This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Laoag.
The capital of the province of Ilocos region, Laoag, is located in north Luzon. Travelers can take an hour-long flight from Manila or take a ten-hour bus ride.
Attractions within the city and nearby towns range from architecture to nature. If you like Filipino architecture, Laoag is the place to appreciate this. Their city halls and old houses are usually made of red bricks, stones, and hard wood -- making them visually appealing. Within the city center are horse-drawn carriage or kalesa -- transportation that dates way back to Spanish times.
Other attractions in Laoag and the rest of Ilocos Norte include Paoay Church, Bangui Windmills, Ilocos Museum, Sarat Church, Malacañang of the North, Kapurpurawan, and Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. In Batac, you can see the refrigerated corpse of the late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos. Please note that taking photographs is highly prohibited.
If you love to surf and lounge on beaches, travel to Pagudpud or spend the night in Blue Lagoon. For food, Ilocos is famous for exotic dishes, but you can try eating their palatable empanada, bagnet, and longganisa. If you like drinking, sip their local wine, Basi.
When traveling to Ilocos, make sure you wear comfortable clothes. The Ilocos region is one of the driest places in the Philippines and it seldom rains. It can get really humid at midday. When traveling outside the city, make sure to know the bus schedules or hire a van or a tricycle (motorcycle with side car), since there are not many modes of public transportation available in this part of the country.
Laoag, as the gateway to the Ilocos region, is a top destination, especially among young travelers looking for affordable accommodations. Good thing, there are ample hostels in Laoag that can cater to budget-conscious travelers. Accommodations in Laoag are very affordable and Laoag hostels as well as guesthouses have amenities and facilities that can at be on par with hotels. Laoag hostels have amenities and facilities like Wi-Fi and complimentary breakfasts. What you will love about staying in these accommodations is the cozy ambiance brought by local Ilocano architecture of bricks and hardwood. Most of them have small gardens where you can lounge, read, or enjoy your cup of coffee. These Laoag hostels are affordable yet they feel very regal. As this area is a backpackers' favorite, expect many tourists during weekends and holidays. Always make sure to reserve your room in a Laoag hostel before you trip.
Written by local enthusiast for Laoag hostelsvcaulin