Situated in Ilocos Norte, Laoag is considered to be the central trading hub of the region. The city has a bustling international airport, making it convenient for tourists to travel to this place.
This well-known tourist destination is applauded for its wonderful national monuments, museums, and entertaining amusement parks. You will find tons of activities to keep yourself busy throughout the day. This vibrant city never fails to astonish new tourists. Here’s a list of 10 things you must do on your visit to Laoag:
10 Best Things to Do in Laoag | Philippines
1. Museo Ilocos Norte
Museo Ilocos Norte never falls short in fascinating its visitors! Prepare to travel back in time to the Spanish era on your visit to this amazing museum. This place exhibits several artifacts and art pieces from the colonial times.
Other than that, you will also catch a glimpse of traditional dresses native to Ilocos culture. In the museum’s gallery, you will see a variety of farming tools and equipment. A guided tour of this place will help you gain essential insights into the culture and lifestyle of the native people of the region. This museum is a haven for any history buff!
2. Church of St. Augustine
Also known as Paoay Church, this amazing cathedral is highly praised for its exceptional design. The raw beauty of this church has gained enough reputation to be featured as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The incredible attention to detail that went towards the establishment of this wonderful church is mind-boggling.
The bell tower itself is composed of three levels. A blend of coral stones and bricks were mainly used for construction. To top that off, this is also one of the Philippines’ earliest churches, dating back to the Spanish colonial times.
3. Rizal Amusement Park
Despite what the name suggests, Rizal Amusement Park is no run-of-the-mill theme park! It doesn’t feature any of the carnival rides and rollercoasters we are all so fond of. This park is mostly recognized for providing visitors a quiet place to kick back and chill.
During the weekends, you will notice several residents of Laoag dropping by this place for a picnic. In the center of this park, there is a well-lit fountain that brightens up the place at night. You will also find several amazing cafes and restaurants in the vicinity to grab a quick bite.
4. Saramsam Ylocano
If you’re in the mood for pizza complemented with some of Filipino’s well-known delicacies, come on down to Saramsam Ylocano for a memorable dining experience. This fine-dining restaurant is popular for its wide array of Filipino cuisine, including beef soup, Sinang-Lao, and Dinakdakan. These dishes are equally delicious and enjoyed by both residents and tourists alike.
The restaurant’s most beloved pizzas are the Longanisa Pizza and Pesto Pizza, available almost every day. This restaurant is a great place for a quiet lunch or dinner with your loved ones.
5. Paoay Lake National Park
Rizal Amusement park is great for spending quiet time, but many people aren’t too thrilled about visiting the place for its lack of activities. If you’re one of those people, you would have a much better time visiting Paoay Lake National Park. This spectacular park houses a magnificent lake where you will find several boat rental services to take a boat tour.
Besides that, this is an ideal place for bird-watching as you can discover nearly 70 species of birds. If you fancy a game of golf, drop by the famous Fort Ilocandia Golf and Country Club in the park’s vicinity.
6. Sinking Bell Tower
Dating back to 1612, the Sinking Bell Tower of St. William’s Cathedral has gained somewhat of a cult status in Laoag. Just as its name suggests, the bell tower looks like it’s sinking in reality!
Every year it seems to descend a little. The church staff can still ring the bell during the Sunday prayer. The cathedral itself has been constructed about 85-meters away from the bell and is beautiful in its own right!
7. La Paz Sand Dunes
The La Paz Sand Dunes is one of Laoag’s most revered tourist attractions. Spanning roughly 85 square kilometers, the dunes are ideal for an exhilarating dune buggy ride. The sand-hills look outstanding, and you will be amazed at the sight of sand seeping into wide-open grasslands.
It looks like something out of a marvelous painting. This is the only place in Laoag where you can try sand surfing. If you’re new to this sport, you can even get help from your tour guide.
8. Malacañang Ti Amianan
The alluring Malacañang Ti Amianan was once occupied by the late President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife. The grandiose mansion was named by then-first lady Imelda Marcos herself, and you will obtain an outstanding view of the Paoay Lake from here.
This mansion is composed of two levels, and the luxurious rooms inside are complete with fantastic artwork, furniture, and housewares from a bygone era.
9. Blue Lagoon beach
It would be a shame to visit Laoag and not check out the divine Blue Lagoon beach, in Mairaira Point. The water here is warm and immaculate, and some tourists consider this beach to be the best in all the Philippines. To make things even better, this beach is usually less crowded, and the water is great for swimming because of low currents.
You won’t find any of those annoying and loud jet skis around here either. If you want to be around the Blue Lagoon for longer, you can rent a room in one of the amazing resorts in the vicinity.
10. Taoid Museum
Taoid museum is an excellent place to better understand the culture and traditions of the Illocandian people. Many artifacts and antique pieces showcased in this museum are only native to Laoag.
You will also observe the clothing the ethnic groups used to wear before colonization. You can even enjoy a guided tour of the place.
In Conclusion, Laoag is a spectacular tourist destination packed with several activities and locations to explore. It has everything from pristine beaches and astonishing dunes to remarkable historical monuments and museums.