Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Philippines Day 2 - Tagaytay City & Taal Volcano

Date of Visit: 21st March 2012

Our real adventures in Philippines began on the second day because by the time we arrived on the first time (Philippines Day 1), it already late evening and we can't do much thing by that time. So on the second day itself, after discussed with my friends and also the local tour guide, we decided to go somewhere more further, which outskirt from the town. 

Tagaytay City, which an hour drive from city of Manila, it's the quickest and easier if you plan to escape from the heat and bustling big city. Tagaytay City is one of the country's most popular destinations among the the local and foreign tourists because of its dramatic scenery and cooler climate provided by its high altitude. One of the main highlighted in Tagaytay City would be Taal Volcano. 
 
Taal Volcano, is claimed to be the second most active volcano in Philippines and known as the smallest active volcano in the world. So, I did witness an active volcano in Indonesia back in year 2011 (post here) and now, it's my second time to witness another active volcano again right in front of my eyes. Taal Volcano is totally different from other active volcano cause it is a lake with a volcano with a lake within, and an island in the middle of that small lake. Ok, now I myself also kinda confusing.

Eventually there are many ways to get from Manila city to Tagaytay City and also Taal Volcano. But if you are travel alone, please be aware cause there are many scams around. If you wanna try this kind of adventures, you can check Foongpc's blog - The Cheapest Way To Visit Taal Volcano. Whereas for us, since a local tour guide was recommended by my cousin who went before me, he arranged everything for us except that we need to pay extra for the boat, admission fee and horse ride.The total damages that we paid for all these three (boat, admission fee and horse ride) were PH5,050 (approx. RM353).  

Day 2 - Philippines Taal Volcano 02
#1: 25 min outrigger traditional boat ride to the volcano that is within the lake.

Day 2 - Philippines Taal Volcano 01
#2: And here we are, Taal Volcano finally

Actually we haven't reach the exact location and we were being approached for a horse riding to the volcano. It was my first time experience of horse riding and I was kinda nervous and worried but luckily there's a horse guides that will lead us up to the top of the crater. 

Day 2 - Philippines Taal Volcano 03
#3: The pathway was so bumpy and so narrow. Plus, it was so dusty too throughout the journey. Hence, it is advisable to bring along facial mask before embarking this adventures.

If you want to avoid from paying the horse riding (it's not free of charge, ok), you can try challenge yourself by hiking which it will take roughly from 50 minutes to 90 minutes, only if you have the reasonable fitness because of the hills and rocky terrain.

Day 2 - Philippines Taal Volcano 04
#4: Main crater and spot something in the middle? That's Vulcan Point Island.
That's the reason they said Taal Volcano is one of a special kind cause it's a volcano with a lake within, and an island in the middle of that small lake.

Upon reaching, we were approached by the local who were selling drinks and souvenirs but we declined. We're indeed tired and exhausted eventhough we're not the one who used more energy for walking up the hill but mainly cause of the weather and dusty environment. After did the shutterbug for few minutes, it's time to heading down the hill.

Day 2 - Philippines Taal Volcano 05
#5: Jeepney - Public transportation in Philippines. Too bad I didn't managed to take photo with them. 

Day 2 - Philippines Taal Volcano 06
#6: A view of Taal Volcano from the City of Tagaytay

Day 2 - Philippines Mushroomburger 01
#7: With our friendly, funny and attentive local tour guide - Abel Dave. 

If you are going Philippines in a big group and want to avoid the hassle especially in terms of transportation mode, you can contact him via Facebook - Abel Dave. He charged us PH3,500 per day (approximately RM245) and can accommodate up to 7 people in his vehicle. His service hours mostly up to maximum of 12 hours.

Without realised, it's time for lunch and our tour guide offered to bring us to something different and unique which we weren't able to find in Malaysia, or maybe in anywhere else. 

Day 2 - Philippines Mushroomburger 02
#8: Mushroomburger - For A Healthier Choice!

Frankly speaking, I hate when comes to mushroom but when eating this burger, I totally didn't realised I was actually eating a burger that was 100%  made out of mushroom. This was because it tastes exactly the same as the usual ones that we used to have either in McD, KFC or even Burger King but this one is more towards healthy twist as no red meat is being used at all. I guess for those who are vegetarian, for sure this will be your favourite. There are three MushroomBurger outlets in Philippines and the one we went in Tagaytay City, it is the oldest one and the one where MushroomBurger started since 1980. As relating whether it's halal or not, I still doubt on this.

And because we had plenty of times, Abel decided brought us again to another place for phototaking. Well, except for Taal Volcano which suggested by us, the rest was arranged by Abel. Upon reaching this place, it simply took our breath away.

Day 2 - Philippines Sonya's Cottage Inn B&B 01
#9: Sonya's Cottage Inn Bed & Breakfast

This place is totally a hidden gem of Tagaytay City. It's actually a bed and breakfast but they allowed visitors to visit and for phototaking purpose eventhough not staying there. This place is very serene and romantic surrounding by lush greenery environment filled with colourful and vibrant flowers and plants. Even my friend said this is the ideal place to held wedding. But of course, staying a night here would be pricey.  

Day 2 - Philippines Sonya's Cottage Inn B&B 02
#10: The cottage is gorgeous with quaint beds and well decorated at each and every corner

Day 2 - Philippines Sonya's Cottage Inn B&B 03
#11: Love this wall decoration using different kind of ceramics

Day 2 - Philippines Sonya's Cottage Inn B&B 04
#12: For a dog lover like me, I wouldn't miss out any chances to take photo with dogs wherever I go.

Day 2 - Philippines Bag of Beans 01
#13: Blueberry Cheesecake & few cup of drinks at Bags of Bean Coffee Shop

We ended our trip by visiting Bags of Bean Coffee Shop which recommended by Abel as he said we should try the heavenly taste Blueberry Cheesecake. He was right, the cheesecake was indeed taste good and melt once we put inside our mouth as well as the scent of freshly brewed coffee that we ordered. It might be pricey but with great ambiance and atmosphere where most of the dining tables are built under big trees, this place is totally "fantabulous" for those who are looking for some relaxing and calm environment.

Bag of Beans Coffee Shop's Location:
115 Aguinaldo Highway,  
Mendez Crossing West,
Tagaytay, Luzon, Philippines

13 comments:

  1. Blueberry cheesecake looks soooo yummyyyy!!!!

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  2. ok, my second Philippines trip will definitely include Taal Volcano...speaking of volcano, damn regret for not hiking the Mount Merapi...

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  3. the volcano looks interesting!

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  4. The patty really made from mushroom? I thought it was a beef patty!

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  5. u should try to go to pasagjan waterfall..something very unique route on a boat and water falling from like 10 storey high on ur right n left..truly nice experience n wander!

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  6. wah...the volcano crater lake is sooo beautifull!! and as usual the jeepney is always cool and colorful

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  7. was the horse ride tiring? Heard some people said tiring

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  8. Hello, may I know your tour guide phone no coz I cant contact him tru fb. Thanks

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    1. Hi, Valerie!

      Thanks for the inform me regarding this issue. I found his name card and you can email to abeldava@yahoo.com or contact through mobile phone: +63 908 256 3818. Hope you manage to contact him.

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  9. I am doing a carrying capacity study for Taal volcano. it will be great if you can fill up the questionnaire below. It will also help if you can pass on the link to people you know who have also been there. Many thanks. Let me know if the link doesn’t work.

    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1orPlWfxkmNRaRmKtZOZUSc4-sE-ioLuUi_Qen1d5zFE/viewform

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  10. I went trekking there too, good thing is, that I have a tagaytay hotel to stay.

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