Semi-charmed Kind of TripMarch 23, 2010 at 11:03 PM | Posted in Travel | Leave a comment
Tags: bus, hotel, ilocos norte, laoag, trip
I just got back from a business trip to Laoag last Saturday and boy was it eventful! I was with an officemate and a colleague when I went there and we stayed for three days and two nights at the newly opened Ilocos Norte Hotel and Convention Center. My officemate and I opted to travel by bus as my friend Lily, who’ve been to Laoag before, recommended it for the scenic views we would see on our way there aside from the fact that it was cheaper. We booked seats on Florida bus and chose one that came with a small toilet as the journey from Manila to Laoag would take us eight to ten hours. I’m used to long land travels since that’s what I do when I go back home to my hometown in Bicol. Normally, I prefer sitting by the window and seeing different places and people along the way when I travel.
The journey to Laoag took us nine-and-a-half hours because the bus kept stopping to pick up more passengers along the way (the bus wasn’t full when we left). Ironically, the movie that was being shown on the bus was Speed. I stayed awake for most of the journey and just drifted off for a few hours. I usually don’t sleep soundly when traveling long distances. Somehow, I’m always conscious about my surroundings and the possibility that I might miss my bus stop.
I was practically groggy when we arrived in Laoag. There was a hotel van waiting for us at the bus station that took us to the hotel. The location of the hotel isn’t exactly convenient. It is located within a sprawling complex with no easy access to any public transport. There are no jeepneys, tricycles, or taxi cabs that ply the area – not even a pedicab. One would need a car to go to and from the hotel.
Checking-in at the hotel, we were warmly met by the gracious and accommodating General Manager. The Standard room we stayed in was spacious, clean, and comfy. I was delighted that there was a small balcony too. Our room came with coffee-making facilities, bottled water, mini-bar, cable TV (with very limited channels), and telephone. The bathroom was OK but there was no towel rack and bath doormat.
Our first day at the hotel was practically boring. My officemate and I attended to business stuff and tried to go online using Wi-Fi (we brought a laptop). But the Wi-Fi connection was only accessible at the hotel lobby. It was a good thing that we brought our own wireless broadband plug-its. I tried using my Smart Bro plug-it but due to the laptop’s hardware “problems,” I wasn’t able to. So I used my officemate’s Globe Tattoo plug-it.
Feeling tired and sleepy from the long trip, I went to bed early at around 10:00 PM while my officemate spent the night reading the Sookie Stackhouse e-book.
— To be continued.—