Living the dream. 🥰
That was exactly what I was feeling as I stood in the middle of the Indonesia Convention Exhibition; it was the D-Day (Day 3 of Agust D D-Day Tour) and I felt like I was stunned by the beautiful Min Yoongi (aka. Suga or agustd).
Last month, we flew from Manila to Jakarta to watch the Agust D D-Day Tour Concert.
It was the ultimate goal. I remember when a motivational speaker once asked us what our goal was, I immediately typed “to watch a BTS concert”. That may sound like an odd or funny goal to the rest of the attendees in the career training conducted via Zoom.
I previously joined a fangirls’ trip to Japan (for Arashi Concert).
Army Pre-Sale Experience
Just like any other goal, it was not an easy endeavor. I was telling my friends that BTS concert is so precious that even if you have the time and money, you would need a lot of prayers and luck to be able to buy a concert ticket.
I had to try my luck three times during the Army Ticket Pre-Sale. Battling with other Suga stans and BTS Army, I remember my hands trembling and shaking as I processed the online payment for the ticket.
I was originally aiming for the VIP Ticket, but I just randomly booked whatever ticket was available at that time. The goal is to be in that concert and to see Suga. I got to book 2 CAT 1B Tickets (limit of 2 tickets per transaction).
✈️ Pro Tip: log in early to the app/browser, and save your credit card and payment details in advance
I also tried my luck during the Pre-Sale to Singapore and Bangkok, but I was meant to make more memories in Indonesia (and I am thankful for this adventure for so many reasons).
I am happy to share the experience with my blogger friends, Ana and Paxie. Ana was able to buy and secure a ticket for Day 1 (thanks to Indo Army Sarah).
Manila to Jakarta via Cebu Pacific
We decided to fly ahead of the concert dates so we can make adjustments in case of flight delays or concert changes.
We flew in via Cebu Pacific Air which offers the fastest and most affordable flight. Airfare was more expensive during the season, and I heard most of the ARMYs already booked a flight and hotel even before they secured a concert ticket.
I had a quick snack at the Marhaba Lounge in NAIA Terminal 3 (thanks to my Unionbank x Cebu Pacific Platinum Card)
We arrived 4 hours before the flight schedule, and the check-in and immigration process took less than 1 hour in total. There were different queues for those traveling without check-in baggage, for check-in with luggage, and for those who checked in online.
Indonesia Travel Requirements (subject to change, always check the website for more updates)
- passport valid for 6 months
- e-declaration form/customs for Indonesia entry https://ecd.beacukai.go.id/
- e-travel QR code
All the flights during that night were temporarily suspended due to lightning. From 8:30 PM, our flight was moved to 11:00 PM. We were glued next to the boarding gates (near the other ARMYs traveling to Jakarta). At around 11:00 PM, they announced that PAGASA has lifted the suspension.
Finally, boarding! with Ana and Paxie
Imagine the look on my face when they closed the aircraft door and the window seat next to me is unoccupied. Yey.
It was a comfortable 3.5-hour flight that gave me enough leg space to sleep. The guy next to Paxie offered if I wanted to exchange seats with me (he noticed we are friends flying together), but I decided to stay in my original seat.
✈️ Tip: I always book inflight meals when booking a budget airline. It gives me a complete airplane experience and it saves me money (airport/airplane food is much more expensive)
As a magugutumin, I ordered additional cup noodles and Cheese Roll. Hehe
What’s in my hand-carried bag (D-Day Edition)
Immigration Questions: BTS Suga Agust D D-Day Concert Edition
When I got to the Philippine Immigration, I got lucky when they opened the desk for Foreign Passport holders to accommodate Philippine Passport holders. When the IO checked my passport (and previously issued visa), he just asked for my return date and stamped my passport.
He casually asked for the purpose of travel (attend concert), and asked if I was traveling alone (I told him I was with 2 friends who already went ahead). He thought (and I thought) he interviewed my companions, and he asked why we didn’t get in together (told him they were in a hurry to get the wifi rental, but we were on the same flight).
The conversation was actually very light and casual. He still didn’t give my passport back and asked for the concert ticket. I was not prepared for this, and I had to scan my email for the ticket. Then he asked about the work that I do (I am a blogger and content creator), and he asked for my Instagram so they could follow me. I told them my friends are probably already waiting for me inside (nag demand pa ako) and he gave me back my passport.
The other IO next to him said and apologized, telling me “pasensya na ha, we just wanted to casually talk to keep us awake”.
Indonesia Immigration Experience
When we arrived, the IO just checked my passport, and the IO next to him asked us (Ana and I), “Suga?”
“Yes! Suga Concert!”, I said.
They knew. They probably saw him as we arrived on the same day (not the same time).
Staying Connected in Indonesia: e-SIM in Indonesia
Just like on my previous travel to Japan, I used an e-SIM to stay connected online in Indonesia. I bought mine online via Klook and when landed in Indonesia, I deactivated my Globe eSIM and activated my Indonesia eSIM.
There is no SIM registration requirement for eSIM (unlike local SIM cards which you have to book ahead of time). The only challenge I encountered was my Tiktok didn’t load when using eSIM. I had to deactivate it and connect to the hotel’s WIFI to use TIktok.
If you are using a phone with no eSIM or with locked SIM, you can buy local SIM via Klook. But check where the nearest pickup point is. We transferred from Terminal 3 to 2 to pick-up Ana and Paxie’s local SIM.
The last time I booked a local SIM (September travel), the Klook contact met up with me in the Arrival Area with my local SIM already registered.
Going Around Jakarta, Indonesia
From the airport, there are so many options to get to the hotel or in our case, get to the other airport (so Ana and Paxie can get their local SIM). There are airport shuttles, taxis, Grab, and Blue Bird.
We opted to use the Grab as the most convenient option since we didn’t have Rupiah yet.
Love the Indonesia airports – so comfortable to travel
Peso to Rupiah | Indonesia Currency
I personally just withdraw money via ATM because it saves me time and prevents losses on currency exchange. I can withdraw cash based on what I only need, without having excess cash at the end of the trip.
When I reviewed my transactions, it appears that the ATM in the airport has the best rate and lower transaction fee (less than Php 200) compared to those in the mall and city.
✈️Tip: check the ATM with the best maximum amount for withdrawal to save on transaction fees. Some ATMs’ maximum withdrawal amount is only Rp 500,000, while others Rp 2.5M
Where We Stayed in Indonesia: Hotel near Indonesia Convention Exhibition
We had a misadventure with the original hotel we booked via Agoda.
When we arrived, they refused to check us in because they said, “we were late for the check-in which is only up to 11:30 PM”.
We rode a Taxi on the way to the hotel; the driver is really nice to check the property and asked us to stay in the car first.
We explained that we already paid for the rooms the night before because we had a night flight, and to ensure we have a room when we arrived. They later on charging us additional fees, telling us that the rate in Agoda is not correct.
We were all tired and restless, and we wanted a good bath and bed. But at that very moment, I didn’t feel like staying in the property. I didn’t feel safe. We didn’t feel safe.
So we decided to leave and found ourselves in the street at 6:00 AM with luggage in tow. Browsing through Agoda and looking for a hotel that has 3 available rooms, for 5 nights, and is near the concert venue. Haha. Ang daming gusto. 😂
We spent a good 30 minutes outside, and we decided to head to Hotel Feducia to try our luck.
I guess God truly sends good people to us, we were able to book 3 rooms (next to each other) for 5 nights! They even allowed early check-in.
As soon as we checked in, I contacted Agoda Customer Service and reported the issue. They are charging me a cancellation fee because we didn’t proceed with the booking, but I explained that the hotel refused to check us in. They said that decision to waive it would come from the hotel, which I disputed considering that the hotel was trying to charge us more.
Thankfully, we had photos of the Google Translations that I screenshot during our “negotiation” with the first hotel. It took several exchanges and days of following up before Agoda issued the full refund. I am just waiting for this to reflect in my account.
✈️ Tip: always check recent reviews in Agoda. We were so worried that most of the hotels were fully booked so we booked this hotel without doing due diligence.
As for the new hotel, it was like a home. We paid around Php 1,300+/night with breakfast. The room is really big with hot & cold showers, aircon, and privacy. The hotel is also near a small mall and stores like J.Co.
My home during our 5-day stay in Jakarta
The usual breakfast
Ana, my usual breakfast date. Hehe
Coffee shop which became our fave tambayan for midnight snacking
De-briefing after D-Day Hehe
The hotel staff is very friendly, warm, and helpful. They accommodated our requests and are always very pleasant whenever we see them in the morning, or when we arrived back at the hotel. We also bumped into ARMYs who also stayed in the hotel.
We would have food deliveries via Grab (we love the McDonald’s which offers a variety of food and drinks). I mostly ate food I am familiar with (Korean chicken?) and avoided anything spicy (until the D-Day).
I am happy and thankful that everything went well during this trip.
In the next post, I will share more about my experience seeing my BTS bias, Suga aka agust D and my D-Day experience.
To be continued…