February 21st, 2018
There’s more to life than beaches! Yes, so I’ve decided to visit the northern part of my country, Ilocos Sur and Norte ðŸ‡µðŸ‡!
I booked my flights ahead of time so I got a cheap promo from Philippine Airlines just 1050 php back and forth that is Dipolog - Manila - Dipolog
I booked my Ilocos tour with my past agency in my Sagada tour, TravelNowAsia you can search them on facebook for inquiries.
I paid 3250 php per pax that’s for the joiner tour rate. Inclusions: 3D2N stay in Sikatel with breakfast, van transfer from Manila - Ilocos - Manila and 15 destinations to see ( Just visit their page for more details: http://www.travelnowasia.com.ph/ )
Matt doesn’t want to spend 10 hours sitting in a van, so I booked our flights to Laoag thru Philippine Airlines. It was pretty expensive coz it’s almost last minute booking but atleast from 10 hours overnight van ride to 1 hour flight ðŸ˜Œ fair enough.
We stayed at Sikatel Bed and Breakfast located in Batac coz’ that’s the one included on our tour package so from Laoag airport, it’s a 40 minutes drive and we paid 500 php for the van. The room we stayed was average and the food was okay. Food price ranges from 150 to 300 php.
First day of our itinerary we went to Paoay Sand Dunes we paid additional 500 php each for the 4x4 sand dunes ride. It was a great experience and the view was epic! Must try sand boarding! Balance is a must for a smooth slide ðŸ¤£ Also buy some souvenir shirts saying I survived 4x4! Coz it was indeed a hell of a ride! ðŸ˜…
Next we headed to Paoay Church â›ª one of the four remaining baroque churches in the Philippines. Built with coral blocks and stucco-plastered bricks. Paoay church is included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Then we went to Fort Ilocandia, if you have the money stay there for a night coz the amenities and rooms are very nice.
After, we went to Malacañang of the North, built as the official residence of the late President Marcos, they’re able to preserve it from furnitures to dresses. I was impressed how they manage to do it for years now! ðŸ‘ Minimal entrance fee is collected.
Then we went to General Ricarte National Shrine, built in honor of Gen. Artemio Ricarte, a native of Batac and a revolutionary hero.
On our second day we headed to Bacarra Church where you can find the what they called “Dignified Domeless Belltower in Asia”
Then we headed to Cape Bojeador light house built in 1892. It still sends out signals to ships passing by the Cape facing the northern portion of the South China Sea! The highest lighthouse in the Philippines. Again you can buy souvenirs down the hill. Entrance fee of the lighthouse: 30 php and if you wish not to walk you can ride a motorcycle 20 php each to reach the top.
Our next stop was the windmills, that was one of the place I look forward to see so I was very excited ðŸ¤— but along the way we went to a rock salt factory, where you can really witnessed how salt is being made also we were given the chance to stir and cook the salt. Never thought it was that complicated. We stopped by at the Dragon Fruit Farm, must try their Dragon fruit icecream for only 30 php. There are other delicacies to choose from all made with dragon fruit.
Finally, the Bangui Windmills in Pagudpud ðŸ˜ expectation vs reality! It was really windy and cold! My outfit did not match the weather haha poor me! Great view indeed!
Last day in Ilocos was a chill one. We went to Juan and Antonio Luna’s Museum. If you’re able to watch the movie General Luna, there you can fully understand their life. After, we went to a pottery then had our lunch at secret garden. They’re serving ilocano’s food specialties, I gave that restaurant 9 out of 10 rating. The food was good and pricy as expected.
Then finally Vigan ðŸ˜Š We went to Bantay Church Bell Tower where you can see at the back, a good mountain view and a cemetery. Matt took a perfect shot of it! ðŸ‘ðŸ˜
Lastly, we went to Calle Crisologo the famous Mena Crisologo street traversing the Spanish ancestral houses at the world’s well known heritage village in Vigan City ðŸ˜Œ We rode a Kalesa, 100 php for 30 mins and explore the street and nearby museum. Surely, it was a blast from the past! ðŸ˜Œ
We missed the Baluarte Zoo coz’ we need to catch the bus for our flight in Laoag back to Manila. And that’s 2 hours bus ride from Vigan back to Laoag. ðŸ˜Œ
Overall Ilocos was a great tourist spot, a must place to visit if you love history! â¤ï¸
facebook: Camy Blu Frost
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