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This blog is an amateur photographer's attempt to show how beautiful the world really is. He is drawn to the colors of nature like a moth to a candle light. What are showcased here are nature's grand display of colors at sunrise and sunset, beautiful beaches and off-the-beaten track locations in his beloved Philippines, waterfalls and some of nature's great sculptures, architectural gems, and other views from around SE Asia that he was fortunate to see at one point.

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May 29, 2008

where is taal volcano?

If you have been to Tagaytay, most likely you have marveled at that all too familiar small cone shaped volcano down in Taal lake. You probably seen it in countless postcards, textbooks and websites too. And with the cool Tagaytay air you sigh: "Ahhh... Taal Volcano...". Sorry to burst your bubble, but its not THE Taal Volcano.

Binintiang Malaki as seen from the shore of Taal lake

That small dormant volcanic vent is called Binintiang Malaki and its just a small part (northwestern tip) of the Volcano Island, or real Taal Volcano.

How to get there (to the real Taal Volcano)

The jumpoff point to the Volcano Island is in Talisay, Batangas. It is that lake side town you see at the northern shores of Taal lake if you are in Tagaytay. There are several options going to Talisay via public transportation:

1. via Tanauan (ride buses bound for Batangas City, along Taft Ave in Manila) then ride a jeepney from Tanauan to Talisay

2. from Tagaytay, there is a winding road down to Talisay. There are jeepneys plying that route. The jeepney terminal is on Ligaya Drive.

When you reach Talisay there are lake resorts that offer banca rides to the Volcano Island (prices vary from Php1,500 to Php2,000). The banca ride is just about 30 minutes or so. You'd be surprised to see that there is a small community at the northern shores of the Volcano Island (talk about living in a danger zone, Taal is an active volcano). From there you can hire a guide and some horses if you prefer do it the Korean way hehehe.

The hike...
Daang Kastila, hike trail to Taal Volcano crater

The hiking trail is very manageable, but since there are no shades be ready to get real sweaty :). It is also very dusty especially if a group of 10-20 horse mounted Koreans passes you. (hey I've got nothing against Koreans, its just that Koreans comprise more than 90% of Taal volcano visitors nowadays. Some of them even tried building a spa resort near the crater).

Along the way (and especially near the top) you'll see (and smell) occasional steam hissing out from small cracks on the ground.

Taal crater lake

The view at the top is really marvelous. Its best to enjoy it by sipping that outrageously priced fresh buko juice (or softdrink) they sell at the peak. Yes, there are a couple of sari sari stores there.

Trivia about Taal Volcano and Taal Lake

1. the crater lake is on a volcano which is also in a caldera lake (Taal Lake) on top of an ancient volcano.

2. The Taal Lake is home to the tawilis, the world's only fresh water sardines. The fish is endemic to this area.

3. Taal Lake is also home to one of the world's rarest sea snakes, Hydrophis semperi.

4. Bull sharks, Carcharhinus leucas, used to be part of the lake's once-diverse ecosystem. They were hunted down in the 1930s
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Anonymous said...

spot on! people usually think that taal volcano is that small one at the edge of the island. It is also interesting to note that during one of its eruptions probably during the 18th or 19th century, it was so huge and violent that people from Manila heard the explosions thinking that these were approaching enemies. Along the lakeshore are remnants of the original towns of Taal, Tanauan, Sala which are already submerged in the water. Previous eruptions also caused the relocation of Lipa, Bauan, San Nicolas and many other Batangas towns.

Lantaw said...

@estan - thanks for the additional info bai. Taal is still active and if it erupts you can say goodbye to a lot of towns there - including the scenic Tagaytay.
I'm not sure why they (gov't) tolerate people to actually LIVE on the Volcano Island. It'll be an evacuation disaster if the unlikely does happen.

Anonymous said...

I too also thought that small dead volcano was taal. I haven't been to that side, only the actual crater. Beautiful shots Allan and helpful information too.

escape said...

that's a stunning shot lantaw. salamat din sa info. it makes the post more interesting kasi sa picture pa lang maganda na.

Lantaw said...

@ferdz, don - thanks mga bros sa pagbisita!

lagal[og] said...

very informative bai. galing, this would be very helpful to visitors. and of course, spectacular shots as always.

Lantaw said...

bai Oggie daghang salamat! :)

Anonymous said...

ang gaganda nman ng shots mo! bravo

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