In exploring the north, you should have endurance for the long trip. Having a trip to pagudpud and laoag for a day is not enough to view the natural wonders of the north. You should also have a good tourist guide to take you to the best sites of the place. . I recomend Kuya LEE MOLINA, a freelance guide with a low service offer. He is very much kind and patient to take you around and also, he takes pictures professionally.
Fondest memory: After the long trip of 8 hours from baguio to pagudpud, its worth it, seeing these panoramic view of pagudpud.
My suggestion is..
From Manila, take the Florida Bus's trip to Vigan/Pagudpud as most of their buses have fancy toilets for the girly thing.
1st stop: Pagudpud (Laoag): you may beach and resort hop, there are falls around, and visit the windmills, too.
Along the way, you may stop at Marcos museum. Awh! Fort Ilocandia pa pala!
Coming from Pagudpud, take an ordinary bus that's 45 minutes to 1h to Vigan. You will enjoy the greeeeeeney scenery on your way plus the butt massage.
In Vigan, you may visit of course the Vigan church and houses, Baluarte ni Singson (just 15 minutes by tricycle), empanada food trip, antique shopping..ahh what else..? Vigan policemen are very helpful, just ask them for directions..NOT the tricycle drivers. Coz we had a stupid experience with them. We were looking for a certain building in Vigan and we asked like 3 or 4 drivers, they were all saying the same thing, it was "malayo, sakay na kayo dito". Doubting that, we asked the policeman at the corner and............. we found out that the building was just 2 blocks away from where we were. Literally, 1.5 minutes walk.
Back to Manila ride: Partas Terminal is in Vigan. I am not sure if you can book ahead or just inquire about the schedule of their trips.
* I think am forgetting some. Wait for the replies coming in.. I am sure there's more ^_^
What is our most favorite thing about Ilocos? We actually love evrerything! The place, the sun and mostly the people. My husband and I decided to take a trip to the Province of Ilocos since we both haven't been there yet. We both agreed to visit the place since we love the ocean and old structures. It's all in one! We instantly loved the place, the moment we stepped out of the plane, we felt not only the warmth of the surroundings but as well as the people of Ilocos.
We started our Ilocos tour from south down to north, so we headed first to Pagudpud from the airport. We took a 2 hour a/c bus from City of Laoag to the main Market of Pagudpud. Upon arrival, we were welcomed by the friendliest and most accomodating tour guide we have ever known, Kuya Eddie (09085370343). Even before our actual trip, he was very accomodating texting us where to stay, what bus to ride, what time the bus will leave, etc. The most touching was when he texted us if we would still want to travel because it was raining hard in Pagudpud two days before our trip. He was very concerned, he was like a father to us. Anyway, the original price that we agreed on was P 1,300 for 11 tourist spots, but instead he toured us in a total of 15 spots so we gave him P1,500 instead that he thought that we mistakenly gave him the wrong amount. But that was worthless compared to the service he has given us. He has his own tricycle which can acoomodate 2-3 pax, he became our tourist guide and a photographer (he's a good photographer indeed). Another thing, I looked at the other tourist's blog and saw Ate Dolor's number who has rooms for rent in Saud beach, and we found out that they were siblings. Her room rate for 2 pax is P500 per day and it was very near the resorts in Saud. Our trip in Pagudpud is the best, Kuya Eddie is the besT!
Fondest memory: We love the beach in Saud where we stayed longer and where we had our romantic dinner by teh beach. Everything was perfect, the sand, the water and the sun. If you're a nature lover, Pagudpud would be the best place for you. Aside from the beach (which is in fact part of South China Sea), Kuya Eddie also brought us to Kaibigan Falls, the start of the tour. From Saud, we travelled by tricycle for like 30 - 45 minutes to Kaibigan Falls. But before you can actually see the Falls, you have to walk 1.5 km. we laso went to Agua Grande, Paraiso ni Anton (where you could directly drink the mineral water from the mountain), Patapat Viaduct, Blue Lagoon (the bluest sea I've evr seen), the Cave, and many more.
There are a lot of great things to do and great places to visit in Ilocos Norte. For me the visit to Paoay church should not be missed when you're in Ilocos Norte. Its not just that its in UNISCO's World Heritage list, it is also a craft and masterpiece of our forefathers that leaving us the legacy of their art and culture.
Fondest memory: What I will never forget about my trip there, was the visit to former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Mausoleum. I dont know but I feel different when I entered the place. It so cold, creepy, with the only lights you'll see is in the middle where the frozen body lies, the smell, the candles, the music. I cant describe my feelings at that moment, but its so strange. They say its only a wax body , but whatever it was, I will never forget the experience.
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