Blog & Journal


Travel Asia: Five Affordable but Gorgeous Destinations near Manila

janicejaramillo January 3, 2017

“Traveling is not something you are good at. It is something that you do. Like breathing” –Gayle Foreman

“Travel is never a matter of money but of courage.”- Paulo Coelho

Before the rise of low-cost airfares and budget accommodations, traveling was something akin to a luxury. It was not something which individuals who are earning average incomes could readily afford, and yet if they could, they would have had to save up for it. But all of these are a thing of the past as today; travel destinations have never been more accessible. Year after year, travel enthusiasts would anticipate the announcement of incredibly low airfares which would inevitably bring them closer to the places they want to visit. However, if constraints on time are preventing you from enjoying that week-long getaway, do not let that rain on your parade. There are a lot of travel destinations near Manila which would not hurt your pockets at all and would not require a lengthy stay. If you ever find yourself in the Philippine metropolis, let your inner adventurer discover these places.

1.)    Trek to the crater of Taal Volcano

Admiring it from afar is one thing but getting up close and personal with one of Philippines most majestic volcanoes, the Taal Volcano is an experience of its own. After all, being on a volcano is not something everyone can do in their lifetimes; why not give it a try while you can? It would not take you too long either as you would only need approximately two to three hours to get to the jump off point located in Talisay, Batangas. Make sure to have adequate rest the day before the trek as it can be incredibly draining (especially when the sun is harsh). Those who dislike going on foot are not left, however, as horse riding is offered as an alternative (for a fee of course).

2.)    Enjoy a cooler breeze in Tagaytay City

The Taal Volcano is one of the most beloved and well-known Tagaytay tourist destinations, and as it is, individuals who are in the vicinity would never pass up the opportunity to see the volcano up close—most notably foreigners and locals who are not from the metropolis. However, if trekking is not your cup of tea, you can always admire the lake and the volcano from a distance. Apart from the famous lake and volcano duo, Tagaytay offers some of the Philippine’s most stunning views with a matching cool atmosphere to complement your viewing pleasure. Theme park lovers will find something to do in the newly opened Sky Ranch which hosts a giant Ferris wheel that overlooks the lake. The People’s Park in the sky gives you a comprehensive view of the city. However, if none of these appeal to you, you can simply plop down on one of the many chairs in their coffee shops and enjoy the view while sipping your afternoon coffee.

3.)    Go diving in Anilao, Batangas

Manila dwellers do not have to travel far just to get to the beach or an excellent diving spot. Batangas is a known beach destination for individuals living near Manila, and since it is only a three-hour drive away, it has been a favorite among Manila-based divers and would-be divers. Novice divers need not fret as one-day beginner courses are offered to individuals who wish to learn how to dive. Discover more than just Batangas pristine waters and fine sand explore its diverse array of marine wildlife that is unlike any other.

4.)    Camp on volcanic ash in Anawangin and Nagsasa Cove

Two decades ago, one of the provinces located at the base of Mt. Pinatubo was hit by a calamity and was buried in volcanic ash when a dormant volcano awakened. The catastrophe left a good amount of ash onto its rocky shores, making what would otherwise be a collection of ordinary beaches into something you do not quite see every day. Naturally, tourists come in droves to see the ashen sand and agoho trees from themselves. The place itself is reminiscent of a cross between Baguio and Boracay with its picturesque beaches complemented with the cool climate.

5.)    Revisit Old Manila

For those who cannot afford even just a couple of hours drive away from the city, why not have a change of scenery that is located smack right in the metropolis? Binondo is a world of its own and strolling on its streets is definitely something you should try whenever you are in the vicinity. The cobblestone walkways are teeming with life—from Filipino-Chinese vendors preparing their latest wares or cooking authentic Chinese meals. Walking on Binondo’s streets is reminiscent of traipsing around Hong Kong that you would be hard-pressed to resist the various aromas of succulent dishes being cooked in the streets.

If you are looking for a quick getaway without being away for too long, try these five destinations for your next holiday.


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