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The Tourist capital of the Philippines, also known as the "City of Pines" or the "Summer Capital". Baguio City is known for its cool crisp climate in relation to other cities in the Philippines, you can expect the tempter to be on average 8-10 degrees lower then in the lowlands, Baguio is approximately1400 - 1500 meters above see level and is located in Northern Luzon about 250 kilometer from Manila. How to get to Baguio, there are a number of ways to get to Baguio from Manila, by land you can take the bus either Philippine Rabbit or Victory liner. There are three hi-ways that can be taken, Marcos Highways, Kennon Road, also known as "Zig-zag Road" for its numerous bends and turns and there is Naguillian road each route is about equal give or take an hour depending on the weather and traffic conditions. Travel time is about six hours from Manila.
Traveling by air with Asian Spirits, there are one or two flights a day. From Manila, the cost is under a hundred dollars and takes approximately 55 minutes. Take note that the Baguio airport (Loakan airport) closes due to dense fog certain times of the year, it would be a good idea to call ahead to make sure there are flights available.
Baguio is also the jumping off point to other great locations in Northern Luzon such as the world famous Banaue Rice Terraces and Sagada Mountain Province famous for their hanging coffins.
Once in Baguio, you will find a bustling little city, you will not find Tricycles like in the low lands, but you will see your share of Jeepneys and taxis. Getting around town is never a problem. Session road is the main strip it's also the main business district. You will find great little shops on either side of the road there is lower and upper session road, to help guide you, from specialty shops, restaurants, and American franchises like McDonalds. You will also see your share of street vendors selling everything from kid's toys to small home appliances, water heater act. Public Market, now this is the heart of Baguio it is spilt in to wet and dry, regardless of where you are from. There is a good chance you will find. What you are looking for, not only your basic food groups are sold here. But you can also find the freshest fruits and veggies. Food is not the only product you can find in the public markets. You can also find clothes, shoes and just about everything under the sun including have your clothes tailored. While you shop, there is an entire section dedicated to tailoring and repairs, I brought a bag to be repaired while I did my shopping and I could not believe the quality of the repair when I got back, I thought I was looking at a new bag, very professional service.
SM (Shoe mart) is the newest addition to Bagnio's sky line. It is a very modern, open air mall with literally everything under the sun. From furniture stores, brand name clothing, movie house, department store, hardware store, modern Dental office, modern Americanized supermarket, food court, coffeehouses, bake shops, barbers, pizza hut. And other eating establishments, you can get a great view of Baguio from one of the second and third floor outlook decks.
What to see and do while in Baguio? Even though Baguio is only about 49 sq. Km. there is always a lot to see and places to go, some of the more popular attractions are Mines view park, Wright Park, Burnham Park, Mansion houses, Botanical garden, Lion's head Park, Rizal Park, Lourdes Grotto, Camp John Hay, Baguio Catholic Cathedral, PMA (Philippine Military Academy), Bell Church, Tam-awan village, Teacher's Camp, Easter weaving room, Aguinaldo Museum, Crystal caves, Good shepherd Convent, Dominican Hill, there are also two quality golf courses one at Camp John Hay and the other Baguio Country Club they are both in close walking distance from one another.
Horseback riding can be found at Wright Park and Baguio Country Club Village, great rates and guides are available. Camp John Hay also has five star accommodations and dinning, the Manor is Baguio's creme' de la creme' of class and style. You can also find things for the kids, like Bumper cars, bike riding, Roller skating/blading, video arcades, pool hall, playground, picnic areas can also be found at Camp John Hay, not to mention shopping, miss some of thing you had back home? It can all be found in the shops and stores in John Hay. If nightlife is what you crave you can find a number of popular night clubs as well as pub style bars with live bands that are very good, there are also plenty of Karaoke bars and Pool halls. Baguio City has something for everyone, not only is it a very clean City, but it's my favorite City that I call it home as it has stolen my heart with its charm and the people are just great, you can also find many foreigners both living and traveling in Baguio.
So if you are planning a trip to the Philippines, you owe it to yourself to spend a couple day's in Baguio and just let it all soak in, you will be glad you did and hey who knows maybe we'll run into each other.
Submitted By: Jiri Doucette