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April 14, 2016

Day Trip to Tagaytay Philippines

Taal Volcano Tagaytay Philippines

Taal volcano with its lake is a beautiful caldera volcano. A caldera is a cauldron-like volcanic feature on large central volcanoes, a special sort of volcanic crater, formed when a magma chamber was emptied. (Source: wikipedia)

Taal is also one of the most active and dangerous volcanoes of the Philippines and is being closely monitored.

Well, I did Tagaytay trip from Manila on my own, if I had to do it allover again, I'd use a tour company. Its just more convenient. My hotel was near Manila Bay, from my hotel I took a Tricycle motorcycle with a sidecar to Gil Puyat LRT Station. Tricycles and Jeepney are inexpensive ways to travel short distances in the Philippines.

Gil Puyat Light Rail Transit Station, ask your Tricycle or Cab driver to drop you from where you can take the Bus. The one thing in Philippines that is helpful is that most people speak English.

At Gil Puyat after waiting a while and finally finding the right bus to take, you'll be on your way to Tagaytay. The bus ticket is 83 Pesos one way. Important - ask the ticket conductor to inform you when to get off at Tagaytay as the bus is headed for Nusugbu.

The bus takes about an hour and a half or longer depending on Traffic. On traffic, if you think traffic is bad in the United States or Europe, visit one of the big cities in Asia like Manila or New Delhi and you'll appreciate the traffic back home.

At Tagaytay, a Tricycle driver approached me as I got off the bus. After some price haggling he agreed to take me to Taal lake shores and back. Its a long road to the Lake down a hill with twists and turns.  Very Important get a fixed price for going and return with the Tricycle operator or you'll be asked 3 times the price on your way back to town from Tricycle operators, and guess what you don't have a choice as you need to get back. There are no Jeepney that will take you to the lake and back.

Once at the lake shore, at the boat office they quoted me 3000 pesos, for a boat ride to Taal Volcano and back, entrance ticket and a horse ride up to the Volcano. After some price haggling, I was on my way to Volcano island of Luzon. There are 25 volcanoes on island of Luzon.

Taal Volcano

I was short on time or else I would have picked a sunny day to go to Taal Volcano, get better photos.

Once on the island where the Volcano is, there is a long dusty path to the viewing area. Bring a dust mask or you can buy one there, locals will approach you to sell dust mask, bottle water, coconut water, and soft drinks. Local will try to sell you anything, hat, gloves, drinks, water for the horse, and just about everyone will ask you for a tip. They'll even try sell you golf balls that you can take a swing at, and let them fall in the crater. No Bueno.

The crater lake is the largest lake on a Volcano island in the world.

Crater Lake Taal Volcano

Riding a horse to the Crater Lake can be very uncomfortable, its a half an hour hike one way, if you are in somewhat of a good shape, do the hike.

The views from top of the Crater Lake are amazing and it was quiet an experience.

Happy Travels!

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