Fan of old-structured houses? Want to eat the best longganisa and empanada available in the Philippines? Better be ready for a 10-12 hour-travel from Manila (by land), but the trip is definitely worth it once you reach this province.

My friend suggested I travel with DLC Travel & Tours, and upon giving me a good feedback on this agency, I decided to contact them. In terms of time, safety, and comfort, true enough, they offered us the best service I could hope for.

From Manila, we departed by 9:30pm. It really is a hell of a ride cause it was a long one. By 6:00 in the morning the next day, we arrived at Vigan, took pictures in Calle Crisologo, the famous street in Vigan, and finally had breakfast at a restaurant near Grandpa’s Inn.

Our next stop was Baluarte, a mini zoo privately owned by Chavit Singson. The zoo also has a safari-like gallery , but still a work-on progress by the time we went.  They feature live shows and a butterfly garden, which starts at 9 am.

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Next stop was the paburnayan (pottery house).  Outside, there were lots of clay jars of different designs displayed. When inside, we asked the workers if we could try making a clay jar, and they gladly helped us making one for free.

If you want to bring the clay jar you made as a souvenir, you’d have to pay for it and come back after a week so it’d get dry.

We visited two museums. The first museum was Crisologo Museum. It was an ancestral house preserved for the accounts of Flor S. Crisologo, a congressman in Vigan back in the days. Then, Marcos Museum located in Batac City.

In Paoay is the famous Malacanang of the North, the ancestral house of Ferdinand Marcos and his family. The mausoleum happens to be just beside the house.

Afterwards, we went to Paoay Church. Then headed to Sand Dunes for our final stop on our first day.

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When in Ilocos, do not forget to visit Sand Dunes, also located in Paoay.  I can’t compare it to the other sand dunes existing in the world, but this one is pretty awesome for a first timer like me. Activities you can do here are sand boarding, riding a 4×4 or an ATV.

You can avail for the package of riding a 4×4 and sand boarding worth PHP 2,500 for 5 pax. I didn’t know you could haggle for the price (up to PHP 1,800)  but some tourists were able to do so.

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 For dinner, we ate at  Papa Pau’s Restaurant. Great for boodle fights. Then headed back to Hotel del Norte by 10 pm.

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More links: Ilocos Series: Travelling North with DLC Travel & Tours (Day 2)