Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pangasinan Travel Guide : Things To Do, Where To Eat & Where To Stay

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We’ve all heard about the wonders up North. The interesting culture of Benguet and Ifugao Provinces, the native cuisine of Ilocos filled with bagnet and empanada. Also, have we not had enough of Cagayan's wonders filled with beaches and nature? (Read: A Visit to Pangasinan's Hundred Islands)


Looking for something new? Tired and sick of these places, already? Well, then, you’re in luck! In this article, I’ll take you to a province that’s still kick starting its tourism economy. But nonetheless, you will surely enjoy what this province has to offer. 

Let’s travel to Pangasinan!

Where to go? 
There are many places that you could visit spread throughout the province. But I’ll list them, including the fun activities that you could enjoy in this specific place so that you have the choice to choose based on your preference.

Pangasinan Provincial Capitol
Located in the capital of the province – the municipality of Lingayen, the Capitol Building stands on the Capitol Grounds overlooking the Lingayen Beach. 
The buildings surrounding the area are for government offices. However, the main capitol building is open for tourists. Inside, the flooring, furniture, handrails and even the stairs are made of polished wood that screams how classy and traditional the building is at the same time. You could climb to the Capitol Rooftop and see what the whole area looks like from a higher viewpoint.

There is also the Urduja House which is the dwelling place of the governor. Not to mention the Sison Auditorium that mirror the main Capitol Building by its cream and white theme. Just outside the Capitol Building is the Veterans Park, where artifacts such as plates and old pieces of documents from McArthur’s landing on the Lingayen Gulf can be found. All within walking distance. 

Alaminos City Hundred Islands
Yes, the famous Hundred Islands is located in a city west of the province. There are more than a hundred islands that could be reached by riding a boat towards your destined island. 

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The different activities that you could enjoy range from water activities to nature walking. Such as: fishing, scuba diving, swimming, barbecue with the family, looking for lost wonders, etc. 

In Lucap, Alaminos, you could do some shopping with the different seashell handicrafts made as livelihood by the locals. Also, make sure to get your hands to some tasty Alaminos Longganisa. You know they are what you are looking for if they are separated by toothpicks and more orange in color than usual longganisa.  

Bolinao, Pangasinan
Bolinao in general is a beautiful municipality to visit. It is known for the fresh seafood it offers. So if you do visit Bolinao, it is impossible to not buy any huge tuna fish or alimango that’s still crawling out of the bucket. Make sure you get plenty of ice and an ice box to store all the seafood you will buy to travel back to your place.
The Cape Bolinao Lighthouse is also somewhere that’d you’d wish to be. It was built to help the fishermen navigate during the night but during the day, it is a tourist spot catering to hungry souls like you. It is located above a hill that elevates it from other places. 

A few kilometers away from the lighthouse is where the Patar Beach lies. Bolinao is famous for this beach because of its white Boracay-like sand and clear waters. It is often dubbed as the “Boracay of the North.”

Where to stay? 
Of course, with every plans of a vacation it is important to find a lodging to be your temporary home for the time being. Somewhere you could come back to after a tiring day looking for nature’s wonders. Somewhere you could sleep or relax in. Here, I listed the beaches and resorts near the tourist spots. Hotels in Pangasinan.

Aquatica Marina Resort and Water Park 
It’s not of walking distance to the Lingayen Beach or the Capitol Grounds but this is a good option. It only opened about three years ago but the lodging, accommodation and food are above satisfactory. 
Not to mention, the pool is always kept clean and the slides are safe and enjoyable. Also, a unique feature of this report is the wave pool. 

Islandia Hotel 
If you are planning for a long trip while you are in Alaminos, try Islandia. Accommodation and food are top notch. The interior is somewhere between modern and nature-oriented. Also, there is a pool whenever you wish to cool off. Check rates and availability.

More hotel options in Dagupan, Lingayen, Alaminos, and Bolinao, click here.

Where to Eat?
There are quite a lot of interesting places to eat in Dagupan. The province is known for bangus (milkfish) so expect that most of the restaurants have bangus in their menu. Here's our recommended restaurants to try when in Dagupan.

Matutina's Seafood House
Located in the cities of Dagupan and Urdaneta, Matutina's offer sumptuous offerings from international cuisines to local dishes. Must-try are: Grilled Dagupan Bangus, Nilasing na Hipon and sizzling bangus sisig.

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Great Taste Seafood and Pigar-Pigar

Great Taste Seafood and Pigar-Pigar started out as a small roadside eatery and has grown into a go-to restaurant in Dagupan City. Their best-selling signature dish, pigar-pigar (deep-fried beef) is a must-try.

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Address:  41-43 SIM Building, Gomez St., Dagupan City.

Kuya Max Restogrill
If you are craving for a delectable home cooked meal in Dagupan City, then Kuya Max Restogrill is the right place for you. Must-try are: Sizzling boneless bangus and sizzling bangus max.

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Address: De Venecia Road, Lucao District, Dagupan City.

How to get here? 
Pangasinan is reachable through land transportation from anywhere in Luzon. You can take a bus from Manila to Pangasinan and only pay around 600 PHP for a 6-hour ride. Or, if you are travelling with family, it is better to take your car with you or rent one if you do not have any. 

Or, if you are feeling fancy, go ahead and rent a helicopter to get here. Helicopter rental from Manila to Pangasinan costs around 120,000-240,000. 

What’s the language? 
Native Pangasinenses would speak in the dialect of Pangasinan mostly. However, most of them would know how to communicate in Filipino so there is no problem communicating with locals. If you are only comfortable with English, you should be fine as most locals would understand and speak English.

How can I travel around?
As stated above, it would save you a ton of energy and money if you bring your car with you (if you are travelling with friends and family). However, if you don’t, there are buses for long-distance travel and tricycles for short distance ones.

What are you waiting for? Come on, visit Pangasinan and experience true beauty of nature and wonders. Happy travelling!

Do you have other recommendations? Let us know in the comment below.

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