Paoay Church via Jeepney

luzon //
Paoay Church via Jeepney

Luzon / Illocos Norte Province / Paoay

Most travelers to this area of the Philippines end up staying in the nearby Laoag (Luh-wahg) City, which has a range of affordable hotels, a host of tourists attractions, and even an international airport! I have a number of posts about Laoag, but this one is simply focused on getting to Paoay (Pah-why) inexpensively, on local transit for the proper travel experience.


UNESCO does not just hand out the title of World Heritage Site to just any place. One of the first qulaifiers is that there are no modern structures in the view. Luckily Paoay does not have many modern structures short of a few cell and radio towers. This centuries old church is one of a handful of religious buildings in the Illocos region designated as such by the United Nations chartered organization.

Getting to Paoay from Laoag is very cheap and easy, but you have to be patient.

Most tourists take tours, which are fairly expensive (relatively speaking) and frankly, I feel like they rush you through town. To me, tours are NEVER a good way to see a place. Eliminating tour vans will leave you two other options: a trike and a Jeepney.

Tricycles are inexpensive and great for short trips

...but this is not a 'short' trip! Paoay is 13km from Laoag. You do NOT want to make that trip at ground (diesel exhaust) level, and not in a bumpy trike. Do not be discouraged from trikes, they are a fast, economical mode of transportation around town. This trip takes you two towns over.


The jeepney terminal that you want is adjacent to the Capitol building, NOT city hall. The Capitol building is in the center of town, right on the roundabout (seen above), with the large letters spelling out "Ilocos Norte" out front. Find the Jeepney that says "Laoag/ Batac/ Paoay" and hop on. There are a few other jeeps here at the terminal, so pay attention!


You can expect about an hour long ride filled with locals, but do not be threatened. There will be lots of stops, and you will drive right through the heart of Batac first, home of a locally famous empenaderia, and the infamous Marcos Museum... where the wax covered corpse of Ferdinand Marcos was on display until it was moved to the Hero's Cemetery in Manila in November of 2016!


Do not worry about missing your stop, it will be obvious when you arrive at the 14th century building. This is an end to end ride. Easy!