Tag Archives: Information

Dubai: Sightseeing

Some members of mi familia are heading to Dubai for a vacation. My mom asked me for a list of things to do... Thought it might help you, too. (Hello, Mama!)

Also check out for my post on travel tips (I scattered food photos there!). I also posted an opinion/reflection-type piece, if that interests thee.

Abu Dhabi Tour: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

If there is one thing to see in Abu Dhabi, it would have to be the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. I was in awe of this structure! If you have the time, there’s a whole Abu Dhabi tour you can do. Check out “Others” below for more Abu Dhabi sights… But the mosque is the one I highly recommend! Go during sunset. ❤Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Desert Safari

Experience being right smack in the middle of the desert with non-flying carpets, camels, henna, and belly dancers! Desert SafariGetting there is a treat, too… Unless you’re not the type who would like riding a 4×4 vehicle up and down sand dunes. The food wasn’t great. But the experience was! Just beware of this guy with a falcon. Taking a photo with his bird will cost you! :p

The Dubai Mall, The Dubai Fountain, & The Burj Khalifa

Burj KhalifaSave an evening for these giants – the largest mall, the largest dancing fountain, and the tallest building! They’re all in one area. How crazy is that? You can stand in a spot and see all 3. Haha! Have dinner in one of the restaurants in Souk Al Bahar overlooking it all… And go and have your flavored shisha!

Should you go up the Burj Khalifa? I didn’t. But if it interests you, then go for it! I suggest you purchase your tickets in advance.

Bastakiya Area & Dubai Museum

These two are right next to each other. Bastakiya is a restored neighborhood of past pearl traders from Bastak, Iran. It’s a wonderful peek into Dubai’s history, before all the glitz! If you enjoy learning about a country’s history, I suggest going through the Dubai Museum then making your way to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Learning for a free tour of Bastakiya. Check out the website and give them a call for the schedules. There are little  quirky shops where you can get interesting souvenirs! BastakiyaAnd right on the perimeter is a nice tea place (Arabian Tea House Restaurant & Café) and the camel burger restaurant (Local House Restaurant). Ask around about the Spice and Gold Souks! They’re around the area. I’m sure you’ll take some pretty and colorful photos there.

You can also walk along the Dubai Creek and find yourself an abra (boat) to take you around. (You’ll learn how important the creek was to the development of the city at the museum.) You can actually Dubai Creekhave a lunch or dinner cruise along the creek on the bigger dhow boat. But the food is not great so I don’t recommend it. (A wonderful experience on a dhow would be a day trip to Oman! Jump off and swim in the salty Musandam sea; plus you may even see some dolphins!)

Save half a day or more for Bastakiya. Remember, the heat of the desert takes a toll on you! You may not be able to explore out in the sun as long as you usually do.

Atlantis, The Palm & Aquaventure

Photo from the net. Click image for the link.

Atlantis is a hotel and entertainment complex located at the Palm. (Yes, the Palm is the iconic palm-shaped reclaimed area you see from ze sky.) One of its facilities is the Marine and Waterpark.

The waterpark is loads of fun with crazy tall and winding slides! Plus, it incorporated its marine park so some of the slides have you entering a tunnel surrounded by an aquarium. Pretty trippy! There is another waterpark in Dubai called Wild Wadi. I didn’t get to go to that one. But I was happy I chose Aquaventure instead.

Photo from the internet. Click to visit link.
It’s important to note that I’m not certain where Atlantis stands in terms of animal rights and environmentalism. They've been criticized by environmentalists for keeping a young whale shark. But I found an article with Atlantis' statement saying they’ve released it. Still. After seeing Blackfish, I no longer wish to go to any zoo or animal park. I'll be supporting animal sanctuaries and nature reserves instead.

Friday Brunch at “The Walk” Jumeirah Beach Residences

Work weeks in the Middle East start on Sunday and end on Thursday (Though I believe they used to only have 1 day off per week). Basically, their Friday is like our Saturday.

IMG_3600Anyway! A brunch tradition has started in Dubai and loads of hotels and restaurants offer Friday brunch buffets. You can even opt for bottomless champagne! I suggest looking for a place near the Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR) so you see the shopping boardwalk and maybe hang around by the beach. (Yo, Filipinos! There’s a ChowKing somewhere here! HAHA!) Here’s a list of the top Friday Brunch spots in Dubai.

Burj Al Arab

The Burj Al Arab is the iconic 7-star hotel in Dubai designed to appear like a ship’s sail. It is also built on reclaimed land and connects to the mainland through a private bridge.

Unfortunately, you cannot simply walk into the hotel and see it’s crazy luxurious interior. You would have to pay to see! You don’t have to pay for a room at the hotel, which costs at least USD1800. You can, instead, dine at the Skyview Lounge or the Junsui Restaurant.Dubai Beach

Woollongong Beach or Kite Beach / Burj Beach

If the Burj Al Arab rates turn you off, you can enjoy the view of the iconic hotel instead! Look for Kite Beach or Burj Beach. Take time to catch the sunset. 🙂

Others

IMG_0162Souk Madinat Jumeirah is an interesting mall near the Burj Al Arab area. There are also some restaurants and pubs.

Ski Dubai at Mall of Emirates has the indoor ski slope and other activities if you want to experience snow in the middle of the desert. If you end up in this mall, try out the restaurant “Al Hallab”. Good food!

Skydive Dubai is also an option for you thrill seekers.

Post It UAEFerrari World in Abu Dhabi is another attraction for speed demons and roller coaster lovers. It’s the world largest indoor theme park! Lines can get long, though, so try going on a weekday.

There are other trips you can take outside of Dubai. You can go catch a camel race, for example. There’s the “Oasis City” Al Ain. Or you can step into the future with driverless cars and renewable energy at Masdar City.

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#Pagsasaalaala

I’m beginning a #pagsasaalaala series to force myself to write about my travels from 2012 to 2013.Text: Pagsasaalaala

I should warn you. I don’t consider myself particularly well traveled. There are loads of others that have been to more places. Frankly, I never had the funds (whether mine or someone else’s) to hop from country to country. But thanks to a job, I found myself exploring cities I never thought I’d see with my own eyes – and with a unique perspective.

I was away for business and my weekdays were full of: getting to meetings, answering emails, making calls, doing my own laundry, grocery shopping, chores, and the like. I squeezed in touristy type things, of course. But for the most part, my travels were no vacays. They were expeditions.

Airplane WindowSince I never had the time and/or energy to blog while riding the travel bug, I will rely on pictures, random notes, videos, and my memory to recreate experiences in the UAE, the Netherlands, Japan, etc.

I know that memories aren’t very accurate. Studies have shown that just because we’re absolutely sure about a memory, doesn’t mean it actually happened. We’re also susceptible to other people’s suggestions to fill in memory gaps. And there is such a thing as false memories and false memory syndrome.

Then again, whether experienced or imagined, my memories fascinate me. And I’d like to share them with anyone willing to listen… or read. 🙂

(In case you were wondering, apart from being a tongue twister and a confusing hashtag, #pagsasaalaala is a Filipino word pertaining to calling memories to mind.)

Of the time I took on the Heroes of Newerth (Myx Mag Article, Unedited Version)

Who hasn’t heard of DotA?! It’s the game that has groups of intense players shouting and laughing in their favorite computer shop tambayan. It’s the game that has your crush glued to the PC at 3 in the morning while you wait for his reply to your “Matutulog ka na?” text message!

Now think DotA with better graphics and less hassle! Let‘s welcome the Heroes of Newerth! Even the name is more appealing. Really. DotA or HoN? DotA might sound more astig. But HoN sounds malambing even when it’s all about killing creeps and ambushing heroes!

HoN is almost exactly like DotA. It’s a clash of two teams with each member playing a hero with its own mix of special skills and powers. The main goal is still to get to the opposing team’s base and destroy their source of life! Along the way, you’ll have to stomp on some tiny creeps, destroy towers that throw massive boulders at you, and, of course, kill each other’s heroes! Doesn’t that sound exciting?

For a noob like me, though, I find HoN much simpler and easier to play. I don’t need to remember as many keys and I don’t have to hold down the ALT button to see how much life people have left! The items and recipes are categorized and are easier to find and sort through so I no longer have to bug a teammate to ask what I should be buying with my earned gold. While playing HoN, I was able to focus more on my hero – gaining experience, killing our enemies, and escaping when they decide to pick on a noob like me!

The hero I chose to start off with was Pestilence – a purple hornet that keeps flapping his wings. He’s based on DotA hero Slardar so their special skills are the same. I tend to like heroes that can stun enemies, stopping them in their tracks! It’s great for a noob because you can stun the enemy to kill him, or to get away when he’s trying to kill you! Pestilence also has the ability to increase its movement speed. Again, you can use this to chase an enemy down or escape when you know he’s a godlike HoN addict out to get you.

Another hero I tried was the Electrician and he’s unique to HoN! He’s a bit more difficult to use. Like Pestilence, he can stun a target. The problem is, he’s automatically pulled towards the stunned target so it’s really more of an offensive stun. For defense, Electrician can create a shield around himself when he is being attacked. He can also shock enemies to make them slower or shock teammates to make them quicker!

From the two heroes, I’d definitely stick to Pestilence. His stun covers the area around him so he can immobilize more than one hero at once, as opposed to Electrician who can only target one hero at a time. I found that Pestilence was easier to use so I recommend beginners like me to try him out while getting used to the game!

When asked if I’d rather play DotA or HoN, I’d stick with HoN. DotA is a little more complex. Although, I think if I play HoN a little more, I’d be better at DotA, too! HoN’s graphics are also much better. Plus, you don’t have to feel bad for being a beginner! You can join games online that are specially created for noobies. You can practice all you want with fellow beginners without shame! But I think even die-hard godlike DotA players would enjoy HoN. It’s easier to play through the internet and you can challenge people from all over the world with less hassle. Plus, you build on your own ranking so you’re constantly challenged to do better and win more games.

The only problem I find with HoN is that not everyone can play it. It’s currently in its Beta stage and only a number of people have accounts that they may or may not decide to share. But if you have any gamer friends, try and persuade them to lend you their account just so you can try it! Don’t worry, though! Once HoN is released, you can purchase an account and play all you want! Who knows? Maybe you’ll even see me in game! Or better yet… Go gaming with your crush at 3 in the morning!

Hanoi, Vietnam, Travel Basics

Hanoi is the Capital of Vietnam found in the North (vs. Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, the largest city in Vietnam, in South Vietnam). It is the second largest city in the country and  serves as a political center.

Vietnamese currency is the Dong with the smallest bill at 1,000! I was a millionaire in Vietnam… Which doesn’t say much, really. Exchange rates can be found here.

Language will be a barrier so it’s important to know a few basic phrases. Though they still won’t understand you unless you can pull off the accent as well.

(By the way, this post is more about the information and not much about the experience. The “cute” post with all the photos (at least those salvaged from my stolen phone) are  HERE. Hehe!)

How To Get There

Flying to Hanoi isn’t very convenient when coming from Manila. Most flights head to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC – commonly known as Saigon) but Cebu Pacific recently started flying directly to and from Hanoi twice a week. Unfortunately, the flight schedules are less than ideal in a city with a 12 Midnight curfew.

From Singapore, I believe Jetstar has affordable flights. And coming from HCMC, I’m pretty sure you can find cheap domestic flights! 🙂

From the Noi Bai airport, a taxi is the only way to the main city so make sure your Hotel provides you with a serviced car/cab!

Where To Stay

Most travelers stay in the Old Quarters or French Quarters. This area maintained the original street layout of old Hanoi with streets being named after the goods sold along it. And so, we have Silk Street and Leather Street and Silver Street and so on. There are numerous hotels to stay in here and you will be surrounded by great shops, cafes, and eateries!

If you don’t expect the sun and moon of the hotels, then you’ll be alright in Hanoi. I stayed in Hanoi Deluxe Hotel which was quaint but clean and comfortable with a friendly staff.

Hanoi Deluxe Hotel. US$18-35/room/night http://hanoideluxehotel.com/

Hanoi Old Centre Hotel. US$25-$60/room/night http://www.hanoioldcentrehotel.com/

Hanoi Elite Hotel. US$40-$90 http://hanoielitehotel.com/

May De Ville Old Quarter Hotel. US$50-$100/room/night http://maydevilleoldquarterhotel.com/

And here’s a big, luxurious one!

Hotel Sofitel Metropole Hanoi.  http://www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-1555-sofitel-legend-metropole-hanoi/index.shtml

How To Get Around

Walk. All you need is Google Maps and you’re good to go! If you like walking as I do, most everything is walkable.

Taxi. They’re metered so you know exactly how much to pay. But most cab drivers can barely speak English and they may not understand your pronunciation so best to show them where you’d like to go on a map (Google Maps, you rock.)

Motorbike. There are guys in street corners that offer you a ride on their motorbikes. They overcharge, though, so best to ask your hotel how much it should cost. These guys are NOT legit. Hehe.

Bike. If you’re brave enough, why not ask your hotel where it’s best to rent a bicycle for you to use? 😀 If I stayed longer, I may have tried this out for an afternoon. 😉

Pedicab. I didn’t ride a pedicab just ‘coz I didn’t see any local on one. Loads of foreigners take pedicab rides around the old quarters, though! I’m guessing these guys have tourist rates, though. So, again, ask your hotel how much they should cost you.

Where To Go

Sightseeing

Hoan Kiem Lake. Ngoc Son Temple. Turtle Tower. The Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Restored Sword) is the largest lake in the city of lakes – Hanoi. It’s HUGE. In the north area of the lake is the Ngoc Son Temple (Temple of the Jade Mountain) which you can get to through the Huc Bridge (Morning Sunlight Bridge). The south area of the lake has the Turtle Tower. The legend that surrounds this lake is pretty interesting so read up!

National Museum of Vietnam. This is in the right side of Hoan Kiem Lake, separate from all the other sites below.

Temple of Literature. The most popular of all the Temple of Literatures (there are several), this temple served as the first university in Vietnam. Today, it is still one of the most important historical sites in Hanoi and even appears on the Vietnamese Dong – 100,000 bill.

Vietnam Military History Museum. Vietnam’s military history is very interesting as their wars against their (French, Japanese, American?) conquerors helped shaped the identity of the country. Naturally, there are 2 sides to every story. In the museum, you will see weapons, pictures of war, tanks and aircrafts, etc. The museum tells the story of a united Vietnam, never acknowledging South Vietnam’s government or their defiance of the socialist rule. Hmm. Pretty intriguing. Time to read up!

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. It is huge and the garden that surrounds the building is pretty,  but off-limits. I didn’t get to enter as it was closed (only open in the mornings) but in its central hall is the embalmed body of Chairman Ho Chi Minh. Every hour, the guards change. But, rest-assured, they all strictly enforce the rules – no shorts/skirts (don’t show your legs), no crossing of arms, no hands in pockets, no photography or video recording, no smoking, and no noise!

Ho Chi Minh Museum. This museum is dedicated to their late leader Ho Chi Minh and also tells the story of Vietnam’s struggle against foreign power. Once again, two side to every story. And… The winners often write (subjective) history. Which makes me question world history in general… Good thing I don’t know much about it. HAHAHA.

Shopping.

EVERYWHERE. I particularly enjoyed shopping at the boutique shops in Hang Non street!!! If you’re a lady looking to buy clothes and shoes… FIND THIS STREET. 😀 A whole bunch of local girls shop here so I’m pretty sure it’s the place to be!

Oh. And when shopping… Bargain!

Night Market. WATCH YOUR VALUABLES. This is where my bag got slashed and my phone got stolen. AYAYAY. ANYWAY. This happens Friday – Sunday night along Hang Ngang street and Dong Xuan street.

Outside the City

Halong Bay. One of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites, Halong Bay is definitely worth visiting if you have the time. Tours range from day trips to weekend stays either in hotels or junk boats. You can ask your hotel about it, search online, or even walk around the Old Quarter to find agencies that provide tours! http://www.halongbay-vietnam.com/


There are loads of other interesting places to see like Sapa and the Cuc Phong National Park. You can bike around, trek, or lounge, it’s really up to you! Check this site to find out more. http://www.hanoitraveltours.com/

What/Where To Eat

Hanoi is one amazing food trip. 🙂

Cha Ca La Vong (Resto/Dish). 14 Cha Ca Street. Beware of copycats right across the original! Cha Ca La Vong, the only thing on their menu, is grilled fish cooked right in front of you with turmeric and dill leaves, served with rice noodles and peanuts. Put as much chili as you’d like. SO GOOD. I want to eat this again but the dish isn’t found anywhere else!!!

Bun Bo Nam Bo (Resto/Dish). 7 Hàng Điếu, Cửa Đông. A bowl of beef noodles and veggies. This isn’t as soupy as Bun Thang or Pho. It’s pretty good. But I honestly didn’t enjoy it that much. I guess it just isn’t my taste. But still, it’s worth trying for yourself!

Little Hanoi (Resto). Ta Hien Street. These guys have other branches but this one is the original. Order their fresh rolls, oh so good!

Bun Thang (Dish). Cau Go Street. Bun Thang is a soup dish (add chicken!) served in various eateries. Just pick a place on Cau Go street. This dish is de-lish!

Quan An Ngon (Resto). 18 Phan Bội Châu, Cửa Nam. This restaurant is a must-see. They serve Vietnamese dishes galore under a huge tent in a courtyard of an old villa. Waiters are very helpful. And it’s always full of both foreigners and locals!

Pho. I don’t think I need to tell you any more about Pho. Hehe. :p

Also try The Highway on Bat Su Street which is where I tried eating crickets! They have a whole slew of delicious familiar and unfamiliar dishes there you can try. And Gecko is another safe bet with various branches around Hanoi (Old Quarters, mostly).

Okie dokes! That’s about it for the basics. To find out more about my experience, check out my Hanoi video on my YouTube Channel or read the next post!

Ilocos Trippin’ Basics

I went from Manila to Vigan. Stayed overnight. Traveled to Laoag, then Pagudpud. I left Manila late Friday night and got back Monday morning.

I suggest you stay an extra day in Pagudpud to enjoy the beach but go when it’s a bit warmer. Nowadays, with the weather going haywire thanks to our wasteful ways, I’m not sure when that’ll be. This year, early March is pretty HOT.

I suggest you follow the same route, but ALSO visit Bangui Windmills and Cape Bojeador Light House on the way to Pagudpud from Laoag. I wasn’t traveling with a group and didn’t want to splurge on a van from Vigan to Pagudpud so I took a bus and couldn’t make pitstops.

Okie dokes! Here’s the skeletal information with my side comments.

Manila to Vigan

How To Get There

Bus Companies

  • I rode a Partas Deluxe Bus from the Cubao station for Php720/person. Pretty spacious and comfortable.
  • 8-9 hours on the road
  • No toilet
  • Bring a jacket! It’s fuh-reezing! Though that’s just me. I don’t fare well in the cold. Hehe!
  • Best call the bus companies for their daily bus schedule and rates. Those fluctuate. 😉

Partas (Cubao) – (+63.2) 727.8278 / 725 1740

Partas (Pasay) – (+63.2) 851.4025 / 410 1307

Florida (Cubao) – (+63.2) 781 5894

Florida (Pasay) – (+63.2) 912 5354

Maria De Leon (Sampaloc, Manila) – (+63.2) 731-4907

Farinas (Sampaloc, Manila) – (+63.2) 731.4507

Where To Stay

  • I stayed in Grandpa’s Inn and I am completely satisfied! They have a great restaurant, a coffee shop, and the place is so quaint and antique-y! I will definitely stay there again.
  • I got the fan room with 2 twin beds and a restroom for just Php980/night!
  • Vigan is very small so anywhere you stay will be close to everything else. No need to stress about that.
  • Here are some places I recommend. Best to call or SMS in advance for questions and reservations.
  • Grandpa’s Inn would be more than happy to help you get a van to tour Laoag, the lighthouse, windmills, and take you to Pagudpud. Just call them up and ask for the rates and schedule! I’m pretty sure the other hotels would be able to do that as well.

Grandpa’s Inn – (+63.917) 580.2118 – Website

Villa Angela Heritage House – (+63.2) 425.6473 / (+63.919) 315.6122 / (+63.927) 894.0610 – Website

Hotel Salcedo de Vigan – (+63.917) 856.4588 / (+63.917) 990.6675 – Website

Vigan Plaza Hotel –  (+63.2) 246.1501 / (+63.77) 722.1527 / 632.0317 – Website

How To Get Around

  • A tricycle will take you anywhere around the city. Php30 should get you to your hotel from the bus station. And that’s for 2 people already!
  • WALK. It’s a tiny city and you see more by walking. Grab a free map from your hotel and explore
  • KALESA or horse-drawn carriage. The kalesa drivers know all the tourist spots (museums, churches, bell tower, pot-making, gardens, zoo, etc.) so just hop on one from off the street and ask him where he can take you! It’s Php150/hour (Rates may change so ask the front desk of your hotel.). Prepare to pay around Php500. There are a lot of places to see! Reserve the whole afternoon for exploring!
  • Feel free to give an extra tip if you can spare the cash. 😉

Where To Go

  • Don’t forget to ask for a map at the front desk of your hotel. All the sites should be on there as well and you can plot out your own route based on where you’re coming from and where you want to end up. 🙂
  • The places are free but they ask for donations. I’d give Php20 per museum just to help them maintain it. 😉
  • Below are the sites you can walk to, fosho’

Calle Crisologo – Cobblestone streets, sound of hooves clonkity clonking, ancestral homes… It’s a beautiful walk that’ll take you back to the Spanish era. Here you’ll find loads of shops where you can buy local woven products like blankets, robes, bags, etc. Furniture, too!

Sy-Quia Mansion – The Vigan residence of 6th president of the Philippines – Elpidio Quirino. If it’s open, there should be a tour guide to explain the history of the house, its furnishings, and the family.

Crisologo Museum – Residence of the Crisologo family turned into a museum

  • You can walk to the places below or take a kalesa already. If you’re up for it, I suggest you walk then hail a kalesa after to save on moolah. 🙂

Vigan Cathedral/St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral

Archbishop’s Residence

Father Jose Burgos’ Residence

Plaza Burgos & Plaza Salcedo

  • It’s best to take a kalesa ride to these next places! It’s a great experience and these sites are far from the city and kalesas are more comfortable and more environment-friendly than tricycles! The horses are
  • The kalesa drivers know where to go and they know information about certain places, too. Feel free to be friendly and ask them questions. They may have some interesting stories to tell!

Bantay’s Bell Tower and St. Augustine Church – Get ready for some cardio up some stairs!

Pagburnayan – You can try to make a clay pot after you watch them. They make it look too easy! You can’t take the pot home with you, though. It is sun dried and takes about a week.

Hidden Garden – I could’ve skipped this, quite honestly.

Sunflower Farm – I’m sad I didn’t get to see the fields of sunflowers! Ask your kalesa driver if the sunflowers are in bloom.

Baluarte Mini Zoo – Pretty interesting considering it’s privately owned by Philippine politician Chavit Singson. There are tigers, ostriches, dears, small horses… Website!

What To Eat

Vigan Longganisa – A longganisa is a small but chubby salty sausage filled with goodness! Vigan is known for their version of the longganisa. Best to eat this for breakfast with garlic rice (called sinangag) and egg. Don’t forget to put a little vinegar (called suka; pinakurat is the type of strong suka they may have) for an extra kick! (I ate this as my free breakfast meal in Grandpa’s Inn!)

Ilocos Empanada – Ilocos has their own brand of empanadas. It’s deep fried and crunchy with egg, meats (preferably longganisa), and a bit of veggies inside. Again, don’t forget the suka! (Irene’s Empanada is really good. They have a nook in Calle Crisologo and another near Sy-Quia Mansion)

Bagnet – Ooh yeah! A delicious slab of fried pork both crunchy and tender! I love  this!!! With rice, of course. And best with a hint of this mixture – bagoong (fish sauce) and calamansi (our tad sweeter mini version of a lemon). You can eat this with the pinakbet as well, since pinakbet is made with bagoong. MM-MM-MMMMMM!!!

Pinakbet – Delish mix of veggies!!! Just try it! Ok. Now I’m hungry.

Vigan to Laoag

How To Get There

  • The front desk of your hotel can check everything for you whether you want to take the bus and need the schedule or get a van ready for you to tour all the way to Laoag and Pagudpud. I suggest you take the van. It’s more expensive but you can split the cost between a group.
  • Should you take the bus, you’ll need to hire a tricycle to tour Laoag.

Where To Eat

Saramsam

La Preciosa

Where To Go

  • To get around, you’ll need to hire a tricycle. They may try to charge you outrageous fees so be wary! We paid Php200 to get from the bus station to a restaurant for lunch and the following sites, then back to the bus station.

Sinking Bell Tower

St. William The Hermit Cathedral

Ilocos Norte Capitol

Tobacco Monopoly Abolition Monument – Right next to the capitol and near the Sinking Bell Tower

Museo Ilocos Norte

  • If only I had time to spare, I would’ve gone to the sites below. These are a bit farther so you’ll have to pay your tricycle driver more. I’ve searched online and Php500 should do it. Go on and try out your bargaining skills! But, again, if you took a van, this wouldn’t be a problem at all. 😉

Paoay Church – A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Malacanang of the North, Paoay

Bacarra Bell Tower

La Paz Sand Dunes

Laoag to Pagudpud

How To Get  There

  • Again, I must stress the ease and stress-less-ness (I know that isn’t a word) of hiring a van from Vigan. Because from Laoag I took a non-aircon bus to Pagudpud. *bow*
  • This is the time you can pass through Burgos to visit the Cape Bojeador Light House then the Bangui Windmills – both of which I missed out on. Instead, I experienced sweating onto my seat with my bag on my lap and getting squished to the window with a bunch of random people. Buttttt, you only pay Php60/person! So feel free to choose your adventure. :p
  • Once you reach Pagudpud, pass by the Florida “station”. There are quotation marks ‘coz it’s more like a simple restaurant area but you’ll see the buses outside. Just ask around. PURCHASE YOUR TICKET HOME ALREADY! Just so you’re sure you have a seat. 😉

How To Get Around

  • I’ll give you one guess.
  • Make sure to get the mobile number of your tricycle driver in case you need a ride!

Where To Stay

  • There were a few new resorts sprouting up so go and check online to find more resorts to stay in!
  • Don’t forget to ask the resort if they have free transfers from the bus area to the resort and back when it’s time to say bye-bye.

Villa Del MarWebsite

Hannah’s Website

Terra Rika Website

Where To Go

  • Uhhh… THE BEACH. There are island tours you can try, too. And feel free to take a tricycle to the main town or “bay an” to have some empanada and longganisa. YUM.

That’s about it. BAM!!!