- 6 Post By xyzimgone
- 2 Post By nightcrawler
- 4 Post By nightcrawler
- 1 Post By xyzimgone
Legaspi and the Elusive Mayon Volanco
We just spent a couple days visiting Legaspi (bought sale tickets on Cebu Pacific a while back). The city itself, about the same population as Dumaguete, is sprawled out over the flatlands below the Mayon Volcano. There is no real downtown core so it is difficult to decide where to stay. We stayed at the Legaspi Tourist Inn, across the street from LCC Mall (similar to Lee Plaza), and within walking distance to Pacific Mall (about like Robinsons in number of stores), the local market, and Embaradero (a new, waterfront Mall complex that should be nice once it is populated with stores). The Legaspi Tourist Inn has rates from about P700 (fan, no TV) to around P1400 for a “Deluxe” aircon room.
There is really nowhere to go for a walk like on the Boulevard of Dumaguete, except for inside the Embarcadero complex. There are some good seafood restaurants in town such as Mr. Crab, Sibid Sibid, and Waway’s, however the restaurants are strewn haphazardly around the city. There are a few restos (Gerry’s Grill, Bigg’s Diner, Tapa King and some local eateries) in Embarcadero and the usual fast food outlets (McDo, Shakeys, etc) at Pacific Mall. If there is any night life, I didn’t find it except for some acoustics (not very good) at one of the local restos in Embarcadero and maybe a disco and some KTV bars near the airport. The city is typical; smoky and dirty, overrun with tricycles and jeepneys but the people at our hotel were friendly and helpful.
Legaspi is a great place to buy handicrafts ranging from slippers/sandals to shoulder bags and hanging lamps / floor lamps; hand made from jute, abaca, rattan and bamboo. It is also well known for products made from Pili nuts and restaurants boast several tasty local dishes such as the Bicol Express (Bicol is also well known for its chilli peppers). It is also a very good base camp for adventure tourism such as diving (including trips to the manta bowl in Tacao, Masbate), trekking up the volcano, 4X4 tours, and swimming with whale sharks out of Donsol. Google “Bicol Adventures” for details.
During our 2 days, we visited Cagsawa ruins (the result of an eruption in the 1800s where approximately 1000 people died, most of them taking cover in the Church that was destroyed by the eruption). It is a good place to buy souvenirs and apparently get a picture of the volcano. We never actually saw the whole volcano during our trip because any clouds in the area seem to stick to the slopes like Velcro; but I guess it is there somewhere. I decided that I will just download somebody else’s photo from the internet and call it my own. We didn’t see much of the ruins either, because it started pouring rain upon our arrival and it didn’t stop until we got back to town. We also visited Lignon Hill (about an 800 meter walk to the top) that has a really good view over the city and the seemingly invisible volcano, a zipline, cable bridge and has the remnants of a Japanese cave from the WWII. We also went to the Wildlife Park next to the Hill, with the usual monkeys, birds and snakes but with the addition of a tiger, ostriches, and a big crocodile as well as other assorted mammals and reptiles.
All in all, an enjoyable 2 days, but I wouldn’t want to live there.
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Originally Posted by SteveB
Thanks for visiting Albay, it's just unfortunate that you didn't get to see Mayon Volcano. There's an urban legend that you if you don't see Mayon on your first trip to Albay, you're not a virgin anymore. Hahaha. But that's only an urban legend.
I'm glad you enjoyed your stay in our province. There are better hotels in Legazpi that Legazpi Tourist Inn but at the same price like Ellis Ecotel at Embarcadero and Casablanca Suites.
If you really wanted to walk, you could have gone to the New Legazpi Boulevard (only 3 years old) overlooking Albay Gulf. Sayang. Well, it doesn't have those large acacia trees (it has coconut trees instead) like in Dumaguete but it's long, 5 kilometers, much much longer than the one in Dumaguete. It is now the fitness center of Legazpeños and Albayanos alike. I could have posted a photo of it here but I don't have the permission to.
You said that Dumaguete has the same population as Legazpi. Not really. As of 2010 Census, Dumaguete has 120,883 while Legazpi has 182,201. Quite a big difference.
In terms of nightlife, there are lots of bars there but they are not located in one place. I recommend bar 101 in Bichara Mall.
From your experience I could say you you haven't really scratched the surface of the beauty of Albay. Maybe you could come back next summer when the weather is generally good so that you can experience the adventures Albay has to offer.
By the way I've also been to Dumaguete last 2010 and I could say it's great city! Lots of acacia trees and friendly people. We went to Silliman U. Parang di sa Pinas when you're there. We ate at this local seafood restaurant. Foods great. The service sucked though. We also went to this acoustic bar near Silliman. The band was average.
The City center though is like a street in Manila, crowded with lots of ukay ukay stores and they close early.
I noticed there are lots of Caucasians there with their Filipina companions walking along the boulevard.
We also went to Dauin, to Apo Island to be exact. Ganda! The water's so clean!.
All in all it was a great stay. But I don't want to live there, it's too small and too laid back to my taste.
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Here's a photo of the Legazpi Boulevard at night.
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Thanks, Nightcrawler, for your input and forcorrecting my mistakes. I wan't trying to be misleading. I wish I had heard from you before I went to Legaspi. When we walked around the harbour area, I didn't see anything like the Boulevard in your picture. Is that area further South, past Embarcadero? Through my research on the internet, and also by talking to the staff at our Hotel, I could not find anything that ressembled a disco or nightclub. We would have certainly gone to see. We do hope to visit Legaspi again. My wife would go back tomorrow just to buy some more shoulder bags, hehe!
Yup it's further to the south just behind the hill you see from Embarcadero. Just visit wowlegazpi.com for more info about the city.
Originally Posted by SteveB
Hope you could come back!!! Thanks!
I was there a few years ago to swim with the whale sharks in Don Sol.. Here are a few point and click shots from Legaspi tourist inn and around.
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I wasn't impressed with Lagazpi the few times I was there. If you go there for the night life you will be sadly disappointed. I haven't had many pleasant experienced with ocean based activities on the Pacific side of the Philippines either. Maybe I was just unlucky but it seems that wind speeds and waves made many of the water activities unpleasant or completely impossible.
How's the crime situation in Legaspi? -- better or worse than the Filipino average...?
It seems quite a bit more impoverished than other cities of the same size. I have never had any issues the couple times I was there though. It is also a VERY VERY hot and polluted city.
Naga City (about 1 hour north of Lagazpi) is much nicer IMO. Naga is about the size of Duma but cleaner, has lots of strip malls and decent restos and has SM and Robinsons Malls along with 2 or 3 other decent size malls that were designed more for local's. Much fewer foreigners than here though. I've been there 5 times and have only sighted 6 foreigners.