Just left Vigan by bus to Baguio just yesterday, prior to that I was in Laoag.
I'm supposed to stay only a night in Vigan but ended up staying 4, I just love the place. I got used to and love staying at small towns in other countries, I 'm not into big cities, people are nicer in small places, and Vigan is one of those. It's a city yes, but somehow it gave me this small-town feel. Every morning I'll go to McDonalds at the town plaza to buy some brewed coffee along with some breakfast - for take-away - then I'll walk to Plaza Salcedo, sit in one of those 3-level steel benches lining the big fountain pool, I'll choose a sit under a tree, have my own solo picnic there and wonder why people like to eat inside McDonalds when there's a lovely atmosphere at the plaza. Sip my coffee, eat my fries and burger while reading a book. I'm missing that now.
I stayed at a very budget fan room, a minute walk to Calle Crisologo for less than 400 pesos, nothing fab about the place except that it's also an old house much like those in Calle Crisologo and just what I needed. I'm a shoe-string budget traveler, though I could may be splurge, but I got used to travel on budget-to-moderate for the past decade or so.
Calle Crisologo is the center of attraction in Vigan, old houses with mostly antique and souvenir stores on ground level. Only horse-drawn carriages ply this cobbled-stone street, I like walking though, carriages are too touristy for my liking. For photography enthusiasts, this old street is more dramatic at night, so go there morning and night to catch the difference.
Plaza Burgos and Plaza Salcedo are beside each other with the St. Paul Cathedral in the mid. During the evening, people start gathering and securing their seats lining Plaza Salcedo for the colourful Dancing Musical Fountain which I saw 3 times, very entertaining. It reminded me of the Magic Fountain Show in Montjuic, can't believe they have one in Vigan, big applause to the Singson's.
There are several museums also around the city center - Fr. Burgos Museum at the back of the capitol building which I like a lot, Syquia Mansion (Pres. Elpidio Quirino's house) a street or two away from Calle Crisologo, Crisologo Museum at Liberation Blvd. free entry, and surprisingly the provincial jail is also open for visitors, it's Pres. Elpidio Quirino's birth house. Get in and mingle with the prisoners outside their cells but not out of jail.
I took a tricycle (10 pesos) to Bantay for the church and bell tower, a must-see. Then, took a 45-minute van ride (50 pesos) to Sta. Maria to see another UNESCO World Heritage church there which for me is worth-seeing, it's like the Trinita Dei Monti in Piazza De Spagna with those wide and long stairs leading to the church. I also took a tricycle (40 pesos) from Vigan to San Vicente to see San Vicente Church and from there (20 pesos) to Sta. Catalina Church, all are baroque churches and empty during my visits, which means I have the whole place (or church) to myself.
I'm more into historical stuff so I did not go to Baluarte or hidden garden. I'm also not a huge fan of fancy dining so I went to cheap eats. At Plaza Burgos, they serve crispy empanadas (30 pesos) and okoy (30 pesos), I always take my breakfast at McDonalds and ones forced myself to Jolibee, Chowking is beside it too. But if you're into fancy dining, Cafe Leona (beside Max's Fried Chicken) have al-fresco dining during evenings just at the start of Calle Crisologo.
For groceries and bottled water, there's a big grocery called 2 Brothers right at the back of the city hall.
Here's a tip for budget travelers - if you want to save on tricycle fare, DO NOT get a those parked ones, move a bit on the road and hail a moving trike, and pay 10 pesos for within the city destinations, even to Bantay bell tower.
If you're heading to Baguio after Vigan, the airconditioned Partas bus runs every hour, after midnight it's every after 2 hours.
What else? Oh yeah, I'm heading back to Vigan after tomorrow, I don't like Baguio, Vigan is more my kind of place. So questions are very much welcome now or later when I'm back in Vigan.