Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Reminscing Vigan

I still haven't gotten over Vigan. 

Honestly I don't want to haha! 

Vigan is honestly one of those places that you can't help but be awe at the beauty of its architectural structure. The road at the Heritage village is really something one has to see if you want to know how it felt like during the Spanish colonization period of the Philippines. 

I am a history geek so mind you I was like a kid in a candy store - but there wasn't any candy. 

One of the things we did during our visit of Vigan is of course experience it via the Calesa Tour! 

The last time I rode a Calesa or a two wheeled calash was when I was young and it was in Manila. 

Compared to the Calesa in Manila, the ones in Vigan were much more spacious and also less shaky and could fit at least 3 or 4 people. If you want to avail the Vigan tour it is about 700php per person at Metro Vigan Inn. 

The Calesa tour is a 4 hour tour that features the UNESCO World Heritage town of Vigan. Some of the highlights are Vigan's notable churches, gardens, its pottery industry and also the famous Calle Crisologo. You can also opt for the Sunset Tour which has an added 2 hours in the tour and adding 300 pesos per person. 

The sunset tour includes a trip to the zoo, hotel, museum and a snack at Vigan Empanadaan then it ends off at Plaza Salcedo where you will be serenaded by Vigan's Dancing Fountain. 

 I find it really fascinating to see really old structures like churches look so magneficent although it had been through a lot. 

This bell tower is actually the highest point in Vigan in which it is being used before to over look the whole area during war times. Nowadays according to the locals this is quite a popular attraction for couples. 

If you looked from afar it might look like a village off the coast of Santorini - but in reality it is actually a cemetery haha! 

 And now we are near the Heritage town! So excited! 

Traffic in Vigan isn't really much like what it is here in Manila. There were some congestion in Plaza Salcedo but that is because the streets are quite narrow. 

This actually reminds me of the side streets in Intramuros. 

And we are now at Calle Crisologo. 

The whole stretch of Calle Crisologo is really fascinating because of the structures - again with structures!~ 

It boasts the Spanish design but it looks very homey. Most houses in Calle Crisologo are either museums or stores. There were some that are actually abandoned and soon to be restored by the city government which is really nice because it still retains its natural design. 

The cobble stone road is really something worth checking out. Most people take it for granted but remember that these cobble stone road were the same ones that were used by people that lived during the Spanish colonization period to walk on. 

 And I seriously can't pass this very 'tourist' shot although I didn't notice the photobombers at the back LOL.

And this one. Seriously my smile in this picture has a deeper meaning which is too much information to be honest. 

And meet Hero! Our horse! 

I also find that the horses in our tour are more friendly and more comfortable with people than the ones in Manila. 

And after Calle Crisologo we went to Hidden Gardens which serves authentic Ilocano dishes. 

We were able to try their famous Empanada which actually is white! According to the owner, the original empanada isn't orange but rather it is white. 

I like the whole motif of the restaurant because it showcases a lot of Ilocos especially its cuisines. 

We also went on a quick food tour featuring the different pasalubong options offered here in Ilocos like their bibingkas which were awesome! I wasn't able to take a picture though :( And to cap off the night we went to see the dancing fountain! 

It was a very beautiful showcase and one thing I noticed is that they played a lot of Kpop songs during the set that we saw which was really funny since some of my tour groupmates were like 'what is this song?'

Haha #KpopFansWillKnow

On our last day to Vigan we were able to visit Baluarte! 

If you guys don't know Baluarte is a Zoo built by Chavit Singson. This is a FREE attraction in which all visitors can enjoy strolling through the 80 hectare property to see different animals and also interact with them.

Its only 10 minutes away from Vigan and there are directions on your way to Baluarte so don't worry. One distinct factor Vigan has with other places I've been is there are a lot of signage so you wouldn't get lost if you are directionally challenged. 

One of the highlights of our visit to Baluarte is when I was able to interact with a Musang! 

A Musang or a civet cat is like 5 times larger than a domestic cat that has scrunchy textured hair but very sweet and accommodating. The musang actually liked licking the hands of the visitors which was so cute! Its definitely something worth doing. 

You can also opt to have a picture taken with a tiger but unfortunately the Tiger was resting when we got there and usually tigers - like other cats tend to be grumpy if disturbed. 

Overall my trip to Vigan is really something worth repeating. How I wish I can go back there and discover more. I wasn't able to enjoy much unfortunately so I would really like to go back soon. 

Have you visited Vigan or Ilocos? What do you like most? Tell me about your experience below!

Till the next post!

Much Love!

xx Alice 


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