A side trip to the Botanical Garden in La Union

By Kaye Mangabat

SAN FERNANDO, LA UNION – If you’re looking for a serene place where you just want to relax while on a trip up north, you might want to visit the Botanical Garden in this city.

Situated on a mountain top and about seven kilometers away from the city proper, the garden welcomes visitors with its lush stretch of green plants and trees.

Gilbert Duclayan, the caretaker, says locals often go to the garden to take a look at many bonsai and other ornamental plants.

Visitors need to pay a modest 20 pesos as entrance fee for the maintenance of the place.

On a recent visit, we went to the Botanical Garden and spent a whole day roaming around the area. We arrived there around 5PM and had a glimpse of the ornamental plants as well as a mini-zoo. There is also a grotto situated atop of a hill. Reaching it can be quite a challenge because you need to climb up a flight of stairs to reach the grotto.

If you have more time, you can spread a blanket on the ground and have a picnic with your family or friends. There are benches around the garden. Bringing your own picnic basket is a must for there are no eateries or sari-sari stores nearby.

One more thing that caught my attention was a wishing well. Visitors often try to throw coins inside jars in the well for good luck.

To get to the Botanical Garden, you can hire a tricycle driver in San Fernando. But if you want your trip be more fun and healthy at the same time, ride a bike with your friends. From McArthur Highway, turn left to F. Ortega Highway and turn right on the first street which leads to Botanical Garden.

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