My first visit to Ilocos was way back 2008 during a college field trip. It was time-constrained but I still enjoyed hell a lot that I promised myself to go back here whatever it takes.
This trip covered Laoag, Pagudpud, and Vigan in order of visit. Reasons for the sequence:
- I wanted to stay longer in Vigan so it was my last stop.
- I planned to go to Pagudpud first then Laoag then Vigan so that it will be a downward trip (Ilocos Norte to Sur), but Partas has no direct trip to Pagudpud.
- I considered Florida because they have direct to Pagudpud, but Partas Cubao is more accessible from where I live (Pasig) compared to the former (Sampaloc, Manila). I really wanted to try Florida’s sleeper bus, but I can’t risk my travel going there because I would be coming from work before the travel.
Few start up tips:
- My trip was December 7-11,2016, which were considered to be non-peak days. Peak days are usually after Christmas and during summer according to Ilocos locals.
- Two means to get to Ilocos
- Via plane – fast, convenient, but costly. Usually takes around 2 hours from MNL. Laoag is the only airport for drop-off.
- Via land. Several bus lines offer trips to Ilocos (see next bullet for what I’ve searched).
- MNL to Vigan – 8 hours
- MNL to Laoag – 10 hours
- MNL to Pagudpud – 12 hours
- Partas Bus Lines – offers Vigan and Laoag trips. They have First class (45-seater) and Super Deluxe (28-seater) buses. Main difference, the latter is more spacious.
- Florida Bus Lines – offers Laoag and Pagudpud trips. They have First class, Deluxe, Super Deluxe, and Sleeper bus (only for Laoag). Not sure of the differences, but I heard Sleeper Bus has beds and comfort rooms. I’d give it a try next time.
- Book your tickets and accommodations beforehand. Don’t put your faith on chance. It’s a pain in the ass.
Planning took quite a long time because this was my first solo trip far away from Manila: Preparations included:
- Buying Partas MNL-Laoag Super Deluxe ticket for December 7 10PM (costed P965)
- Buying Partas Vigan-MNL Super Deluxe ticket for December 11 8PM (costed P805)
- Booking my accommodations beforehand
- Listing down all the places I wanted to go to (per location), which included tips of what to eat, where to buy, etc. It definitely saved me a lot of time.
Click on the links below for my day-to-day trip:
Feel free to ask me things about the trip as there were details I might not have mentioned but you wanted to know.