Last week I shared about how I needed time off and so I did… My impulsive self booked a roundtrip ticket to Clark from Cebu.
There was no specific destination. Zambales, Baler, Baguio, Bataan, Ilocos, La Union, these were my options. But my good friend and travel buddy, Mae, was pretty fixed with the idea of going to La Union.
We searched for a place to stay in San Juan only to find out resorts and hostels sell out so fast especially during weekends. We didn’t want a place far from the beach, particularly the Surftown area. After all, our purpose of visiting La Union was to unwind by the beach and surf.
Getting to La Union
From Manila – You can take a bus from Cubao going to Laoag or Vigan. Just tell the bus conductor about your drop off location.
From Clark – Assuming that you come from the airport, you can take a van or a green shuttle service going to Dau Bus Terminal. You can also hail a grab car from the airport to the bus terminal. Know that Grab car only works near the airport, around Mabalacat or Angeles City. From Dau, take the bus going to La Union, Laoag or Vigan.
Travel time takes 4-5 hours by bus.
By Van/Private Car
If you plan to go to La Union with a bigger group, I suggest you hire a van for your transportation. If you want a shorter travel time and more comfortable seats, hiring a van would be your best option.
Travel time takes about 3 hours by van or private car.
If you plan to get a van or private car, you can send me a message on my social media accounts or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I can help arrange the trip for you. (Ha! Go, negosyo!)
If you’re a beach bum, you should get a place near the Surf town which is Urbiztondo. La Union gets crowded every weekend. It’s always best to book months ahead if you plan to visit the area. You might also save some money because weekend rates tend to hike up if you reserve at a nearer date.
When we finally decided to go to LU, we were left with bunk beds and dorm type rooms in Urbiztondo. We ended up booking two (2) different accommodations – an Airbnb and a private room in a beachfront resort. The Airbnb is located near Flotsam and Jetsam while the beachfront resort is along San Juan Beach.
We are not the kind of travellers who like to chat with other travellers so getting a bed in a dorm type or bunk room would be uncomfortable. We also prefer a private space and some good AC too.
If you want some peace and quiet, you can book a place in San Fernando or the towns beside San Juan.
Tricycle is the way to go! Although jeepneys and buses pass by the area, you can easily transfer to places by riding a tricycle. I’m still unsure how they charge their trips but most of my rides cost 10-20 pesos only. You can also take a tricycle to and from the nearest bus station.
Need I say more?
Technically, we only had 2 full days in La Union. I tried to maximise our time and try as many food places as possible…
These are my personal picks in La Union:
- El Union – For coffee lovers, El Union is one place you shouldn’t miss. Try their dirty horchata or nitro coffee. Pair your coffee with their grilled cheese or s’mores.
- Great Gamble Seafood Shack – They offer seafood versions of my comfort food – sandwiches and burgers.
- Coco Mama– I like how their coconut ice cream is not super sweet. It’s organic and gluten-free.
- Sabong – They say it’s one of Elyu’s originals, so it’s worth the try.
- Makai Bowls – Maybe because I expected something similar to my favorite smoothie bowl that I didn’t really like the consistency of their smoothie bowls. It’s still good though.
- Fatwave Surf Resort – It’s a perfect spot to chill and people watch while enjoying a bottle of beer or a cocktail. Order their pizza or have a go on their barbecue. Happy hour starts at 2 PM until 8 PM.
- Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel – I would likely choose to stay in rather than go out at night. So if you love the night scene and like to socialize, head to Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel.
- Tagpuan – This tiny restaurant is attached to Mad Monkeys. Their menu consists mostly of rice bowls. We tried their Bagnet rice bowl but I wasn’t really impressed. I think the number of people flocking the place affected the quality of their food…
- Choka – We tried the Kebabs stall by the road and the juices they served at the beach bar. It’s a lovely place to chill and watch surfers shred.
- Papa Bear – I still have to try this though but most of the blogs I read featured this restaurant. I would really love to try their Bacon dish.
There are still plenty of spots in La Union that I have yet to explore but since I only had a few days, I was only able to visit a few. More reasons to come back then. Until next time, Elyu!
Here’s a breakdown of my expenses over the weekend (Friday-Monday):
DAY 1: (IN PHP)
Transpo to Dau Bus Terminal 30.00
Bus to La Union 300.00
Transpo to Airbnb 50.00
Flotsam – Drinks 120.00
DAY 2: (IN PHP)
Motor Ride 15.00
Makai – Cabu Bowl 240.00
El Union – Coffee 140.00
Great Gamble – Garlic Scallops 230.00
Tagpuan – Bagnet Rice 120.00
Fatwave – Drinks 244.00
DAY 3: (IN PHP)
Motor Ride 10.00
Coco Mama – Coconut Ice Cream 150.00
El Union- Dirty Horchata 150.00
Motor Ride 20.00
Choka – Iced Tea 80.00
Surf – 500.00
Motor Ride 20.00
Fatwave – Pizza, Drinks, Dessert 440.00
DAY 4: (IN PHP)
Motor Ride to Terminal 50.00
Bus to Dau 300.00
Grab to Airport 115.00
Coco Fresco – Coffee 110.00
Grab from Airport 245.00
TOTAL: 4,008.00 PHP
I just thought publishing this post is timely since it’s summer. (I’m sure I posted this 2 months ago, but I found it again in my drafts). I’m sure you already have your beach plans. I hope this post will help you when you decide to visit Elyu.
And oh! I’ll be sharing another beach-related post. I haven’t recovered from my Bali tan yet. Keep posted, loves!
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