Saturday, July 18, 2009

Exploring Ilocos Region: Ilocos Sur

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Related Posts:
Exploring Ilocos Region Day 1: Ilocos Norte
Exploring Ilocos Region Day 3: La Union
Exploring Ilocos Region Day 4: Pangasinan

Day 2 of our Ilocos Region trip took us to Ilocos Sur. From Laoag, we rode the bus to Vigan City, the capital of Ilocos Sur. The historic town of Vigan is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it has preserved its old Hispanic architecture very well.

Since this is actually a thesis research trip for my companions, our first stop is a salt-making facility on the outskirts of Vigan which they needed for their thesis. After that, we proceeded to Baluarte which is the home of the former governor of Ilocos Sur, Chavit Singson. This place has its own private zoo which can be accessed for free.

Baluarte (taken by me on June 24, 2007)

Then, we had our lunch in Cafe Leona in Mena Crisologo St., Vigan City. We were served with local signature dishes such as bagnet, Vigan longganisa, etc. We spent 680pesos for 4 people which might be OK for some, but not so okay for budget conscious travelers like us (haha call us stingy or what).

Vigan Longganisa (taken by Lor on June 24, 2007)

Pakbet (taken by Lor on June 24, 2007)

Bagnet (taken by Lor on June 24, 2007)

After this, we proceeded to exploring Vigan City by kalesa (horse-driven carriage). A kalesa ride costs 150pesos per hour (as of 2007) and will take you around the city of Vigan. The kalesa took us to Bantay Church, Crisologo Museum, Padre Burgos House and the famous and often photographed Calle Crisologo. Our last stop was the pagbuburnay or pottery making. Here, we were shown how jars were made from clay.

Calle Crisologo (taken by me on June 24, 2007)

Origin of the name Vigan (taken by me on June 24, 2007)

Bantay Church (taken by me on June 24, 2007)

Bantay Belfry (taken by me on June 24, 2007)

Pagbuburnay (taken by me on June 24, 2007)

Before we left Vigan, we stopped by Vigan Cathedral in the town square. Then off we went to our next stop, La Union. We rode the Partas air-conditioned bus from Vigan to San Juan, La Union where we spent the night. The ride from Vigan to La Union is very scenic especially around the Solvec Point area. We left Vigan at around 5:30 - 6pm so we were able to catch the gorgeous sunset from our bus.

Vigan Cathedral (taken by me on June 24, 2007)

Sunset at Solvec Point (taken by me on June 24, 2007)

After around 3 hours, we reached San Juan, La Union. At that time, we did not have a place to stay yet, so we asked some people around to recommend a nice accommodation. They told us to go to Se-Bay. We actually did not like the place but because it was already getting late, we had not choice but to stay here. The only good part about this resort is that it is located right in front of the famous surfing beach of San Juan. So it is nice for day trips but I do not recommend this place for overnight trips.

Access Laoag to Vigan:
Buses and minivans leave regularly for Vigan. Travel time is around 2 hours.

Access Manila to Vigan:
Buses such as Partas, Viron Transit, Dominion Bus Lines take the Manila-Vigan route daily. Travel time is around 6-8 hours.

Access Vigan to San Juan, La Union:
Ride the buses bound for Manila and get off at San Juan, La Union. Travel time is around 3 hours.

Access Manila to San Juan, La Union:
Ride the buses bound for Vigan or Laoag and get off at San Juan, La Union. Travel time is around 5-6 hours.

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  1. @Angelina Watson hi! thanks!

  2. The dishes makes my mouth watering...

  3. @Vinay Kiran they are really delicious! You must try them if ever you visit the Philippines :D

  4. yes, Vigan is indeed an amazing place.

  5. @Innovatronix Inc hi! I also read about your post on Vigan. That's a great way to get around the city. More power to you :D

  6. Whoa those pics are entising...