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).
We set off on some highway that passed by Manila Bay
We passed through a few other towns along the way
The journey to Tagaytay took nearly an hour and cost ₱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.
It was a downhill ride
The trike would stop at certain turns to give me a chance to photograph Taal lake
These colourful birds were at every corner of this stretch
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 ₱3000 (Rs. 4300/$68/€51) for two persons.
It was nice to have Janet for company. A local can really help a tourist out.
Taken by Janet using her camera
That’s Taal volcano. It’s still an ‘active’ volcano.
We reached the island
The sand on these shores was quite dark
We then walked to a basket ball court
Because no matter how remote a place you are in the Philippines, chances are you will find a hoop 🙂
We hopped on our respective horses and set off
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 a horse isn’t as comfortable as the movies make it look
It was tough holding on with one hand and trying to take photographs using a heavy camera with the other
But 15 minutes later, we were nearly there
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.
It felt like an adventure ride whenever we passed through tracks like this
But the climbing wasn’t over
Once we got to the top, this is what we saw.
The lake inside the volcano that’s inside a bigger lake 🙂
You can walk around the ring up to a certain point
Pretty scenic spot — until it erupts 🙂
Watching Korean variety shows introduced me to ahjumma fashion, but seeing it for real was just as funny!
I walked to the other end
Took another panorama
There isn’t much else to see from up here, obviously
I took this photo from an elevated platform
It was time to leave
Here we go again
Time to go back down
It was just as hard hold on when descending
Janet’s horse was way faster than mine 🙂
Seriously, bring a face mask!
If you don’t wish to burden yourself, because you’re too posh, you can simply hire a helicopter 🙂
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 ₱100 each and went back to our boat.
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 ₱400 for the whole trike ride.
For lunch, I suggested Andok’s — a chicken chain I had seen everywhere in Philippines, but never tried.
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
The chicken was really well cooked and tasted great! All what you see in this photo cost us ₱270 (Rs. 380/$6/€4)
After lunch, we took a jeepney to People’s Park in the Sky
Janet suggested visiting People’s Park in the Sky because it is a popular scenic spot in Tagaytay
The entrance fee was ₱15 each
The rain clouds seemed to be heading our way
Yeah, looks like this place isn’t well-maintained. Hmm, I wonder where the entrance fee money goes.
From here, you get a very panoramic view of Tagaytay’s hills
This was an open air stage
The weather was very cool as well
Looks like condos will take over the greenery in a few years time
Tagaytay is a popular weekend get away from Manila
Took one more panorama
Plenty of souvenir stores and other shops here
We went upstairs to this ‘viewing deck’
Clearly this structure needs some renovation
Looks like there is place of worship here
The rains clouds were making their way here
Janet and I decided to leave
Today being a Saturday, we didn’t want to risk getting back to Manila very late due to traffic
We walked to the jeepney stand further down from the entrance of People’s Park
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