Vigan, Ilocos Sur Trip

Quirino Bridge in Ilocos Sur

Quirino Bridge in Ilocos Sur

We took a weekend trip to Vigan, Ilocos Sur back in July 2009.  As we approached Vigan, we were rewarded with wonderful scenic coastal views.  You can see the photo above as we’re about to cross the Quirino Bridge.

We arrived in Vigan mid-afternoon on a beautiful Saturday and checked into the Vigan Plaza Hotel.  July being the off-season, we didn’t have any difficulty getting a room without a reservation.

We stayed in the Ancestral Suite.  It was a nice, large room with two beds, air conditioning, and a good bathroom.  There was some noise from a bar downstairs at night, but it wasn’t too objectionable.

It’s conveniently located right next to Calle Crisologo, sort of the main attraction in Vigan.

Horse and Buggy vs. Motorbike

Horse and Buggy vs. Motorbike

Right across from the Vigan Plaza Hotel, we hired a horse and buggy (Calesa) to take us around Vigan.

Calesa (Horse & Buggy)

Calesa (Horse & Buggy)

Here’s a picture of the horse and buggy we rode in.

Since we got a late start, we weren’t able to make all of the usual stops, but we got in quite a bit.

Quirino President

Quirino President

The first stop was the Syquia Mansion, the home of President Quirino, and now a museum. A nice older gentlemen who had lived at the mansion for many years, and still lives there today, took us around and told us all the various stories. We gave him a donation.

Cafe Uno Vigan

Cafe Uno Vigan

We had a pleasant ride around town. Here we passed by Cafe Uno. I hear this is a neat place to eat. We didn’t have time to stop in, but I’d like to if we ever make it back in the future.

Bell Tower in Bantay, Ilocos Sur

Bell Tower in Bantay, Ilocos Sur

We also passed by Bantay to see the Bell Tower. This is a really lovely area. The grounds were neat and well maintained. It’s a great spot for taking pictures.

Vigan Pottery

Vigan Pottery

We stopped at small bunch of shops where there were potters at work, and got to watch them. It’s amazing how quickly they can fashion a perfectly formed piece of pottery. I remember making pottery in school many years ago, and it took me quite a bit longer and the result was not so perfect! But they make it look easy.

Hidden Garden

Hidden Garden

Hidden Garden is an interesting and beautiful place. We strolled around an amazing garden. It’s also a nursery you can buy plants from, and they’ve got a coffee shop you can get snacks at. I was thinking there might be a restaurant there, but there isn’t, really. It is a lovely place to stroll around and relax.

Baluarte Zoo

Baluarte Zoo

Next stop, the Baluarte Zoo. It was beginning to get dark by this time, so we only stopped long enough to peek inside and take a few photos. The huge dinosaur replicas were a unique touch.

Calle Crisologo in Vigan at Night III

Calle Crisologo in Vigan at Night III

By the time we made it back to Calle Crisologo the sun had set, and we were greeted by the wonderful soft glow of the warm street lamps and horse & buggies making their way up and down the cobblestone street.

The ambiance here at night is magical, and it made the trip really worthwhile. We ate dinner outside at Max’s, which was excellent, and headed back to our hotel room.

Max's Restaurant in Vigan

Max’s Restaurant in Vigan

The next morning we had a nice breakfast at the hotel, and walked over to Calle Crisologo to check out the shops during the day. Here’s a shot of Max’s Restaurant in the daylight.

Horse and Buggy in Vigan

Horse and Buggy in Vigan

While my wife shopped, I stood around outside taking photos of the horses and buggies.

Vigan Street Scene

Vigan Street Scene

It was a beautiful, sunny morning.

Lucy's Antique Shop

Lucy’s Antique Shop

There was lots of neat woodwork for sale.

After our morning walk, we went back to the hotel to pack up, and headed home.

Ilocos Sur Coastline

Ilocos Sur Coastline

We were treated to the lovely view along the coast on our drive home.

Next time I’d like to make it farther north and spend some time in Laoag, Ilocos Norte. Maybe another stop in Vigan along the way would be in order.

If I were to visit a second time, I think I’d like to make it to Cafe Uno, and spend a little extra time at my favorite stops; the Bell Tower and Hidden Garden. And a night time stroll along Calle Crisologo.

You can see more photos at my photoblog, voxph photos. Here’s a link to all the Vigan and Ilocos Sur photos.

Have you been to Vigan? What were your favorite spots?

  • Fantastic pictures. Looks like a very well maintained area. Haven’t been to Vigan, but since my wife and I now live in the Philippines it looks like a very beautiful place to visit.

  • Thanks for stopping by, Dave. There are so many beautiful places to visit here.

  • I actually have some relative’s in law that live in Cabugao near Vigan. Would like to go there some day.

    Nice blog setup and great pictures.

  • Thanks Randall. I just looked on the map and it looks like Cabugao is north of Vigan. I haven’t made it that far north yet, but hopefully I will someday.

  • Awesome photo report,

    Thanks a lot – I love the Spanish style buildings.

    Also everything looks a lot cleaner than the rest of the Philippines.

    I guess I have neglected the North for too long so time for a trip up there soon.

    Peter.
    Peter Garant recently posted..Bat Caves in BoracayMy Profile

  • Hi Peter. Maybe someday I’ll make it down to Boracay. I haven’t visited there, yet.

  • Yeah me too, I loved to go to Boracay, that was the best tourist spot in the Philippines. I love Philippines!
    Donna J. Sheridan recently posted..Making Your Own Computer WallpaperMy Profile

  • Such a beautiful place!!! only in the Philippines. nice pictures too… love it!!!
    Andrew M. Sumpter recently posted..The Mortgage Help ProgramsMy Profile

  • Nice pictures! Looks so very clean and well maintained place. Beautiful tourist spot! Thank you for sharing this post.
    Johnathan N. Dean recently posted..You Can Have Celebrity Eyes- Grow Longer LashesMy Profile

  • Fantastic place! It looks like so clean place. I love this beautiful place.. Thank for sharing nice pictures too.

  • We were lucky to have a “free” tour guide. But in any case, there’s a Tourism office in Vigan where you can get free brochures of the places you can see and visit around town. The people of Vigan are also friendly and will give you proper directions when asked. Everybody seems to know how to speak Tagalog and English so there’s no language barrier.
    Sugel recently posted..No last blog posts to return.My Profile

  • This is a beautiful collection of Vigan photos! I pinned some on pinterest (photos link back to this site) to add to our drive for Vigan as 1/7 Wonder Cities. Please see the pins on http://www.pinterest.com/SuLayug/ I also blog at twitterpinay.com

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