It’s been about 6 years when I last went to San Juan, La Union. I used to go a lot back when I was still living in Baguio because it’s just 2 hours away. But coming from Manila, it takes around 6 hours and even longer during holidays. We originally scheduled this for early May but we didn’t realize that it was Election Day so we postponed it to the following weekend. It’s a good thing that San Juan Surf Resort allows rebooking with no extra charge (only once per booking). We originally wanted to go because we wanted to surf – which we ended up not doing. It was really just a weekend of relaxation and food. So much has changed since I was last here though! They didn’t have all of those trendy restaurants back then, no 7-11! I remember one time, we had to go to San Fernando and do our grocery for our stay. And we only ate at restaurants in hotels by the beach. So much has changed and it definitely was for the tourists’ convenience.
We took the Partas Bus going there because they have a P2P bus from Cubao to Sebay Surf Central, which is super convenient because it’s right next to San Juan Surf Resort. I booked it online via Biyaheroes, it’s PHP534 per way, plus service charge and payment processing fees. Their bus station is along Blvd, and one thing to note on these online bookings is you really have to print out the vouchers. I hope there will come a time that people don’t have to. Let’s save trees, people!
Mayne and I booked with San Juan Surf Resort, which is in a really nice location because it is right in the center of Urbiztondo. (Close to the San Juan surfboard sign LOL) We arrived a bit before noon so it was really hot out! We checked in, left our backpack at the reception and had lunch at their restaurant (Coast Call). This was pretty much staycation, we mostly stayed close to the area. I loved our room! I think that’s why we didn’t really have any intentions of going out because it has everything! We had a nice terrace, the resort has a restaurant, Seabuds, and massage! We also had a free breakfast for our 2-night stay so we didn’t have to go out for that as well.
WHAT WE DID:
Day 1 was spent in the room really. After lunch, we checked in and had a nap. I was knocked out for a few hours and just went out for dinner. We went to Great Gamble – recommended by Mayne. Their food is super yummy! Definitely not to miss when you are in San Juan! We ordered their Quarter Pound Combo, and Scallop Alfredo. I had food coma right after and couldn’t wait to get home and sleep again. LOL. It is located in this place called the Great Northwest Philippines Travel Stop and Viewing Deck where you can find a lot of other restaurants and cafes. It’s quite close to our resort, but we opted to take the trike since it’s just PHP10 per person.
We were joined by Gelai on Day 2. She was staying in Flotsam and Jetsam so we asked her to go to San Juan Beach. Our second day was spent swimming, hanging out at Seabuds, having an amazing lunch at Layag Grill and KIlawen Bar (which is also in the same place as Great Gamble), having an afternoon massage, taking photos during sunset, and a seafood feast at Noisy Crab Restaurant & Grill.
Seabuds is a healthy food joint located inside San Juan Surf Resort. It’s so chill, and the view of the beach from here is amazing! We spent a good few hours here. Mayne was reading a book, while Gelai just napped. LOL. Girl was tired.
We had a hard time deciding where to have lunch (there’s just too many choices!) but then a table freed up at Layag and I really wanted to eat some grilled food! It was one of the best lunch decisions of my life! LOL.
While at the travel stop, we dropped by Open House because Mayne was looking for some brass bracelets. She did but the sizing wasn’t right. Too bad.
We split up right after lunch to shower and rest before our massage in the afternoon. After massage, it was time to wait for the sunset. La Union has one of the best sunsets ever as well.
We decided to look for a place close for dinner and we chanced upon Noisy Crab. They serve mixed seafood meals in boodle style. This was such a satisfying dinner as well. We chose mixed seafood for 3 (since there were 3 of us duh) and then chose Szechuan as our sauce. That was quite spicy! I tapped out quite early and left the rest to Gelai and Mayne. I simple enjoyed my beer after. I got really sleepy after that.
Day 3 is the final day. I had work that night at 10pm. We still had time for swimming though and lunch while waiting for our bus at 3pm. We wanted to try the beach near Flotsam and Jetsam, but I didn’t like it so much. It’s not really for swimming, the waves are too strong – it’s more for surfing. So after a few minutes (also after taking some photos LOL), we decided to go back to San Juan Beach so we could swim peacefully. LOL.
After some morning swimming, we checked out and hung out at The Coffee Library, which is just across the street from the resort. This actually a pretty chill place! I have no complaints with the food either! We stayed a good few hours before crossing the street to 7-11 where we waited for our bus back to Manila.
The ride back to Manila took longer than expected. I was late to work for 40 minutes. Nevertheless, it was a really nice weekend of hanging out at the beach and eating good food.