Seventeen member talks about unplanned Manila trip with mom


Posted at Oct 07 2022 05:51 PM

One of the members of Seventeen got to visit Manila ahead of the K-pop boy band's scheduled concerts on October 8 and 9.

In a recent livestream with his fellow members, Joshua Hong opened up about his unplanned trip to Manila with his mother. 

He said he and his mother were supposed to go to Vietnam but things did not go as planned as they encountered visa problems, and they ended up flying to Manila instead.

"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 a visa to go to Vietnam. But I did, as I'm American. I had totally forgotten that I wasn't Korean," said the US-born performer, as translated into English by SBS.

"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. 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," he said. 

Hong did not expect things to go downhill, as he shared some of his unpleasant experiences during his stay in Manila.

He said he was unable to withdraw money from the ATM as his cards won't work, the taxi driver overcharged him, and he spent a lot of money for a meal that tasted "horrible," among others.

"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 Philippine peso, and I later found out that I had paid like three times more. Gosh," Hong said. 

"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," he added.

After sharing his story, Hong stressed that he is not in any way saying that Manila is not a good place to visit. 

Rather, he acknowledged how so many things can go wrong during a trip if one is not prepared.

"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. 

"Always make plans first! Make sure to take cash with you, especially when you're traveling to a Southeast Asian country as well." 

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