Blogs from Vigan, Philippines, Asia

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Asia » Philippines » Vigan October 10th 2008

Die Busfahrt in einem bequemen ac Bus von Baguio nach Vigan dauerte fünf Stunden, zunächst hinunter in die Küstenebene, dann entlang der Küste in Richtung Norden. Vigan ist UNESCO Weltkulturerbe und das am besten erhaltene Kolonialstädtchen auf den Philippinen (und wohl das einzige). Das touristische Potential Vigans ist enorm, aber im Vergleich zu anderen asiatischen Kleinoden wie Hoi An oder Luang Prabang sucht man Touristenmassen in Vigan vergebens. Ganz im Gegenteil, die vorherrschende Atmosphäre ist sehr authentisch, ein philippinisches Städtchen, viel schöner als die anderen, aber die Leute gehen hier ganz normal ihren Tätigkeiten nach und als ‘Kano wird man wie anderswo interessiert beäugt. Viele Straßenzüge der kolonialen Altstadt wurden noch nicht restauriert, dennoch ist ein Spaziergang durch die Pflastersteingassen magisch, vor allem nach Einbruch der Dunkelheit,... read more
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Asia » Philippines » Vigan September 15th 2008

Now I will write a blog entry about my vacation for those of you who don't care how much it costs to get into the Camp John Hay Butterfly Sanctuary or how many times the bus stops between Baguio and Vigan. Laura, like me last January, arrived around midnight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. (Aquino is actually a famous Filipino politician who was assassinated on the airport's tarmack in the 80's, which I personally think makes him a bad person to name the airport after.) I was so excited to see her that I had traveled to Manila the afternoon before, and had to find something to occupy me for the 36 hours until I picked her up. The day of her arrival I decided to check out the SM Mall of Asia, the biggest ... read more
Butterflies
Butterflies
Swan boats

Asia » Philippines » Vigan September 14th 2008

I am now going to write the one, and likely only, real travel blog I will ever produce for this site. I am breaking from my traditional style for a couple of reasons: because I am finding even government sponsored tourist information in the Philippines hard to find, incomplete or unreliable, and, consequently, because I had to rely so heavily on information from other travel blogs on this site while planning my vacation to Vigan. My sister, Laura, decided to come from Canada to see me during this last leg of my internship in the Philippines. Her trip was scheduled ages ago for the end of August, beginning of September and I was left to plan a vacation at the height of the rainy season. My first though was Boracay, but Laura wanted to see where ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Vigan April 4th 2008

Here's a list of our expenses during our recent trip to Vigan and neighboring provinces of Ilocos Sur Aircon bus to Vigan: P450 (Farinas) Aircon Deluxe bus to Vigan : P705 (Partas has wide seats that recline to 140 degrees) Best time to travel: 10 PM because it is cooler and there is less traffic Length of trip from Manila to Vigan : 8 hours if you leave at 6AM or 10PM (includes stopovers) Tricycle from Bantay national highway to Vigan: P20 (good for two) Transportation within Vigan: best done by foot because the city is small and compact Free entrance to Baluarte, Pagburnayan, Mira Hills, Hidden Garden Free shot of basi wine inside the antique shops Ordinary empanada: P5 each (if you're scared of street food, there are well-known Manila fast food branches of Jollibee, ... read more
Calesa
Good Friday Procession
Vigan Cathedral

Asia » Philippines » Vigan December 18th 2007

We'd heard (read) good things about Ilocos from the various guide books, and Apple knew that investment over the years in the area was high cos of the Marcos connections in the area. Heading North the area was more serene that most of the Philippines. We stoppped off at Santa Maria on the way to look at a world heritage listed baroque church designed in the classic earthquake proof style. The church was fantastic, and in most cases - no other tourists. We chatted to some local ladies who confirmed what we knew - that they still love Marcos up here! Then onto Vigan - this place really impressed me - apparently it was spared destruction in WW2 as the japanese retreated just before the US bombers moved in. The design of the city and the ... read more
Vigan Cathedral
Bell Church
Cheeky Monkey and an Orang utan

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Asia » Philippines » Vigan July 22nd 2007

One aspect of Filipino transport that makes life difficult for travellers is the general lack of centralised bus stations. Having plenty of bus companies is a good thing, but not when they all depart from different places in the same town. Fortunately both the potential lines for our next destination shared a bus station, so we chugged along to it on a trike - LA Woman in the sidecar with my rucksack, her rucksack balanced precariously on the sidecar's roof, and me balanced even more precariously side-saddle behind the driver. The bus was one of the more comfortable I've had on my travels with Arctic aircon bringing a smile to my lips. Though the road was supposedly a national highway, it was more like Saltburn high street in terms of width and number of lanes. Most ... read more
St Paul's cathedral
Seat
Street signs

Asia » Philippines » Vigan July 1st 2007

Well the leg is much improved so today I bit the bullet and hit the road although it was tempting to lay around another day, so I farewelled the Gecko that lives in my shower, medicated my self and prepared to leave. I had the hotels Aussie breakfast before I left which was not very Aussie and then loaded myself and my stuff into a trike after fending of the dudes trying to sell me Viagra one last time. The trikes are like sidecars accept the passenger part is like a bubble you crawl inside, it is really hard to see out so you end up taking your life in your hands every time you use one, but unfortunately there is no other choice. This trip went smoothly and I was sitting in the Dau bus ... read more
Me in a Calesa
My room at Grandpa's
A shot from the window




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