[Vigan] ► River Cruise: Audio-Guided Heritage Cruise

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"This is not your usual river cruise tour because your tour guide is an audio that is being played while the boat is cruising the river - an audio-guided river cruise."

Vigan is famous for its ancestral houses, the Calle Crisologo, it's museums, bagnet, empanada, etc. but only a few is aware that there is another way of understanding the history of Vigan - not lecture, not museum tours, not history textbooks but via river cruise. Yes, you read it right, it is river cruise that helps you understand the history of Vigan.

Understanding the history of Vigan via Vigan Heritage River Cruise

Maps by Wikipedia
Location Highlighted in Red
Mestizo River, that is the name of the river you have to traverse and this time, I am having a good boat ride with a fellow travel blogger, Edgar Alan Yap of eazytraveler.com. 

For my 10 months of blogging [as of this post], it is my first time to meet a fellow travel blogger and it was a great time to be inspired by a hardcore traveler. I am in fact a Vigan-based travel blogger but never had the urge to try this Vigan Heritage River Cruise. It was programmed in my mind that it is not an emergency situation to try this since it is just few minutes away from our house.

However, this fellow travel blogger wanted to try it and of course, how I love to try this as well!


This is not your usual river cruise tour because your tour guide is an audio that is being played while the boat is cruising the river - an audio-guided river cruise.

This Vigan Heritage River Cruise is a 40-minute river cruise that will lead you 5 gigantic tableau that tell a story. This story is the history of Vigan - from the time how it was discovered, the Spanish regime to the present.





As you see these giant structures, the audio guide further explains and tell more about the history of Vigan and these man-made tableau are just a visual aid to help you understand what the audio guide is talking about.

While traversing Mestizo river, you will pass to 5 barangays namely Tamag, Beddeng Laud, Capangpangan, Cabalangegan and Pagpandayan.





I was actually interviewing one of our assistants during the cruise and he was telling me that there is a certain speed being implemented for the boat we are in. He says that as we reach one tableau to another, the audio-guide must be in sync with the tableau we are seeing so that what we are viewing will be related to the audio guide, thus we really had to consume the 40-minute narration and there's no way of making the ride too fast or too slow.

The river cruise was just relaxing! The weather this time was sunny and it was very hot but as we traverse Mestizo River, the air that touches our skin gets colder!

EDMAR (Edmaration) meets EDGAR (Eazy Traveler)


While enjoying the cool river breeze, we also had the chance to learn about the history of Vigan and see how the people live along the banks of the river.

As we traverse the river, several children and people are waving to us saying "hello" while my travel buddy was busy capturing these people in his camera.

The Eazy Traveler [Edgar Alan Yap] enjoying the river cruise with our assistant (right)
The feeling was actually relaxing as my travel buddy this time has uttered. Aside from the audio-guided cruise while learning Vigan's history, it was another way to unwind from the stress of the city seeing only beautiful scenes in the absence of buildings, traffic jams, crowd and noisy streets.

The sky this time was so clear telling that we are lucky because there are no threats of the rain. In fact, it is a sad story to tell that places around this river we are cruising this time were washed out by flood when typhoon Peria hit the city way back in 2003.

Many people were left dead and others were homeless. This river overflew and wasn't able to contain the rushing flash flood that is hitting the city. It was a tragic event in Vigan and remembering my friends' stories that they were at the rooftop of their houses waiting for rescue while others' home were totally submerged, this river is bringing me a melancholic ambiance.

Nevertheless, the past was just a big lesson for everyone. Now, this river is used in sharing the colorful history of Vigan - and it's time to move on from the tragic past!

San Julian Bridge, linking the Vigan's Eastern barangays to the west






Shame on me, it was my first time to do this though I see this river almost everyday of my life, lol!

It was a nice learning methodology and a great way to travel to Vigan's past.

How to go to Vigan River Cruise?

1. From Vigan's poblacion area, ride in a tricycle. Fare is 10 pesos per head if you are in group. If you are alone, 30 pesos will be more then enough. Trike drivers charging you more than 30 pesos should be ignored for there are others who accept 30 pesos. You can even lower it to 25 pesos depending on how you bargained.

2. Tell the trike driver to drop you to Celedonia Garden in Beddeng Laud.

3. After the driver has dropped  you to Celedonia Garden in Beddeng Laud, you will see a sign board "This way to River Cruise." Just follow the direction where the arrow is pointing. It is about hundred steps from the road and you will be seeing the staff out there. Just approach them and they will assist you.

Do you want a FREE ride going to the Vigan River Cruise? Read this:

1. Go to Calle Crisologo.

2. Look for the Ilocos Sur Tourism Office, it is just beside Cafe Leona and near Max's Vigan.

3. This tourism office along Calle Crisologo offers free shuttle ride using the Vigan electronic jeep from 9am to 4pm daily.

4. Just tell the staff you want to avail the free ride going to the Vigan River Cruise.

Important things to know about Vigan River Cruise

1. The river-cruise is audio-guided and it is about a 40-minute cruise.

2. You have to pay 100 pesos per head if you want to try this cruise.

3. Wear the orange life jackets for safety, just in case.

4. There is no minimum person required to get the cruise going. If you are alone and you're so itchy to try it, go! Just pay 100 pesos and you will be riding alone! For students, 50 pesos, and 70 pesos for Senior Citizens.

5. If there are other people in queue, this time being solo should not be your ambition because for sure you won't be granted that privilege. Just get here when there are no other tourists and go solo in that case!

6. There is no minimum cruisers but there's maximum persons allowed. 9-12 people can fit the boat depending on the body sizes and weight of the passenger-cruisers. If you will go beyond that, expect to swim with the fish at the river!

This article is part of the 112 on 2012 Travel Challenge: Exploring 112 towns and cities in 2012.
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Tags: Vigan River Cruise | Vigan Heritage River Cruise | Heritage River Cruise | River Cruise in Vigan | River Cruise in Ilocos Sur | What to do in Vigan | Tourist spots in Vigan | Audio-guided river cruise | activities in Vigan | How to go to Vigan River Cruise Dock? | How much to pay in Vigan River Cruise |

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