Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Eat My Dust Says Taal Volcano

Posted by: liza on January 20th, 2012 in Philippines, shoe tales

I’ve been to Tagaytay for numerous times already but I never had the chance to personally see the beauty of Taal Volcano up close, an active volcano that is still open for tourists (no worries, it’s being monitored by PhiVolcs) until last Sunday.  We celebrated the birthday of my brother-in-law in Leynes Resort (where my Tatay usually bring his guests from abroad).  At first, I’m a bit hesitant to go since I don’t prefer walking under the strong ray of sun (who does?).  Plus, I was also told that we will consume 30-45 minutes walk just to reach the Taal crater. But after few more conversations, I finally gave in. realized that I’m already there and all I need to do is to move my feet and ride the banca. So the journey started at 2PM.

Leynes Resort, Talisay BatangasMy siblings, nieces and nephews are with us. We are all 9 in the banca (some only allowed 7 people) but since my Tatay knows the owner of the resort, they have allowed us. So the ride going to the island where the Taal volcano is located took us 30 mins. Then, we paid Php 50 for the entrance ticket and took some pictures. That Sunday has lots of tourists coming over, mostly Koreans. So I guess, they find more fun in the Philippines.

While at the lowland, we are all determined to go up with our feet. Some locales there are offering us tour guide services and horse back riding. The price for the guide, which you will not most likely need is Php 500  for the entire group and the horse rent is Php 500 (back and forth with tour guide). We did actually not mind them at the start of the trail as we have been warned about the prices.

I bought a mask to cover my face from dust and smelly shit of the horses. So we started walking but locales there are still persistent in getting us. At first, trekking is exciting but as we go along, I think after 10 minutes of walking under the sun, we’ve decided to be at halt. Then, after a few minutes of bargaining, we finally rented the horses. And we are all glad, we did! For non-hikers like us and especially there are children traveling with us, it’s a way to go. The narrow road is shared by both walking tourists and the horses with their passengers. I think we can do the walking if there are no many tourists at that time.

After approximately 30 minutes, we finally reached the Taal Volcano crater. The first word I uttered is “awesome”.  It’s my first time to see a volcano and it’s definitely worth the effort. I suddenly felt that I’ve conquered the world. (O.A. though). We also played golf!

Some tips and notes when going to Taal Volcano:

1. As soon as you arrived in Tagaytay, locales there will welcome you with a sign board, Boat Ride and Taal Trekking.  Some will price you with Php 1,000-1,500 per head (that not includes the entrance fee and horse riding). We literally did not do the trekking because we rode a horse. Our rent for the banca is Php 1000.  Some says you could rent a banca for 1,500 (good for 7 people) so try to do some bargaining.

Gear yourseld with mask, shades and cap.2. Gear yourself.  If you have already planned to go to Taal, I suggest that you bring a face mask, wear shades and hat. While you can buy mask at the lowland for Php 20 pesos and rent a beach hat for 50 pesos, it’s still advisable that you bring your own. I bet you during the sunny days, you’ll need them.

3. Wear a thin clothes and comfy shoes/sandals. If you don’t mind the sunburn, you can wear anything you want. I don’t know what the proper attire would be but I wore a thin sweater that can be folded and jeans. While riding the horse, I still felt the heat of the sun penetrating in my skin. I’m actually wearing shoes but decided to borrow my Tatay’s slippers because we will ride banca and I don’t want my shoes to be wet, in case.

4. Play golf at the top. Why not? Well, my first impression is that what if the crater will be filled with golf balls? The locales there told us that it is being cleaned by PhiVolcs peeps so we don’t have to worry about the environment. I think it’s true since they were told that the golf balls from the crater is being sold to them again. It’s Php 50 per ball but we got it for Php 25 each.

play-golf5. Bring water. Even if you decide to rent a horse, it’s also recommended that you bring a bottle of water. The price of water and other sodas there is an oozing Php 50 (which is only Php 10). C’mon, it’s hard to bring those up.

6. Give something for our tour guides. I interviewed our tour guide and I learned that they only earn Php 60 pesos for every back and forth horse back ride and the rest of the payment goes to the owner of the horse. It’s sad to know that sometimes especially during weekdays, they only have one to two trips a day. Not really enough for the daily “baon” of their children. And that’s her in red long sleeves shirt.

Horse back riding going to Taal Volcano

7. We were able to rent our horse for Php500 for two persons. Those horses don’t have numbers and you can find those after a few minutes of walking from the lowland. Try to bargain them.

I’d say that trekking is for people who want to challenge themselves. If you only want to see Taal Volcano, ride a horse. You can still enjoy the journey without tiring yourself so much. We headed back to Leynes Resort at 5:30 PM — almost sunset.  Here are more photos to look at.

Where Do You Buy Money When Going Abroad?

Posted by: liza on October 16th, 2011 in travel tips

Money is first and most important thing to consider when going abroad. While most travelers are using their plastic money or credit cards, it’s still a must to bring the currency of your chosen destination. This is the money you will use in small and emergency expenses like fare.

Each time I travel abroad, I usually bring US Dollars since it is the international money. Then, I have them exchanged in my destination country. How about you? Where do you usually get your money when going abroad. Cast your vote on my poll located at the right side of this page.

Oh by the way, here’s the result of our last poll.
Women is the more frequent traveler than men.

I Left My Heart in Bohol – Our Trip in the City of Friendship

Posted by: liza on August 08th, 2011 in featured, Philippines

Our trip in Bohol is our first stop for domestic/beach travel this 2011.  I’ve always wanted to go to this place to see the Chocolate Hills but I was surprised because it doesn’t only have the amazing hills, it is also gifted with a beautiful white-sand beach — the Alona Beach.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, we got our ticket from PAL’s downpour deals. Our 2-day tour was hosted by Choco Tours(Google them), a local rent-a-car based in the province. We had the Panglao tour on the first day and Bohol Countryside tour on the second day. All costs us Php 7,100 including the airport-resort-airport transfers. They gave us black Toyota Vios. Maybe a little higher than what other travel agencies offer but we think it’s worthy of the price! We are very pleased with their service. And I should mention our tour guide/driver, Kuya Jun because he has been very nice and volunteered as our official photographer during the entire tour. Good thing, we never had to carry and set up our tripod. =)

We left Manila on Wednesday when typhoon Juaning is expected to arrive. We were actually a little nervous as there have been canceled flights on Tuesday. Good thing, our flight was not delayed and we arrived safely in Tagbilaran. I really love flying with PAL!

Our Snack from Philippine AirlinesHappy Peanuts, Combi Bicuit and coffee…

And so… the weather in Bohol is unexpected since we are expecting strong wind due to typhoon. BUT, it’s sunny yet not too hot. Our entire stay there is magnificent. We really enjoyed the view, the weather and the people. Indeed, Bohol is the City of Friendship!

Tagbilaran AirportHello! Sunshine…

Our Panglao Tour commenced as soon as we arrived in Bohol. First stop was in Dauis Church. You should try the healing water from Mama Mary’s well. They only accept donation. After drinking, we realize it really has healing power.

Dauis ChurchDauis Church Complex

Dauis ChurchDauis Church, Panglao

Dauis Church 3Dauis Church

Just Outside the Dauis ChurchJust Outside Dauis Church

Then we went to Ostrich farm, Shell Museum

Ostrich FarmOstrich Farm is not that impressive. They only got 4 (I think) Ostrich and other animals. I must say that ostriches in Baluarte in Ilocos and Subic Safari are more interesting. =)

Shell MuseumShell Museum

Then, we had our lunch in Bohol Bee Farm.

Bohol Bee Farm Lunch, #9Bohol Bee Farm Lunch, #9

Lunch.. lunch..Grilled Salmon with Red Rice & Veggie salad with organic flower

We then went to Hinagdanan Cave

Hinagdanan CaveHinagdanan Cave is very dark inside. It’s only the flash of the camera

Hinagdanan Cave 2The tour guide told us that those painting have been there since they discovered the cave. You will not see it unless you use a camera with flash. Interesting…

Our next stop was in Panglao Bell Tower

Panglao Bell TowerPanglao Bell Tower

And the last destination for day 1 was in Alona White Sand Beach…

Seafoods in AlonaSeafoods!

Alona White Sand Beach

The White Sand Alona BeachI really love this place!

We stayed in Panglao Regency Resort, also in Panglao Bohol. Watch out for the pictures. The room costs only P1,800/night but no included breakfast.

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