#IssaGOesPlaces: Taal Lake in Talisay, Batangas!

Sorry for the very late blog post, things have been busy!
Whoop, I lied. It's been a weird week for me, lazing around almost 24/7. But I'm not finishing November that way!

Family and I went to Taal Volcano last November 20, which was also my sister's first time to hike!
Taal Volcano has always been a place I wanted to visit. Not sure why I never got to go there, despite the fact we're always in Tagaytay. I remember Papa always telling me stories about his trip there, which made me even more excited!

We left the house at around 7AM, with our tito driving to the resort. We then took a boat ride going to the Island, where we registered and got a tour guide. Tip: Unless you want to be half drenched by the waves, do not stay by the side edges of the boat in hopes for wind. You'll get a cool breeze and wet pants!

Once we registered, off we went!

The hike up was pretty nice! It was either uphill or on leveled ground, which made it an easy trek up, taking only a little less than an hour.

There were 14 different stations. Don't be intimidated by the number, they are all close by each other!

I suggest that you bring a cap since there is little to no shade when hiking up to the summit. Don't hurry, though. The views are nice, so enjoy it. Just watch out for horse poop when walking, as there are a lot.

Speaking of, you can also get a horseback ride going to and from the summit. But I'm totally against that because 1 the hike up is alright (depending if you've got health conditions or what you're wearing!), and 2 poor horses. I saw the struggle and how cramped they are in their resting stations. AH, and 3 it's 450 PHP per horse!

When we reached the summit, we took a rest before going to the Red Lava viewpoint (which is 50 PHP each for the entrance fee). Pretty neat, as the ground is made out of the red lava formation. Plus, the view was beautiful and less crowded as compared to the cramped and noisy area back there.

Thank you to my cousin, Dayne Garcia, for the photos! <3 

The summit itself is really beautiful, where you get a glimpse of nearby mountains and Taal Lake. My only complaint was the amount of souvenir shops and carninderias, with all the people yelling or prodding you to buy from them. You can also golf for 100 PHP (3 balls), which my tito did!

Once we were done taking photos and appreciating the view, we started our way down. Just like the trek up, it was easy and more fun. I love going downhill since it's faster and you can sort of "test" your balance by doing a slow run down.

We took a break to have buko, which was 50 PHP (Found the STAALBUCKS by the registration area, LOL)! BTW, prices are kinda steep. Can you believe that they sell small Gatorade bottles for 100 PHP?! I suggest you pack your own food and drinks when going up, as they can be expensive.

Once we reached the registration area, we took a few photos and took the boat ride going back to the resort.

We had a delicious lunch waiting for us at the resort! We had eggplant, bulalo, and tawilis. Everything was delicious, especially the bulalo. Huhu, nothing beats homecooked Filipino food.

Here are the rates as of November 2016 (best to go in a group of 7!):
2,000 PHP - Boat ride for 7 people
100 PHP - Registration per adult
50 PHP - Registration per child
500 PHP - Tour guide per group
450 PHP - Horse ride (optional)
= 460 PHP per person (when divided by 7)

Itinerary (We stayed at our tita's home in Tagaytay. Depending on where you are coming from, it may take about 2 hours getting there):

8:00-10:00AM - Commute to Talisay from:

- Tanauan (Take a bus from Manila going to Lipa, then a jeep to Talisay)
- Tagaytay (Take a bus from Manila going to Nagsugbu, go down Tagaytay and take a tricy/jeep to Talisay)

10:00-10:30AM - Boat ride to island
10:30-11:30AM - Register and hike up to summit
11:30-11:45AM - Rest
11:45-12:15NN - Visit Red Lava viewpoint
12:15-12:30NN - Take photos, rest
12:30-1:30PM - Back to registration area
1:30-2:00PM - Boat ride back to resgistration area

Pretty glad my sister came along with me to experience her first hike. I think she loved it and hopefully wants to do it again, LOL. Thanks to my tito and tita for taking us there! Had so much fun with them and my cousins. :p

There will definitely be more to come. ;)


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