K-pop boy band Seventeen member Joshua revealed what happened to him and his mom when they went on an unplanned trip to Manila in September.
Last Oct. 2, Seventeen members held a live broadcast wherein Joshua revealed the unfortunate incidents that happened to him and his mom in Manila.
According to Joshua, they were booked to go to Vietnam during Korea’s Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) but ended up going to Manila because of visa problem.
“I went on a trip with my mom recently. We were actually initially planned to go to Da Nang, Vietnam, but we ended up going to Manila, the Philippines, and a lot of things happened there,” said Joshua in the video, according to SBS News.
He added, “Since I had never gone on a trip abroad with my mom until then, I was really excited about it. I planned everything ahead. I booked our flight and hotel rooms. I also looked into places where we could go together and stuff.”
Joshua said when he and his mom went to the airport, he found out that Americans like him needed a visa to enter Vietnam.
“On the day of our trip, we headed to the airport. While we were checking in, the staff asked us, ‘You have visa to Vietnam, right?’ I didn’t. When I was planning our trip, there was nothing about visa anywhere. It turned out that I searched things on a Korean site and Koreans didn’t need visa to go to Vietnam, but I did, as I’m American. I had totally forgotten that I wasn’t Korean,” he said.
He estimated that he wasted 3.5 million ($2,471) for the failed Vietnam trip.
“So, we couldn’t go to Vietnam. I blew like 3.5 million won on that day. Since we were already at the airport, I thought we should still try to go somewhere,” he said.
He added, “The closest flight with seats was a flight to Manila, so we decided to go there instead. We didn’t have time to exchange our money and stuff, because our flight was taking off soon. We thought we’ll be able to sort it out once we get there.”
At the airport in Manila, he said, he failed to withdraw money from ATMs as his card did not work.
“There were like six of them, but none of them worked. We were like, ‘Okay, then. Let’s find a hotel, then check in to it first. We’ll withdraw money near the hotel or something.’ We got into a taxi, thinking that they would accept cards. But it was cash-only. I panicked so much,” he said about his experience in Manila.
As they were heading to the hotel aboard the taxi, he saw an ATM and stopped but his card did not work again.
“When I found out about it, I saw an ATM on the street, so we stopped there to try withdrawing it again. But it didn’t work. I told the taxi driver that I would buy him a meal or something if I was unable to get cash anywhere soon, just please take us to the hotel. At that time, I got really thirsty, so I went to grab something at the convenient store. And you know what? It was cash-only there too. Unbelievable, isn’t it?” he further said.
Fans spotted Joshua in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig.
At the hotel, he said, he asked the staff to overcharge his card so they could give him the badly needed cash. He also found out that the taxi overcharged him.
“We went to this five-star hotel, and I asked the hotel staff to overcharge my card and give me some cash with the amount that they overcharged my card. Thankfully, they did that for me. The taxi driver asked for like a thousand something in the Philippine peso, and I later found out that I had paid like three times more. Gosh…,” he said.
Joshua said he also paid 100,000 won ($70.6) for a meal that “tasted horrible.”
“We walked around the hotel to find a decent restaurant for dinner, but none of them looked very good. We ended up going to the nicest-looking one out of all, but it tasted horrible. It was a dim sum place, and I paid over 100,000 won for that meal. Following our dinner, we discovered that there was a huge mall with great restaurants only a few minutes away from the restaurant we went to. Ah…” he said.
Joshua clarified that he is not describing Manila as a bad place but said things could go wrong on an unplanned trip like what they did.
“I’m not saying that Manila is a bad place to travel. I’m just sharing my own experience, and that is what sort of thing that could happen to you if you go on a trip without making any plans in advance,” he said.
He advised that “always make plans first! Make sure to take cash with you, especially when you’re traveling to a South East Asian country as well.”
Seventeen will be holding their “Be The Sun” concert in Manila on Oct. 8 and 9.