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We all have that one friend that has been denied a tourist visa to visit a country, be it near or far. The reality is that applying for a tourist visa can be a daunting and costly process. Plus, there really isn’t a guarantee that you will be approved. While there are countries that offer visa-on-arrival and e-VISA services, the good news is there are plenty of visa-free countries for Filipinos that you can travel to!
While many Filipinos know that the Philippines’ participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) grants us visa-free access to partner ASEAN countries, there are quite a few more destinations to choose from! Since there are so many Philippine passport holder visa-free countries, we decided to zoom in on our top 5 favorites.
5 Visa-Free Countries for Filipinos That Ensure a Fun and Hassle-Free Trip
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In 2017, Taiwan and the Philippines entered into a special agreement allowing Philippine nationals to travel to Taiwan completely visa-free for up to 14 days. The original agreement was supposed to end in July 2018 but has been extended to July 2021. Thus, making Taiwan among the Philippines visa-free countries. But with the current pandemic, here’s to hoping that the visa-free program will still be in place once travel restrictions are eased.
In the interest of time, start planning (and actually go on) your trip to Taiwan now! Some places to check out in Taiwan are the foodie and night market heavens of Taipei up north and the massive port city of Kaohsiung in the south. Not to mention, there’s the massive Taipei Zoo and the scenic Shifen Old Street with a functioning railway running through it! Since Taiwan is relatively small, a week-long trip with train rides around the country would definitely be fun and feasible!
Hong Kong (with a side trip to Macau)
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Number two on our visa-free list is Hong Kong. Actually, HK is one of the most popular “first time out of the country” destinations for Filipinos. Aside from it being one of the visa-free countries for Filipinos, it’s also mostly due to its proximity to the Philippines, the abundance of cheap flights, and heavy concentration of OFWs. While Hong Kong isn’t the mecca of street food like Taipei, there’s an endless number of things to do!
There’s Victoria Peak on the Hong Kong side and there’s Tsim Tsa Tsui and the bustling Mong Kok in Kowloon. When you’re not getting lost in the alleyways of Hong Kong and Kowloon, searching for hipster coffee shops, hidden bars, or some of the tastiest noodles and roast pork on the planet, there’s also Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park to keep you busy too!
Since Macau is only a ferry ride away and you’re already so close to it, we recommend you visit there as well. It’s an endless sea of casinos filled with gamblers. The Las Vegas of Asia, if you can call it that. There’s also some pretty high-end shopping, so you can marvel at the crazy price tags of all those luxurious items too.
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Our third favorite visa-free destination is Thailand. Though airfare to Thailand isn’t as cheap as our first two recommendations, visiting here is definitely worth the price. You simply can’t miss out on a chance to visit Philippine passport visa-free countries like Thailand! Bangkok itself is a treasure trove of culture, with an abundance of souvenirs overflowing from popular markets such as Chatuchak. Like Taipei’s night markets, you can find markets in Bangkok filled with tasty eats and awesome treats to bring home!
After you’ve shopped your heart out at both the day and night markets, you can head to the many temples like Wat Pho and Wat Arun to marvel at the beautiful architecture. If the bustling city isn’t your thing, don’t forget, there’s the beach oasis of Phuket too!
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Vietnam comes fourth on our list. It’s a country filled with both new and old cultures. The cherry on top is the fact that it’s among the Philippine passport visa-free countries! It has cities like Hanoi in the North and Ho Chi Minh in the South providing exquisite examples of French influence during colonial times right next to modern-day Vietnamese life.
There’s a lot in store for you in this Philippines visa-free country! You can spend a week in Vietnam, starting in Ha Long Bay, moving onto the capital city of Hanoi, then road tripping south to Ho Chi Minh, formerly known as Saigon. In each of the destinations, there are countless museums focusing on Vietnamese heritage, as well as the Vietnam War, which once split the nation in two.
Regardless of where you go in Vietnam, there will be an abundance of absolutely delicious and cheap banh mi sandwiches and bowls of pho. Don’t forget to wash down all of that with a cup of famous civet coffee served through a phin, or chug a few bottles of ice-cold Saigon Beer.
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This may come as a surprise, but yes, you read it right! The final place we recommend you check out to visit without the need for a visa is Peru! Of course, it is the farthest country from the Philippines on our list. The plane fares aren’t cheap and it’s in a completely different continent. Their culture is nothing like that of Asia, butut that’s the reason why we think you should look into it!
In South America, there aren’t as many visa-free countries for Filipinos that are as amazing as Peru. Plus, where else can you find as much history about mankind in one place? From the Amazon Rainforest to Machu Picchu, to the Inca Trail and Cusco, what’s not to be excited about? The wonders of Peru are places you normally see in aesthetically pleasing Instagram feeds and National Geographic TV specials. Not to mention, it’s a pretty crazy trip to get there from Manila. The shortest journey comes in at just under 28 hours with two layovers in Japan and California.
Honorable Mention: Singapore
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Who didn’t enjoy watching Crazy Rich Asians? We’re adding Singapore to the list of Philippine passport holder visa-free countries because the movie was just that awesome. And honestly, Singapore in real life looks exactly like it did in the movie! The cool part about SG is it only takes a few days to take in the city. You can visit Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands, Universal Studios, and eat your heart out at the numerous hawker centers all within a long weekend!
Plan Your Next Adventure in these Visa-Free Countries for Filipinos!
So there you have it! Five (okay, technically seven) visa-free countries for Filipinos that you can visit! Now it’s time to watch out for the next seat sale and start packing your bags for your next journey. To make your trip even more memorable, be sure to check out these Travel, Flights and Accommodations, and more Digital Goods and Vouchers on Shopee Philippines! Ensure that you have all the travel accessories that you could possibly need – from travel adapters to luggage locks. Shopee has it all for you! Safe travels, Shopee fam!
Written By: Eric Go – Your favorite slick talkin’, fast walkin’, coffee chuggin’ New Yorker, now searching for this own Thrilla in Manila. Catch his adventures on Instagram @ohnoitsericgo.