Where: Baguio City, Benguet, Cordillera Administrative Region, PH
Who: Mr & Mrs. Wanderlust, Papi, Mita, Aaron, Bomay, Alexi & Anton
When: March 2011
What: Chillin' at Baguio
The regional center of the Cordillera Administrative Region. The Philippines as we know it is a tropical country therefore always hot in the summer, but due to the altitude of Baguio, and cooler temperature, in It is also dubbed as the summer capital of the Philippines. The city is situated at an altitude of approximately 1,540 meters (5,050 feet) in the Luzon tropical pine forests ecoregion.
It is an easy 5-6 hour trip from Manila to Baguio, and is very convenient and accessible through public transport. Thanks to the excellent service of Victory Liner and Genesis Bus companies. Victory Liner buses bound for Baguio can be found at their bus terminals located in Pasay (EDSA), Cubao (Quezon City), or Monumento and also another one in Legarda (Our personal favorite since it is just a walk away from our Manila residence). While Genesis Bus Terminals can be found in Cubao and Avenida. If coming from Baguio, Victory Liner Bus Terminal and Genesis Bus Terminal is easy to find as they are just within walking distance from SM City Baguio. You can check their websites for more info about time and prices of the bus lines.
If you have extra money to spare and want a little bit more comfort, you can try the First class bus of the said companies as they offer a little more space to recline, a toilet on board, extra power socket to charge gadgets, and Wi-fi so you won't get bored. Oh and some few snacks as well.
It is accessible from various mountain highway systems that folks call the "zigag" (but mostly this refers to Kennon road, the most popular of them all) that snake through scenic mountains and hills, following the courses of rivers and traversing bridges, to get to that interesting little place affectionately called the City of Pines.
1. Kennon Road has an entry point at Rosario, La Union, the old road that visitors from Manila and places south of the City of Pines love to take.
2. Marcos Highway has two entry points at Rosario and Agoo, both in La Union, and is favored for its wider lanes .
3. Naguilian Road is officially named Quirino Highway although no one really calls it that. Naguilian Road has an entry point at Bauang, La Union and is the road taken by travelers coming from northern Luzon provinces.
4. Halsema Road, passing through La Trinidad Valley - connects Benguet to Mountain Province (Sagada) and Ifugao (Banaue) and other places to the northeast.
5. Baguio-Nueva Vizcaya Road - connects Benguet to Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya, and is the newest access for those coming from provinces to the east of the city and is a great alternative to Halsema Road.
There are lots of accommodation to choose from in Baguio. And as always depending on your budget.
Coming from Sagada we decided to do a quick stop over Baguio, and Dely's Inn was strategically located near the Burnham Park, and few blocks away from Session road. To be exact in the building where government offices such as PRC and NSO are also found. And if looking for a budget friendly place that is strategically located.
Their address is 141 Abanao Extension, brgy. Rizal Monument
Baguio City, Philippines
You can contact them for quicker reservations +63 (074) 445 2735
This city is wonderful and never disappoints, as it has very cool weather, (average of 17C or 62.6F), and the vibe is always welcoming, friendly and energetic.
1. Explore Session Road - If you ask the locals, Session Road is the heart and soul of Baguio. This famous strip is lined with restaurants ready for the most discriminating gourmet. Session Road is also famous for its night life. Have a beer or 2 and maybe a bbq.
2. Ukay Ukay! - One does not simply go to Baguio without going to an ukay-ukay. Although the second-hand goods are more expensive nowdays (due to ukay-ukay’s growing popularity), there are still some gems to be found. Just be patient and yes, sneezy heads with rhinitis / hay fever should take anti-histamine before going there.
3. Explore Old Buildings - The city is rich in history and being an old military hill camp back in 1900's American time and you would see American colonial buildings. Explore the caves & WWII tunnels on South Drive
4. Go to the local Market - You can easily experience the vibe of the life of people when you go to their local market. At early in the morning, even before the sun rises, you would see people busy with the hustle and bustle of their daily errands.
And of course, here you can find the freshest produce the Cordilleras have to offer. Plus, the famous Baguio pasalubongs such as ube and strawberry jam, lengua de gato, and of course, sundot kulangot!
5. Local Benguet Coffee Beans - It is best to get your beans from the public market as it is way cheaper. The shops here also sell other variants so you can mix your beans according to your preference. Benguet coffee sells for Php220/kilo.
6. Take a stroll - Take long walks on the beautiful East Side: Leonard Wood, Brent Road, Navy C M Recto) Road, Mines View, Outlook Drive, Gibraltar. Please note that South Drive, which is simply beautiful, can be romantic by day (but spooky at night).
7. Free Park & Gardens - Visit as many parks and gardens as you can. To name a few: Burnham Park, Botanical Garden, Sunshine Park, Peoples Park, Japanese Garden, Igorot Garden, Mines View Park.
8. Curl up on a bonfire and tell ghost stories.
9. Visit local national artist Bencab and his collection - On your way back to Manila (if you’re passing through Marcos Highway), make a quick stop at the BenCab Museum. Built by Philippine National Artist Ben Cabrera, the museum is home to artworks by Baguio’s homegrown talents, including Kawayan de Guia and of course, BenCab himself. Entrance fee is Php100/person.
10. Try out Igorot's Ethnic dress.
11. Strawberry - Strawberry and other fruits like to grow on Baguio's cool climate, and you should not miss their strawberry flavored Taho (soy pudding). As well as not to miss picking your own strawberry.
Dining - Pinikpikan Famous Meal Php 20 / serving
Transportation - Jeepney Ride Php 8.50 / person ; Php 6.75 / student
Transportation - Taxi Ride Php 35 flag down + Php 2 for every 200 meters
Transportation - Boat Ride - Burnham Park Php 60 / 30 minutes
Activities - Baguio Mountain Province Museum Php 30 / person
Activities - BenCab Museum Php 100 / adult ; Php 80 / student
Shopping - Souvenir TShirts Php 80 - 100
Shopping - Curio Php 100 and up
Activities - Treetop Adventure Baguio - Superman Ride Php 300 / person
Activities - Treetop Adventure Baguio - Treedrop Adventure Php 150 / person
Activities - Treetop Adventure Baguio - Silver Surfer Php 200 / person
Activities - Treetop Adventure Baguio - Trekking Adventure Php 100 / person
Activities - Treetop Adventure Baguio - Canopy Ride Php 200 / person
Activities - City Tour w/ Guide Php 2,000 / person
Activities - City Tour (Hop On, Hop Off) Php 250 - 300 / person
Activities - Agri Tourism (Organic Farm) Php 150 / person
*source: It's more fun in the Philippines
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