La Union is a province of the Philippines located in the Ilocos Region. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions dubbed as the surfing capital of Northern Luzon. Not known to many, the province is also cradling other impressive and beautiful sceneries such as Pindangan Ruins, Ma Cho Temple, La Union Botanical Garden, La Union Centennial Tree, and Arosip Ecotrail.
How to Get to La Union from Metro Manila
The road trip from Manila to La Union used to take 5-6 hours. now, with the newly constructed TPLEX or Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, travel time has been lessened down to 4 hours.
La Union is 6 to 7 hours away from Metro Manila by land. You can take buses bound to Laoag. Partas Transport travels to Laoag every hour, 24/7. You may take their bus from Cubao and alight at Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union, the surfing site where you can find a lot of beach front resorts. You may also opt to travel from Manila to San Fernando, La Union by bus and then take a short jeep ride to San Juan.
Other bus companies enroute to La Union are as follows:
Sampaloc, Manila terminal- Autobus Transport Systems, Farinas Transit Company , Franco Frederico Lines, RCJ Transit , Viron Transportation Company, Maria de Leon
Cubao, Quezon City Terminal- Dominion Transit Location, Martinez Trans
Others: Genesis Bus Lines (Avenida, Rizal, Manila), Philippine Rabbit Business Lines Incorporated (EDSA, Quezon City).
PLACES TO VISIT & THINGS TO DO IN LA UNION
1.) Surfing in La Union - a visit in the province of La Union is not complete if you can’t dance with its famous waves. Make sure that you try surfing once you set your foot in this province.
2.) Arosip Ecotrail - this place offers visitors a cool shade of towering trees and magnificent views. For those looking for challenging adventure, the Arosip Ecotrail is the perfect place. The highest point of the trail is 440MASL and it gives way to the scenic view of lowland Bacnotan, national highway, West Philippine Sea, and other prominent structures or landmarks of the province. The 45-minute trek composed of ascend and descend showcases four wonderful waterfalls: (a) The Zim-sim-ug Twin Falls which has an estimated height of 20ft and a basin deep of 8-9ft (b) Pad-tok Falls with an estimated height of 22ft with shallow basin. The combined water of the falls all meet in one main waterfalls called (c) Tekdag-aso Falls which is located west of the bedrock. below this waterfalls is a wide secondary basin which is best for swimming.
3.) Centennial Tree - In Barangay Carcarmay (Carcarmay Elementary School) stands the towering La Union Centennial Tree. It has a trunk so big, requiring more than 10 people holding each other hand to embrace its diameter. According to stories certified by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, this centennial tree has been planted way back 1896.
4.) La Union Botanical Garden - Somewhere in Brgy. Cadaclan San Fernando, La Union lies the five hectare botanical garden. A recreational park that pride itself as a research and conservation center of flora in the province. Several species of birds and other animals can also be found in the area. It has paved trails made for easy walk and better accessibility when touring the place.
5.) Pindangan Ruins - these ruins in Brgy. Perian, San Fernando, La Union are remnants of an old church built in May 6, 1786 after being destroyed by an earthquake in 1892. It is maybe an old rotten structure but for me it is still a beautiful sight to behold as it has been a witness of wonderful history.
Pindangan Ruins is just several meters away from the National Road and lies near Camp Oscar Florendo, the Regional Headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and just beside Carmelite Sisters monastery.
6.) Ma Cho Temple - this intricate structure in Barangay II, San Fernando, La Union (along the national highway, Quezon Avenue) has an elevation of 70MASL. Its 7-storey, 11-tiered towering temple is a multi-hued attraction capturing the admiration of many visitors.It is adorned by Chinese motif of Taipei lions and dragons and accented with massive stones. Many had been awed by its original spider type dome with the interlinking wood carvings of saints.
Like its counterpart Cebu Taoist Temple, Ma-Cho Temple is also open to the worshipers and non-worshipers alike, especially the Catholics.
Other Attractions: La Union Provincial Capitol, Baluarte Watch Tower, Centennial Tunnel, World War II Vintage Canon, Basilica of Our Lady of Charity, Our Lady of Namacpacan, Cathedral of St. William the Hermit, St. Christopher Parish, St. John the Baptist Parish, Sts. Peter & Paul Parish and St. Michael, the Archangel Parish, inter alia. Museo de Iloko, Museo de San Juan, Bolikewkew Rice, Bambana Natural Cove Formation, Terraces, Amburayan River, Tapuacan River, Thunderbird Resort, Poro Point Boardwalk, La Union Medical Center, Eagle of the North Park, Imelda Garden, Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, Hanging Bridge and Bacsil Ridge.
LA UNION PHOTOS
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This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival for the month of May 2014 with the theme