Bucket List: 15 Best Places to Visit in Olongapo City
Once popular for its redlight districts back in the heyday of the US military presence, Olongapo’s subsequent shift to a more wholesome image made the city a place that anyone could appreciate. With a dynamic that sees it changing for the better, the urban jungle with a growing population of just more than 233,000 people, as of 2015 consensus, is certainly a home to some amusements.
Here are the best things you can do if you happen to choose Olongapo City as your next travel destination:
Enjoy the seashore at the resort
If you are coming from a land-locked region, such as Nueva Ecija or Tarlac, the chance is good that the idea of beaches will appeal to you. Luckily, Olongapo has plenty. While its waters are not exactly as clear as that of more prominent shores in the country, its accessible waters are nevertheless a must-try if you feel like basking in the sun or getting wet. But if you must pick a specific location to satisfy your seawater thirst (pun intended), then choose All Hands Beach Resort for its tourist-quality make-up and offers. Its stretch of gray sand is generally cleaner than public beaches in the area, and it offers inflatables for a more exciting play in the waters.
Speaking of inflatables, though, this next section is largely all about that.
Experience the Inflatable Island
The idea of being by the seaside is fun enough as it is, but why not elevate the encounter by experiencing the Inflatable Island? Essentially a water park made of floating inflatables, this eponymous venue, known perhaps for its gigantic inflatable unicorn and slides that sits at the seaside of Halfmoon Beach, makes for a rather unique seawater activity—it’s worth experiencing at least once.
See the Ulo ng Apo Monument
What is Olongapo if not for the very origin that gave it its unique name? Derived from the phrase “Ulo ng Apo” (literally, a reference to a severed head), Olongapo is symbolized by the Ulo ng Apo monument, which is a landmark that is hard to miss, especially if you are a motorist traveling in the heart of the city.
Visit the Marikit Park
One of the earliest parks in Olongapo, the Marikit Park stands the test of time in signifying one of Olongapenos’ favorite hang-outs, particularly students from the nearby college and children on it for its playground. First-time visitors of this alleged “Youth and Children’s Park” will particularly remember it for its fantastic small block of artisan wall, which pays tribute to the hardworking people of Olongapo, and a repurposed fighter jet, left by the Americans sticking on top.
Shop in SM City Olongapo Central
Admittedly, not many would be traveling to Olongapo just to shop alone—not even now that it has its branch of the SM shopping mall. But if you are already in the city, why not spend some time inside the cold and bustling space of one of Olongapo’s biggest shopping locations? Once upon a time, when the idea of an SM City Mall was still a figment of the imagination of every Zambaleno, the site where the landmark mall was a far smaller area for merchants.
All of the activities listed here primarily involve places outside the special economic zone, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Area (SBMA). If you are looking to explore this rather unique-looking part of Olongapo, then you will be in for a surprise with its menagerie of entertainment offerings, such as the famous Ocean Adventure theme park and the Jungle Environment Survival Training Camp, the Harbor Point Mall, etc.
Our Top Hotel Picks for Olongapo City
Olongapo City Travel and Tour Packages
Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of cheap Olongapo City hotels and resorts via Agoda, Booking, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.
Also read: Backpacking In New Zealand: What You Need To Know.