Baguio In 12 Hours
A few weeks ago, two people sent me a message on Facebook asking for details about how my high school friends and I were able to visit Baguio City last year. It reminded me of the blog post that was buried in my drafts for months. For months! Jeez. This is probably an indication of how bad of a blogger I have become.
Anyway, my friends and I didn't spend a day in Baguio. In fact, we wandered around for about 12 hours. So if you're thinking about going to the Summer Capital of The Philippines for a day trip soon, this guide might help with your research and travel planning.
How to Get There
Several bus companies have daily trips going to Baguio City. Partas, Victory, and Genesis are on top of the list. You may choose to buy tickets in their offices in whichever terminal you choose, or you may book your ride in advance. Websites such as PinoyTravel, PHBus, and Biyaheroes offer this kind of service You simply have to type in the terminal where you're riding, your destination and travel date. Their system will automatically search for available buses and the fare. They will then send you an email with the payment instructions, and you have the option to pay for it through credit card or Dragon Pay. The latter option can be paid through Bayad Centers or Western Union branches.
For our group, we used the PinoyTravel website. I'm not sure if they're in partnership with the Genesis Bus Company because when we searched for available buses for our trip, the results always showed their Joybus Deluxe buses. We don't have any complaints, though. It was super comfy! There were only two lazy boy-like chairs in each of the two columns, so there was so much leg room. The bus also has a comfort room, and they give out snacks and water which is already included in your fare.
We left the Cubao Bus Terminal around 12 midnight and arrived in Baguio around 4 in the morning. If you want to avoid the traffic, traveling at night is more convenient. Plus, you'll get to see tons of stars when you look out of the bus window!
Where To Stay
I know I don't have the "right" to write about this because we didn't spend a night in Baguio, but I'd like to share some things I've stumbled upon while researching for that trip.
If you're thinking of staying in the city for a night (or several nights), you'll never run out of options. From high-end hotels like The Kamiseta Hotel (it's paradise for Instagram freaks!), and The Forest Lodge at Camp John Hay, to affordable accommodations such as Upstairs Bed and Bath, and Atenara House — there's a place for every budget. Senyor Lakwatsero's list of budget accommodations might help you more with your travel planning.
If you're thinking of booking a place through AirBNB, use my link to get Php 1, 600 (30 USD) travel credit!
What To Do
Watch the sunrise in Mines View Park
Trust me; this was probably one of the best decisions my friends and I made during the trip. If you arrive in the city as early as 4 or 5 AM, you can head to Mines View Park and watch the sunrise and the fogs enveloping the community below. You'll be joined by several tourists and (I think) travel or landscape photographers. Entrance to the park is free.
Indulge in strawberry taho and ice cream
You're already in the city where shit tons of strawberries grow! Set aside your strict diets and have some strawberry taho. Some people are selling them in Mines View Park and most tourist spots. It's for 20 pesos per cup.
Don't miss trying out their strawberry ice cream too! We tried this when we visited the strawberry farm in La Trinidad. Outside the farm, there are dirty ice cream vendors (it's not dirty FYI) and most of them have strawberry flavored ones. They used fresh strawberries, and it was so damn good. Just thinking and writing about it now makes me wish I could easily teleport to La Trinidad and get a cone or an entire gallon of it.
Visit the tourist spots
When you search for places to go in Baguio, Google gives you quite a lot of results. Of course, there are places that I think you shouldn't miss, especially if you're visiting for the first time. Mines View Park, Burnham Park, The Mansion, Wright Park, Camp John Hay, and Baguio Botanical Garden are some of the "You're not really in Baguio if you haven't visited these spots" kind of places.
If you're an art junkie, you'll enjoy the BenCab Museum. They're open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9 AM to 6 PM. It's a bit far from the city center, but you can always ride a taxi.
Some of the Philippine Military Academy's students have this morning formation on their campus and if you'd like to see that, check for their schedules. I think you can also visit some parts of their campus too. This was an activity that we missed during our visit, but also something we can look forward to for our next.
Other places you can visit are the Tam-awan Village, the Lourdes Grotto (you have to climb 200+ steps! we backed out on this lol), and the Baguio Cathedral. If you're up for a little hair-raising adventure, you can visit the popular Laperal House, Teacher's Camp, and the Diplomat Hotel — these places are said to be haunted.
Do strawberry picking
If visiting the strawberry farm and La Trinidad is on your list of must-visit places, you and your group can hire a taxi to take you there. For our group (there were four of us), we hired a taxi and paid 200 pesos each since we requested the driver to wait for us and take us back to the city.
On the way to the farm, you'll pass by the famous flower painted houses. Ask your driver to stop for a while. Then quickly snap some photos and don't cause too much traffic haha! The roads are pretty small, you know, so traffic quickly builds up lol.
Baguio City definitely lives up to its famous tagline which is the "Summer Capital of The Philippines."
I can see now why a lot of people opt to visit the place during summer time because it's so freakin' cold! It's the kind of cold that makes you shiver even when you're wearing thick denim pants and denim jacket. The weather will be quite a problem for people who are frequent pee-ers 😄
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All in all, our experience in the city was an 8 out of 10. I wish we visited more places but that's totally okay. Those places are another reason why we should visit again.
I hope this blog post will help you in your travel research and planning. As always, never forget to read reviews! They helped me and my friends a lot. Good luck and enjoy your trip! :)