7 Reasons Tondol Beach in Pangasinan should be your next road trip

Monday, January 06, 2020

You normally come across Bolinao or the Hundred Islands when Pangasinan is mentioned. Have you ever heard of Tondol Beach in Anda? I found this gem thanks to the feature by Window Seat. It was my first time to ever hear of this town and it got me curious. At this point, it had been 6 long months since my toes spent time on the beach and I needed some vitamin sea.  Tondol isn’t exactly for everyone, but read on below if it’s the right fit for you.

1. The water is insanely clear in different gorgeous hues of blue

2. Sunrise and sunset time is quite a show
Sunset on our first day

Woke up mighty early to snap this during sunrise

3. The low tide can work for you or against you
I remember low tides in Bohol but this was….lower (?). What is the proper term? Hahaha When low tide strikes it gets peculiarly shallow. 

You would need to trek a bit to reach the portion where you can swim. 

For groups with kids, it’s quite ideal. 

This is what “high” tide looks like – still shallow. 

4. It’s quite affordable
Accommodations and food are inexpensive and on the koboy side. If you don’t mind the modest set-up, you’ll be fine. Most of the accommodations in this area are modest and simple.

We booked a room at 828 Gems Beach Resort because it was recommended a lot online. 

Our room was P2000 for 3 guests with AC. It reminded me of the rooms in Puerto Galera during college when my friends and I had very limited budgets. 

There were only 3 or 4 places where we could eat at. Visitors of Tondol are normally big groups who bring everything (including the rice cooker) and cook their food. We were just 3 and we didn’t want that hassle.

Food was average but cheap. One of our lunches was just P170 for 3 people! An average meal would cost you P60-80 with drinks already. To be honest it isn’t a big foodie destination. You can easily bring and cook your own meals at the resort if you wish to level up. 

5. You get to unplug
There are water activities and tours that you can take but we opted to stay put.

Our room did not have a working TV or Wifi but there was LTE. The beach front does not have any bars and restaurants close as early as 8 PM. 

It was perfect. Our days were spent swimming, by the hammock or with the sand between our toes under the coconut tree. It was ideal for me that trees were present because it meant I could hide under the shade and still be by the beach.

Photo isn’t exactly "instagramable" with my tripod photo bombing me but it sums up the weekend. It was the peace that I needed. 

6. In true Filipino fashion, majority of the people we encountered were kind
We met the owner of Resto Kalye - Ate Marilyn on our last night. The food was just okay but we had such a great conversation with her that we made sure to have our last meal in Tondol at her place.  She even gave us food to bring home as pasalubong! 

Please drop by Resto Kalye and say hi to Ate Marilyn! It’s a 10 minute walk from 828 Gems. 

This is the view from her place. 

In our 3 days there it was apparent that the people were not used to encountering guests that looked like me. They were used to Pinoy tourists. I encountered smiles and warm vibes from some locals. However, it also had a few rude encounters. Some groups were staring at me so hard and another started shouting “white” insults my way thinking I could not hear them. 

7. It is instagramable. 
I enjoyed shooting so much!

More snaps during sunset

Do you see the sand bar?

Waking up early has its perks.

Always have time for ice cream!

Okay so I rested in between shoots

The low tide brought out such beautiful textures. 

Can’t get over how crystal clear that water is.

Here are a few more tips.
It gets crowded. We visited last March and stayed Saturday – Monday. Saturday was packed, by Sunday lunch time there were only 3 groups left. Monday was pretty serene. 

This is how it looked like on Saturday.

Same spot but on a Monday. 

Travel time by car is 5-6 hours depending on traffic. The long travel time was the reason why we stayed 3 days because only 1 of us drove. If more than 1 person is driving, overnight stay is good enough. You can easily find the beach via Waze.

It’s rustic and simple charm might not please some people but it was good enough for me. Enjoy some quiet time by booking at least one weekday day to maximize your enjoyment. This post is meant to share how stunning this place is (without having to ride a plane!) and to taper your expectations. With its beauty and tranquil vibe on a weekday, Tondol Beach is a definite must. 

I can’t help but get this huge ass smile whenever I think of Tondol or when I see the photos. I find myself looking for more trips that help me relax and this is precisely what I got. Thank you Berenice and Nix for making this such a fun trip! 

* Additional Photos from Nix.

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