To plan a trip isn’t easy. You need to think of the places to go (and see), the costs, accommodation, and of course transportation. Then you need to link all them up to create a flow in the trip. You will need plan B and even C for unforeseen circumstances.
Lot of things to do, you bet!
That’s why before coming to Philippines; I read a lot. I do really mean when I say A LOT. Most on the transportation to the North of Luzon. I know those places, transportation might be expensive and should someone try to cut-throat us, we can always resort to the public transportation as they are the cheapest means to go about.
I was recommended, or should I say the travel sites in the internet recommends tourists to take Partas as they’re more reliable and consists as well as punctual in time. So when we faced with a detour in Manila, we immediately opted for Partas Bus Terminal in Cubao, Quezon.
Believe me, we were like going through Amazing Race in Manila with all the running and rushing. We had totally freaking massive adrenaline rush on the first day!
When we arrived at the bus terminal, Sat immediately went and queued at the ticket counter for our tickets while we waited at the side. It costs us 545 pesos (RM39.79) and will take us 8 hours to get to Vigan.
After getting our tickets, we went for dinner at a cafeteria near the bus terminal. The cafeteria sells something like economic rice in Malaysia. There is 5-6 selection of dishes to choose from on the food display cases to go with a plate of white rice. Sat and I took 3 dishes to share. It costs 450 pesos (RM32.85) for 2 plates of rice, 3 dishes and 2 bottles of water.
After dinner, we boarded the bus and not long after that, the bus began its journey.
Before moving, the bus’s speakers were blaring with local songs but it changed to English ballad after that. I was super tired, I fell asleep regardless how loud the songs were played.
But I did occasionally wake up many times the entire journey because of the yellow light going on and off at each and every station the bus stopped. I got pretty annoyed with the loud music and the yellow light but after mumbling to Sat, I dozed off again. Lol.
Never in my life have I sat in a bus that played such a loud music nor having light going on and off so many times in the middle of the night. I guess the bus driver did that to keep himself awake. Lol!
At around 2 something in the morning, the bus stopped at a rest house. Almost everyone got down. Sat nudged me awake and asked if I wanted to get down as well. I didn’t want to, as I want to get some sleep. But the temperature in the bus was getting lower. Unable to bear it anymore, I got down and joined the rest.
My face was still steam-steam when I got down. Don’t know what to say and do, I stood there, nodding my head in response to what they said. All I want to do is to continue sleeping, but wearing short pants didn’t help at all. Our group was the only ones wearing short pants while the rest were in jeans. We were totally unprepared for the trip and it taught us to at least store a shawl or jacket in our small backpack to whenever we go.
The rest house was actually bursting with life even at the wee hour. The ladies were busy selling breads, snacks to the bus passengers; some were seen sipping hot coffees. There’s a small queue coming from the stall selling red sausages near where we stood. Sat was tempted with the sausages, and he went to buy one from them.
I don’t know why I didn’t take any pictures at the rest house. Probably because I was super blur at that time. Lol!
The bus driver honked, signaling us to get onto the bus. After doing headcounts, the bus started moving and I too started making my way to dreamland.
I think I slept for another 1-2 hours before the bus did one final stop at another rest house comprises of a cafeteria and minimart. I quickly got down and ran to the toilet. Oh my, the stench. Eww. And there were big red ants crawling around. When I saw that ants, I got goosebumps – don’t ask me why. @_@
I’ve already been to the nastiest and the smelliest toilet in China, but I don’t blame the people there as the one I been to has no flush system.
But we were in Philippines and the toilet flush works! I totally don’t understand why people wouldn’t FLUSH after doing their business? Totally wtfish -.-“
When I got out, David, Hannah, Aaron and Sat were outside talking. I then noticed that the sky was getting a little bit brighter, so I asked Sat for the time. It was about 4 something in the morning.
The break was shorter than the first one. Barely 5 minutes into talking, we were asked to get onto the bus again. From there, I couldn’t sleep anymore so I was looking out most of the time. Luckily, the sky wasn’t that pitch dark anymore so I could roughly see the buildings beside the road.
The bus then moved along the curve on the hill and I could see a big lake with lots mist over it. I don’t know if that’s really a lake or a river or river mouth, the scenery there was beautiful and mystical. I woke Sat up, and he peeked out the see what’s so important/fantastic out there. He was like whoa! too upon seeing the lake and the mist.
Then I looked at the window on my right. What I saw was the beautiful nature canvas – orange-ish/purplish strikes coming out from valley at the end of the river. Too bad I seated on the left side of the bus, so I couldn’t take any pictures or video of the beautiful sky. I did try, but couldn’t see the orange/purple at all. Haih.
That’s the best thing about taking the overnight bus – you get to experience unexpected wonderful things that you might not even get to feel/see it again in future. Something wonderful like the sunrise Sat and I witnessed are totally for the mind-safekeeping only.
After going around the hill, I just had the feeling that we’re about to reach our destination. True enough, when the sky was a little brighter, we could see Vigan signboard somewhere. The bus stopped in front of a big gateway bearing the word Vigan. I was ecstatic as I longed to see this city ever since I know of its existence (while doing researches on Philippines).
We didn’t get down at the big gateway as there’s no signal from Hannah who sat in front. The sky looked like 6 something in the morning in Malaysia but believe me, it was only 5 o’clock.
Our bus stopped at the Partas bus terminal in Vigan. Don’t get you guys wrong, there’s no terminal building there; just a big empty space that can fit like 10-15 buses and a wooden shed with wooden benches at the side.
We got down, retrieved our bags and then walked out.
Few trikes parked in front of the bus terminal. Seeing us walking out of the terminal, they quickly approached us and asked if we wanted their services. Hannah then helped in negotiate and when the agreement of price was made, we then separated ourselves to 4 groups.
This time, Steven, Sat and I were in the same trike with Sat and I sitting at the cart beside and Steven sitting behind the biker. Then all 4 trikes vroomed their way to the hotel we supposed to stay on the first night.
Halfway biking through the still asleep town, our trike suddenly stopped. Shocked, we wondered what had happened. Apparently, one of the backpacks from our trike fell. Sat then yelled, “Oh gosh, it was mine!” before he broke into laughter. Luckily there were other trikes that were behind us or else Sat would have to wear the same clothes for the rest of the trip.