"Tagaytay & Taal Volcano" Philippines by am-y
Philippines Travel Guide: 27,575 reviews and 94,379 photos
This is the town where most tourists stay when visiting Taal Volcano. There are quite a number of hotels up here (though only one that's 5-star), with most offering beautiful views of Taal Lake.
It's pretty civilised, with everything you could possibly need close at hand: restaurants, supermarket, shops, even a gaming arcade, and small hospital. Not to mention a Starbucks and 24-hour McDonald's!
The locals are wonderful - laidback, easygoing, mild-mannered people who're friendly, helpful and always welcoming.
American influence is evident in the way they word their signboards (all in English) and decorate their vehicles, in particular the jeepneys and tricycles.
You can choose to walk, or go by horse, up Taal Volcano. I had originally intended to walk, but bad shoes and even worse weather - blistering hot afternoon sun - made it impossible.
The trail up the world's smallest active volcano has no railings, no safety barriers, etc. It's ok if you walk, because you can keep away from the edge, but going up on horseback means the horses just follow the paths they are used to - this was a hair-raising experience because at certain parts of the trail, you are only 1-2 inches away from falling off the edge!!! I had to keep my fingers crossed the whole way and hope my horse wouldn't slip, especially being as tired as it was (panting and struggling to climb the whole way). All the horses were the same - tired and weak. The gradient was not very steep.
A lake sits in the middle of the main crater of Taal Volcano. Bear in mind this volcano is still active!
There is another small "island" within this lake, called Vulcan Point.
The view from the top of Taal Volcano wasn't very spectacular, but it does give you an idea of the general landscape of the region. Philippines is littered with volcanoes; you have to be there to experience just how many there actually are, as well as how amazing it is that people actually build their lives round such perilous terrain.
The greenery on the volcano itself is simply amazing - fertile as can be due to the volcanic soil. And the water of Taal Lake is so good that with every sweep of a wave, freshwater clams are washed ashore.
I hope this place stays unpolluted and unspoiled for as long as possible.
- Pros:Very nice people who understand English
- Cons:Poor hygiene in kitchens of eating places
- In a nutshell:Worth a visit to see the incredible landscape.
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