What is there to see?
North Luzon offers you the chance to get on a bus and explore the Philippines! By travelling around North Luzon you get away from some of the big tourist hot spots and get to see more of the local life and some beautiful scenery. This is very much a travelling holiday. You will want to see the new place and then the next day get back on the bus to see the next place. Not so relaxing, so certainly one for the more adventurous traveller with time on their hands.
Where do I stay?
When you are off the beaten track you will not find the very luxurious hotels, but you will find good clean hotels at very reasonable prices. Additionally the necessity to book is much reduced, allowing you more freedom.
How do I get there?
Although there are limited flights to North Luzon destinations, most people use the very regular bus services which extends over the whole of the island. Buses are usually every 30 minutes day and night, although less frequent to some places. Often people enjoy the day and then travel overnight to distant places. Buses are air conditioned and stop regularly for toilet and food breaks. In terms of bus stations there are a number of different bus companies and stations. It is always best to ask in your hotel, ask a taxi driver, tricycle driver or a local as to where the bus station is and how to get to a place. Most locals regularly use the bus service to go home to their families and they will be more than happy to help you! It can seem hectic getting a bus, but it is reasonably straightforward and the journey is good once you are on the bus. See my Bus page.
How long shall I stay?
I think it is best to break your journey. For instance if heading to Batad Rice Terraces then why not chose a place to stop en route. Remember that a lot of time will be spent on a bus so this is more suitable for people spending longer in the Philippines and wanting to explore.
Tips and Comments
Take a warm sweatshirt and a pillow for the bus! You'll have plenty of opportunity to buy food and drinks on the way. If you are unsure of where to get off the bus (or where to get on!) then ask. You will find people happy to help you. There have been rare and isolated cases of robbery on buses, but given the number of buses I wouldn't worry about this and as a foreigner you should feel perfectly safe on the buses. Buses do not usually have seatbelts.
If you have lots of money spare then why not hire a car and driver. It'll cost more, plus driver food, accomodation, fuel and tolls but it may be more relaxing and you'll get to where you are going quicker.