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Officially recognised as Southeast Asia’s best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town, UNESCO-listed Vigan is particularly noted for its fusion of Asian and Spanish architecture. The area was a well-established trading post long before the arrival of Spanish colonists; merchants from the Chinese mainland came here to buy gold and beeswax from the indigenous people of the Cordillera mountains.
Head to Vigan’s Mestizo District, the town’s ‘historic core’, where horse-drawn carriages clatter over the cobblestones, and over two hundred colonial-style buildings remain on the original grid layout of 25 streets. Look out for the steeply pitched roofs, evidence of the Chinese influence on the region, and the capiz-shell windowpanes, recognisable by their pearly sheen.
Though Mestizo’s photogenic Crisologo Street is the main attraction, there’s plenty more to do around Vigan. Head to the historic pottery factories on Gomez Street to see an enormous fifty-metre kiln dating back to 1823, or visit Plaza Burgos for a taste of freshly-fried Vigan-style empanadas. These papaya-and-egg filled delights cost a mere fifty pesos each (approximately 1 USD).
Vigan offers a wealth of wonderful sights and experiences. What better way to explore them than on a Wendy Wu tour?
15 days from $6,390pp
We all enjoy a good fact or two - here are a few useful ones about Vigan: