Exploring More of Ilocos #LakbayNorte7

Ilocos remains to be one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines, despite the fact that it is located in the northernmost part of Luzon. The province is rich in history, littered with natural beauty, and booming with good food. Take a journey and check out 10 spots you shouldn’t miss in Ilocos… Lakbay Norte 7 Series:

1. La Paz Sand Dunes https://flic.kr/p/21GTwZj The La Paz Sand Dunes is just a small part of the Ilocos Norte Sand Dunes. The sand dunes actually span the town of Currimao to Pasuquin. Lakbay Norte 7 - Day 4 - Martin San Diego- 0023 Photo by Martin San Diego via NPVB Go on a 4×4 adventure across the rolling hills and take in the impressive site of the dunes. https://flic.kr/p/21GSpVS There’s also a breathtaking view of the West Philippine Sea when you reach the top. Lakbay Norte 7 - Day 4 - Martin San Diego- 0094 Photo by Martin San Diego via NPVB Retreat to the site for a round (or multiple) of sand boarding. Lakbay Norte 7 - Day 4 - Martin San Diego- 0087 Photo by Martin San Diego via NPVB If you’re not comfortable with the idea of standing, you still have the option to just sit on the board. La Paz Sand Dunes Brgy. 33 La Paz, Laoag, Luzon 2900, Philippines

2. Bangui Windmills https://flic.kr/p/23nXA5m Iconic but no longer unique to Ilocos, these windmills provide an alternative source of energy for the residents. https://flic.kr/p/21GTqW7 From only 20+ windmills seven years ago, they have now grown to over a hundred windmills scattered around the province. Bangui Windmills Bangui, Ilocos Norte

3. Calle Crisologo https://flic.kr/p/236ts68 Four blocks of cobblestone streets lined with heritage houses, Calle Crisologo remains to be one of the more touristy areas in Ilocos Sur. https://flic.kr/p/23nWHPS The streets are lined with shops selling souvenir items and dining areas. https://flic.kr/p/24sMfCe Closed to automobiles, the street is instead packed with kalesas. Calle Crisologo Mena Crisologo Street, Vigan, Luzon, Philippines Related Post: VIGAN Calle Crisologo: 24-Hour Guide to Best Experience Vigan’s Most Beautiful Street! @HotelLuna_Vigan

4. Sitio Remedios https://flic.kr/p/24sMVec Sitio Remedios is a small complex of old houses quite similar to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan. https://flic.kr/p/236uio6 In an effort to preserve Ilocona houses up for demoltion, Dr. Joven Cuanang and Architect Rex Hofileña came up with the idea of a heritage village by the sea. https://flic.kr/p/21GTy6s The heritage houses are all open for accommodation. https://flic.kr/p/24oPqv1 They look just as beautiful in the morning as they do at night. https://flic.kr/p/24sMLoM The sound of the waves and the sound of wind chimes suspended from the tree will definitely send you to sleep. Sitio Remedios Brgy. Victoria, Currimao, Ilocos Norte Telephone: +63 0917 332 0217 Email: sitio_remedios@yahoo.com Facebook: Sitio Remedios

5. Saud White Beach Saud White Beach is often compared to Boracay for its long stretch of white sand. Lakbay Norte 7 - Day 4 - Martin San Diego- 0179 Photo by Martin San Diego via NPVB While still not as powdery as the sand in Boracay, Saud tops Boracay if you’re looking for peacefulness. There are less people and establishments, allowing you to just be one with nature. Saud White Beach Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

6. SEA’s Kichen Lakbay Norte 7 - Day 4 - Martin San Diego- 0151 Photo by Martin San Diego via NPVB SEA’s Kitchen is the brainchild of 3 sisters–Sonia, Elizabeth, and Anna. https://flic.kr/p/23nXu93 The promise is to serve healthy and organic food with ingredients freshly picked from their garden. The restaurant operates only on a reservation basis, as the food is only prepared once reservation is confirmed. https://flic.kr/p/23nXwD3 A selection of delicious and mouthwatering Mexican- and Spanish-inspired dishes welcomed our group. SEA’s Kitchen Barangay Burayoc, 2919 Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte Operating Hours: 8AM-5PM, By Reservation (thru Facebook) Only, closed on Tuesdays Facebook: SEA’s Kitchen

7. Pagburnayan https://flic.kr/p/24sMu5e A trip to Vigan would not be complete without paying a visit to Pagburnayan, the art of clay pottery. https://flic.kr/p/236tMH4 Fidel Antiporda Go is a National Folk Artist, and he has mastered the art of high-heat pottery. https://flic.kr/p/21GSFuN The dark color of the pots sugggest that they were baked in high heat. Lighter or terracotta colored ones are baked in lower temperatures for longer hours. Pagburnayan Liberation Blvd, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur

8. Vista del Lago https://flic.kr/p/24sN6VH Vista del Lago, owned by Sammy Blas, is a restaurant by the Paoay Lake that offers Western and International dishes. https://flic.kr/p/ENB9uT Photo by Martin San Diego via NPVB The interiors are homey and inviting. https://flic.kr/p/24oP9d1 And the food is sure to fill a hungry stomach. https://flic.kr/p/Gk2y41 If you happen to come here on a full moon, witness the moon rise above the Paoay Lake. Vista del Lago Paoay Lake, Nagbacalan, Ilocos Norte, Philippines Operating Hours: 11:00 AM – 8:30 PM Telephone: +63 917 729 3074 Facebook: Vista del Lago

9. Hidden Garden https://flic.kr/p/24sMzFK Hidden Garden started out just as a simple landscaping project for the owners, but has since grown to a restaurant serving the best of Ilocano dishes. Lakbay Norte 7 - Day 5 - Martin San Diego- 0072 Photo by Martin San Diego via NPVB Tucked away in a residential area is this massive compound of exquisite landscapes. Hidden Garden Brgy. Bulala, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur Operating Hours: 8AM-8PM Telephone: +63 906 332-8309 Email: lilongandlilangrestaurant@yahoo.com Facebook: Hidden Garden Vigan Website: https://hiddengardenvigan.com

10. Tan-ok Festival https://flic.kr/p/21GSmnj Photo by Martin San Diego via NPVB We chanced upon the Tan-ok festival during our visit to Ilocos. It is the annual celebration of the joint founding anniversaries of Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte. Lakbay Norte 7 - Day 4 - Martin San Diego- 0274 Photo by Martin San Diego via NPVB As with most festival of festivals, expect all participating municipalities to showcase the best representation of their stories through dance.

FINAL THOUGHTS https://flic.kr/p/236unLz Ilocos is a thriving hub for tourism but with high regard for their history. Embracing the past and being able to move together with modernization and the influx of tourists is difficult but not impossible to achieve, as evidenced by the success of Ilocos’ tourism industry. https://flic.kr/p/Gk1XwW This wraps up my series of posts for the Lakbay Norte 7. The greatest part about trips like these is not just the new pool of travel knowledge I acquire, but also the friendships built and strengthened through travel. Lakbay Norte 7 - Day 4 - Martin San Diego- 0056 Photo by Martin San Diego via NPVB It is with great hope that this series has opened your eyes to the North and all the beautiful stories it has to offer. Lakbay Norte 7 - Day 5 - Martin San Diego- 0001 Photo by Martin San Diego via NPVB Congratulations to NPVB for another successful leg of Lakbay Norte! Lakbay Norte 7 Series:

Live an Awesome Life, Monique of Team Our Awesome Planet Disclaimer: The Lakbay Norte trip was organized by North Philippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB) in partnership with NLEX Corporation, Tarlac Convention and Visitors Bureau (TCVB), and Victory Liner Inc. Lakbay Norte is an annual media familiarization trip aiming to promote Philippine provinces in the north. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.

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