Welcome to my quick three-point guide on the top three places not-to-miss in the City of Pines,
Baguio City, Philippines.
After 6 long years, so much has changed in Baguio and the change I must admit is really good. No wonder it still ranks one of the top summer getaway places in the country. Of all the magnificent cultural spots in Baguio, it is really a tough decision to make the top three choices. So, in no particular order, I recommend you to visit: Burnham Park, Strawberry Farm and Minesview Park.
1. BIKE, BOAT or BE an IGOROT 'round BURNHAM PARK.
To start with, I suggest you check in at hotels (or inns) near Burnham since everything else will come in handy as it is close to being the heart of the city. From there, you will have a couple of options to begin with. Whether you want to rent the bikes, go boating in the lagoon, rent some roller skates, eat or rent igorot costumes, it's all up to you.
From the wide array of bikes to choose from, you'll end up tired from trying all of them! But seriously speaking, you can enjoy riding a single bike from fancy colors you like or take the part in renting the one with the side-car. You and your companions will surely enjoy the ride. :)
For the bikes, it will cost you 50php per hour.
After an hour of biking, we found ourselves hooked to the talk-of-the-town, Strawberry Taho.
It is common for Filipinos to eat this type of concoction made of soy, little sago pearls and sweet sugary syrup. In Baguio though, it has been a trend of adding an extra ingredient which is the queen of their harvest- strawberries! It's heaven in a cup! Cliche as it may sound but it really tasted a whole lot better compared to the ordinary ones. How I wish Strawberry Taho are sold all around the country too!
|For 15 pesos a cup, it's all good.|
After the lovely treat, we headed to the side area of the boating lagoon to have a quick OOTD change. We rented Igorot costumes for only 10 pesos for a set complete with the top, skirt, head piece and accessories. We felt like natives in an instant! :)
Meanwhile, you can try other activities we found not really necessary (since we've already tried them out years ago and nothing much has changed then) during our recent trip like the roller skating and boating. BUT I still recommend for you to try them since your trip won't just be complete without the experience especially if it's your first time.
2. VISIT THE STRAWBERRY FARM; PICK THEM BERRIES.
Off we proceed to another favorite spot of mine, The Strawberry Farm. Located a couple more of kilometers away from the metro, in La Trinidad part of Benguet, comes the vast plantation of strawberries. You can literally say it's Strawberry Land.
Given a few hours to digest this beautiful scenery, we made use of the given time for us to enjoy picking berries. For a basket, you can fill it up with the strawberries you personally handpicked and only charge you 400 pesos for a kilo you can fill. It was a fun activity you will really enjoy.
If you want to spare yourself from the hassle of picking and the unpredictable mud that might surprise you say (rainy time), you can opt to buy a sealed pack of strawberries at affordable rates. However, it's a different experience to handpick them on your own and carefully select the ones you'll be consuming. Also, the basket might look tiny for a kilo, but don't worry, your other companions can share the fun and divide the weight (for the same price) of the handpicked berries afterwards.
From the farm comes a long array of souvenir booths having all strawberry goodies from biscuits to crinkles, wine, jam, coin purses, key-chains and everything strawberry. And along the streets are a couple more vendors of authentic strawberry ice creams. They use honey instead of sugar in making such so it's more tasty and healthy. If you're not a big fan but still want to try, they offer free tastes in little spoons and trust me, you will not just try-you will end up buying a cone of your own.
3. ENJOY THE VIEW AT MINESVIEW.
As the breath-taking view would make you feel cozy up in the mountains, so as the feeling of comfort taking a break from the city life. This ancestral house welcoming you upon arriving at the Minesview Park stores a lot of precious antiques. From the footsteps climbing up to the traces of the early settlers living in this area- are all visible in the way they presented the interior of their little museum.
Above you can see an old bottle of wine. I wonder if it's the first strawberry wine ever made and how good will it have to taste now. Below would then be the organic red rice the early settlers are proud of. Their harvest is really bountiful I must say. And also, a photo of an Igorot is displayed right there. The rest of the house is filled with molded clays and souvenirs up for sale.
Moving out and around the area, you can see a lot of vendors selling 'Everlasting' flowers. They look cute as garlands to me but I really haven't had the chance of asking what they were really for.
Then comes right after is the long line of the people wanting to take a photo op with this St. Bernard dog. It wasn't any different from any other family dogs except maybe of its size and its not common here in the country. Also, he is well-trained and really entertaining with his ability to make such cute and adorable moves.
Look at him sporting a new pair of sunnies almost like mine! I want to adopt him!
And hey, if you thought Nicki Minaj is not a resident of the country, you might want to think again. The photo below shows the horse I called Nicki, sporting a pink hair and a colorful body outfit. Bet she could rap too!
|Say Super Bass! :)|
You can also ride Nicki and other horses. You can choose to just have a photo taken or stroll around the park with different horses.
So there you have my top three places in Baguio. Of course you can stick to the classics like: Camp John Hay, The Mansion, PMA and many else. Although I suggest you stick to more lively places for your second (and succeeding) visits since there's no much of fun in those places aside from having an obligatory photo as a remembrance or a proof you've been there. I'm not stopping you though. Also, I've heard of a haunted hotel, Treetop Adventure and a Dinosaur Island somewhere in Baguio and that, I might come back for.
Heading to Baguio any time soon? My next entry will be all about essentials and all you need to take note when hitting the road. Have a great day! :)