When your country is genuinely certified as hot as hell, and your capital city of Manila is a bit shit, then cooler, less shit places become popular. One such place is Baguio –the genuine summer capital of the Philippines, and a place I often visit on our Extreme Philippines Tour.
Here’s my guide to Baguio.
How to get to Baguio
Baguio is the summer capital of the Philippines because it is located way, way up in the mountains. That’s how weather works, see? Therefore, to get here will involve driving up mountains. All in you’re six or so hours from genuine not-sleazy city of Angeles, or about four from overrated beach resort of La Union. Public buses go up here, or you can take a private car if you’re Richie Rich.
Accommodation in Baguio
Everything from five-star down to one, as it is a proper city. There’s a Wyndam Hotel for under $100, with “transient houses” opposite for under $20.
What to see in Baguio
There’s not exactly a ton of things to see in Baguio, but there’s certainly enough to kill a day or two. In fact one of the best parts of Baguio is simply the view when you drive in and out of the place.
- Ghost hunting in Baguio: yes, ghost hunting in Baguio is a thing. Although I’ve personally not been caught by a ghost in Bagui, I have been grabbed by the ghoulies.
- Baguio Botanical Gardens: does what it says on the tin, and it’s free.
- See churches: there’s old churches in Baguio, one of which has a massive stone tablet with something called the Ten Commandments on it.
What to eat in Baguio?
There’s all the usual suspects in Baguio, but on our last trip we found the absolute gem of the Farmer’s Daughter’s Restaurant! Real local foods, which tended to be mixed animal guts, but absolutely great. Seven of us dined for under $40.
Nightlife of Baguio
The hipsters have arrived! Baguio microbrewery! Decent place, but seemingly the coldest place inthe Philippines; thankfully there was a heater and tequila. Aside from that, lots of restobars of a similar quality that you’d find in the rest of the country.
Is it worth visiting Baguio?
Baguio is one ofthe only places in the Philippines where you need heating and a jacket! It has beautiful scenery and it’s a chilled place. If you have more than a passing interest in the Philippines then visiting Baguio is a must.
Getting out of Baguio
Our general MO when we leave Baguio is to make the seven-hour drive to Sagada. Failing that, you are four hours to La Union from where you can head north or south.