Saturday, March 11, 2017

La Union: Weekend Budget Travel Guide

I've been to La Union twice already but for some reason I've never visited any of the famous surfing resort which La Union was known for. It's a shame actually because I just witnessed one of the most magical sunset ever. I should have visit this place years ago. Anyway here's a quick guide if you're planning to visit eLyU!

How To Go To La Union

Estimated travel time from Manila to La Union is around 6-7 hours depending on the traffic so it's best to leave around midnight so you can arrive there by early morning. Partas Transportation in Cubao & Pasay have an hourly schedule that departs from the terminal. Board the bus bound to Vigan or Laoag & tell the conductor to drop you off in San Juan. Another option would be to take the San Fernando (Php 453.00) bus & then ride a jeepney (Php 8.00) or tricycle to Urbiztondo, San Juan.

Where To Stay

Once you arrived in San Juan, you can see that all the resorts are just sitting in the highway & behind them are the enticing ocean waves beckoning towards you. Have I known this beforehand, I think I would be here every weekend lol! There are a lot of resorts to choose from but I already made up my mind from the very beginning to stay in Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel, mostly because I love the name so much (its very catchy, natutuwa lang tlga ako haha). Also, it's for all kinds of traveller whether you want to splurge or you are on a budget. They have a mixed dormitory room for as low as Php 680.00.

Flotsam & Jetsam Hostel

Chicken Parang worth Php 250.00. This dish is divine! One of the best seller in Flotsam & Jetsam restaurant which is also open to non-guest.
You can also try the following resorts in San Juan or book thru
San Juan Surf Resort
The Circle Hostel
Thunderbird Resort

Note: Sadly I didn't get to try surfing that afternoon because of strong current. I even tried to insist but was strongly discouraged. So don't me lol I guess it's only for precautionary purposes since tourist/guest were not advisable to swim. Infair ibang klase rin kc ang lakas ng waves. Afraid haha If you do try which is a must, the rate is Php 400.00 per hour inclusive of board rental & surf instructor.

How To Go To Tangadan Falls

Another famous attraction in La Union is the Tangadan Falls. It is located in San Gabriel, around 40 minutes to 1 hour away from San Juan. A lot of resorts offer a Tangadan Falls tour package just like in Flotsam & Jetsam. It was around Php 850.00 each for 2 persons and Php 1,400.00 if it's only for one person. Because I'm on a budget I decided to do it DIY.

Getting There:

  • From San Juan or any resort you're staying, ride a jeepney going to San Gabriel
  • From San Gabriel, ride a tricycle going to Tangadan Falls jump-off point. 
Stated above was supposed to be my "expected" itinerary but in "reality" that wasn't the case. Well if you've been travelling a lot, this is not surprising anymore. There will always be last minute changes no matter how much time you planned on the trip. Which is why sometimes I don't plan any itinerary at all, just go with the flow & trust your instinct. It's better that way.

I was informed by the locals that it's difficult to ride a jeepney to San Gabriel since only a few passed by along the highway. Due to time constraints, I just have a tricycle tour package (Php 400.00) back & fort from the hotel to Tangadan Falls. Upon arrival in the jump-off point, you can choose either to walk a 45 mins-1 hour hike towards the falls or ride a habal-habal (Php 150.00-200.00 fee) & then walk for 15-20 minutes. Of course I just choose to walk, it's a good exercise anyway. Anyone who wants to visit the falls are required to take a tour guide. Minimum tour guide fee is Php 500.00 for 5 persons. If your group is 6 & up, then its Php 100.00 each. So if you're going to here & you're less than 5, the total amount you will pay is still Php 500.00. For my case since I'm going solo, I was about to back out lol. Seriously, I just haggle in my tour guide but I ended up feeling guilty since he doesn't insist on what amount I should pay him. Ako na daw ang bahala. In the end I paid him Php 400.00 since it's his only source of income. You can contact Kuya Oliver to be your tour guide here +639121759520

20 feet Cliff diving spot!

Tip: Trekking hours can start as early as 5:30 in the morning & only up to 3:30 in the afternoon. You can stay for as long as you want in the falls though so it's really worth the visit.

Ok I have to confess, I went here solo. Sorry Mom. Like I said, I've been dying to go here so I really don't care whether I'm going solo or not. It's do or die haha Para sa blog lol I am forever grateful to all my guardian angel out there, I hope you won't get tired of my recklessness & impulsiveness because there's still more to come. Anyway I went to La Union just over the weekend with a sidetrip to Tangadan Falls and I think that's already enough to explore eLyU but you can extend a day or two if you couldn't get enough of it.

Breakdown of Expenses:

Day 1
Bus Fare: Php 453.00
Breakfast (Stop-over): Php 50.00
Accomodation: Php 936.00
Lunch at Flotsam & Jetsam: Php 250.00
Dinner: Php 120.00
Kikiam (streetfood): Php 10.00

Day 2
Breakfast in Flotsam & Jetsam: Free
Tricycle tour to Tangadan Falls: Php 400.00
Tour Guide Fee: Php 400.00
Rent (Life-Vest): Php 50.00
Entrance Fee: Php 30.00
Food (Drinks): Php 40.00
Jeepney to San Fernando: Php 8.00 **
Tricycle from San Fernando Market to Partas Terminal: Php 15.00
Bus Fare: Php 453.00
Dinner (Stop-over): Php 50.00
TOTAL: Php 3,265.00

I know its pretty expensive and I didn't even bought a pasalubong lol. But you can still bring down the cost if you are travelling in big groups though.

**Tip: If you're really hungry or haven't taken a lunch yet, buy some food first on a nearby fast food chain once you arrive in San Fernando City/Market because there's no food stall available near the Partas Terminal.