Monday, 19 May 2014

Around Manila

Around Manila

We are melting!  So if you are looking for something different to do which will take you out of the city heat, Maya and I discovered some fun places to take the kids which are not too far by car.

Hidden Valley - Cavite
Hidden Valley is a true little gem of a place to explore.  It is only 2 hours max from Manila and is a peaceful haven set a long way back from the main roads of natural hot springs.
Maya adored scampering from pool to pool.  There are many to explore all set within a natural lush jungle.  The pools range in temperature and there are also waterfalls you can shower under.  A true paradise.
It is 2,000php entry and well worth it.  This includes lunch and a snack (merienda).

We went with a group of friends which made the trip festive and fun for Maya as she could show off her newly acquired underwater swimming skills.

Subic Bay 
This is such a strange place I felt as if I should not like it.  For the most part a disused US military base, still harbouring military ships and retired US marines complete with weathered tattoos and beautiful young wives.
However, there was something peaceful about this pocket of Asia which had become entrenched in military history.  Maybe it is the Zumbales mountains that surround the bay, or the sleepy town vibe which appealed to my need for a slower pace.
We stayed at the Lighthouse, which is a great little hotel serving delicious food, with a great little pool.  However, we could not keep away from Texas Joes, which is a brilliant US eatery serving the best ribs ever and gorgeous milkshakes.  I am not really a texmex girl (more sushi and soup) but this place had me converted!

The following day we treated Maya to a day at the local Safari Zoobic, which is really well organised and interesting.  She stroked a python, held an owl and watched as her Daddy fed a chicken to a crocodile.  The tour takes around 3 hours as you wander from exhibit to exhibit.  There are loads of refreshments on offer to wade off the summer heat, but I would advise taking a little hand held fan too.
Subic is about 2/3 hours from Manila.

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