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Sunday, November 4, 2012

La Paz Sand Dunes

The La Paz Sand Dunes or Bantay Bimmaboy consists of an area of approximately 85 square kilometers (52 square miles) of protected sandy coastal desert and beach close to Laoag City, the capital of the province of Ilocos Norte in the Philippines. The area is known locally by the name Bantay Bimmaboy, a name which refers to the common perception that the dunes resemble pigs in shape. The area is also popularly known as the Desert of the North and is a popular location for shooting films.

The height of the dunes ranges from 10 to 30 meters. The dunes themselves are scenic but a panoramic view of the South China Sea can also be seen from them.
With its dramatic landscape, the La Paz Sand Dunes is a popular site for shooting local and foreign films. It was used as a location for the Philippine movies Himala and Panday and for segments of the Hollywood films Mad Max and Born on the Fourth of July. A few people inhabit the area, as can be seen from the nipa huts that dot the dunes.

The sand dunes are found in the coastal village of Barangay La Paz, which lends the site its name. The dunes lie to the west of Laoag, between the city and the coast, and to the south of the riverbank where Fort Ilocandia Resort and Casino is located.

As the La Paz Sand Dunes begin just outside Laoag, they are easily accessible from the city. The sand dunes are just 15 minutes away by either motorized tricycle or public jeepney. It is also possible to walk to the La Paz Sand Dunes from Laoag, although it may take a trek of more than an hour in order to traverse the entire stretch of the beach. A rugged 4-wheel-drive vehicle may be used to drive over the sand.


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