Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

Where to Stay:  Vigan Hotel  

Excellent location, budget-friendly Vigan Hotel is located at the back of the cathedral and less than a minute walk to Calle Crisologo, Plaza Salecedo and Burgos and a leisure walk to most sights in Vigan’s heritage village.  The hotel is one of those 18th century old Spanish era wooden house.  Has various type of rooms and suties, I stayed at their economy room, non-aircon, shared bath, very simple with TV and electric fan.  May have been one of the maid’s quarter during the time when it was still a private mansion, somehow I’m getting this prin cell feel to it, maybe because of the small window right at the opposite end of the door.  Don’t get me wrong, for the price I paid, perfect location, a private room with wifi connectivity?  I would definitely stay there again.

Price: P395/night, no breakfast.
Telephone: +63 (77) 722.19.06
Mob.: +63 9155498753

Socio Pastoral Center  is one of the real budget accommodation in Vigan along with Vigan Hotel (where I’ve stayed).  Room at P400/night.  But they have a curfew, so you have to be in before 9:00pm and they’re close during the weekend, so you can only stay there during the weekdays.
Located at the back of the Archbishop Palace.  Call Luz at 09197178382.

There are so many other hotels, inns and guesthouses in Vigan, staying right at the Mestizo District (Calle Crisologo & Plaridel) is a great experience in itself, sleeping at one of the old spanish wooden mansions.  If you can afford to stay at one of them, below are some options.

Manila – Vigan.  Many provincial buses ply the Manila – Vigan route - Partas Bus, Dominion Bus, Aniceto Bus, Viron Transit.  Bus terminals in the capital city are either in Pasay, Cubao or Manila.  Better to call the bus company to find out the nearest to you.   Travel time is 7 - 8 hours.  Bring sweatshirt or jackets and wear pants as it can get really cold at night inside the bus.

Laoag – Vigan.  Either take the airconditioned Partas bus, more comfort, or the non-aircon buses at Lagasca Street at the back of Laoag City Hall, fare is P100, longer travel time (about 3 hours) and not realiable, they dropped me halfway to Vigan as I was the only passenger left, so I’ve to wait for the next bus.

Getting Around:
The bus I took from Laoag to Vigan dropped us right at the road infront of Salcedo Plaza, so transport not require, I walked to my hotel.
Tricycle fare in Vigan costs P10, even from the heritage village to Bantay bell tower.  Hail a tricycle passing along the road, avoid the parked ones as they normally will charge you a bit more.  It pays to be having the exact amount for the fare on your pocket to avoid getting overcharged.

Calesa (horse-drawn carriage) are plenty and plying along Calle Crisologo for that authentic old-fashioned charming tour, pay P150 for an hour tour. 

On-foot – Vigan Heritage Village or Mestizo Street or Calle Crisologo and all the beautiful plazas and museums are all within short walking distance.  So walk…walk…walk.

If in doubt, negotiate before jumping in.

Where to Eat:
Plaza Burgos Food Court - A food trip in Vigan will not be complete if you don’t sample the variety of food fare at any of the stalls at the Plaza Burgos food court.  Located at one of the sides of Plaza Burgos, adjacent to McDonalds. 
I’m a sucker for street food and food courts, fine dining is good of course through someone else’s invitation!
Empanada (P30) here is less orange in color compared to Laoag’s, and the Okoy (crispy shrimp fritters, P30) is salaciously delicious.  Both can be filling. 
Sinanglao (soup made from beef innards) did not appeal much to my taste buds.  It’s just what it is – beef innards or some tough rubbery portion of meat which of course I cannot chomp on.  I tried it one morning and ended up taking my breakfast at McDonalds.
Address:  Plaza Burgos.

Jollibee – Filipino version of McDonalds. Open 7:00 am – 11:00 pm 
Located right beside Plaza Salcedo.  Tel. +63 77 722 5555

McDonalds  - I like McD’s when they’re beside a nice plaza or parks.  Brewed coffee is even better than Starbucks at P35 only.
Located right beside Vigan Cathedral and Plaza Burgos.  Tel. +63 77 722 7474

Chowking – Chinese dimsum.
Beside Jollibee at Plaza Salcedo.  Tel. +63 77 722 1548

Café Leona – one of the so-called fine dining in Vigan.
Located right at the entrance of Crisologo Street, beside Max’s Fried Chicken and the Tourist Information Office.

Max’s Restaurant located right at the entrance of Crisologo Street.

Where to buy:
Antiques and souvenir shops line the length of Crisologo Street (Mestizo Street), in fact almost all the houses along this street have shops on the ground level selling wooden carvings, antique statuettes, shirts, key chains, bags, all souvenir stuff.

Two Brothers Grocery – big supermarket for your grocery items, at the back of the city hall.
2 Quezon Avenue, Barangay 1, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur

JTC Supermarket – groceries.
Calle Crisologo (Bonifacio St.), 2700 Vigan

Tongson Bibingka Royal – delicious chewy Royal Bibingka, bagnet, and other “pasalubongs” at very affordable price.  Located beside Vigan Plaza Hotel at the corner of Calle Crisologo and Florentino, just before the Tourist Information Center and Café Leona.


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