Tagaytay, Philippines
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Exploring Tagaytay

Tagaytay is a city located on top of the hilly terrain in the province of Cavite, immediately south of the Philippine capital of Manila. It is a popular weekend destination for many people in Manila because of its proximity and because of its cool climate provided by the elevation.

The core areas in the city are perched on the Tagaytay Ridge, where visitors get uninterrupted views of the scenic Taal Volcano and Lake, which are actually located in Batangas, a province south of Cavite. Taal Volcano is often described as the Russian dolls of volcanoes as it is a volcano-island surrounded by a lake, and within its crater is also a lake. The spectacular view of the volcano and the lake from Tagaytay is an iconic image of the Philippines often used to promote tourism within and outside the country.

Sights nearby

With Tagaytay being a popular weekend destination, it features many tourist spots, including parks and gardens, shrines and spas.

Families usually head to the Picnic Grove, a large park on the slopes of Tagaytay Ridge with tables and huts perfect for a weekend picnic. Another more scenic area in Tagaytay is People's Park in the Sky located in the Dapdap area. Both Picnic Grove and People’s Park have stunning views of Taal Lake and Volcano. Lee Boutique Hotel is just a short walk from Picnic Grove.

The pleasant climate of Tagaytay is conducive to the cultivation of flowers. Visitors can experience the city’s colourful flora by heading to the Flower Farm. Rows upon rows of sunflowers and gerberas can be seen here. The Japanese Friendship Garden is yet another relaxing place around these parts. With its beautiful landscaped grounds, it is not uncommon to find wedding photo shoots here.

Mabini Shrine
History buffs will also love Tagaytay as this is where a site dedicated to one of the great heroes in Philippine history, Apolinario Mabini, is erected. Mabini is often considered the ‘brains’ of the Philippine Revolution against the Spaniards as he influenced public opinion and helped ignite Filipino nationalism through his writings. Try the Taal Vista Hotel for easy access.

Spa centres and peaceful retreats are popular places to relax and spend the day in Tagaytay. Many have beautiful surroundings and are often located far from Tagaytay’s hustle and bustle. Nurture Spa Village is one recommended place with a number of massages for different tastes.

Eating and drinking and shopping nearby

A number of excellent and hearty restaurants have cropped up in Tagaytay. Many of them are located right on the ridge with dining areas overlooking Taal. These places often serve bulalo, a peppery, slow-cooked beef soup perfect for the cool nights in the highlands. Many restaurants also serve the delicious and crispy deep-fried tawilis. Tawilis is a small fish which breeds abundantly in Taal Lake. Those looking to splurge can head to Antonio’s for some fine dining in Tagaytay City.

Those looking for great nightlife can simply head to the city proper, right where the highways meet. This junction is surrounded by restaurants, cafés and bars. Another nightlife spot in the city is One Destination, a collection of dining areas and watering holes. It is considered the centre of nightlife in Tagaytay. Establishments here include Pancake House for hearty Western dishes, Dencio's Grill for Filipino-style barbecue and Max's Restaurant for Filipino-style fried chicken. Shopping here is low key, with small souvenirs and edible local treats the best buys.

Public transport

To get here from Manila is very easy. A number of different bus lines from the capital servicing the cities in Southern Luzon pass through Tagaytay. For those who take private vehicles, the most convenient route from Manila is the Emilio Aguinaldo Highway. However, traffic can be heavy at times in this narrow motorway. A good alternative is the South Luzon Expressway exiting in Carmona or in Santa Rosa.

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