La Union is known for the beach town of San Juan, the surfing capital on this side of North Luzon.
It’s summer time and for sure you have your plans for your summer vacation. Maybe La Union is in your list. Well, we all know that La Union is known for beautiful beach and great place for surfing. I’ve been planning to write this short blog from my previous visit there and I tell you, the place is just simply awesome, there’s a lot of places you can visit aside from the beach.
If you are a first timer or having this plan to visit La Union, then you are in the right blog site. Let me share you my experiences and travel tips! Happy reading!
BEST TIME TO VISIT LA UNION
Many tourists main reason why to go to La Union is surfing.
JUL-OCT: The South Swell is caused by the southwest monsoon, known locally as habagat. It produces ideal waves though this is the height of rainy season. This is a good time to go if you don’t mind surfing in bad weather.
NOV-MAR: The North Swell is caused by northeast trade winds known locally as amihan. This is the best time to go surfing because the waves are ideal and there’s less chance of rain.
The North and South Swell seasons are the best waves for long time surfer but if you’re a beginner, think twice before you go.
HOW TO GET TO LA UNION FROM MANILA
You can get to San Juan by driving or taking the bus.
BY BUS: There are several bus companies that can take you to La Union from Manila. There are various companies operating the bus from Manila to La Union, with the most popular being Partas and Dominion (both departing from Cubao and Pasay Terminal) and Viron (Cubao and Sampaloc terminals). Fare range from 400 – 800 depends on bus type.
• Cubao, Bus Terminal
816 Aurora Boulevard, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines
+63 (2) 7278278
• San Fernando, La Union, Bus Mid-Way Station
Quezon Avenue, San Fernando, La Union, Philippines
+63 (74) 2420464
+63 (74) 2420923
WHERE TO STAY IN LA UNION
Most tourists traveling to La Union pick either San Juan or San Fernando as a base. Well, both of it is beautiful but I will go for San Juan. I stayed with my friend’s house. We chose San Juan La Union since most of the budget and our target places are concentrated here. Not to mention its proximity to the surfing beach – Urbiztondo Beach. But San Fernando also offers good options for travelers who are willing to spend more for comfort.
There’s a lot of affordable hotels and and accommodation near to beach. This place isn’t that big so there aren’t as many resorts compared to more established destinations. But if you are budget traveler, then good thing there is already AIRBNB to book your stay.
Since I stayed with my friend’s house, here are my suggestions if you opt to travel in La Union for overnight.
Flotsam & Jetsam Artist Hostel
Flotsam & Jetsam is one of the best places to stay in San Juan. I’ve been hearing about this place even before I had any real desire of visiting San Juan. This is not a hostel but also a perfect place for beach party.
THINGS TO DO IN LA UNION
1.San Juan Beach
This is one of the best place to go for surfing, bonding, watch sunset and good thing it has nearby food stores and accommodations like Flotsam and Jetsam, the famous Makai bowls and lot more!
2. Poro Point Lighthouse
Time for escape and travel to La Union, step out of the shadow of its more popular neighbors. Its day in the sun has come, and the beacon that shines on it arising from Poro Point, whilom American base on a peninsula within San Fernando City. The Poro Point Lighthouse serves as a favorite spot and this is great place for jogs, sprints, cycling, working out, or an early morning walk. The Poro Point Lighthouse is just 10-15 minutes away from San Fernando’s central district, and you can get there either by car or by riding public transportation. No entrance fee needed, this is open for public, tourists or locals may freely walk around and take in the scenery.
3. Flotsam & Jetsam
Looking for a party in San Juan? Then this place is for you. Right after beach surfing or long drive from tours, have some drinks and get the party started. Flotsam & Jetsam is a trendy hostel with a restaurant and full bar. This place has fun and lively environment so most people visiting in San Juan will be here getting drinks every night, of course this is also near to the beach just 1-3 minutes walk!
4. Halo Halo de Iloko – Zandueta Street
La Union has so much more to offer also for foods! Here’s one that you should put on your list! Halo Halo de Iloko, home of Ilokano cuisine in San Fernando City, offers not only the dessert but also Ilokano blend dishes. This place is known for their HALO HALO, I’ve tasted all kinds of halo halo but here, it’s different! There’s something in their ingredients that you can’t describe! It’s delicioso! Perfecto! Pasalubong, goodies are available here as well.
How to go — from Urbiztondo, ride a jeep to San Fernando (PHP11 fare per person). Drop off at the city center and ride a tricycle to Halo Halo de Iloko. Locals are very familiar with it.
5. Ma Cho Temple
No need to go to China. Ma Cho temple can be found in La Union! The Ma-Cho, Mazu or Ma Cho Temple is a Taoist temple to the Chinese sea-goddess Mazu located on Quezon Avenue in Barangay II, San Fernando, La Union in the Philippines.
Things to take note and observe
1. Ma-Cho temple is open every day between 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
2. There is no entrance fee. Hence, you could explore the temple for free.
3. There are holding areas found around the temple. Dating is prohibited in these areas.
How to go — From Halo Halo de Iloko, ride a tricycle to Ma-Cho Temple (PHP8 fare per person).
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