manila road trip philippines


Hello trotters, just a quick travel update!


I’m currently on a 2-week backpacking trip in the Luzon region of the Philippines – exploring the country by bus! Since leaving Manila, it’s been so refreshing to travel on the road without having to worry about the hassle of being stuck in traffic!

Considering the (not so developed) infrastructure in the country, I’m actually surprise by the extensive bus network that link each destination here in the Philippines. Not only is it easy to get to places by buses, they are highly efficient too. Victory Liner is a good bus company that is usually comfortable and consistently right on schedule.


On this trip, I will be exploring the following cities/provinces: Alaminos City (home of the Hundred Islands),  Baguio (mountainous region of the province), Vigan (tiny colonial town), Pagudpud (white sand beach), and ending the trip in the surfing capital of the region, La Union, covering a total of 800 miles/1,288 kms of land travel.


luzon map philippines bus route


The distance of each leg of the trip from are as follows:


Manila to Hundred Islands (Alaminos City) – 251.1 kms (5 hours)

Hundred Islands (Alaminos City) to Baguio –  125 kms (4 hours)

Baguio to Vigan – 195 kms (4 hours)

Vigan to Pagudpud – 159 kms (3 hours)

Pagudpud to La Union – 292 kms (5 1/2 hours)

La Union to Manila – 266 kms (4 hours)


That’s a total of approximately 26 hours of travel time on a bus!



As daunting as it sounds, traveling on a bus in the Philippines is actually a pleasant surprise. Granted, it takes HOURS to get from one place to another given their relative short distance – but the seat comfort***, the views, and WiFi on-board will keep you plenty entertained throughout the trip!


bus view philippine road trip pangasinan victory liner


Luckily, I already had my first long-haul Philippine bus ride on my last trip to Sagada; I already feel like a seasoned bus-rider at this point.


***Seat is comfortable on night-buses. On certain routes, only local buses are available and the space will be a little bit more cramped.

And if you are over 6 feet tall, your legs will look like this:


Local bus: bad news if you are 6’2 and over…


There you have it! I’ll keep you guys updated as the trip goes on (dependent on WiFi, per usual). Happy holidays and I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season!