This is how you experience La Union
Of all the scenic places littered around our country, La Union has quickly become everyone’s go-to vacation spot. It’s not as difficult (and expensive) to get to as the likes of Palawan and Boracay (at least for those living within Metro Manila), but it’s definitely as beautiful—but still with its distinct vibe of chill and, at the right moments, un-chill.
But while it’s getting a lot of attention, there’s still a lot to figure out before actually getting there. How do you get there and what do you do? Where do you stay and what spots should you hit? There are a lot of questions (that we have the answers to).
Get comfortable, because it takes about five to seven hours to get to La Union. Your options are, naturally, to drive there or to commute there.
Driving means going through NLEX, SCTEX, TPLEX and then coming out at Carmen Toll Plaza Exit. It’s not the shortest drive so be prepared: make sure there are multiple drivers on board and you get along with all the passengers.
If you’d rather relax most of the way, however, you can always take a bus from Cubao to San Fernando, then a jeep from San Fernando to San Juan, La Union. It shouldn’t cost more than P600 per person.
There are plenty of places to choose from and stay in in La Union—Flotsam & Jetsam’s become a quick favorite of city-dwellers.
Flotsam & Jetsam has themed rooms, a kitchen/bar, a beach front, (obvious) creative aesthetics and a DJ on the weekends. While room prices depnd on how many people you are (and what amenities you want), you shouldn’t be spending more than P5,000 a night. And here’s a little tip: the prices are discounted by 20 percent when you stay on the weekdays.
Of course, there are other options, too: The Circle Hotel and Charlie’s Hangar Surf Hostel, as well as The Escape San Juan and Villas Buenavista for the Airbnb fans.
No one likes going on a vacation and having no choices for food—which is exactly why so many people have set up shop in La Union. Make a stop at Great Northwest for several options, including El Union Coffee and Makai Bowls. You can also head over to Olas, District Pub, Gefseis Greek Grill, Persia House, Tagpuan and round it all up at Leche for some dessert.
Don’t worry, there are convenience stores for those emergencies, too.
It’s no secret that the biggest appeal of La Union is its beaches—and the surfing opportunities that they offer. Over at Urbiztondo Beach, board rentals are prices as low as P200/hour and P500 for half a day (but more if you need an instructor; sorry). Schedule your trip from between October and March for great waves and between April and September for newbie surfs.
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Should the beaches get tiring—but not the water—and you’re up for an adventure, head over to Tangadan Falls. The road is steep and a little narrow, so small cars or trekking only, please. There’s also the Ma Cho Temple, Grape Farms, Luna Pebble Beach, Bahay Na Bato and Baluarte Watch Tower.
But when the sun sets, La Union gives birth to a different kind of life. Flotsam & Jetsam, for example, boasts a DJ, music to dance to, good food, drinks and a whole lot of people to meet and mingle with.
So, is it time to pack yet?
We’ve got a little giveaway for you! If you want a chance to win 50 free drinks (District Pub), P5,000 in GCs (OpenHousePH), 50 discount vouchers (Gefgeis Greek Grill and Persia House), Shopee discount coupons and Wonder merch, there are four easy steps: 1) Like and share the How To Elyu video, 2) subscribe to Mihowie and 3) like and follow Wonder on Facebook and Instagram. And here's a little secret to up the ante: you'll have better changes of winning if you share this post on your social media accounts!
Art Alexandra Lara