When hiking up to the crater of the Taal Volcano, do not check if the sides of the cracks in the ground scattered all over the volcano island are hot. They are! I found that out to my sorrow!
I got curious to prove to myself if that small fissure on the ground is really connected to the center of the volcano and if that whitish stain on the ground is of sulphuric source! Yup! it definitely is hot.... BLISTERING HOT! :(
The goats seem to be immune though. I saw them lounging almost on top of the fissures.
If you do decide to walk/hike to the crater of Taal Volcano, please use a little common sense to avoid getting hurt. Here are some points to remember:
1. Bring drinking water with you so you can replace what you lost through sweating.
2. Dress appropriately. Wear clothes that will vent sweat and let cooling air circulate to cool your body down.
3. Use a pair of shoes/sandals with good traction. Not that fancy glittery confection nor the 2-inch heels that some of the visitors wore. Helloo?!
4. Always watch where you put your feet. The soil is loose and might cause you to slip.
5. See which side the people leading the horses are walking and walk on that side too. That will help you avoid getting stepped on/head butted by the horse.
People are supposed to be smarter than horses...
The weather in Tagaytay can sometimes be deceptive. The air might be cool and the sky overcast. But if you plan to visit the Taal Volcano, I suggest that you apply a lot of sunscreen to avoid getting that so attractive "boiled lobster look". Since you will definitely sweat the lotion off, please do remember to re-apply.
The picture I posted is a jeepney with one man hanging or holding on to the rear of the vehicle. It could be a fare collector as this is very common to provincial jeepney having an assigned collector who goes with the jeepney driver. This is just fine in Taal, but more often in some cases, there will be more passengers holding on to the rear. Maybe 5 or 6, and this is very dangerous to those who are not used to this.
If you are a visitor, please do not board jeepneys if there is no seat available. Driver will definitely stop even if there is no seat. They expect that you are willing to risk your life. Moreover, if you are getting off - be alert! Driver expect you to jump off the jeepney in seconds. He is always in a hurry. I know that - been there, done that!
Upon arriving to Taal from Tagaytay via Banca we were greeted by locals who pressured us to ride horses up to the Volcano peak. Without seeing any info on it here and being told that it was too far to walk by the locals, we thought this was the only way up to the volcano.
Immediately after agreeing on a sum of 1100 pesos for myself and my gf with a guide each, we began our journey up the volcano. This wasn't too bad as it is a tourist spot. The problem we found was the local attitude to tourists. Several locals began to pressure us to pay for bottled water to give to the guides- in quite demanding tones.
Upon reaching the top, this demanding began again by others. Because we didn't respond for various reasons - firstly...why should we pay when we just paid for the ride...and why should we pay for water for the guides - it's not as if they hadn't done it b4- and don't they get part of the 1100 pesos we just paid!!!!???I would however pay something for the seemingly ill-kept horses!!!
One girl had the nerve to tell her fellow locals that we didn't reply in english so she had to go to the effort of asking us in tagalog... we were a bit disgusted with their manner of expecting and demanding....other places we have visited have never demanded these things....my attitude is that if i get good service, i will show my gratitude.
Anywayz, i paid the guides a tip each via my own decision. They turned their noses up....
I think it's rude to demand,which tarnishes the experience.I tell fellow travelers to be wary.
I saw other ppl walking up to the volcano minus horses....
Other than that, the only other warning is that Taal Volcano has a fair bit of rubbish floating around.....