My travel companion Perla was walking around with a bright multicolored umbrella protecting herself from the hot sun and said: “maybe she would like to live at the South Pole, Antarctica where it was cool.” I suggested instead of hanging with the Penguins let’s go in the mountains to Tagaytay near Manila and experience a cooler climate.
Off we go in a new aircon bus which we picked up at the Crowe Transit Bus terminal behind Macdonald’s and Sugo Hotel located at the corner of Taft and Edsa streets close to Mrt station in Manila. Approx 15 minutes by taxi from Manila airport. Traveling through some interesting scenery and farming areas we arrived at Tagaytay approximately one and half hours later. We got off the bus at Jollebee, just as you are coming into town on the right side and arranged for a tricycle to take us to our hotel. If you feel you would like to experience living in a Palace in Saudi Arabia, Italy or Greece our hotel named the Estancia Hotel Resort more than fit the bill! The hotel was designed after the Mediterranean Santorni, using the contrasting colors of white and blue… looking all the way down to the lake.
Perched on the cliff the hotel offered many photo ops and has many amenities which include: a nice restaurant overlooking the lake, a large swimming pool, a jacuzzi and sauna plus recreation room. The hotel is large enough to handle large celebrations and ideal for a romantic wedding setting and also offers secluded bungalows along the cliff with your own porch for watching sunsets, taking coffee and drinks or just relaxing.
Tagaytay City, located 2,500 feet above sea level enjoys a cool and invigorating climate characterized by a relatively low temperature, low humidity, and abundant rainfall. Average temperature is 22.7 degrees Celsius. For this reason, Tagaytay with its cool weather, balmy winds and foggy mists is called the “second summer capital” of the country after Baguio City.
The primary tourist attraction in Tagaytay is Taal Volcano “the smallest volcano in the world” and reputed to be the most active. Tagaytays cool weather is appealing for tourists around the world, folks from Manila and those living in hot tropical climates. Tagaytay City has a population of approximately 16,000 and is about 60 km south of Manila in the mountains of Cavite Province.
The breathtaking views of Taal volcano and Lake is a MUST SEE for everyone visiting Asia. Tagaytay has its crisp and cool climate all year around. On clear nights, you can see the lake sparkle with the lights of fishing boats, and in the day the fog rolls in giving the area a mystical feeling.
There are several ways to view and enjoy the volcano! You can take a 15 min outrigger boat ride to the volcano that is within the lake. As you head from Tagaytay city toward the lake, many salesman may approach you offering boat rides which they take a commission. By asking at your hotel you can make arrangements directly from the boat owners. You can also take photos from many hotels overlooking the lake and volcano or hire a tricycle to give you the best photo opts while visiting this area. One outdoor writer described the area as one of the most dramatic and beautiful places in all of Asia.
Once on the island you can elect to ride a horse up to the rim of the crater (around 30 minutes). It’s a rather challenging ride, but the view at the top is quite spectacular. You can also trek by foot to the top which is good exercise, but you have to be fit and be sure to bring a lot of drinking water.
We hired a tricycle for the day and made arrangements to go People’s Park in the Sky which is atop Mt. Gonzales, the highest peak on the ridge. From on top of the peak you have a 360-degree view of the three provinces south of Metro Manila to the southern coast of Manila Bay: Cavite, Laguna and Batangas.
Arriving by tricycle we walked the last leg straight up the hill and took many photos. This is a great place to take lunch in the restaurant overlooking the lake and volcano island. After lunch we stopped at Picnic Grove where you can trek through many walkways and nature trails overlooking the lake or fly like birds in the clouds on their popular zipline. Leaving Picnic Grove we headed to Sonya’s Garden Restaurant, which took approximately 30 minutes by motorized tricycle… and is certainly worth the effort as you dine on homegrown organic salads and explore their colorful art decorations and gardens.
So there you have it! If you want to feel the cool climate, experience good hotels and restaurants, want a day of golf or set off on many trekking adventures, take postcard type photos… this makes a great vacation spot not to be missed. The coffee is extra good along with the local fruits and flowers seen in many stands throughout the area.
QUOTE:“All the pathos and irony of leaving one’s youth behind is thus implicit in every joyous moment of travel: one knows that the first joy can never be recovered, and the wise traveler learns not to repeat successes but tries new places all the time.” – Paul Fussell
THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: The Nobel Peace Prize medal depicts three naked men with their hands on each other’s shoulders!
THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: The path less traveled!
ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Travel often, travel light, and don’t forget to pack your digital camera with an extra memory card and extra battery… so you won’t miss that once in a lifetime photo opt!
From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.
Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?