An Ilocos escapade will never be complete when you miss to visit Vigan! Not only this is a UNESCO declared Heritage City but it's well known for their delicious Empanada! Accommodations and restaurants in Vigan are numerous. It takes only 6-7 hours road trip or 1 hour plane trip from Manila. After a stop over from La Luna's Bahay Na Bato, Vigan is the next destination which I suggest you explore.
So, what can we expect about Vigan?
1. CALLE CRISOLOGO
Also called as Mena Crisologo street is one of the famous attraction in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. This is a destination where you can experience time travel to Philippine's Spanish colonial era. Old Spanish architecture houses here are detailed yet simple and eye catching. Great background for your instagram shots or facebook profile pictures.
The government of Vigan did a great job in saving Calle Crisologo. The next generation can still see and experience such beauty. We salute all of you!
Tourist can either walk and explore Calle Crisologo freely or tour via Kalesa for a fee. We prefer walking since it's not that long plus it let us take pictures of the scenic view better. It's also a good way to burn that carbo's inside of us! Hahahah!
Antiques and souvenir shops are available every corner of the street, which kinda helps reminding you to buy. LOL! 🙂
I highly recommend to visit during dawn. Why? Well, tourist flocks at daytime and capturing beautiful shots without photo-bombers will take you forever! Kids running, everyone's taking pictures and don't forget the horses who poops and pee on the street. Hahahahaha! Lesser people are around at midnight and onwards. The only things you'll miss are the horses and souvenirs shops since they are closed.
Below photo's were taken night and dawn both of which are picturesque. If you have no itinerary the next day, then you can opt to try strolling at nigh or in the dawn. It's a thumbs up! 😉Restaurants are also available in every corner, some even sell alcohol beverages.
Just before Calle Crisologo is a "ihaw-ihaw" food stand which is a must try. It's expensive but delicious, maybe you'd like to check it out too!
2. PLAZA BURGOS
Plaza Burgos was built in remembrance of Father Jose P. Burgos' martyrdom, one of Vigan’s illustrious sons. He was put to death by the Spaniards in Manila’s Bagumbayan together with two clergy reformists. Known in Philippine history as the Gomburza, which stands for their surnames Gomez, Burgos and Zamora.
Please visit vigan.ph, for more details about the history of Plaza Burgos at Florentino Street, Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines.
The atmosphere of the plaza is relaxing, best for group of friends or family. There is a mini park for the kids, much more, a remote controlled car rental is available. You can have a long night chit-chat with friends, watch passer-by's or eat empanada! 😀
A few meters from the plaza is the famous Empanadahan. This is where you can find empanada - deep fried ilocos longanisa, vegetable and egg-filled pastry. You can order and witness how they prepare and cook it while waiting! It is mandatory that you never leave Vigan without trying this local food. By the way, empanada is best with their Ilocos vinegar.
It was amazing how fast they prepare this tasty food. One is doing the dough while the other lady is filling the dough with the ingredients and cooking at the same time. 🙂
3. BALUARTE ZOO
Owned and opened to public by the former governor of Ilocos Sur Mr. Chavit Singson. Moreover, the zoo has his personal touch as he himself designed it.
Mr. Singson is a hunter by hobby. As his trophies and animals multiply, he decided to create Baluarte zoo and share this collections to the public.
The zoo offers various animals to see and interact with. Some are scary such as tigers, snakes and ostrich. Some are adorable like the rabbits, turtles, birds and deers. Whatever you prefer, be careful when visiting as most run freely around the zoo like this ostrich below.You can ride a horse or donkey around or take a four-wheel tour around for a minimal fee. Feeding the animals is allowed, but please ask for assistance.
Students, kids even adults surely will enjoy a trip here. All the animals we only see on books and television comes to life. It's a good way of learning new things about them. Most specially how to take care,and feed them. There is no entrance fee collected and opens everyday from 7am to pm. It's a way for Mr. Singson to give back to the people of Ilocos Sur. Hoping this remains free and cared for future kids of Ilocos and even the whole Philippines to share.
Getting here is just 10 minute tricycle ride from Vigan town proper. If you have a private car the address is Brgy. Salindeg, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.
GETTING TO VIGAN CITY
Bus companies like Dominion and Partas have trips to Vigan, Ilocos Sur. From town proper, you may ride a tricycle going to Baluarte Zoo. You can also opt to take a packaged tour which may be offered by the hotel you are staying or you can google and choose from various travel agencies. Many agencies nowadays have this kind of packages for those who do not have time to have research.
That's it for a full pack one day tour to Vigan City. There are other attractions to visit such as old churches and museums but above are the highlights Vigan City has to offer.
And oh, by the way, if you happen to be in Ilocos and still have time to spare, you may also visit Hannah's Beach Resort in Pagudpud, Paoay Sand Dunes and Gapuz Grape Farms at La Union. All of which are tourist friendly attractions. 🙂 I hope you check them out too!
Always remember not to leave any trash on your trip, if you have make sure to throw them on the thrash cans. We want to make the next tourists to experience what we had, also the future generations. HAPPY TRAVELING!
Disclaimer: This blog is not sponsored. Everything written here are my personal opinions. If you find it derogatory, give me a message and I'll see what I can do. Happy reading!