After you’ve caught some waves, watched sunsets, and enjoyed the party scene in La Union, it’s now time to get back to the capital city of Manila.
COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Since the beginning of 2022, the Philippines eased travel restrictions for foreign travellers and locals alike. The main requirement is to be fully vaccinated.
Taking a flight? As of November 2022, all international travellers bound for the Philippines are required to register an eArrival Card. You can fill it out upon arrival, but it’s recommended to register 72 hours prior to your flight to avoid queues and delays at the airport.
Besides the countrywide guidelines, each city also has different guidelines. For Manila, you just need to have a valid Government ID or your passport if you’re a foreign traveller. You also need your vaccination card that shows full vaccination.
The bus ride from La Union to Manila takes 6-8 hours for the 265 km (165 miles) distance. Ticket prices start from 580 PHP ($10). You can choose between Maria De Leon bus and Partas Transport for this route.
There are two bus operators for the La Union to Manila route: Partas Transport and Maria De Leon Transport.
Tickets start from 580 PHP ($10) for the 6 to 8-hour travel time.
If you’re travelling on a weekend or in a busy season, it’s best to book your tickets online at least a week before. This way, you’ll be assured of a good seat back to Metro Manila.
Maria De Leon buses are available at Bataan Transit Bus Terminal, while Partas buses depart from the Partas station. Both bus stations are in San Fernando, which is a 10-minute jeepney or tricycle ride from San Juan. Fares start from 10 PHP ($0.15) to 120 PHP ($2.05).
These companies also have buses originating from Ilocos and Abra passing through La Union national highway. You can try waiting for a bus outside your accommodation, but note that seats are not guaranteed.
The last stop for Maria De Leon buses is in Avenida, this stop is north of Metro Manila and about a 30-minute drive to Makati (the most popular with tourists staying in Manila).
Partas buses head to their bus station in Pasay, which is only 15 minutes from Makati. From both stations, it’s easy to book a Grab or take a taxi to anywhere you want to be in Manila.
Partas Transport has only one trip daily, which departs at 20:30. Online booking is not available for the La Union to Pasay route, so you can only buy your tickets at their station or on the bus. Tickets cost 980 PHP ($17).
The cheaper bus is Maria De Leon with tickets from 580 PHP ($10). For now, booking can only be done through their Facebook Page. Mare De Leon is very responsive to messages and comments, so that wouldn’t cause any problem.
Travel time from La Union to Manila is usually around 6 hours. If you take one of their last two trips, it might take as long as 7-8 hours because these last two buses don’t take the expressway to Manila.
Note: Beware of van drivers offering van rides back to Manila. They are not affiliated with any company, so they don’t have a franchise. Van drivers are also known for driving too fast. The legroom and seats in vans are also uncomfortable for long rides.
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