Trip to Legazpi and Sorsogon 2023
This is as of July 2023. I’m using 60 pesos to 1 euro as an approximate conversion rate.
How To Go
Trying to avoid flights, we took a bus.
We wanted an end of July to start of August round trip, but apparently Bicol Isarog releases the month’s tickets at the start of the month. Not wanting to risk having no tickets for coming back, we settled for a 24 - 31 July 2023 itinerary.
We took an Elite A Bicol Isarog bus from Alabang to Legazpi for a total of 3470 pesos (1735 pesos or around 30 euros per person). The computation is as follows: 1500 for the bus ticket + 50 for the “choice seat fee” + 94 convenience fee for booking online. That doesn’t quite add up to 1735 but I used a non-Philippine card so that may explain the discrepancy.
The Elite A was comfortable, but very cold. Not a problem if you thought ahead and brought blankets — which we did not.
The “choice seat fee” meant we sat just behind the driver. Watching the road was stressful for me so I would probably not take the “choice seats” next time.
The bus trip took faster than expected. We arrived in Legazpi within 11 hours! Even taking into account the stopovers in Lucena and Naga.
Going back, we took a Sleeper Bus from Naga to Pasig Arcovia for 4242 pesos (2121 pesos or around 35 euros per person). It’s 1850 for the bus ticket + 50 for the “choice seat fee” + 112 convenience fee + foreign currency conversion “tax”.
The Sleeper bus was also cold but we were more prepared this time around. Your mileage may vary as I managed to sleep well. My partner, however, did not manage because they found the inclination of the seat cumbersome. I prefer the Sleeper Bus, they prefer the Elite A bus.
Where (Not?) To Stay
We used Booking.com to find Your Brother’s House Tribal Village in Legazpi. It had great ratings but our stay was lackluster. Maybe we were unlucky but the toilets reeked — something that could have easily been fixed (but they didn’t) by those solid deodorant things you put on the toilets. We stayed there for only one night as planned.
It was raining hard outside so we took refuge in the restaurant. I wanted to walk in their restaurant using my bare feet since my shoes were wet but the kind waitress told us to keep them on since the floor tiles were broken.
As a Filipino with some instinct on what is cheap or expensive, it is quite expensive for what it is and we could have probably found better accommodation.
Apart from that, one of my university friends’ family was kind enough to host us for the rest of the time, as planned. I couldn’t say more about where to stay in Legazpi and Sorsogon.
Where To Go
We went in July — which was the rainy season. The Mayon Volcano, the main attraction, was covered by clouds the whole week.
Not to worry, there are other things to do, even when it is raining!
These are ruins of a church that got buried when Mayon Volcano exploded that one time in 1814. The entrance fee was 30 pesos, which is 0.50 euros.
There is also Sumlang Lake, but it was unfortunately raining too violently to enjoy. We stayed in the car!
Museo de Legazpi
The Museo was quite new, and it had walls of text describing the history of Legazpi and Albay. Apart from dioramas in the first room, there is not much to say. The first room felt more like a Powerpoint presentation printed in tarps. It’s recently opened so it might improve some day.
The second room was more “interactive”. It was about the pope’s visit to Legazpi back in the 1980s (?) and there were a lot of memorabilia on display.
Lola Sayong Eco SurFarm
We arrived during the flat season — perfect for beginners. It was a little bit boring to have surfing lessons when the waves are relatively calm — but it was now or never (well, in a few years).
For us, it costed 575 pesos per head (less than 10 euros), comprised of 75 pesos entrance + 450 pesos for one hour of surf lessons + 50 pesos as a tip since we felt our coaches were patient ahaha.
Orok Cold Spring
Its name is pretty much explanatory, it’s a Cold Spring! They somehow managed to make a “swimming pool” out of a cold spring.
For its entrance fee of 90 pesos (less than 2 euros), it’s a good way to pass the time especially if you get sunburned from previous activities.
We went kayaking for 100 pesos (less than 2 euros) per kayak (for at most two persons). The view was incredible.
There were other less “self-service” options — you can have the guides row for you — but I didn’t bother getting the prices.
I don’t remember why, but trekking wasn’t available that day.
The Rompeolas Lighthouse is situated in the Sorsogon Baywalk. It offers a great view of Sorsogon from the top. You can enter for free.
Other Places To Go To
Here are other places we planned to go to that we didn’t manage to go to.
National Museum (Bicol) in Legazpi was closed due to there being an alert level for the Mayon Volcano.
Whale Shark Donsol Center in Daraga, Albay was closed due to the whale sharks not being there. Apparently, you have to call to ask if they are visible as they just let the whale shark come and go as they please. On the other hand, the whale shark center in Cebu offers food to increase the chance of sightings.
Places To Eat
Breakfast Republik in Legazpi
I liked the food here — a lot of choices! We took a full meal for 420 pesos each (around 7 euros). I would come back.
Madison Hotel in Legazpi
We were waiting for some places to open and passed some time here. They had a good variety of coffee and we even took an ensaymada (local pastry). We averaged at around 180 pesos per person (around 3 euros).
Zoe’s in Legazpi
It was cheap and it was good. 1000 pesos for three, so around 6 euros per person is a good deal for good food!
Arjudz in Sorsogon
Just like Legazpi, we spent like 1000 pesos for good food!
La Residencia in Sorsogon
This was on the pricier side — 1820 pesos for three. It was effectively 10 euros per person and we had to wait for about an hour for the food to arrive — even when we were the only people waiting!
The food was okay and there was A LOT than expected. It was good for the quantity. The dishes were hit or miss. The wait time was atrocious. You decide if you want to try it.