Vigan, Manila - Stein Travel
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Vigan

Established by the Spanish in the 16th century, Vigan is a charming town, full of gorgeous architecture and redolent of the Philippines' colonial history. Located about 250 miles (400km) from Manila on the island of Luzon, Vigan is the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in the whole of Asia - a distinction which has seen the town earn a place on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. Full of cobblestone streets and buildings which fuse Spanish-Colonial architecture with Filipino and Oriental designs, Vigan is a fascinating and highly photogenic place. There is much to see and do in Vigan, including the hugely impressive Baroque-style St Paul's Cathedral; and the opportunity to spend a night in one of the grand colonial houses built by wealthy Chinese traders in the city's 'Mestizo' district, some of which now double as hotels. The best time to visit Vigan is in January, when the annual Fiesta celebrations bring parties, variety shows, beauty contests and a generally carnival-like atmosphere to the streets.

Information & Facts

Language

The official language of the Philippines is Filipino, but English is widely spoken. Tagalog is the most predominant of the many dialects or local languages spoken throughout the islands.

Money

The currency of the Philippines is the Peso (PHP), which is divided into 100 centavos. Major credit cards are widely accepted in the cities and tourist destinations. Banks do not always accept travellers cheques, but a receipt of purchase is useful. ATMs are available in the major cities. US dollars are widely accepted in Manila and other tourist areas and are the easiest currency to exchange; otherwise Euros and Pounds Sterling can also be exchanged in banks and hotels. Banks open from 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday, but their ATMs are open 24 hours. It is best to carry pesos when travelling outside of major centres.

Time

Local time is GMT +8.

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