Philippines 2013: Taal Lake Volcano and Peoples Park, Tagaytay

Date: 18th May 2013

Today, I began my sight-seeing in Philippines. Janet, my host, suggested going to Tagaytay, largely to see Taal Lake (which is actually in Batangas).

Manila highway
We set off on some highway that passed by Manila Bay
Manila highway to Tagaytay
We passed through a few other towns along the way

The journey to Tagaytay took nearly an hour and cost β‚±105 each (one way). I took out my DSLR once we reached a bus terminal at Tagaytay. From here, Janet negotiated with a tricycle taxi to take us down to the shore town of Talisay.

Trike taxi Tagaytay Philippines
It was a downhill ride
Taal lake Tagaytay Philippines
The trike would stop at certain turns to give me a chance to photograph Taal lake
Birds on road Tagaytay
These colourful birds were at every corner of this stretch
Taal lake boats Batangas Philippines
The many, many boats on Taal lake. One of which we would be taking to get to the volcano island.

Once down, the tricycle dropped us at a restaurant-slash-tourism center. There we negotiated the price for taking a boat to Taal volcano island, horse rides to the top and back. We finally settled for β‚±3000 (Rs. 4300/$68/€51) for two persons.

Taal lake boat ride Batangas Philippines
Ladies first

Janet Taal lake boat ride
It was nice to have Janet for company. A local can really help a tourist out.
Taal lake fishing villages Philippines
Fishing villages?
Mithun Taal lake
Taken by Janet using her camera
Taal lake volcano boats Batangas Philippines
That’s Taal volcano. It’s still an ‘active’ volcano.
Taal Lake island village Philippines
We reached the island
Taal lake island boats Batangas Philippines
The sand on these shores was quite dark
Taal volcano island houses Tagaytay Philippines
We then walked to a basket ball court
Taal island basketball Batangas Philippines
Because no matter how remote a place you are in the Philippines, chances are you will find a hoop πŸ™‚
Taal volcano horse ride Batangas Philippines
We hopped on our respective horses and set off
Riding uphill Taal volcano island
You do have the option to walk, but trust me, take the horse ride if you have a heavy back pack. Oh, also bring a face mask.
Riding horseback Taal volcano island-philippines
Riding a horse isn’t as comfortable as the movies make it look
Horse riding to Taal volcano lake
It was tough holding on with one hand and trying to take photographs using a heavy camera with the other
Riding horses Taal volcano island Philippines
But 15 minutes later, we were nearly there
Horse Philippines
I felt sorry for these horses as they didn’t look the strongest. Yet I was grateful for their service. I wonder how many trips they do in a day.
Horse ride climbing Taal hill Philippines
Getting close
Horse ride to Taal volcano carved hill
It felt like an adventure ride whenever we passed through tracks like this
Top of the hill base Taal volcano Philippines
Phew!
Steps to Taal volcano lake Batangas
But the climbing wasn’t over

Once we got to the top, this is what we saw.

Taal volcano lake Tagaytay Philippines
The lake inside the volcano that’s inside a bigger lake πŸ™‚
Taal volcano lake panorama
You can walk around the ring up to a certain point
Mithun and Janet
Pretty scenic spot — until it erupts πŸ™‚
Korean ladies ahjumma fashion Philippines
Watching Korean variety shows introduced me to ahjumma fashion, but seeing it for real was just as funny!
Taal volcano shed Batangas
I walked to the other end

Taal volcano lake viewing point

Taal volcano lake Batangas panorama
Took another panorama
Taal volcano lake surrounding panorama
There isn’t much else to see from up here, obviously
Taal island lake Tagaytay Philippines
I took this photo from an elevated platform
Taal volcano hill Tagaytay
It was time to leave
Horses Batangas Philippines
Here we go again
Horse ride back down Taal volcano
Time to go back down
Horse ride down Taal volcano island Philippines
It was just as hard hold on when descending
Horse riding Taal Batangas Philippines
Janet’s horse was way faster than mine πŸ™‚
Dusty rail Taal volcano Batangas Philippines
Seriously, bring a face mask!
Helicopter Taal volcano Batangas Philippines
If you don’t wish to burden yourself, because you’re too posh, you can simply hire a helicopter πŸ™‚
Mithun and Janet on horses
Once we got back to base, we asked for a photo of us just to give you an idea how not-so-big the horses were.

We tipped the guides β‚±100 each and went back to our boat.

Boats Taal island Batangas PhilippinesPump boats Taal island Batangas Philippines

Clouds Taal island Batangas Philippines
The weather was thankfully good today

Once back on shore, Janet and I washed up to get the dust off our faces (and mouth). The tricycle driver who dropped us here was still waiting to take us back. We were quite alarmed when he told us his fare was β‚±400 for the whole trike ride.

Andoks Tagaytay Philippines
For lunch, I suggested Andok’s — a chicken chain I had seen everywhere in Philippines, but never tried.
Andoks restaurant Tagaytay Philippines
I wouldn’t call this place ‘fast food’ but given how much Americana is ingrained in Philippines culture, Andok’s just turned it that way
Andoks chicken Tagaytay Philippines
The chicken was really well cooked and tasted great! All what you see in this photo cost us β‚±270 (Rs. 380/$6/€4)
Inside jeepney taxi Tagaytay Philippines
After lunch, we took a jeepney to People’s Park in the Sky
Entrance People Park Tagaytay Philippines
Janet suggested visiting People’s Park in the Sky because it is a popular scenic spot in Tagaytay
Way to Peoples Park Tagaytay Philippines
The entrance fee was β‚±15 each
Rain clouds Tagaytay Philippines
The rain clouds seemed to be heading our way
Peoples Park in the Sky sign Philippines
Yeah, looks like this place isn’t well-maintained. Hmm, I wonder where the entrance fee money goes.
Peoples Park U-turn bend Tagaytay Philippines
From here, you get a very panoramic view of Tagaytay’s hills
Benches people park Tagaytay Philippines
This was an open air stage
Tagaytay hill view panorama
The weather was very cool as well
Condos buildings Tagaytay Philippines
Looks like condos will take over the greenery in a few years time
Tagaytay hill road Philippines
Tagaytay is a popular weekend get away from Manila
Tagaytay hills panorama Philippines
Took one more panorama
Shops Peoples Park Tagaytay Philippines
Plenty of souvenir stores and other shops here
Old viewing deck Peoples Park Tagaytay
We went upstairs to this ‘viewing deck’
Scratched wall People's Park Philippines
Clearly this structure needs some renovation
Jesus statue People Park Tagaytay Philippines
Looks like there is place of worship here

Corroded building pillars Philippines

Rain clouds People Park Tagaytay Philippines
The rains clouds were making their way here
Church people park Tagaytay Philippines
Janet and I decided to leave
Leaving People Park Tagaytay Philippines
Today being a Saturday, we didn’t want to risk getting back to Manila very late due to traffic
Jeepney chrome exterior Tagaytay Philippines
We walked to the jeepney stand further down from the entrance of People’s Park
Jeepney no paint exterior Tagaytay Philippines
You gotta love jeepney designs

I thanked Janet for bringing me here. Tagaytay seemed like a very nice getaway from Manila. Cool weather and lush greenery all around. For how long? We’ll see.

Next up, Boracay!

Next post(s) in this series:

Philippines 2013: Flying from Manila to Boracay, White Beach

Philippines 2013: Boracay island tour, Puka beach and snorkelling

Philippines 2013: Bulabog beach, Mount Luho viewpoint and sunset at White Beach

Beachfront hotels and resorts on White Beach, Boracay

Philippines 2013: Leaving Boracay; Kalibo to Angeles City

Philippines 2013: Arriving at Legazpi; going to Donsol to see whale sharks

Philippines 2013: Lignon Hill Park, Cagsawa Ruins and Mount Mayon

Philippines 2013: Aerial view of Mount Mayon; arriving at Coron

Previous post in this series:

The crap I went through to get my Philippines tourist visa this time

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