This was the second leg of our family trip going down from Baguio. Check our Baguio trip here . It was 2 hour journey to La Union. La Union is located in ilocos region. Northern part of Luzon, Philippines.
We checked into Costa Villa Resort for theee day – two nights fam trip . It is in Surf town San Juan itself . Even though we are not so close to those hip cafes and bars in the area, the exciting part was that we are literally a minute away from the San Juan beach which means it’s paradise for the kids!
It is the end part of the surf town but they their own surf school centre available for the hotel guest in the area. It is not too crowded even though it’s summer time.
So here’s three things we did on those 3 precious days :
1. GRAPE PICKING
So on the way to San Juan my family went for Grape picking in Bauang, La Union. We chose Lomboy Grape Farm as they are popular to us it means reliable.
At first we don’t know what to expect as grapes in humid place doesn’t sound true to me. I thought grapes only exist in cold places? I was so wrong. The town are filled with grape farms because of the rich soil they have.
You can pick grapes as much as you want and it cost 300pesos / kilo. Not cheap but the experience was priceless especially for the kiddos. They even sell a grape wine which is really really nice. We bought one bottle back to manila.
Summer had a great time here really. This is fun thing to do for toddlers. A week after going back to malaysia, she still randomly say “pick” “grape” then “eat” because she eat the grapes that she personally pick on that day! (Even though it’s not allowed they just let the baby go)
2. SURFING IN SAN JUAN
Why San Juan? San Juan is widely known as Surfing Capital of the Northern Philippines. Only recently that tourist started to notice its beauty and potential. I can say that majority of the visitors are locals well compare to Boracay or Palawan. I think the country did a great job promoting these places.
So the reason why I chose San Juan for the family was to try out surfing. I haven’t had a chance to surf before.
On our first day there, I ask the surfing instructors if they have sessions that day. They said it has been zero wave mode the last 3 weeks! No!!!!I was so disappointed. They said that the surfing season is October-March. It’s May and they are sort of expecting it like this. All the more my heart sank!
I thought surfing is a year long sport and you just need to go to a place like San Juan and waves will forever be there. First timer blooper! Toiks!
But low and behold the waves came on our second day there! Yay!! Thanks God for encouraging me.
We paid 400 per hour to the surfing instructor. Me and my sister in law charm tried it. it is terrifying at first just the thought of something bucked in my ankle makes me feel uneasy . He gave us a crash course on basica of surfing and when i said crash it means 1 minutes. lol. What a joke! But they probably know that the best teacher will be your own experience in the board with those waves. True enough once you are there you will just learn how to balance and all. ‘Twas super fun!
And then also the next day I was able to surf second time! Happy me!! The second day was also a day I learned more about surfing because my instructor was more focus in teaching me. He took the time to explain basics simple enough for me to get started again. You need a good instructor for a start that’s for sure!
The family Uy enjoying the sunset.
The sunset was breath taking… the best thing it is just 3 hours away from Manila. Why is it only my first time here? thats the question I keep on asking myself! La Union is a gem yet to be discovered by many.
3. HIKE TO TANGADAN FALLS
Tangadan comes from ilocano word “tangad” means to look up. Reason why is that the falls was surrounded by tall mountains and rock formation. Pretty amazing.
According to our tour guide, this falls was only become popular in 2014 when someone posted a photo in Facebook. Thanks to social media!
We have no plan of coming here but because I saw it in the internet I just ask our hotel (Costa Villa Resort) if they have any contact for tour guide and sure enough they have . after 20 minutes our tricycle driver was waiting for us in our hotel room. Sinong nag aapura?? Lol
Swimming in the falls super cold but it is so refreshing . Some people there even believe that this falls have a healing effect. I think so too! Natures miracles here is not impossible. So so natural here! Loving it!
We hike for 1 hour going to the falls and 1 hour going back! It’s worth it! We paid 500 pesos for the tour guide plus 100 pesos tip. That’s totally worth it because they will hike together with you back and fourth and will wait with the bags while we were swimming.
The expensive one will be the tricycle who pick us up in hotel and bring us back. It’s 600 pesos back and fourth so we spend total 1200 for 4 pax on this tangadan falls.
I heard that you can ride they call a jabal jabal if you want to skip the hiking part. But you will miss the amazing view like this if you do.
ANOTHER MORNING SWIMMING
Summer having a great time swimming with Lola and the fam very early in the morning.
Louie and my shadow early in the morning!
good morning everyone.. just me praying early in the morning. Enjoying the quietness and peace while the little one still sleeping.
Bye for now ELYU.Hope to see you again next year!
P.S. Tired of booking hotels? I’m such huge fan of local home stays so Why not try Airbnb or with HomeAway! ?