TRAVEL GUIDE: Things To Do In La Union (Tourist Spots and Attractions)

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I've been to La Union for several times. It's a usual stop over during my trips to Baguio City and Ilocos Sur some years back. It was only last year, when I tried to ride the waves of San Juan beach, that I actually spent ample time in this province. I was with my Sosyal Klaymer friends then and we had a whole day of surfing and swimming, plus a side trip to some interesting spots in the city center. This La Union Trave Guide will give you an insight on the Things to Do and to Experience in the town of San Juan and San Fernando City, La Union.

ALSO READ: 10 Best Hotels and Resorts in La Union (Affordable and Luxury Accommodations)

Things to Do in La Union: Revisiting San Juan and San Fernando City (Tourist Spots and Attractions)

It was only last month, when I set foot again in this province of Northern Luzon. As part of our company outing, we were able to visit different tourist spots and attractions within San Fernando City and San Juan.

As mentioned by our tour guide, La Union came from the Spanish word "The Union". It is because the province is a result of the merging of some towns in Ilocos Sur, northern towns of Pangasinan and western towns of Benguet. San Fernando City is it's capital as well as the administrative, educational, and financial center of the region.

Filipino-Chinese Friendship Pagoda

Our first stop was the Filipino-Chinese Friendship Pagoda. Located in Barangay II (Poblacion), northeast of Capitol Hills, it offers a panoramic view of the of the city and the San Fernando Bay.

La Union Botanical Garden

Next is the La Union Botanical Garden. Located at about 8 kilometers east of the city, it is nestled on the hills of San Fernando City. This 20-hectare park is owned and maintained by the provincial government. Inaugurated on March 2, 1996, it is a living museum showcasing different species of plants and variety of wild animals.

Ma-Cho temple

Our next stop was the impressive Ma-Cho temple, located in the heart the city and is overlooking South China Sea. It is a living testament of the influence of the Chinese in the province, whose many of their ancestors arrived even before the Spanish occupation in the country.

The temple is grand. With the two huge staircases and the intricate design of the roof, walls and ornaments, I felt like I was transported in China.

This Taoist temple was named after the Chinese deity Ma-Cho, believed to be the counterpart of the Our Lady of Caysasay in Taal, Batangas. An image of Virgin Mary is also housed inside the temple.

San Juan Beach

Last stop was San Juan Beach. Dubbed as the "Surfing Capital of the Northern Philippines", it is a favorite destination among surfing enthusiasts. The beach in San Juan boasts of consistent swells conducive for surfing. Several resorts and surf schools lined up at the beach area offering Surfing, Skim boarding and kayaking courses. Accommodations and Restaurants are also available.

I've been sleepless for the past few days and I don't have much energy that morning, so didn't bother riding the waves again. Some of my officemates did and they really had a great time!

So, when you visit La Union, don't miss San Juan Beach, it's one of the best surf spots in the Philippines.

SEE ALSO: Surfing in San Juan, La Union

There are lots of places to go for a tour in La Union. Listed below are the other destinations and places of interest that you may include in your itinerary when visiting the province of La Union:
  • Bacsil Ridge
  • Wallace Air Station
  • Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
  • Battle of San Fernando Marker
  • Luna Watchtower
  • Baroro Bridge Marker
  • USAFIP, NL Military Shrine and Park
  • Museo de La Union
  • Pottery-making
  • Blanket-weaving
  • Basi-making
  • Museo de Iloko
  • Bauang Beach
  • San Francisco-Canaoay-Pagudpud Beach
  • Agoo-Damortis National Seashore Park
  • Shrine of Our Lady of Charity
  • Shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan
  • Agoo Apparition Site

Before lunch time, we went back to Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point where we will be experiencing a luxurious accommodation for the rest of the weekend. I will do a separate post on it later.

Tweet: @adventuristaako : Now back at Thunderbird Resort.. Visited La Union's Pagoda, Botanical Garden, Ma-Cho Temple and San Juan Beach.. Luv et!!!

If you're planning of heading up north, visit La Union and discover it's rich culture and heritage, as well as its beaches and natural hidden wonders.

Naimbag na aldaw! (Good Day!)

*some photos shared by Herbert, Glen and Rommel

This is part of my 2-day plush company outing in La Union that happened last August 20-21, 2011. It was a weekend full fun, lavish food, luxurious acommodation and relaxation.
Map By: Wikipedia


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  1. Its a great post Mervs.
    La Union is really a great province.

  2. Next time, trek to the Tangadan Falls in San Gabriel. You'd love it.

  3. Naks company outing so sagot ba ng company lahat ng gastos?

  4. @Jenn - I'll take note of that... Thanks Jenn! :)

  5. @lakwatsera de primera - oh yeah! All expense paid trip ito... di ko rin naman kc kaya ang gastos sa Thunderbird Resort... 5-star resort... hehehe!!! thanks Claire! :)

  6. hongganda nga ang Pagoda! I'll hot la Union before the year ends. Taga ko na toh binalak puntahan.

  7. @thepinaysolobackpacker - wahahaha!!! oo nga... feeling ko tuloy lumipad ako sa China... hehehe!!! di daw ginawa yung isang Mano po eh... Thanks Gael! :)

  8. on your next visit, try surfing at the Surfing Alley, in Bacnotan, La Union. wider beach break, longer rides.

  9. Imma use your post for our La Union trip this month end. Tanks Mervs!

  10. Hi. Do you have a list of all your expenses?


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