This trip was one of my favorite ones, we did so much in 3 days that it felt like we were on vacation for a week! Here's a summary of a trip to Manila with friends last November 2015.
Just to give you an idea on how I plan, here's our itinerary:
If you wanna know how I plot my itineraries, check out my previous post: What to put in Your Itinerary
DAY 01: City Life
Since it was just a weekend getaway, we flew on a Friday Morning, and most of us were on leave for work that day.
Hotel: We stayed at Crown Regency-Makati where some of us were members. We got 2 deluxe rooms [good for 4 each] for only Php1,800 each room (with buffet Breakfast additional P500 for 2 people).
|Don't mind the mess. This was the girls room when the guys crashed there while the room beside ours was still being cleaned out.|
The great thing about booking a hotel for your first day is that you can leave your things at the concierge if you're early for check-in time [usually 2:00pm]. Some inns don't allow this. Our hotel is in the heart of Makati, so after leaving our bags at the hotel, we walked to Greenbelt/Glorietta/all other malls (there's a lot of malls in that area), grabbed some lunch, did some shopping or bought some essentials [there will always be someone who will leave things like toiletries or slippers, I've tried it haha].
We went back to our hotel and checked-in and got some rest for the remainder of the afternoon, we had an early flight so we decided to stay in to have the energy to go out that night.
We rented a car that night for 2 days, since we decided to drive to Tagaytay and Laguna. So we got our car that night and had dinner at Hole in the Wall at Century Mall, Makati, went back to the hotel to freshen up and met up with our Manila-based friends at the Valkyrie/Palace Pool Club complex after. We went home at 12mn [*wink* hi mom].
Tip: There are A LOT of club promoters in Manila, so guest list yourself at least the day before and get in for free. Don't forget to bring a valid ID [with date of birth], they need to clarify if you're of legal age . Also, for guys to get in for free, they have a 1:2 ratio, 1 guy needs to bring 2 girls along [these can be on the guest list].
DAY 02: Taal Volcano Hike
Day 2 is gonna be lengthy. We woke up and some of us ate breakfasts while some didn't [they wish they did though], we were suppose to leave early but you know haha. We got to leave at around 11am and got to Taal Lake Yacht Club around 2pm.
I actually did a lot of research about going to the Taal Volcano, since we had to ride a boat to cross the lake and we wanted to make sure we won't get scammed [or you know, die]. The best option is to go to the Taal Lake Yacht Club (TLYC), you can visit their website at www.tlyc.com. The great thing about this is that they are the only one that provides life jackets and they say that they take our safety very seriously. It takes about 3 hours to get to TLYC, you'll be coming from Tagaytay [mountain], so it's a long winding road going down to the lake.
There are 2 types of trails:
Regular Tourist Trail
Walk-in Rate: Php 3300
Pre-paid Rate: Php 2400
TRAIL DESCRIPTION: "The Regular Tourist trail. or “Daang Kastila” is the traditional trail that tourists climb. It goes to the rim of the volcano, and you can look down into the crater and see the inner lake, with the island inside. On the way up, guides will steer you past steam vents, that are a true reminder of the volcano’s “Active” status. Most people go on horseback. and the top is a bit “touristy”. It is a sheer cliff down to the inner lake, so you cannot descend to the inner lake from here. It takes around 2.5 to 3 hours round trip from TLYC"
First Trip is at 8am and last trip was 3pm [we didn't get to eat lunch anymore because we were in a hurry, we wanted to be back by sunset]
Walk-in Rate: Php 4300
Pre-paid Rate: Php 3400
TRAIL DESCRIPTION: "The Secret Trail, or Calauit trail, is twice as far from the club by water, as the regular trail. The difference is that it is the only trail that allows you to go down into the inner lake that you can just see from the Regular trail. It takes around 4-5 hours to do the Secret Trail. To find more out about the “Secret Trail”, click here."
We pre-paid (50% down payment) 2 boats, through their bank account, since it would be cheaper. There were 10 of us and each boat is good for 5 passengers. The boat ride took us around 20 mins per way and we hiked for 3 hours round trip. We took the Regular Trail and they kept insisting on us taking horses [for rent: Php 500 each] but we felt bad for the horses that looked more tired than us, so we decided to hike. It was a fairly easy hike, I can say we were all beginners and we didn't have that much of a hard time. Definitely a good exercise haha! Since the trail is going up, don't bring so much stuff, the weight will pull you down.
What to wear/bring:
-Bandana/Medical Masks [it's quite dusty]
-Hat & Sunnies
For more info: http://www.tlyc.com/the-tlyc-volcano-tour/
Back Packers Inn: We left TLYC and looked for the back packer's inn, we got lost a few times [because Waze misled us] but eventually found the place and ate some famous Tagaytay Bulalo after a tiring trek. The Inn is called D-Zone Back Packers Inn, we found it on Airbnb [click here] and we ended up paying around Php 500 per head. There are 2 double deck beds per room. If you decide to waze your way there, choose the Silang one, we chose the Tagaytay one and was led to an empty lot 7km away. Creepy. It's really near the busy parts of town, and the facilities were standard, but it was clean.
DAY 03: Enchanted Kingdom
Last day! We checked out and went to Bag of Beans in Tagaytay for Lunch. Then we were en route to Laguna, Enchanted Kingdom is really easy to find since it's near the highway.
Weekday rate: Php 500 per head [adult]
Weekend rate: Php 600 per head [adult]
Students & Government Workers get discounts so make sure you bring your IDs.
Must try rides [for adults/thrill seekers]:
-EKstreme Tower Ride
-Jungle Log Jam
-Rio Grande Rapids*
[*we weren't able to ride the last one since we were in a hurry and the line was so long, you'll get wet on this ride also and we couldn't go in the car soaking wet haha]
It takes roughly an hour [or more on weekends] for each ride, so if you're coming up short on time, make sure to try these rides!
We ate along SLEX, there are a few Gasoline Stopovers and they usually have a little commercial area beside that, fast foods and coffee shops. You can fuel up not just your cars but also your hungry bellies.
That was a really long post, I know, but shortening it would defeat the purpose of this blog post. So there you go. If you notice, we budgeted around Php 4,700 each [excluding airfare which we got at a promo rate]. That makes around Php 5,500, and most of us actually spent less.
'Til next time! It was nice meeting you. You're Charmed, I'm sure.