tourist Visa before traveling to Dubai, UAE. You can easily get one through any accredited travel and tour operator in Dubai, Airlines or any friends living there. In our case, we just contacted my classmate in UP and he assisted me to get one. It only took us about 2 days to get the e-visa that should be printed before checking in the airport. It will also be shown and stamp in Dubai immigration. The cost of Visa is around 250 aed or about Php5,500.

3. Book quality but cheap accomodation in Dubai. We got a 4-star hotel for only Php2,200 per night called Safron Boutique Hotel. You can book it online through booking.com. We also tried 1-star hotel like Emirates Hotel and Garden Inn for only Php1,200 to Php1,500. If you compare the difference  better go through the 4-star accomodation to enjoy your vacation.

4. Get a good deal flight from Dubai to Armenia through flydubai.com. I checked their website and the cheapest European connection is only Php7,000 roundtrip going to Bulgaria and Netherlands. For Armenia, we got each roundtrip ticket for Php15,000, a bit costly comparing to the other connections. Subscribe to their website and monitor the promotion for Armenia.

5. Pay Visa on arrival in Armenian immigration. The cost of the visa is only 3,000 drum or about Php400 estimate and you can stay there up to 2 months depending kn your itinerary. For us, we mentioned that will only stay for 5 days but they gave us 20 days so it might be their minimum duration i think.

6. Get a local and friendly tour guide with accomodation. Before going to Armenia, i did my research and contacted a local tourist guide so they can pick us in the airport. We got a good deal for only $250 good for 4 days that include the travel and tour, airport pickup and drop-off, welcome drinks and other freebies.

Check out my different blog post for our complete itinerary during our 4 to 5 days visit in Yerevan, Armenia.

Manila to Dubai Day 1 – Complete Walkthrough 🙂

Did you know that we had a great deal from Cebu Pacific? we booked last year for Manila-Dubai-Manila for only Php2,750 round trip? yes! that is true and it was the year end promo last December 28, 2017. The normal plane ticket going to Dubai from Manila is ranging from Php7,500 to Php20,000 per passenger and sometimes it will go up if you plan to fly within the week.

Check out this blog post to learn more on how to get a good deal in airlines, hotels and tour packages.

Time check, its 10 in the morning November 4, 2018. I booked a round trip ticket together with my wifey for only Php5,750 bound to Dubai. Unfortunately, Von Artemis our son will not be with us this time because of his school commitment and we can’t afford to miss his classes for 10 days. So we have to leave him first in the house of my mother in law in Antipolo City before going to the airport.

It was heart-breaking leaving your son for few days as we are normally flying together but no worries, will be bringing him in to our next local and international tour destination. We travelled back to our condo unit in Quezon City to leave the car and get some of our hand-carry laggage.

Preparation going to the airport

Time check: 1:00PM

Our boarding time is 3:45pm in NAIA 3 international airport and we are still in our condo unit. It is true that if you are in hurry and excited about your travel journey then you will get confuse and forget other important things you should bring? just like in our case, we forgot our power bank, bluetooth headset, mouse, brush, makeup for my wifey and snacks. Best practice is to keep these all inside your bag a day before your scheduled travel.

We immediately booked a Grab car to pick us up and the total cost was Php687 pesos. It took us 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach the airport. Upon reaching the departure bays, we where shocked because the queue was quite long. This is probably due undas and long weekends as people started to go back on their respective countries or provinces.

We only have an hour to get our boarding pass and luckily we already checked-in online so we don’t need to wait in the airport for 3 hours. We have to pay Php1,650 each for the travel tax. We need to show our passport, tourist visa for UAE and the travel tax payment slip. Since we don’t have any check in luggage, we thought that our hand-carry bag is more than 7KG the allowed per pax but luckily they didn’t check it however they noticed that the diameter and width of my bag seems may not fit in the luggage area inside the plane. The bag is actually small and i just compressed it so we are able to move forward in the immigration counter.

Time check: 3:30PM

It’s boarding time and we are still in the immigration counter as the queue was quite long again. It took us about 30 minutes just to get our turn and clear the immigration officer queue.

We haven’t eaten so we decided to buy something really quick and shocked that it was the last call and we heard both our names in the air! we have to run really fast just like the amazing race series to get in to the pit stop. Luckily we are able to get inside the Cebu Pacific Airbus 330 bound to Dubai.

This will be a 10 hours flight ride and have to be productive while on air. Similar time travel as what i experienced in my Guam to Hawaii travel way back May 2013.

See you all in Dubai and good night.

Dubai International Airport

Inside Dubai Mall

Yehey! successfully landed in Dubai International Airport. Time check: 9:30 Dubai local time, est about 3:30 AM Manila time. Going around the Dubai airport was like a tourist spot already because of the big different with our airport in NAIA and Clark.

The airport was nice, clean, with state of the art facilities. It was considered one of the busiest airport in the world. We have to clear the immigration then start moving forward to our hotel.

There is no Grab in Dubai so i used Uber to bring us in Emirates Hotel that we booked few days ago via Booking.com.

After an hour of rest, we went to Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa.

Dubai Mall Full View

Dubai Mall Aquarium

(Check out our episode 2 video here.)

End of Day 1 😉