The most beautiful town in South East Asia?

One thing that South East Asia lacks compared to South America is lovely towns with nice old buildings. In the Latin continent there are loads: a few we visited were Ouro Preto (Brazil), Cartagena (Colombia), Cuenca (Ecuador) and Valparaiso (Chile).

Therefore, as we had heard positive things about Vigan we thought we would go and see for ourselves.

We stepped off the bus from Baguio into a lovely square with balconied buildings on two sides, a well-preserved cathedral on the other and… McDonald’s on the last (well, we are in the Philippines). Nevertheless, the town was very pretty.

The main street

A grand old house
Everywhere you turned there were amazingly preserved colonial-Chinese buildings, cobbled streets and horse and carriages. We spent hours wandering the lanes, nosying round open-houses and sipping lattes in street cafes.

A typical building
On our final morning we hired and horse and carriage for a couple of hours (for the princely sum of P150 (2.25 GBP) per hour and visited the lesser known sites around the city.

Becki in our horse and carriage
It was a really nice change from the amazing beaches, countryside and wildlife we had seen recently and from one of the worst places we have visited on this trip (see Manila post) to one of the best in a matter of days…

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Geoff says:

    oh wow, it looks stunning, i wanted to go there but didn’t get round to it…wish i had now

    Totally agreed on that being a failing of SE Asia vs Latin America – there are very few towns that have beautiful old colonilal architecure – other than this, Luang Prabang in Laos is the other one that stands out in my mind, and Yangon in Burma has a quite a few left (although all rather shabby-looking)

  2. Yeah, you are right, Luang Prabang is lovely too.

    We are now in China and considering Burma as Tibet is off limits until April. Would you recommend it?

  3. Geoff says:

    I adored Burma….was one of my favourite countries on my whole trip, slightly tougher travelling than most of SE Asia, especially if you avoid government-owned stuff like trainas and internal flights, but the people are incredibly friendly, Yangon is one of the best cities in asia, and Bagan for me put Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu in the shade. Was there exactly this time last year and am missing it! Let me know if you have any questions about it.

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