Georgia is an underrated country that one should visit now while still unexplored, uncommon and untraversed. There’s novelty in seeing it with less crowds because you can truly immersed yourself on the local scene and get to explore hidden gems from the Caucasus Mountains to the birthplace of wine. It is a charming place to wander off into unspoiled pristine mountains with deep breathtaking valleys; indulge on medieval history to the lasting effects of the Soviet era; and enjoy the richness of varied delightful cuisine. You should not miss a country that bridges two continents – Europe and Asia because it gives you an interesting fusion of east meets west.
Travel tips: This is a paradise for budget travelers. Food, accommodation and transportations are relatively cheap. (T’bilisi metro cost is 0.5 GEL or 0.20USD!). We booked via airbnb and hired a tour guide (who is fun, funny and funtastic). His details are in the foot note.
Aside from visiting Joseph Stalin’s birth house at the heart of the city, Uplistsikhe is few minutes away. It is an ancient town with beautiful and mysterious caves that tells stories of its former greatness as the center of Kartli’s Kingdom. Uplistsikhe Caves or Gori’s Rock-cut City with 3,000 years of ancient history is in UNESCO’s list as oldest ancient settlement known in Georgia. The caves are man-made with complete amphitheater, bath house, royal court, slave holes, church, apothecary and many interesting spaces.
I am drawn to the Hall of Queen Tamara, the first female king during Georgia’s golden age (Europe’s middle ages), because the rock columns and interior roofs are impressively carved with Roman architectural style. Before being used as the queen’s royal court, this was a pagan temple and additional carvings were only made during the “Christian” era.
Something interesting about the Queen, she divorced her husband, a Russian prince and married another prince from northern Caucasus. I am fascinated with women’s role in their history – they have a female king, their symbol is Mother of Georgia and their most revered saint is female evangelist Nino.
Visa tips: Filipino travelers need an online visa for $20 unless you are a resident of UAE/GCC. Steps are easy and you just need a copy of your passport, photo and $20.
There are too many reasons why you should visit Georgia aside from its natural wonders, tasty cuisine, and a distinct culture at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Georgians are nice and very accommodating people with close-family values.
The phone photos are from Dan and Georgiee. Thank you.