[DIY/Backpacking] Ilocos Trip

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:

Day 1 – Laoag

Day 2 – Pagudpud

Day 3 – Laoag/Vigan

Day 4 – Vigan

Feel free to ask me things about the trip as there were details I might not have mentioned but you wanted to know.


5 thoughts on “[DIY/Backpacking] Ilocos Trip

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