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For Locals, Expats and tourists in the Philippines.
Cool Down in Baguio

Cool Down in Baguio

Fun in the sun isn’t for everybody. Summer isn’t just going to the beach and catching the perfect wave. The heat, at times, can be excruciating. Sometimes, a change in temperature is what one needs to relax and have a vacation.

In the Philippines Baguio is considered to be the summer capital of the country. Because of its location at a higher elevation there is a cooler climate than the metro. It is the perfect alternative destination to those seeking refuge from the summer heat.

Traveling to Baguio can be quite a ride. It takes 8 – 10 hours to get there via the Kennon road. This happens to be the most historic and scenic route to Baguio. It is best to travel during the early morning on a weekday to avoid traffic. Along the way, the North Luzon Expressway is equiped with various pitstops for meal and bathroom breaks.

One of the most remembered times of Baguio city is the devastating earthquake during the early 90s. Several people were killed with others injured and lost because of the natural disaster. Many of the city’s structures were destroyed into piles of rubble strewn about the ground. Many doubted if Baguio could recover from this tragedy. Doubters were set at ease as the citizens and several investors slowly restored Baguio to bring back tourists and travelers.

Baguio has also become a haven for bargain shoppers. Ukay-ukay, as most locals call it, is the very reason fashion lovers head to Baguio. Great prices on the trendiest items and a variety of choices make it only more attractive to visitors. Haggling and patience is needed to find the perfect clothes and get the full experience when bargain hunting in Baguio.

Ukay-ukay stalls are located near Session road which is one of the busiest areas in the city during daytime and nighttime. It is lined with various restaurants serving international cuisine ranging from Italian, Spanish, Chinese and of course Filipino style delicacies. Familiar fast food restaurants are also here for those on a budget. At night, Session road comes alive with the lights from bars and restaurants for people in search of a good time.

For the old fashioned, Baguio has a wide range of historic and cultural sites. The Botanical Garden (Igorot village), Mines View Park, Camp John Hay, and Baguio Cathedral are only a few of the attractions that Baguio has to offer.

Visitors can also head to the oldest park in Baguio for a look at history and for some fun. Burnham Park is perfect for picnics and strolls along the lush pine trees. Horseback riding, hiking in the nature trails are also available for nature lovers. Of course, there is always that great scenery to take a picture of for aspiring photographers to add to their photo albums.

Before leaving Baguio, it is a must to head to the marketplace and stock up on fruits and vegetables. Strawberries are quite the favorite gifts to bring home for friends and families. The vegetables are fresh, cheap and even taste better than those one could buy in the high end supermarkets in Metro Manila.

Going to the beach isn’t the only thing one could do in the summer. There are other ways to relax and enjoy oneself. Nature lovers, bargain shoppers, cultural explorers all have something to experience in Baguio. Sometimes, a change in temperature is the best vacation to have. Baguio gives the chance to relax and cool down during the summer.


  1. great post about baguio.

    why does it take you 8-10 hours to get to baguio? it’s only 240km from manila and the newly redesigned 80km-long north luzon expressway takes just 45 minutes to navigate. for tips on how to get to baguio in just 4 hours from manila, you may want to check out

  2. Philippines Insider - Kim

    8-10 hours is taking the bus from Manila (depending on weather / traffic), Driving yourself is faster, but anybody doing that trip in 4 hours should be locked up for reckless driving and endangering other peoples lives…

    Self drive 5-6 hours probably… depending on weather, traffic and restroom/food stops.

  3. Reena

    Do the math:

    There’s nothing reckless about going 80km per hour for the expressway (that’s 1/3 of the way and well withing the speed limit) then navigating the 160 km highway for the next three hours averaging slightly over 50km (that means sometimes 40, sometimes 60). What’s reckless about that?

    But to make Baguio seem 8-10 hours away is not doing justice to the destination. Even the buses that stop twice or thrice to refuel and eat, plus to load and unload passengers along the way take only 5-7.

    And if you research the route to plan your trip better you should not take that long. If you take Kennon Road instead of Marcos Highway, you cut your trip by about 20 minutes.

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