My most recent trip took me to the city of Manila, in the Philippines. It was my second time visiting, however since I didn’t get up to much last time I wanted to go out and see a bit more of the country.
We arrived early evening and had been awake and flying overnight. It was all I could manage to order some room service (lechon kawali – the most delicious Filipino crispy pork!) and have an early night.
The next morning I was awoken by the sound of alarm at 5am – I’m quite certain that that’s the first time I’ve voluntarily woken up before the sunrise on any layover!
A group of us had arranged a guide to take us to the Taal Volcano, in Batangas. We made our way to the hotel lobby and our guide was waiting for us, so we got in the car and started the drive.
It took us around 2 hours to get there, and we were surrounded by lush green palm trees and beautiful scenery most of the way.
We arrived at the Taal lake, where the volcano is located. Our guide brought out some coffee for us, as well as the most delicious “pandesal” – Filipino bread rolls with a slightly sweet taste which are very addictive!
To get to the volcano we had to take a boat across the lake, which took us around 20 minutes or so.
The four of us hopped in the boat, as well as our guide who sat up at the front, and the captain who was already sitting at the back. Our guide had thoughtfully provided us with some wide brimmed hats, which came in very handy!
Even at 8am the sun was already beating down, and it was over 30 degrees.
We arrived on the island where the volcano is located, and stepped out onto the beach. The small village there was already bustling with people and some of them were doing their washing in the lake!
We walked across the sand to make our way towards the volcano. To get to the top you ride a horse around 4km along the dusty path. Our guide even gave us face masks to use but I found my face was getting far too hot with it on!
The view all the way up was absolutely breathtaking, and we stopped a few times to let the horses have a break and take some pictures.
As you can see some of the path was very steep and rocky! At one point we even spotted a bit of smoke coming out of the ground from the volcano, which is currently dormant. The last eruption was in 1977, so I was hoping we’d be safe!
We made it to the top feeling pretty hot and sticky, and we greeted by the most incredible view. The volcano has a bright green lake in the centre!
It was absolutely beautiful, and we spent some time just walking around at the top and taking plenty of pictures.
There was also a viewpoint which we climbed up, which had an equally awesome view.
We sat and chatted in the shade with some of the locals at the top who have various stalls selling fresh coconuts and souvenirs. My fridge is almost full from all of the magnets I’ve collected during my travels but I had to add another one with the Taal Volcano on it!
Slowly we made our way back down to the horses ready for the trek back.
The view was just as breathtaking on the way down, and I was so glad I’d dragged myself out of bed in the morning.
Soon we arrived back at the beach and jumped off our horses. The guides who came with us said the horses only have to go up and down once a day, a couple of times a week. I really hope that’s the case and they didn’t have to go straight back up after dropping us off!
We got back onto the boat, and this time two local girls also hitched a ride. Feeling rather hot and sweaty, the cool breeze on the water was a much needed relief!
We arrived back at the car and jumped in, and started the journey back to Manila. It took us just under 2 hours this time, and I might have had a little snooze on the way!
I’m so happy I managed to explore a part of the Philippines, which was absolutely beautiful.
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Hey, It just happens that I had scroll through one of your blog post, and I just can’t help myself from continue reading, little by little all of your posts. Your stories are full of such amazing and wonderful adventures. I am really moved and inspired to pursue the same profession that you have at the moment. I am currently a 4th year college student taking up a tourism course, and hopefully someday I hope I will be on the same career just like you do. Lovelots 🙂
Hi there! So happy you found my blog and enjoyed reading! 🙂 good luck with the rest of your studies and let me know if you ever decide to apply for Emirates! 🙂 xx
I just finished reading some of your blogs, and I got more inspired right now! I am still a junior highschool and dreaming of becoming an emiratcabin crew ❤️ Thankyou for sharing your experiences, I love it all! Gonna read the other blogs of yours. And oh! You are such a goddess I hope you’ll notice me!
Hi Mariah! Hope you manage to make the dream become reality one day, it’s a great job 🙂 Glad you enjoy reading my blog! Good luck 🙂
From the Philippines, here! So glad you enjoyed your visit! The last time I visited Taal, I was a little girl, and I am glad that it hasn’t changed one bit. Oh, and lechon kawali! If you liked that, then you should have tried the crispy pata. It’s very delicious. 🙂
Adam is right. There are more places in the Philippines that are even more interesting. If you ever find your way back to the Philippines, try Palawan–as per Adam’s recommendation, and Bohol. Try the Panglao Island Resort–that place is truly heaven on earth–with sand so fine it is almost like flour! 🙂
Thanks Layla, I had a lovely time! I’ll try that one next time for sure 🙂 Hopefully one day I’ll be able to go to the Philippines on holiday and explore some more!
Wow Philippines and the volcano looks amazing! Hope to explore it one day…
Diary of M
It was beautiful! I hope I’ll get to explore more one day, perhaps on a holiday there! x
Welcome to the Philippines!
Thank you so much!
Oh my god i just love your blog and your posts really you make my day everyday thankyou for this awesome blog and try to post more often and tell us about everywhere you go to and also thankyou for uploading your monthly roster really love that post thankyou so much you are such a nice person
Thanks Imdad, that’s very kind of you!
I remember those beautiful views 🙂 Taal Volcano is beautiful island indeed. But why did you take a horse? 😀 Walking on the hill is better experience I think. Traffic from Manila to Tagaytay is horrible. Next time, when you will be in Philippines for longer, try one of islands – for example Palawan. It’s different story with amazing places there.
The horse ride was included in the price we paid to the guide 🙂 It would have taken us a bit longer if we had walked and we had to get back in time for our wake-up call 🙁
Mostly we get a 24 hour layover but I’d love to visit the islands on holiday!
Ahh, I see 🙂 We resigned from guide service, but we booked boat and dinner separately. And tuk-tuk of course 😀 Islands are the most interesting part of Philippines. Because Manila, like you know, isn’t so interesting.