Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ilocos Travel Tips and Information

Going to Ilocos is not that easy. Just imagine, you will be seated in a bus for 9-10 hours before you reach the town of Vigan,  2 hours from Vigan to Laoag and another 2 hours from Laoag to Pagudpud. "Patience is really a Virtue" when you want to explore the beauty of whole ILOCOS.

Anyway, these long trips will give you the ultimate experience of your life. The provinces of Ilocos Norte and   Ilocos Sur offer both historical and natural beauty tourist destinations that will surely make everyone enjoy and  fall in love with the north.

Calle Crisologo, Vigan Ilocos Sur

I’m really excited to tell you the whole story of my adventure. But let me first give you some travel tips, advice and other information that will help you for a wonderful getaway in Ilocos.






How to get there:

Ilocos refers to two provinces : Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. It is located in the northwest of Luzon. Vigan City is the capital of Ilocos Sur and Laoag City is the Capital of Ilocos Norte.

The trip via North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) passing through the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan and La Union.



If you’re on the budget adventure or want to see the views along your way, take bus route Manila to Laoag or Manila to Vigan.  I highly recommend the Partas in Cubao (725-1740, 725-7303, 725-1256,  724-9820). The fare  from  Manila to Vigan is Php 675 while Manila to Laoag is Php 795.  Somehow the chair inside the bus is comfortable enough for a long trip. The travel time to Vigan is every hour while going to Laoag is two hours interval. I really don't know what time is their trip in the morning and afternoon but I'm sure that they have trips from 7pm to 11 pm.

Passengers can also choose from various bus lines that serve Manila to Laoag or Manila toVigan like Florida (Contact No. 781-5894, 731-4473 ) , Farinas (743-8582), RCJ, Dominion and others.

For those who can afford to buy plane ticket, there are regular flights to and from the Laoag International Airport  by Philippines Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines and Fly Zest which is an hour flight from Manila. From the Laoag Airport, passengers need to spend around one and a half hours in commuting to Vigan.

From Laoag to Pagudpud, you can take bus. It is located near in Ilocos Norte Capitol building. The bus fare is Php 60- Php 80. You need to spend more than two hours for this trip.


What to Bring

I highly suggest to bring a bag pack rather than a shoulder or hand carry bag. If you start the tour in Vigan, you need to walk to appreciate more the historical beauty of the town.  For those people who are lazy to have an exercise (lols) and afraid on the heat of the sun, don’t worry, there are many calesas are waiting to bring you around the city. The fare is Php 150/hour.



Bring lots of water and snacks. Remember it takes 9-10 hours depending on the traffic before you can reach the oldest colonial town of north. There are stopovers along your way but the goodies are kinda pricey.

If you’re the type of person who gets muscle cramps in your feet easily, I suggest to be seated near the center isle of the bus.  You really need to stretch your feet once in while to prevent these cramps. Of course, seat beside the window is the best area for viewing..hehe..



Summer is fast approaching. Expect the heat of the sun on your way going to the best tourist destinations in ilocos. So don’t forget to bring sunblock to protect your skin from the direct radiation of the sun.

Bring  Extra Money!  Expect an entrance fee for some spots on your itinerary.

Having map of Vigan and Laoag will help you to locate a particular destination if you decide to do walking. 

What to Wear

Inside the bus is really cold, so bring the best and comfortable jacket you have.

On your  day tour, what I suggest,  you can wear pure cotton shirt or sleeveless undershirt (sando).. It's kinda hot after 9am.



A pair of rubbers shoes, sneakers and slippers are the advisable footwear. Expect a long walk/trek specially on Kabiga Falls and Kapurpurawan Rock Formations.

You can also bring hat instead of umbrella to protect your skin from from the direct heat of the sun. It's more convenient to bring.

What to Eat

Bagnet
Sinanglao
Empanada
Langgonisa
Pakbet
Cassava cake

Where to Stay

Vigan


Vigan Plaza Hotel- 632-0317

El Juliana- 722-2994
La Fernandina HoteLCasa Teofila- 722-6482
Cordillera Inn- 722-2727 
GrandPa's Inn and Restaurant - 722-2118
Gordon Inn-722-2526
Hotel Felicidad -  722-0008
Hotel Salcedo de Vigan- 722-1200 
Vigan Heritage Mansion- 722-6495
Vigan Plaza Hotel- 632-0317
Villa Angela Heritage House- 722-2914 

Laoag

Fort Ilocandia-  (6377) 772-1411 / 773-1544
NorthView Hotel-  (6377) 773-1689 / 773-2440
Isabel Suites- (6377) 770-4998
Java Hotel- (6377) 770-5996
Rio Grande De Laoag Resort Hotel- (6377) 676-1726; (6377) 676-1739; 0917-4836102
Hotel Tiffany- (6377) 770-3550
Hotel Del Norte- (6377) 772-1697

Economy Class
TEXICANO HOTEL & RESTAURANT- (6377) 772-0606
PALAZZO DE LAOAG- (6377) 773-1856 / 773-1842
PARKLANE HOTEL- (6377) 770-5275
LA ELLIANA- (6377) 771-4876
STARLIGHT LODGING HOUSE-(6377) 771-7022
BALAY DE BLAS PENSION HOUSE- (6377) 607-0332
PARADISE LODGING & DRIVE-IN- (6377) 772-0407


Pagudpud

Evangeline Beach Resort(+63)77 655 5862

Saud Beach Resort-  0917-5195495 0918-5533073
Hanna Beach Resort0928 520 6255 
Villa Del Mar-  63 9216553672

In Vigan and Laoag, the accommodation rate starts from Php 700. In Pagudpud, you can stay in a Home Saty for the rate ranges from 500 pesos to 1500 pesos.

The hotels and resorts in Hanna's Beach are more expensive than in Saud Beach. Good thing about Hanna's Beach, the scenery is more beautiful. It has clear water and white powdered sand

Must- See Tourist Destinations




Vigan City

Calle Crisologo
Vigan Heritage
Crisologo Museum
Burgoz National Museum
Cathedral of Saint Paul
Bantay Church
Chavit Singson's Baluarte Zoo
Syquia Mansion
Burnay Garden
Hidden Garden
Plaza Salcedo
Plaza Burgoz



There are jeepneys, tricycles and calesas or horse-drawn carriages to bring visitors/tourist around the city.  Going around Vigan in a calesa is most recommended as it gives visitors the feeling of being transported back to the Spanish period. Calesas charge about 150 pesos per hour. Tricycle charge about 15 pesos minimum.

Laoag City/ Batac


Paoay Church


Balay Ti lli Marcos Museum & Mausoleum
Malacanang of the North
Paoay Church
Paoay Lake
Malacanang of the North
Fort Ilocandia
Sand Dunes
Sinking Bell Tower
St William Church
Acrobatic Bell Tower
Ilocos Museum



There are tricycles that will bring you on the different tourist destinations around the Laoag City and Batac. The fare range is from Php 600- 1000. Try to negotiate coz' I gave Php 600 to Manong driver. Sorry guys.. I'm not able to get his number.


Pagudpud


Bangui Wind Mills


South Tour

Bangui Windmills
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
Cape Bojeador Light House

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation



North Tour

Aqua Grande
Kabigan Falls
Bantay Abot Cave
Blue Lagoon Beach
Hanna Beach Resort
Patapat Viaduct
Paraiso ni Anton

Kabigan Falls


Just like in Laoag tour, you can rent tricycle that will bring you on the tourist spots in the towns of  Bangui Burgos and Pagudpud. Drivers charge about Php 600 for South Tour and Php 600 for North Tour.  Some drivers charge is 800 pesos for the North Tour including the Bangui Windmills and 300 pesos for Kapurpurawan Rock Formation and Cape Bojeador Light House.You can also negotiate on the price but pls. make sure that you need to inform the driver on the tourist destinations you want to explore base on the price quoted to you.

You can also bring extra shirt because everyone is allowed to swim in Kabigan Falls.There will be also a tour guide that will assist you going to the falls.

Check out soon the whole story of my Ilocos adventure on my next blogpost..

Thanks for reading.. Hope you will learn something from me :-) Enjoy the Travel! And always remember, "Its More Fun in The Philippines".

5 comments:

  1. nice and useful tips with those numbers. I will bookmark this para hindi ako mahirapan sa pagpunta ko ng Ilocos :)

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  2. thanks for visiting  my blog..goodluck to your Ilocos tour .. you will really the ilocos province :-) 

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  3. same here.. really love the place :-)

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  4. Ilocos is always a favorite :)
    I usually bring my motorbike when touring this wonderful places.

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  5. Hi, just want to share, i been in ilocos last year but in some instance, hndi kme nkapaglibot kya ngplan ako n mkapunta this year and ngyari nya.. on June 20 friday night were going to ilocos and back in manila.. we rented a van for a package of 15,000 ( all in - rent for van, driver's fee, toll fee, gas). a maximum of 10 per person kya tig 1500 lang each s amin for a whole trip ang transpo. Since ang driver namin ay ngwowork n mismo sa travel and tours going to ilocos.. Cia n rina ng tour guide namin for free..If you want a van for rent you may contact kua dante.. 09067528852. or me pra maintruduce sa knya.. thanks po...

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