One thing that makes the biggest difference when we are traveling overseas is to have someone local to show us around. This time, we are indeed lucky to have two exceptionally kind and generous souls, Anson and Aubrey, who brought us to several amazing places while we’re in Manila. After touching down, they picked us up from the hotel and told us that we would be heading towards a volcano – an active one, to be precise. We were, in fact, going to Tagaytay, a place with a slightly higher altitude that would provide a gorgeous view of the Taal Volcano within Lake Taal.
Gorgeous place for a cuppa
From the city to Tagaytay, the drive took about 1.5 hours without traffic jam. Once we reached Tagaytay, I could immediately feel the temperature getting cooler. There were many places in Tagaytay that provided a gorgeous view of the lake but we ended up at Taal Vista Hotel instead. Located behind the hotel was a stretch of al-fresco dining area set amidst one of the most breath-taking views around. The greens, the blues and the cool breeze just made the environment perfect for an afternoon coffee.
Coffee by the garden
It just stopped raining when we reached, so the air was still humid, windy and cooling. The temperature must have hovered around 24 degrees Celsius, which was absolutely soothing. The view from our table was pretty amazing, we could see the Lake Taal from afar, not to mention being surrounded by lush plants and greenery.
Popular spot for photography
One side of the view
Without much ado, I took the chance to snap some pictures of the Taal Volcano before the sky got darker. Taal Volcano is an active complex volcano located in the island of Luzon, Philippines. Within the Taal Volcano is a crater, which is also the world’s the largest lake within an island (Volcano island) within a lake (Lake Taal) within an island (Luzon island). Are you confused?
Spot Taal Volcano in the middle!
Surrounding the Taal Volcano is Taal Lake, which was formed by eruptions between 500,000 to 100,000 years ago. This lake is now home to some of the freshwater fish species, which explains the numerous fishing activities and traps found on the shores of the lake. The Taal Lake, on the other hand, is situated on a larger island called Luzon in the Philippines. Therefore, the crater in the Taal Volcano becomes a lake within an island on a lake within an island.
Fishing activities around the banks of Taal Lake
We were there at about 5+pm and realized that the sun actually started to set at 5.45pm, much earlier than the Malaysian sun set time.
A closer look at Taal Volcano
Sitting on the edge of the hotel, looking towards the Volcano and the lake on a calm and cool evening while sipping my hot Mocha was more than I could ask for on my first day in Manila. If only the sky was less hazy/foggy that evening, the view would have been more spectacular. Still, I was contented just to be there witnessing the amazing work of nature.
Cafe Mocha (~90peso)
San Mig Light (100peso or 188 peso for all-you-can-drink during happy hours!)
with the lovely couple from Manila
I could not get enough of the crisp and clean air that I wished I could stay on longer, but it was time for dinner! And Anson brought us to the this exquisite and charming French restaurant nearby that I could not stop raving about until now. But that is certainly another story for another time!
Saucer and with with the Taal Volcano
The magnificent Taal Volcano on Lake Taal
The only drawback about this place is the transportation getting there. There is apparently no public transport going to Tagaytay so it would seem that the only way getting there is by a taxi? Correct me if I’m wrong though.
Entrance to Taal Vista Hotel
For more information about the hotel: www.taalvistahotel.com