Last January 27,2011 (Thursday)(in the middle of a very busy week), I volunteered to tour around three (3) couch surfers from Taiwan (Ryan, Nikki and Jordan).
Wanting to make the best of their time in the Philippines, I immediately thought of bringing them to Tagaytay. It is no surprise because I have been to this place a hundredth time and know that my guests can take in as many sights and tastes (and smells too!) of this serene, breathtaking highland and nearby tourist spots in just one day!
Because of the proximity of Tagaytay from Manila and the many different sights and activities around this place, our unplanned trip made the cut as one of the best one day itineraries I ever had. Here's the timestamps of the journey to this so-called Second Summer Capital of the Philippines - Tagaytay and the nearby provinces of Talisay, Batangas and Alfonso, Cavite!
8:00 - 10:00 A.M. - Travel to Tagaytay
My best one-day itinerary started off at 8 o'clock in the morning, with a drive to Tagaytay for about one-and - a - half hours straight from Mandaluyong via the South Luzon Expressway Sta. Rosa Exit. When we got to Tagaytay Public Market, we turned left going towards Tagaytay's popular playground - Tagaytay Picnic Grove. We turned off the car aircon and rolled down the windows to feel the cool, crisp air while enjoying the rustic scenery. We also stopped to take pictures along the way as we were greeted by the breathtaking view of the Taal Volcano far below.
10:00 AM - 12:00 Noon - Sightseeing and Lunch at Picnic Grove
Another few minutes drive and we were already at the Tagaytay Picnic Grove. Inside its rolling land area, there is an overlooking view of the Taal Volcano, (which is reputed to be the world's smallest and yet most active volcano) standing on its own island amid a landscape of ash and cinder.
Aside from being a picnic place with lots of huts and restaurants (where we had our lunch), one can now enjoy the zipline and the cable car ride inside the Picnic Grove. None of us have the guts to try it though so I just posed at the counter.
12Noon - 1:00PM - Sightseeing and Souvenirs at People's Park in the Sky
Then we proceeded to the nearby People’s Park in the Sky, which used to be called “Palace in the Sky”. In this architectural project of former President Marcos on top of Mt. Sungay (the highest point on the Tagaytay Ridge), we had an spectacular views of the Taal Volcano.
Aside from the amazing view, my guests also enjoyed Tagaytay's specialties at the various souvenir shops showcasing just about anything from shirts to flip-flops, to bags and food.
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM - Travel to Talisay,Batangas and Taal Volcano Island
After the spectacular views, the next logical step is to be "up close and personal" with volcano and the lake itself. The jumping-off point for this adventure is the small town of Talisay, Batangas.
We reached the Taal Volcano Island by taking a 6km boat ride from Talisay, Batangas and then by horseback ride for about 25 minutes.
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM - Taal Volcano Island Adventure
Three hours is enough for a stay in the Taal Volcano Island and journey back to Tagaytay. The afternoon boat ride and horse back ride was at its best during this time too. Jordan was definitely in awe with a majestic view of the famous Taal Crater Lake.
There was also a stunning sunset on the boat ride back so that was a bonus.
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM - Fruit Stand Drive
When we got back to Tagaytay, I suggested that we first check some fruit stands so I can bring back to my nieces and nephews bunch of their favorite banana called "senyorita". Luckily, it was also a touristy stuff for my guests to know more about the different fruits that abound in Tagaytay and the Philippines.
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM - Scenic Drive to Sonya's Garden (Alfonso, Cavite)
Before driving back home, I thought of going to Sonya's Garden at Barangay Buck Estate, Alfonso, Cavite, Philippines (which is near the vicinity of Tagaytay). I have been to Sonya's Garden a number of times and loved the spa and food there, but I wasn't sure of my guests' preference. So I borrowed a Lonely Planet book from Jordan and showed an entry about Sonya's Garden. It took no time after that for my CS guests to agree to check it out and possibly to have dinner.
The buffet dinner was a bit pricey for us since we were not so hungry, so we just took pictures of the verdant garden, and let the soothing aroma of the massage oil pleased our senses at the Sensous Spa.
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM - Drive Back To Wensha,Pasay
Since we have had no dinner yet and both Ryan and Nikki were proceeding to the airport at 3am for their then flight to Palawan, I thought of Wensha Spa Pasay as the place to go! We headed back to Manila with the goal of having dinner, massage and wait for flight at this 24 Hour Wensha Spa in Pasay.
9:00 PM - 3:00 AM - Wensha Spa,Pasay
I have been to Wensha Spa Pasay three times (and Wensha Timog four times) and love the idea of having massage treatments inclusive of buffet (with shabu shabu and unlimited servings of soup and drinks), free use of the jacussi, sauna and steam bath and you can stay for as long as six (6) hours!
Since Ryan and Nikki's stuff were still in Mandaluyong and they need to go to airport early, I learned that it is possible for them to go out and come back to complete the 6 hours or even longer as they both availed of a two (2) hour full body massage.
Inside, we had the dinner together, then showered and had my foot massage(which actually includes back and head too) and then went out so relaxed and refreshed for only PhP 580. I then brought Ryan,Nikki and Jordan back to Wack Wack Greenhills. Ryan and Nikki just got their bags and got on the taxi for their second round of ultimate Wensha Spa Pasay experience!
My contribution to the Pinoy Blog Carnival with the theme "Best One Day Itineraries" being hosted by Travel Photographer Karlo de Leon of 4AM Chronicles
Pinoy-Travel-Bloggers-Blog- Carnival on Estan Blog