Thursday, February 13, 2014

Baguio spots pt.2 - Burnham Park, Mines View Park, Baguio market

continuation of "Baguio spots"

Burnham Park - Boating

We only went to Burnham Park to kill time because it was only past 12pm when we went back to City and our hotel room is not yet available. I love how family/barkada friendly the ambiance here. There’s also a part (Rose garden?) where you could sit on stone benches with flowers surrounding you. And this is when how I wish I live in Baguio. I even seriously considered studying in Baguio that moment just to have a reason to live there and get to experience hanging out at the park. Haha! 

White roses <3
Anyway I don’t have a lot of photos in there because it’s too mainstream. Haha! Chos! I bet you could see a lot better photos when you google “Burnham Park”. There’s so much you could do there. Some of these are bike riding, horse riding, boat riding, picture taking with native costume, football and the list goes on. They even have music playing all over the park. Haha! 

Anyway, we only went there again just to kill time so we decided to go boat riding because it was the first thing we saw. And we were offered a deal, unlimited boat ride for only 100php. Sold then! Haha!

Price varies so you may want to walk around the lake to compare prices and I bet that unli ride for 100php is the best deal that time. You may add 50php if you want someone to row the boat for you.

Mines View Park

Mines View Park is a bit far from the center of the city but only a jeep ride from Baguio Market. Going there, you may take the jeep located in the street in between Harrison Rd. and Session Rd. Landmark would be BPI and McDo. Taxi ride going there would cost approx. 80php. The jeep ride took us 20mins. and only cost 10php. Botanical Garden, Teachers Camp, The Mansion and Wright Park are also along the way in case you wanted to stop by those places.

There are also a lot of stores selling pasalubong here so you could also do your shopping here. There are also some restaurants/eateries along the entrance. A lot of souvenir stores are also located here, selling wooden sculptures, brooms, pots, shirts and other native stuff.

These St. Bernard dogs are the added attraction here. You may take a photo with them for 50php/ 4 shots. I paid for a photo even if I just want to cuddle this cute, huge dog. haha! But I guess they will let you touch them even if you don't pay for a photo.

There this pink haired horse you could ride on and take a photo with. I think it was only 20php, not sure though.

From here, you could see the beauty of the Cordillera mountain range, though more concrete houses on mountains are already a part of the view.

 Feel the mountain breeze up here.

Baguio Market
Baguio market is located at lower end of Session Rd. and near Abanao Square. You can buy here lots of souvenir and more sweets to take back home. Fresh vegetables, meats, fish and other more fresh produce are sold here just like what you get from local public markets.

I suggest that you DON’T BUY STRAWBERRIES here unless you really don’t have time to go to Strawberry Farm. Strawberries are priced at least 120php/kilo. They won’t let you pick from the bunch, though there’s some who would let you choose but for a higher price. The strawberries are just rolled out from the storage basket to the fruit stand. And definitely, a lot of lamog/ spoiled strawberries are already in your pack when you buy. In short, it’s just a waste of money.

Don’t forget to buy these native longganisa! A must-try is their Tocino flavor longganisa! The best!

Vigan longganisa 120php-130php
Speial Hamonado 120php/kilo
Tocino longganis 120php/kilo

You could also try the ukay-ukay or wagwagan, as they call it, at Hilltop. Just walk towards the upper direction and ask the locals about it. I wasn’t able to score anything because we already have a handful of plastic bags when we decided to check it out and it is too tiring going up there. Bring some stock of energy when you go roam around the market place. And also I suggest you bring a big eco bag to save the hassle of plastic bags in both hands and also to save Mother Earth. yea? :)

And that’s all folks! Thanks for reading! I would most definitely go back to Baguio sometime this year because I wasn’t able to go to Harrison Rd. Night Market!!! Aah!! I was already tired that night and took a nap when we got back to the hotel and, unfortunately, I slept till the next morning! Wth. Anyway, I hope I could go back soon.

Side notes:

I believe January is the best month to visit Baguio. The December breeze is still there. It was absolutely apparent when we got there and from the moment we took off the bus, every spot in me shivered. BRR! I can even see my breath in the air as we speak. Haha!! The coldest point was always in the morning while in the afternoon it is already a bit tolerable and the chilly weather goes back as the evening sits in.

If you don’t want crowds of people around when you visit, don’t go there on December (Christmas break) and February (Panagbenga festival). Summer in Baguio is already not that cold unlike in the past so don’t expect much when you go up in between March-May.

Baguio spots - (Strawberry Farm and Bell Church)

So here are the places we visited when we went to Baguio last month. Sorry, I was hit again by tamad na blogger virus, hence the very late post. We only had an overnight stay in Baguio so we were not able to visit all the touristy spots there. But if given a chance, I would love to go back and maybe do a 24hr challenge to visit all the must-visit spots there. Transpo is very accessible there and I bet a 24 hr challenge would be 90% attainable. Let’s see. 

Strawberry Farm

Our first stop was Strawberry Farm. It is located in La Trinidad, Benguet which is only a jeep away from Baguio City Proper. You can see it in the left side of the road and there’s a signboard posted so you won’t miss it. We were there past 8am and so we are the only ones there beside a group taking pictures down the fields.
Strawberry picking cost 250php/kilo that time. I guess it varies based on what I’ve seen from other blogs and maybe based on your persistence to bargain for a lower price. Haha! One basket approximately measures 1 kilo. We were each given a basket even if we only opt to buy 1kilo just for the experience. 

The field is muddy so I suggest you bring or ask for a plastic bag to cover your shoes. They gladly gave us one. Thanks! :)
We were taught to twist and pull upwards in picking strawberries. 30 mins. after, we combined the strawberries in one basket and had it weighed at the entrance. We also bought freshly picked lettuce that we saw while picking strawberries. It was already at its prime and the lady that assisted us gave it to us at 4 for 50php. FRESH. NEWLY PICKED LETTUCE. Oha? Oha? LOL. What a bargain, right?? But you could also buy it at the entrance at 3 for 50php. 

If you just want to take photos, you may also freely do so. I guess there’s no charge for that, you just have to log in on the book at the entrance. 

Sunflower! <3

 Strawberry fields :)

More strawberries and fresh vegetables were sold at the entrance. Packaging and price varies depends with regards to the strawberries.
Here’s an overview of the prices that time (January 2014) for your reference:

Box 75php/100php/150php - depends on the size of the strawberries

Basket -  200php

Small transparent container - 50php (this sells out fast so grab this at the moment you see it. haha! Packaging is very convenient for travelling back the metro.)
Romane Lettuce 100php

Lettuce 3 for 50php
Baguio beans 3 for 50php

-          - Don’t go here when you still have places to go after. Strawberries are delicate so you might want to go back to your hotel after buying so as to prevent spoilage. Best plan is to go here on your last day so you won’t have to stack it aside for a long time.

-          - Keep your strawberries chilled as soon as you go home, and replace it to a container. If possible don’t stack it in several layers. Watch out for spoiled ones (mostly in the bottom part) for it affects others quickly.

  - You may also opt to buy your pasalubong here. From what I’ve noticed, prices are same as those sold at Baguio Market and Mines View Park. 2 for 150php shirts and ang walang kamatayang 3 for 100 sweets and snacks. Haha!

More strawberries! Yummmmmmm!!!!! :)

180degree view

Bell Church

Bell church is along the way going to Strawberry Farm so you may stop by before going to Strawberry Farm. It’s easy to locate because it’s near the arch with a sign of “Welcome to La Trinidad”. A Chinese arch can also be seen on the side of the road, which is the entrance going to the narrow road towards Bell Church.

If you like to appreciate art with solemn surroundings, this is the place to visit.  It’s best to go there in the morning when it is not yet crowded by tourists.
The place is adorned with dragons, arches and a nice landscaped garden.

View from the top

Mountain of houses

Don’t forget that this is still a sacred religious dwelling which means proper decorum is to be observed. Pictures are allowed EXCEPT inside the church. So please respect that.

Random people :)

Too many photos. haha! Sorry for the loading time. So I decided to cut this post into two. Next post would be about: Burnham Park (boating), Mines View Park, Baguio Market.