Exploring La Union for 3D2N

Last May, my friends and I decided to embark on an adventure in La Union. Since we really enjoyed our 2013’s trip to Baler, we decided that we wanted to try and enjoy surfing again this year. Known for its beautiful waves and laid back vibe, we decided that LU (as the fans of the place call it) would be the perfect place to go. However, we did not expect that we would be faced with a barricaded beach, all the more, an extremely stressful and hassle traveling experience from Manila. It was labor day after all, what did we expect, really?

How to get there (and how we got stranded)

 

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Going to La Union on a normal day is rather easy. But going there on a holiday, all the more a long one, is definitely something that you should be prepared for.

 

There are different terminals that you could go to when traveling to La Union:

  • Partas Bus Lines, located at Aurora, Cubao (no, they are not along the road), and the other one located in Pasay City
  • Genesis Transport, with terminals in Pasay and Cubao
  • Dominion Bus Lines, located at Cubao
Our group decided to go to Partas, but upon arriving, we were welcomed by a flock of people, obviously tired from waiting for their turn to ride the bus. We got there at 12 midnight, and when we asked for stubs (which shall be exchanged for a ticket later on), we were told that we might go on board by 4 AM. Four hours on a crowded bus terminal, say what? But wait, we did. We hauled our bags, camped inside the air conditioned waiting area, and waited for the time to pass. I remember three of my friends were from the Demi Lovato concert from that same night — such luck.
Photo taken from our spot. 5:30 AM.
Photo taken from our spot. 5:30 AM.

 

Their system works in a way that each stub has a thousand pieces distributed per color. We got the yellow ones, and by the time that we arrived, they were calling on those who has the blue stubs. We assumed that our color assignment would be next in line, however, when we thought it was finally our turn, we were told that the next color would be the pink ones, and much to our dismay, we might actually ride the bus in a couple more hours (more like, lunch time, or God forbid, in the afternoon). As much as we wanted to cancel the trip, we’ve already waited for hours, and this was our only time to bond, so we decided to push it against all odds.

 

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Long story short, we gave up our chances of taking the bus, and instead rented out an FX that would take us to La Union. It took us almost the whole day to travel because of the traffic (I tell you people, long weekends are a trap!) and the heat of the summer sun was no joke. We slept the whole way through, and by the time that we’ve arrived to our destination, our butts were hurting and our skin were sticky from the humid weather. It was still worth it, though. You guys have no idea how relieved were we when we finally entered our room, and the idea of actually taking a bath after an extremely long day was just… wonderful.

 

If you are going on a trip to La Union on a regular day and would be taking the bus, fares are more or less around Php 300.00. Since we took a special trip, it cost us almost 3x the amount of what we could’ve paid if we took the bus. Oh, the sacrifices for a vacation. Needless to say, we ended up drinking that same night because we got really stressed out with all the hassle. Haha.

What we did in La Union

 

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Since it was the “Labor Union” weekend (a.k.a. their attempt on coming up with their very own ‘Laboracay’), the whole stretch of beach was barricaded for the party. The event was ticketed and those who decided to not participate with the celebration were only allowed to pass through the beach during the morning. It was a disappointment, really. This was also the main reason why we ended up skipping the surfing session, and instead look for alternative activities that would let us enjoy our stay.

Food Trip

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To compensate for the lack of beach time, my friends and I decided to embark on a journey to look for the greatest food finds in La Union. There are actually a lot of great places to eat in the area, and the food are not only delicious, they were also unbelievably affordable! I’ve written about our food adventure on a previous post. Check it out here:ย http://www.jhanzey.net/2015/08/la-union-good-place-to-eat.html

Hiking

 

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We also went to a nearby falls and spent our second day basking in the sun and exploring the area. We went to Tangadan Falls and enjoyed our tiring hike / adventure going there. It was pretty sad to see the falls so crowded, but I bet the crowd would’ve been less if only we (1) went there earlier, and (2) we went there during the non-peak season. You may check out my experience at Tangadan Falls here:ย http://www.jhanzey.net/2015/08/tangadan-falls-la-union.html

 

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Alternatively, you can also explore other falls around the area! Apparently, there are a lot of waterfalls around San Fernando, which you can hike if you’re feeling adventurous. Here are some useful links: [1] [2] [3]

Beach Bum

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On our last day at La Union, we were able to swim at the beach since it isn’t as crowded. We took a lot of photos, stayed in the water for as long as we can remember, and just had fun. I also got stung by a jelly fish (nothing too serious though!).

 

Of course, it is highly recommended that you try surfing when you’re in La Union. Lessons starts from Php 400 per hour, with instructor. You may also go on a road trip and travel straight to Baguio / Sagada / Ilocos, since it’s just a couple of hours away from each other.

Where we stayed

 

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There are a lot of affordable places to stay in La Union, with hostels welcoming each and every traveler to their comfy beds and artsy space. Since it was the long weekend, we had a hard time looking for a place that would keep the 10 of us together. We ended up staying in Sebay, which was located along the highway, and has its own beach front.

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We rented out a group room that accommodated the 10 of us for a pretty reasonable price. Our room is perfect for large groups and families, with two bunk beds and a couple of single beds spread out inside the room. If you’re traveling solo, they also have rooms for two. In case you’re looking for dorm rooms, though, you can check out the two of the most popular hostels in La Union: Circle Hostel and Flotsam and Jetsam. They’re really artsy, comfy, and cheap!

How much did it cost us

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Since there were 10 of us, we were able to save a lot by splitting bills on food and accommodation. If you’re going on a solo budget trip and you’re coming from Manila, having Php 3,000 – Php 5,000 would definitely be more than enough to enjoy a nice 3D2N stay in La Union.

All in all, the experience was really fun, even if there were a lot of bumps that we’ve encountered along the way. I’d definitely like to go back and experience a more hassle free experience, though!

How about you? Have you ever been to La Union? How was your experience?

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Share your answers on the comment box below! If you have any questions, I answer faster on twitter. Follow me there and I’ll definitely follow you back. My handle’sย @jhanzey_! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

46 thoughts on “Exploring La Union for 3D2N

  1. Saya! Grabe lang ang chaos sa bus station, tipong gugustuhin mo talaga maka alis or layo man lang sa city ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ang saya ng activities nyo, I'm so inggit ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully I get to visit La Union asap ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Saya! Grabe lang ang chaos sa bus station, tipong gugustuhin mo talaga maka alis or layo man lang sa city ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ang saya ng activities nyo, I'm so inggit ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully I get to visit La Union asap ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I've seen lots of photos of LU. What an awesome place and beach, waahh! Though I'd agree, better to visit during non-peak season if possible. I can't stand the crowd, I feel sick inside. Hehe anxiety galore!

  4. I've seen lots of photos of LU. What an awesome place and beach, waahh! Though I'd agree, better to visit during non-peak season if possible. I can't stand the crowd, I feel sick inside. Hehe anxiety galore!

  5. IDK but mas mura pa nung nag Baler ako sometime last year, it only got me 2K all na yun food + travel expense. been in la union before but just like you, i got disappointed as well, so i'm diverting myself to other travel spot before this. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. IDK but mas mura pa nung nag Baler ako sometime last year, it only got me 2K all na yun food + travel expense. been in la union before but just like you, i got disappointed as well, so i'm diverting myself to other travel spot before this. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Ohmygod. Getting to La Union was quite a struggle, but it looks like it was worth it. And 3,000 – 5,000 for 3 days and 2 nights? That's so much cheaper compared to Boracay. Must add La Union to list of places to see. Glad you had fun, Jhanz.

  8. I have always been jealous with all your travel posts, Ate Jhanzey. I wish I can go out on a trip soon like you do. Well aside from the beaches, I've always wanted to go on a camp sa bukid lol La Union is nice, I wanna go! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lou | wander-soul.net

  9. I have always been jealous with all your travel posts, Ate Jhanzey. I wish I can go out on a trip soon like you do. Well aside from the beaches, I've always wanted to go on a camp sa bukid lol La Union is nice, I wanna go! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lou | wander-soul.net

  10. If we were left stranded like that, I wouldn't mind as long as I'm with friends. I always enjoy their company and that's the best thing when traveling with barkadas. Haha your experience, I know, was quite hassle, but I'm glad you were able to compensate with the rest of the things you did, ate Jhan! ๐Ÿ™‚ La Union sounds like a great getaway for me and my friends in the future. Hmmm ๐Ÿ˜€

    Mimi Gonzales | Chasing Bleu

  11. If we were left stranded like that, I wouldn't mind as long as I'm with friends. I always enjoy their company and that's the best thing when traveling with barkadas. Haha your experience, I know, was quite hassle, but I'm glad you were able to compensate with the rest of the things you did, ate Jhan! ๐Ÿ™‚ La Union sounds like a great getaway for me and my friends in the future. Hmmm ๐Ÿ˜€

    Mimi Gonzales | Chasing Bleu

    1. Agreed! A lot of entrepreneurs coming to this side of the country! Although I’m quite sad how some parts are becoming so commercialized, I no longer feel the chill vibe of the area ๐Ÿ™

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