We had our short trip to Laoag City before heading back to Manila via plane and what is the best thing to do in the area? Play on the sands!! It is actually part of our 3-days and 2 night’s itinerary in exploring some parts of Ilocos Sur and Norte. If you’re coming from Vigan City, you can take Partas bus for less than 200php (the best bus travelling in Ilocos region). It’s approximately 2 and half hours drive without traffic.
Where to EAT in Laoag?
I’m amaze how most parts of the city are clean and organize. Laoag has cheaper tricycle fare, data connection is stronger and faster (SMART) compared to Vigan. Also, I consciously notice that people from Norte are more hospitable than people from Sur.
Due to limited time in Laoag, I immediately search for a place to eat within the area. Fortunately, we found Saramsam at Hizon St. cor Rizal St. Rated 4.5/5 Stars in looloo app and currently holding Tripadvisors top restaurant in Laoag.
The moment I step in, it instantly give me that WoW! factor for its charming, cozy interiors and warm greetings of their staff. During that time, guest are mostly foreigners. The place is not crowded, generally clean, quiet and relaxing. Absolutely, Saramsam is the best restaurant in Laoag City. Their menu offers a great selection of local traditional dishes using fresh ingredients. Their Lauya a baka is highly recommended. It’s their local version of nilagang baka and I swear the best nilagang baka ever!
WHAT to DO in Laoag?
I arranged the 4×4 ride with sand boarding a week before our target date to avoid hassle. The best time to do it is either early in the morning or during sunset to avoid too much heat from the sun. You can contact Glenn Guererro of 4×4 Ilocos Sand Adventures at +639088853669 / +639109474129. We tried half hour 4×4 ride plus unlimited sand boarding for 1500php 2pax.
Trying this 4×4 ride give me mix emotions. Surely, not for fainthearted people cause I feel that any moment I will be hurt, not only because of the shaky ride but simply because of the 4×4 car lacks safety features. No helmet will be given to protect guest from possible head bump, no fence and belt that will safeguard guest from falling, no foam covering the metal bar to avoid body pain. Our only assurance is to strongly keep our hands holding on the metal bar for 30 minutes or else, we might fall and be seriously injured. On the other hand, the place is very rewarding and stunning. Who could have though that we have 85 square km wide, sandy, coastal desert here in the Philippines? But honestly, I wasn’t able to appreciate the thrill of the ride since I’m more concern about my safety.
Furthermore, sand boarding adventure is a different story. I feel like a child playing on sands that don’t care if I’ll fall, be hurt and get dirty. I feel nervous and excited at the same time. I slipped and even rolled down the slope more than having perfect slides. But it doesn’t stop me from trying. I’m so stubborn and not listening to our guide’s advice. “Kuya wag mo, ilalabas yung paa mo” but me being too nervous when the slide gets faster. I unconsciously did; Number of times. 🙂
Sand boarding is totally safe and fun since the entire place is covered with sands. No stones or other hard solid objects would hurt you.
If I will be given a chance. I would love to stay longer and discover more tourist spots in Norte. Have you been to Laoag? How’s your experience? Share it with US!