Awesome Things To Do in La Union, Philippines Aside from Surfing @TourismPHL @NLEXTravel

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor February 27th, 2016 Posted in Organized Tours, Restaurant and Recipes, Travel Blog, Travel Guides 31 Comments
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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN

La Union has been known as one of the top surfing spots in the Philippines, attracting both local and foreign tourists all year round. Some have even opted to leave the city for good and establish their lives in this northern province, putting up businesses such as resorts, bars, and coffee shops, just to be a stone’s throw away from the inviting waves.

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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

Many would think that, as a popular surfing destination, La Union is just all that. “What about those who are not into surfing, or who choose to do other things?” they ask. I used to think this way, too, and it might be one of the reasons why I haven’t thought of going there. All these changed when I represented Two Monkeys Travel Group in NLEX Lakbay Norte 5 last January, exposing me to the beautiful secrets of La Union.

SM Monkey Section DividersNow on its fifth year, the NLEX Lakbay Norte media tour is organized by the North Philippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB) and the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX). It aims to introduce the best attractions, destinations, food, and activities of the country’s northern provinces to members of the media. This year, with the help of Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC), Victory Liner, Petron, Department of Tourism Region 1, Pangasinan Provincial Government, Pangasinan Visitors Bureau (PVB), and La Union Convention and Visitors Bureau (LUCVB), 24 representatives of broadsheets, magazines, and travel blogs were invited to explore the hidden gems of La Union and Pangasinan.

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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

SM Monkey Section Dividers

So what can one do in La Union aside from surfing? Here are some awesome – and based on experience, were beyond amazing – things that are worth checking out when you plan to take some time off in La Union.

Visit the La Union Culture and Arts Gallery

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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN

Locally known as Silid ti Adal Ken Laing ti La Union Gallery, the Culture and Arts Gallery houses local artists and showcase their talents as well as the province’s rich culture. It is also the home of AGLAUN, or Artists Guild of La Union. The group trains young artists from art groups such as Guhit Pinas La Union and KARATULA through various workshops.

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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN

Take a tour around the gallery and marvel at the numerous artworks on display. Feel free to take photos and learn a thing or two about each work of art. Who knows, this might bring out the inner artist in you and inspire you to create your own painting or sculpture.

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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN

Address: 3/F LUPAC Building, San Fernando City, La Union

Contact Person: Bernard Jerome C. Barbadillo – +639267546624

Trek to Tangadan Falls

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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN

The quiet town of San Gabriel is currently creating buzz among adrenaline junkies, thanks to the majestic Tangadan Falls.

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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN

From the town center, it will take around 30 minutes worth of jeepney ride along winding roads before reaching the jump off point. From there, it will be at least another 30 minutes of trekking. Don’t worry, once you hear the sound of water splashing and see the waterfalls up close, all the pain and sweat will be worth it.

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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN
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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN
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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN

Bamboo rafts are also available for rent for those who wish to get really near the falls, as well as life vests. Cliff diving is also allowed here, but be extra careful and listen to your guide if the water conditions are suitable for diving.

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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN
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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

Address: San Gabriel, La Union

Contact Person: San Gabriel, La Union Tourism

Drop by the Honeybee Center

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Lakbay Norte 5 participants with the staff of La Union Honeybee Center. Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

Want to have a close encounter with honeybees and not get stung? Then head off to the La Union Honeybee Center in Bacnotan and learn how honey production has become a source of livelihood among locals. Visitors are also given a short orientation about apiculture or beekeeping, which includes watching the honeybees getting busy in their hives. Don’t be afraid of getting stung, the honeybees in the center are ‘well behaved’!

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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO
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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN
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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

Also, don’t miss the chance to taste raw honey straight from the comb!

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That’s raw honey right there. Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN

The center also sells processed honey and other products. Make sure you grab some to take home.

Address: Bacnotan, La Union

Contact Person: Vissia Lyn Jadraque (Staff) – +639494530034

Go on a culinary adventure

For those who plan on having a food trip in La Union, you won’t be disappointed. The province boasts a wide array of culinary wonders, from the usual favorites to traditional Ilocano dishes with a twist.

Natalna Grille

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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

Before reaching the more popular town of San Juan, have a hearty meal in Natalna Grille in San Fernando. You may choose to dine inside the rustic restaurant or enjoy the cool breeze outside, facing the beach.

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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN
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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN
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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN

Address: San Fernando City , La Union

Contact Person: Monette Prietto (Owner) – +639209068336 / +639228836155

L.U. BBQ

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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN

For Ilocano inspired barbecue, check out L.U. BBQ. This casual dining restaurant serves mouthwatering charcoal grilled dishes and Ilocano comfort food. Forget your diet and feast on its own version of ‘dinakdakan,’ ‘insarabsab,’ and ‘chaleta,’ while being entertained by local bands and spoken word performances.

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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO
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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO
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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO
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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO
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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

Address: Rizal Avenue, San Fernando City, La Union

Contact Person: Ross Nisce (Owner) – +639178537677 / (072) 6074280 / ross_nisce@yahoo.com

Cube-O Grill

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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

Deriving its name from the Filipino word for ‘hut’ (kubo), Cube-O Grill is another must visit when looking for extraordinary dining experiences. This establishment is rather young, having opened its doors to the public only in 2012. But don’t let its rookie level fool you, as the dishes they serve are outstanding, and will definitely tickle your tastebuds. Plus points for the interior’s artsy vibe!

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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO
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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN
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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN

Address: Taboc, MacArthur National Highway, San Juan, La Union

Contact Person: Engr. Robert Chan (Owner) – +639209181806 / (072) 6070311

Mommy Lu’s

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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

Mommy Lu’s has “Filipino cuisine, seafood, and burgers” written on its signage, but it takes pride in its signature lengua which, true to the owners’ claim, melts in your mouth.

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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN

Other notable dishes are the grilled liempo, pinakbet, grilled squid, and kamote salad. The owners are also very welcoming, and their happy disposition emanates all over the restaurant.

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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN
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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN
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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN
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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN
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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

Address: Carlatan (in front of Coca Cola Plant), San Fernando City, La Union

Contact Person: Maria Paz Florentino (Owner) – +639209089179

Try bar crawling

What better way to cap off an activity-filled day than having some drinks with your friends? Gather your companions and head to the row of establishments along the national highway and have a bar crawl!

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At the second stop of our bar crawl. Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

Mad Monkeys

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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

Mad Monkeys may be a newbie in the area, but its Classic Burger with Cheddar Beer Sauce (yes, BEER!) is to die for! Owner Mateo Fabregas (whom we found out later on is the son of actor Jaime Fabregas) hangs out here most of the time, so strike up a conversation with him and he just might give you the recipe for the cheddar beer sauce. Don’t forget to grab a bottle of beer while gobbling the burger!

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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN
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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

Address: MacArthur National Highway, San Juan, La Union

Contact Person: Mateo Fabregas (Owner) – +639202013966

Surf Shack

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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

Just a few steps away from Mad Monkeys is Surf Shack, a low-key bar and restaurant with a laid-back setup that has become a favorite among surfers.  Aside from local and imported beers, it also serves a mean selection of cocktail drinks. The pizza and nachos are also a must try!

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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN
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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN
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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN

Address: MacArthur National Highway, San Juan, La Union

Contact Person: Anna “A” Magsaysay (Owner) – +639173062662

Clique

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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN

For those who are looking for a ‘party in the club’ vibe, then head on out to Clique, which is right next to Surf Shack. Much like the clubs in Metro Manila, there is a spacious dance floor, standing tables, and couches. Customers will also be treated to a magic show courtesy of one of their bartenders!

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Photos by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

Address: 2/F Planet G, MacArthur National Highway, San Juan, La Union

Contact Person: Jeanette “GNet” Segundo (Owner) – +639175640024

Have a staycation

Staying inside your hotel room might be the last thing you would do when a lot of activities can be done in La Union. But you can always spare a few hours curled up in bed or waiting for the sunset from your villa or watching surfers ride the waves.

Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa

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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

A boutique resort and spa located in a surfing paradise, Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa fuses both modern and traditional features in each of its 25 Garden Rooms, four Garden and Pool View Rooms, one Ocean/Pool View Suite, and one Rest House. You can check the latest room rates here.

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Photos by MICHELLE CALIGAN

Address: MacArthur National Highway, San Juan, La Union

Contact Person:  Glynis Ballot (Sales and Marketing Director) – +639178856566 / glynis.balagot@kahunaresort.com

La Roca Villa

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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

If you prefer a more private accommodation, La Roca Villa is just the place for you. Only a few meters from Kahuna and the bars mentioned above, it is a very private resort that offers studios and suites complete with kitchen facilities and feature either a patio or terrace.

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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO
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Photo by MARTIN SAN DIEGO

Address: Surfers’ Road, San Juan, La Union

Contact Person: Atty. Susan Munzing (Owner) – (072) 2423770

SM Monkey Section Dividers

Two Monkeys Travel Group would like to thank North Philippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB) and North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) for inviting us to be part of Lakbay Norte 5. Find out more about their projects through their website, Facebook, and Instagram.

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31 thoughts on “Awesome Things To Do in La Union, Philippines Aside from Surfing @TourismPHL @NLEXTravel

  1. I will visit La Union this coming November. I’m really somehow having a hard time to do a “DIY” Itinerary. However, after reading this article, it helped me a lot ah. Actually, some of the blogs and reviews I’ve read about La Union is cool din naman but your blog tackled some of the resto which cannot be seen w/ other blogs.

    Thanks!

  2. Wow.. I like the place,it’s so amazing….!
    LA Union is one of my favorite place…
    I’m keeping this one for future reference..hehehe Someday!

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