Being a big island, Luzon is surrounded by beaches. But a particularly good one is said to be Pagudpud, on far North of the island. To put it in perspective just how big Luzon is, it’s about a 12 hour bus ride from Manila. Due to being so far from other attractions, not many visitors make it there. But whenever I hear there aren’t many visitors to a place, I know I have to go there!
I was already pretty far to the North in Vigan. But I still had a ways to go to get to Pagudpud. It was a bit like that TV show The Amazing Race. First I had to take a tricycle to the bus station, and ride several hours to the city of Laoang.
Laoang looked like it would have been interesting to explore, but I got on a tricycle and road to a different bus station. There are no central bus stations in the Philippines, and each company has it’s own “station,” usually just a small parking lot, in a different part of town.
The company plying the route to Pagudpud, Florida, had a small bamboo shack that holds one bus as their station. The lady that looked to be selling tickets ignored me. Eventually she just motioned me on to the bus. In the Philippines you usually don’t buy bus tickets. You just get on. After the bus leaves a guy will come around and sell you your ticket.
It was another long ride to Pagudpud, and the bus dropped me at some intersection. I didn’t book ahead at all on this trip, and besides the papal visit in Sagada, that wasn’t a problem. But one thing I’ve learned is that it’s nice to book ahead in beach resort areas, which this was. Resorts are often far apart along the beach.
Trike To The Beach
I paid a tricycle guy to take me to a couple places. I found one that was just a one room bungalow right on the beach. There would have been no way to book this place in advance. So maybe it’s better not to book. To book or not to book? The eternal question.
With a place to sleep sorted, I could focus on the incredible, deserted beach. It was really nice, and did I mention, not a soul around. The famous windmills loomed in the distance. They are the first in South East Asia, so the Philippines deserves some serious congratulations for being so progressive. In Massachusetts, where I used to live, they have been trying, and failing, to build windmills on the coast for years.
But as a lone traveler, beaches get boring after a couple hours. Luckily, the scenic countryside beckoned, which I will cover in the next article.