Sightseeing in Tagatay

887 Reviews

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Things to do


Date of travel

January, 2018

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We were staying in Tagatay at the Taal Vista Hotel for two nights where we had superb views of the Taal Volcano. We considered the option of getting closer but Lonely Planet said, ‘notoriously dusty and hot, it’s neither a difficult climb or a particularly rewarding one’. In addition, getting down to the lakeside appeared complicated and expensive, so we decided against it and explore the area surrounding the hotel instead.

Virtually next door to the hotel is “Sky Ranch”: a theme park, which isn’t exactly high on our list of must dos. It had several eating outlets accessible without going into the park, but they were either fast food or local Filipino options. The latter advertising such delicacies as lungs, pigs’ ears and intestines.

Directly opposite the hotel was a “casino”:, again not something we were lured into.

After photographing the ‘praying hands’ statue opposite Sky Ranch, we headed for Tagatay’s apparent centre. We passed a garish statue on a roundabout, the Post Office, OAP park with a band setting up, a college building, street food vendors and smashed up cars parked amongst others. Apart from a magnificent bright white and fancy City Legislature Hall the buildings were all run down. We’d seen Mahogany Market on our map so continued onwards, not knowing what to expect, where we found a covered market with lots of butchers selling lots of offal, tripe etc. A local delicacy is bulalo: a light-coloured soup made by cooking beef shanks and marrow bones until the collagen and fat has melted into the broth. Above the market stalls were a line of 10+ eateries offering bulalo, which is usually served in a communal bowl placed in the centre of the table. Behind the market was a vehicle registration centre, garages etc. and not surprisingly, a slaughterhouse.

This was not one of our most exciting days and with hindsight, we should have taken a day trip from Manila to see the volcanic lake, which could have included a trip onto the volcano too.

Helen Jackson

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